By johanne James

Good day to you all and hope you had a good Christmas break and saw the new year in with a bang? I wonder how many of you made new year’s resolutions that you have already broken, and considering that we are nearly half way through January, you won’t have to wait long before you’re making another set of new year’s resolutions!

Anyway, I have been inspired over the years by certain artists
 that I have learned so much from.
From those whom I have stolen from, but never copied. Lol! There are too many to mention, so I’ll just pick three, those you may or may not know, and in recent years have had a most profound impact on me.

Alan Holdswoth
, a wonderful guitar player who inspired none other than Eddie Van Halen. If you listen to Michael Jackson’s Beat It, you’ll hear Eddie doing his stuff, but with Holdsworth’s signature all over it. He would play chords that don’t exist in your imagination and bring a tear to my eye on many an occasion with the choice of notes he would play. So if you’ve not heard of him, I would highly recommend you give him a listen. It would have been an honour to have played alongside him, but unfortunately he is no longer living. RIP and thank you Alan Holdsworth. You shall be missed, and we thank you for those you have inspired along the way.

Arvo Part
, is an Estonian composer whose compositions are, dare I say, outside the conventional box, and for any of you who know who he is or have heard any of his works, then you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. He can go where others fear to tread, but one dear friend of mine commented that he’s too sophisticated and pretentious. I guess he isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but I am glad he was introduced to me, for the first time I heard Summa For Strings, I was hooked! He has created many works, both orchestral and choral, and once again I highly state that you give him a listen and see if he has the same impact on you he had on me.

Eric Moore
, a gospel drummer from the USA is nothing short of incredible. I have to ask myself, where does all this come from, it seems to be endless as he has more chops than Lidl, Asda, Tesco and Sainsbury’s combined. He will more than likely forget what your average everyday drummer will never learn! His technique is second to none and has a sense of groove that the devil himself would dance to. (Come on big D, let your backbone slip). He seems to go beyond just playing the instrument and it takes on another dimension. Once in a while someone will come along and set the standard for others to follow. Well he has, and believe it or not, he was playing with none other than Suicidal Tendencies for a while. He commented, “I never play this style of music” I guess they paid more than enough to do so! They would have been crazy not to, he is that good!

I could go on and on with those who have made me think and pushed my imagination to its limits, but I would need a day or two to name them all, so I’ve given you just three. It has been a pleasure listening, learning and being inspired by these people. What they are like as human beings is another story that we may never know, but in spite of that, what they have given the world has, in my mind, been a magnificent contribution and I thank them most sincerely.

Thank you for listening.

Johanne James



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