MGS - Hey everyone we are here with Carl Verheyen. Thanks so much for chatting Carl, its an honor.
CV - Thanks for checking in.....I'm proud to be in the company of some of m y favorite contemporary guitar players.
MGS - Its safe to say most of our readers know who you are and your history. < If not please visit www.carlverheyen.com >. Lets talk about gear and your current projects. I have a feeling talking gear wont be a problem.
CV - Not a problem at all. I have a simple motto: If it sounds good don't sell it. Even if a couple of years go by and I'm not using a certain piece, I hang on to it because someday I know I'll need it.
MGS - Ive been watching the Rumor Mill DVD set non stop on my computer. As a matter of fact its on right now. That had to be a major undertaking. Its far above a live set and credits. I think its one of the most well laid out DVD sets Ive ever seen. How much planning was involved in that project?
CV - The two dual disc box set concept was Mark Waldrep's idea. He is the president of AIX Records, a company considered to be the most cutting edge in DVD production and home theater content. Besides the 11 song live set we included 4 songs filmed at soundcheck and 7 songs played with acoustic instruments on a different day in the same theater. So there's a lot of music! Mark wanted to film a Master Class I did at USC, and I wanted to get some footage of me playing a lot of different guitars at my house. We also got some backstage interviews and rehearsal footage, so when you add all that up it's over 3 hours of video. But the planning was easy: every idea we tried we liked!
MGS - The cool thing about your stuff is that I found myself drooling over your solo acoustic studio stuff just as much as the full electric rig shows. I liked the story about how your dad asked you to play him something and after playing him some parts of songs he didnt understand why it didnt sound like the record. It seems like that drove you to really become a musician instead of just a guitarist. I have a student who said his dad did the same thing to him. I think I am going to record us playing things together so he can hear it.
CV - The guitar is one of very few instruments that can accompany itself, and the art of solo unaccompanied guitar, whether it's jazz, classical, Chet Atkins style or acoustic fingerstyle is a noble goal to strive for. My problem is that I love all those styles! And it's true, my Dad was instrumental in getting me to "just play something" when I pick up the guitar. I guess he got tired of the endless noodling!
MGS - Does it ever bother you some folks only get to see one side of your playing and dont see the whole picture? You cover alot of ground extremely well.
CV - Thanks for the compliment! The answer is yes, but on the other hand I don't want to come off as a "look at my chops" kinda guy. I would much prefer to have someone's initial impression of my music be deep and musical, even if it's only 1 tenth of what I can do. Maybe that's why I was a studio guy for all those years. There's a certain self-righteous feeling about being the well-listened craftsman. As a serious fan of music, you become a music historian with respect to your particular instrument, and those skills are most valuable in the studio. You get to play country music in the morning and heavy metal that night so you're never bored!
MGS - As a guitar teacher I find myself always looking for new ways to present the same thing so different folks can grasp concepts. What advice would you have for starting a student at square one? What would you do and how would you advance ?
CV - My advice to everyone at square one is avoid limiting yourself. Learn everything you dig and let it influence your musical upbringing and eventually your style. Along the way you'll be able to make a living playing guitar and experience the joys of an artistic life.
MGS - Ok time to talk gear. Watching you give the Master Class on the Rumor Mill DVD was a treat. Your rig is a dream for alot of players, myself included. You covered it all in that section except for the THD rig that was on stage right. Is that just for slide? I saw it was a Flexi and that rack. What did you use to continue the slide loop when you switched over to the strat? Just a delay? Could you go in detail on this second rig?
CV - That rig is my old (but updated) studio rig that I've been using since the early 80's. These days I mostly use it for film scores and record dates where they want my "Ethereal Man" sound. I used it for the slide sound on "Slingshot" with the THD Flexi amp. I think it was an Infinite Reverb program in the Lexicon PCM-70 that created the loop. I also have a PCM-81 in there and a lot of other time-tweeking devices....
MGS - The Stamps verb unit in your main rack, is that the same Drive O Matic Stamps? Not made anymore correct?
