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!
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Lee Gaskins Productions
Lee Gaskins Productions