Laurence Juber Releases a New Album, FINGERBOARD ROAD, and a New Book
By Books News Desk
March 13 2015
Two time Grammy award winning artist, Laurence Juber, forged his musical legend a long time ago as Paul McCartney's lead guitarist for Wings and as a groundbreaking solo acoustic guitarist and now, he adds a few more chapters with a new album and book.
(L-R) Top: Paul McCartney, Laurence Juber Bottom: Steve Holly, Denny Laine, Linda McCartney [Photo courtesy Laurence Juber]
Fingerboard Road includes 13 tunes and encompasses a spectrum from those that have a deep personal resonance to others that are representative of particular styles or musical eras, mostly 1960s and '70s, the period when he 'came of age' as a musician.
The title inspired by a New York-area freeway exit sign, Laurence's composition 'Fingerboard Road' has a ragtime-style harks back to some of his teenage folk guitar aspirations and the title serves as a metaphor for Juber's 50-year journey on six strings.
'Without Annette' is the blues/rock theme music LJ composed for a stage play written by his wife and co-producer, Hope. That show combines scripted and improvised performance and the title is a reference to improvisers working 'without a net.'
In contrast to the highly structured arrangements, the album also has a pervasive improvisational element that encompasses jazz, rock and blues styles in a way that is uniquely 'LJ.' Steely Dan's 'Peg' blends a jazz vocabulary with a blues/rock sensibility, while Bob James' 'Angela', which was used as the theme to the TV show Taxi, brings an evocative melodic arc to a smooth groove.
A trip to Savannah, Georgia, inspired the arrangement of 'Georgia On My Mind.' 'Go Now' was essentially Juber's audition piece for Wings, when he played it with McCartney cohort Denny Laine on a UK TV show in 1977. 'Won't Get Fooled Again' represents a particular era of late '60's/early '70s British rock. Laurence debuted this version with Pete Townshend in the audience. 'Without You' written by the Badfinger team of Pete Ham and Tom Evans and famously covered by Harry Nilsson, is a quintessential melodic rock pop song, here given an emotional and dynamic solo performance. 'I Won't Last A Day Without You' is homage of the immense songwriting talent of Paul Williams, with whom Laurence has often collaborated over the years. Otis Redding's '(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay,' Dusty Springfield's 'I Only Want To Be With You' and Bobby Hebb's 'Sunny' round out the collection. There is also a bonus live track of LJ's composition 'Love At First Sight' that brings the album to a romantic conclusion.
To sample, Fingerboard Road, you can check out the following YouTube link:
Juber's heralded coffee table 'photo memoir' Guitar With Wings garnered impressive accolades when first released in 2014. Chris Carter, Host of "Breakfast with The Beatles" proclaimed, "A super pictorial account of LJ's musical journey. Master Juber's well-written words and never-before-seen photos nearly match his unbelievable talents as one of the worlds' most respected and gifted guitar players. A wonderful read."
Fingerboard Road is the first of Juber's albums to feature his new signature C.F. Martin guitar strings, LJ's Choice, which impart a warm and focused sound to the recording. Compared with the near erotic appeal of the instruments themselves, guitar strings are hardly a 'sexy' subject but they represent the tactile connection between the musician, the instrument and the tone of the performance.
Also happening in March, Juber will be launching his first guitar tutorial, LJ's Guitaristics: Rhythm, in collaboration with Truefire.com, the leading online guitar instruction company with over half a million students. And later in 2015, music publisher Hal Leonard will release the third in a series of folios featuring Laurence's celebrated pop song arrangements for solo guitar.
photo courtesy Laurence Juber