For the second time in a row, I thought the Nearfest lineup wasn't stellar enough to be called `the premiere progressive music festival in the world,' so even though I wanted to see Pure Reason Revolution, Magenta and La Maschera di Cera, again I skipped the NF weekend and went to see the pre-show starring the one and only Alan Holdsworth. He played with longtime band-mates- Jimmy Johnson (bs) and drummer Chad Wackerman- both amazing musicians in their own rights. It was a typical 75 minute set of mind-blowing speed soloing and moody chords.
For anyone who doesn't know Allan Holdsworth, he is still one of the premiere guitarists in the world. An innovator in both jazz and rock, his unique guitar textures, dexterity, as well as legato style are legendary. An inductee in Guitar Player Magazine's Hall of Fame and five-time winner in their reader's poll, he is renowned for his work with Bill Bruford, Gong, Soft Machine, and U.K. His personal work leans heavily towards the jazz side, but his breathtaking solos still wow metal, rock and improvisational fans alike.
The day before the show, on the last day of school, I sketched the drawing in my sketchbook. After the set was over, I rushed up and in less than 30 min. he signed it. Allan seems like such a quiet man. He is the epitome of the humble genius. Thanks Allan!