CV - Yes, Robert Stamps was around LA for many years with a repair shop called the Amp Shop. He was next door to Norm's Rare Guitars for a while, then got a bigger store in the Sherman Oaks / Studio City area. I used to hang there a little and one day I talked him into building me a rack mounted reverb unit that sounded like my old Fender Reverb tanks from the early 60's. He also put a great sounding 2 channel tremolo in it and it's done some serious time on the road with me. I remember him finishing it just hours before the gear shipped to Europe for a 7 month Supertramp tour! But Stamps disappeared a while ago, and mine was getting kinda noisy. By chance I found his old partner named Jim Wigle working at Groove Tubes and he totally updated it for me. Unfortunately they are not made anymore, but a very nice substitute is the Victoria reverb and tremolo unit. It's the size of a large amp head, but well worth the real estate it takes up.
MGS - If I heard you correctly thats a Lexicon PCM41 you use for distorted delays into your wet Marshall rig ? Also no longer made?
CV - Yes......I've been through the Echoplex phase, and although I love tape delay, I'm happy with the old PCM-41 sound. It's not digital sounding at all. Fat and warm is what I need for the distortion lead tones, although I like the pingy high end delays for my clean rhythm sounds. The more you get into your tone, the more you want different speakers, different amps and an entirely different signal path for clean and dirty sounds. I even tested all the cables made today and chose instrument cable AND speaker cable that sounds best for clean tones and best for distortion.
MGS - What model is the Lehle switcher you use? I got the feeling from watching the Master Class you had a hand in designing it.
CV - I got to know Burkhard Lehle during one of my annual European tours. When he showed me his A/B switching pedals I asked him to modify mine so that the same button toggles between A and B. When I'm at the mic singing, the last thing I want to do is look down to find the lead button during my chord rhythm part. A much more organic approach occurs when I can play and sing, and if I hear a lick or a quick little lead part, I can tap the button and play it with my distortion tone, immediately switching back before the delays and reverb of the clean rhythm part ever die out! So the sound never cuts off like MIDI or channel switching, instead it's always continuing and maintaining it's fluidity.....This is great for a trio!
MGS - Alfonso Hermida is friend of our site. I read you just picked up his Zendrive and have been working with it. Of course a pedal is just one part of the puzzle but once in awhile I stumble across something that inspires me to play well, Alfs pedals are one such thing for me. What are your thoughts on it so far?
CV - It took me awhile to get it figured out, but I like the control and natural sounds of that pedal. I think it's about to make a move to my main pedal board, and to bump something off of that one is a major accomplishment!
MGS - It must be hard to store all those vintage guitars and amps. Ive got some room in my computer room if you ever need some space. Seriously though do you ever sit back and go wow I could open a vintage store ! I know, I know they are tools but its gotta feel like Christmas sometimes.
CV - I'm pretty passionate about guitars! I just bought a Flying V that is really fun to play live, and I've used it a lot so far on my new CD. Each instrument has it's own inspirational vibe surrounding it and I'm very lucky (like Rick Vito) to have jumped on board the vintage train before it got out of control. I've had people offer me $30,000.00 for a guitar I paid $3500.00 for, but I'd rather have that guitar than their money! Initially I just hoped to have a good working example of every important guitar in rock 'n roll history so I could sound authentic in the studios. But as my solo career took over I began to acquire the guitars that sounded like I want music to sound like. This led me into things like Gibson SGs and the Flying V, which is NOT a good studio guitar because you can't sit down with it!
MGS - Myself having a gear website I talk gear alot but I believe the quickest way to sound better is learning new things on the instrument and practice. How often do you practice when at home?
CV - I'm a serious practicer! I get some time in almost every day. I love to explore new harmonic ideas, write my lines down, experiment with pedals and amps, play over changes and vamps and write songs. If I go a day or 2 without practicing I don't feel good about myself. I think I find my center as a person during those solitary times with my guitar. My favorite times are when I don't have to work on an upcoming show and I have nothing specific to practice. Playing anything you hear right off the top of your head is a form of meditation I'm sure, and it's taken me to some wild places and back!
