I have great respect for people who put their talent behind their talk for public scrutiny. Mike Eldred is one of those people and I have great affection and admiration for him even though I’ve never met him. Mike Eldred — the fine fellow in the middle of the album shot for “The Mike Eldred Trio” seen below — is better known to most of us guitar fanatics as the head honcho in the Fender Custom Shop. Mike is online in the Fender Forum and he interacts with ordinary end users every single day.
Mike is a musician first. He plays a mean guitar, and his latest album is — 61 and 49 — and it is packed with roaring guitars and gritty bass lines. The album is a mixture of classic blues and harder country rock. “This Old Train” is a blistering emotional trip. “Ruby’s Blues” is appropriately filled with human yearning and “61 and 49” takes us on an endless trip into the brackwater byways.
Here is Mike on the official YouTube Fender channel selling the $11,500.00USD Andy Summers Custom Shop Telecaster:
I love it that Mike makes guitars, he sells guitars, and he’s a professional musician you can evaluate. He puts his talent behind his work ethic and his work ethic celebrates his immense talent.
Mike’s new album reminds me of the new NBC Hit Show — The Voice — where the judges/coaches are all professional singers. Unlike American Idol, The Voice coaches have actual and verifiable musical talent. Here’s the way The Voice opened their season with coaches Adam Levine, Blake Shelton, Cee Lo Green and Christina Aguilera singing the Gnarls Barkley hit, “Crazy” —
— now that’s killer stuff! All four of them put their talent where their work ethic is exercised in performance, with nowhere to hide, and they put themselves in the public square for critical evaluation. We immediately know they are all real professionals and that what they say matters because they voted their own blood and skin in the game.
Mike Eldred is in the same league. He’s an artist and a craftsman and a musician and I admire his multiple talents.
As usual, here’s my iTunes Ping! proof-of-purchase so you know I put my own money behind my Eldred Trio review:
Take a listen to The Mike Eldred Trio’s 61 and 49 and find out just how the rounded talent of a man is carved in modern music.