As a young guitarist, GRAMMY winning Guitarist Lee Ritenour’s diverse musical style became the foundation of over 3,000 sessions, covering a broad spectrum of artists ranging from the Mamas and Papas, to Pink Floyd, Steely Dan, Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Rollins, Simon & Garfunkel and Frank Sinatra.
On his latest endeavor, the June 2010 release of 6 String Theory, Ritenour assembles a star-studded cast of guitarists to pay tribute to the instrument that has served his accomplishments, the guitar. Join master “Six Fingers” Ritenour on a musical journey live at CATALINA’S – FRIDAY, May 20th through Sunday the 22nd. Stage time Friday and Saturday is 8pm and 10pm. Sunday stage times are 7:30pm and 9:30pm. Tickets are $25 and $30. Catalina’s is located at 6725 Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles. For reservations call 323-466-2210.
Released June 29, 2010 on Concord Records/Monster Music, 6 String Theory provides the backdrop for 20 legendary world class guitarists, including Ritenour to blend genre blurring flavors for a seamless project that promises to take the listener on an otherworldly exploration of the guitar. The all-stars joining Ritenour in this tribute are George Benson, B.B. King, Slash, Steve Lukather, John Scofield, Robert Cray and Vince Gill, Pat Martino plus many other iconic guitarists. Also featured on vocals are B.B. King, Robert Cray, Vince Gill, Keb' Mo', Taj Majal, Joe Bonamassa and Jonny Lang.
“Maybe it was inspired by YouTube, the way you can spend an hour on there and see clips of every amazing guitar player under the sun,” says Ritenour of the motivation behind the project. “Or maybe it was inspired by the fact that I love so many different styles of guitar. But it just occurred to me how great it would be to be able to hear a whole bunch of today’s greatest guitarists doing their thing on one album. Plus, what a fine way to celebrate my 50th year playing the guitar!”
Assembling the cast for 6 String Theory, Ritenour aimed to include active guitar stars and complete unknowns from the widest possible generational extremes. The first invitation went to the King of the Blues himself, B.B. King, who Ritenour has been friends with for years. Ritenour also invited jazz/fusion icon John Scofield as well as Toto kingpin, contributing 6 String producer/writer, and fellow session legend Steve Lukather who plays the lyrical guitar theme on “In Your Dreams.”
“It was Luke who championed heavily for the inclusion of our young classical guitarist, Shon Boublil, on the record. He also brought in Slash and Neal Schon,” adds Ritenour.
Among the album’s players with a deep blue streak, Grammy winner Keb’ Mo’ brought in Blues Hall of Fame Inductee, Taj Mahal to jam together on one of Ritenour’s favorite tunes, “Am I Wrong.” Legend B.B. King joins Mo’, ace Jonny Lang, and pop/country guitarist Vince Gill to bring fire and funk to King’s tune, “Why I Sing the Blues.” The final bluesman to make the album was Robert Cray, who sings and plays guitar alongside Joe Bonamassa on a soulful re-imaging of Tracy Chapman’s “Give Me One Reason.”
Ritenour also reached out to several players just now making their mark on guitardom, including YouTube’s solo steel-string sensation Andy McKee and 18 year old, Joe Robinson (winner of Australia's Got Talent). Ritenour also launched a new star of the guitar by partnering with Yamaha Corp., Berklee College of Music, Monster Music, D'Addario Strings, and Concord Records to hold an international talent search, The Yamaha 6 String Theory Guitar Competition. Beating out hundreds of contestants was 16-year-old classical guitarist, Shon Boublil, from Montréal, Canada, who made his debut recording performance on 6 String Theory and received a four-year full scholarship to the Berklee College of Music.
In a tribute to the late Les Paul, Ritenour joins with Jazz genius Pat Martino in “L.P. (For Les Paul).” Another of 6 String’s captivating jazz guests is Mike Stern. “Mike is only getting more amazing, because he never stops playing. Like Boublil’s pieces, George Benson’s “My One and Only Love” is performed solo, and it exemplifies the higher purpose of 6 String Theory.
“I’m probably on more tracks than anybody on this record, but I’m certainly not on everything, because this record isn’t about me,” says Ritenour. “It’s about guitar. Celebrating the guitar like this with friends I’ve known for years, and friends I’ve only just made, has made this a dream album to me.”
6 STRING THEORY Players
1 Lee Ritenour
2 BB King
3 George Benson
4 John Scofield.
5 Steve Lukather.
6 Vince Gill
8 Pat Martino
9 Mike Stern
10 Neal Schon
11 Robert Cray
12 Keb Mo
13 Taj Majal
14 Jonny Lang
15 Joe Bonamasa
16 Andy Mckee (acoustic virtuoso 30 million Youtube hits)
17 Guthrie Govan (Guitar Player Magazine New Talent of the Year 2009)
18 Joe Robinson (18 years old won Australia's Got Talent)
19 Hotei (Japan's rock guitar superstar)
20 Shon Boublil (16 year old winner of Yamaha 6 String Theory Competition)