MGS - New album eh? Anything recorded we could share with my readers? Just a
CV - Nothing is mixed yet, I'm right in the middle of overdubs. The music is leaning more towards high energy world fusion with a blues rock base. The entire CD seems to be centered on a 12 minute epic piece called "The Bells of April" that I've been adding guitars to for 2 years! Although there are 4 different solos, most of the song is a through-composed orchestrated piece using layers and layers of guitars like my "Partington Cove Suite" on the Solo Guitar Improvisations CD. For drummers I have the best: Bernie Dresel on half the CD and Chad Wackerman on the rest. The nice thing about this CD is that we were able to play the music on the road for a month before recording it, instead of the other way around. You can really see what works when you run the music before an audience night after night. And I like luxury of honing my guitar parts and lyrics until the day before we record them!
MGS - I always have a way of screwing up a serious interview so here goes. The Tiffany sessions, did you know how big that record would be when you were recording it? Did you ever say to yourself "Man I should have gone for the Debbie Gibson gig instead" ? Any funny stories from that time ? Im sure that record ended up paying for a guitar or two for you.
CV - That was a very strange session. My main rig at the time had just been shipped to England in advance of a month of production rehearsals for a Supertramp world tour. This was 1986 and I didn't have a warehouse full of gear so I scraped together what I had and borrowed a few things to make the date. The producer was a really mean guy! Immediately he told me who he usually hired (a famous guy) but since that guy was busy...... I thought he was kidding so I shot right back "hey, I just came from Capitol Studios where I wiped all his tracks!" He put on a Steely Dan CD and said "this is what we're going for" even though the vibe of his tune was a little bubblegum pop ditty! I couldn't tell if he was serious or not, and I got the feeling he didn't like me, the artist, the music or his job! When I got back from the tour it was a huge hit record. I got a platinum record from it but I keep it in the garage......
MGS - OK heres one that should be tough for you. Ill put you in my shoes for a minute. If you only had 1500.00 total for a rig that you had to gig with what would you seek out?
CV - I would probably find a reissue Fender combo amp with reverb (like a Twin or a Pro) and a Mudhoney pedal from T-Rex for distortion. Or a Landgraff Perfect Distortion. I can't play clean without 'verb and I can usually get over the top with a Strat if I have a warm and fat distortion pedal. The Vox AC-30 reissues are quite good, too. If there was any $$$ left over I'd get a delay pedal of some kind, as well.
MGS - I remember you playing a Reverend guitar. Do you still use it ? Joes got a a Vito model thats out.... Id love to see a Verheyen model also.
CV - I used it extensively in 2002 on tour. My favorite model is the one with the P-90s. I take it out as a modern road substitute for my '54 Les Paul Gold Top with 53 year old P-90s!
MGS - What is the current status of Supertramp? Any plans?
CV - We just released a compilation CD including the A&M and the EMI years called "Retrospectacle." I'm surprised at how well it is selling and that there is no tour supporting it. But there's a possibility of another huge tour in 2007........
MGS - When can we expect the new CVB cd? Can you tell us a little about it?
CV - Right now the plan is to release it in late summer, in time for a lot of fall touring. This CD will be a dual disc with some "making of" footage on the other side. Other extras might include some live demo versions in my practice room with just guitar and bass.
MGS - I need to pick up your book, I have read its very helpful in breaking out from the same old licks. When did you sit down and try to play these wide intervals as opposed to the box playing? Did you have a teacher that steered you that way?
CV - In 1976 or '77 I began studying with Joe Diorio, a great man and musical mentor of mine for 30 years. He was teaching me to tap into the creative pool that is limitless, no matter what stage my technique was at. He pointed out the obvious to me: that all guitar players learn their scales up and down the neck, organize their pentatonics into little boxes and proceed to play them endlessly from then on. I read interviews with Pat Martino from the late '70s where he said "stop studying to become a musician (with your scales and arpeggios), be a musician by playing lines." Your own lines. So for the last 30 years I've been composing and writing down my musical ideas, expressed as melodic lines over tonal centers, and I can draw on this melodic information in any musical situation. I took these basic ideas from master jazz players and simply applied them to rock, blues and other popular forms.
MGS - When you sit down in front of the computer, what are the top 4 websites that you visit?
CV - I wish I had time to surf around the web. Mostly my time at the computer is spent answering fan mail or players questions. Occasionally I go on the message board at carlverheyen.com and check the pulse of the guitar players out there........
MGS - Any funny stories from the road?
CV - Many! But new comedy is happening all the time that makes the past pale in comparison. On the road a band becomes an insular brotherhood where it's just us and then everyone else. Especially in foriegn countries. That's when the inside stuff gets deep. I flew from Hong Kong, China to Dublin, Ireland last year and the culture shock was almost as insane as the time zone displacement. When you're in that state of craziness....anything can happen!
MGS - Can you tell us about your signature guitar and strings? I emailed them about reviewing a set of strings but they didnt respond.
CV - The CV Signature strings are basically my gauges from the Thomastik-Infeld Power Bright series, but the added value is my Strat setup. I can make a vintage or modern Strat vibrato bridge float and stay perfectly in tune. I give detailed step by step instructions on how to do this inside the package, complete with pictures. The final result is the most musical vibrato setup possible, because the intervals remain constant with each string. The Avalon acoustic guitar I designed is a high quality instrument built exclusively for playing live. I was frustrated using the acoustic guitar on stage with a hard hitting drummer, I was either sacrificing tone or volume or both. But the Avalon sounds great at high volume and is a pleasure to play. I even use it for solo acoustic shows because it's a double cutaway which gives me access to everything and a gorgeous tone all the way up the neck.
MGS - Oddly enough Rick Vito said he uses the Stamps Drive o Matic. A pedal that seems to be looked down on in the boutique world. Its amazing to me sometimes that bedroom players seem to demand more than a real pro. I guess sniffing the cork is another way to put it. Thoughts?
CV - Probably because the serious player has his tone in his hands........ the pedal matters less. I never could get Robert Stamps' pedal to work for me, be he did an amazing job modifying my Rat pedal. The Drive o Matic was born from the mods he used to do on Rats, but sounded nothing like them. Disappointing in a way, but I still have and use my Rat all the time, so I don't care!
MGS - Do you have any other collections like the guitars? Stamps? Cars?
CV - No....but I do have a hobby: Washing my car. I like to wash my car.
OK you get two words for your feelings on these words...Go!
Chet Atkins - Lives on
Dr. Atkins - Still dead?
Steve Vai - Business man
Pork Pie Hat - Deep Blues
Tony Cole - Interview kingpin
Billy Gibbons - Sincere Respect
Gear Sluts - Sound great
Brian Setzer - Hollowbody rock
Tiffany - Tiffany who?
Jim Marshall - Tone Yoda
MGS - Thanks so much Carl its been a pleasure speaking with you!
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Carl Verheyen is a major presence on the guitar. Growing up in Pasadena in Southern California, he began a lifelong study of the instrument at age 10. Even in his early teens Carl practiced guitar every day, a tradition that continues to this day. Four or five rock bands down the road, he decided to pursue his musical education at Berklee College of Music in Boston. Although his formal training was to last less than a year, the experience proved invaluable, broadening Carl's musical influences and introducing him to jazz , blues, classical and country music.
While living near the University of Massachusetts, Carl got the opportunity to work with the innovative jazz drummer, Max Roach. After a brief taste of the road, he returned to the Los Angeles area and began leading his own group, which included bassists John Patitucci and Dave Marotta and drummers Chad Wackerman and John Ferraro.
Early in the 1980s, Carl was also a sideman in many groups, including the Victor Feldman Generation Band and keyboardist Dan Siegel's group. He played on five of Siegel's records and was the most prolific songwriting contributor to the first three Richard Elliott records (especially Trolltown, which contains five of Carl's songs, and Initial Approach which contains the Verheyen penned hit “Gretchen's Theme”). He also worked live with the saxophonist for five years. Carl played 2nd guitar in a group led by Robben Ford, and early in his studio career he recorded with Stanley Clarke, Dave Grusin and Little Richard. Soon he was getting called to work on many pop records including Tiffany's multi-platinum selling debut. He performed live with jazz saxophonists Joe Farrell and Ronnie Laws, and over the years worked with singers Carl Anderson, Christina Aguilera, Melissa Manchester, Leanne Rimes, Michael Damian, and Eagle Glenn Frey. He played on the Tonight Show with country music artists Tom Wopat and Shelby Lynn, and recorded a movie soundtrack with Dolly Parton and a few records with Cher.
In 1985, Carl became lead guitarist for the British rock group Supertramp, replacing the departing guitarist Roger Hodgson. The band played stadium shows all across the U.S. and Canada . In 1986 the group toured Europe , selling out huge arenas in eight countries. This tour finished with a command performance for Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana at the Royal Albert Hall in London.
After those tours, Carl slipped into the enviable position of being one of L.A's first call studio guitarists. He has played on over 200 different television shows as far back as “Happy Days” and “Laverne and Shirley” and including “Cheers”, “Suddenly Susan” and “L.A. Law.” Soon Carl's CD collection became full of the movie soundtracks he was doing like “Stand and Deliver,” “ Moscow on the Hudson,” “L.A. Story,” “Dusk ‘til Dawn,” “Mr. Wrong” and the soundtrack Oscar winner “The Milagro Beanfield Wars.” Due to the anonymous nature of studio work, not a day goes by when you don't hear Carl on one thing or another: in the movie theaters, on TV, or over the radio.
But studio work alone wasn't enough for this artistic soloist. In 1988 Carl released his first album entitled No Borders , featuring Dave Marotta and John Ferraro. Over the years it has obtained “cult classic” status and still sells consistently, in part due to the unique collaboration with guitarist Allan Holdsworth. In January of 1992, Carl's recording of the pyrotechnic guitar display of “The Big Shuffle” was included in a compilation CD entitled “Guitar on the Edge”. This “underground” recording of the hottest new talent eventually gained cult status. Two more editions (volumes 3 and 5) were subsequently released containing some of Carl's bootlegged live performances.
Later in 1992 Carl was asked to make a video for REH/Warner Bros. Titled “Intervallic Rock Guitar,” this advanced instructional primer has had guitarists working on Carl's ideas and techniques for many years. In early 1993 an innovative computer-guitar educational interface company called G-Vox commissioned Carl to write three interactive libraries along with Steve Morse and Adrian Legg. Available since spring 1993, these interactive computer guitar lessons provided more insight into the Verheyen style.
In May of 1994, Carl's second CD Garage Sale was released to very positive reviews and critical acclaim. Before long Carl became internationally known as a unique improvising voice on the scene. Guitar magazines began asking him to detail his innovative style. Quite a departure from the typical guitar sound, it interests people all over the world, from Japan to Finland to South Africa. A few examples of the publications that have featured interviews, profiles, transcriptions and CD reviews:
• Guitar Player has featured many articles on Carl including
a 12 page interview with 2 pages of musical examples in
• Guitar Techniques (England.... including a transcription of
the title song, an interview and an audio CD in 1995, then
in 1998 Carl made the cover with his long time hero BB
• Total Guitar (England ...including an audio CD)
• Guitar World
• Vintage Guitar Many reviews and interviews
over the years.
• Guitar & Bass (France)
• Fuzz (Finland)
• Chitarre (Italy)
• Axe (Italy) (multiple features including the cover in
• Guitar and Bass (Germany, multiple features incl.
an ongoing how to column)
• Guitar Player (Spain ...cover story)
• Young Guitar (Japan)
• Ad Lib (Japan)
• Guitar for the Practicing Musician (Japan)
• Guitar (Japan)
• Mojo (England)
• Music (Netherlands)
• Acoustic Guitar
• Living Blues
• Guitar One
• 20th Century Guitar
• Guitar calls Carl one of the “Top 10 Guitar Players in the
World”... April 1996. The following month Carl began
writing a monthly column entitled “ Studio City,” an
ongoing account of his experiences in the L.A. studio
scene and on the road.
• Guitar Shop A full page schematic of Carl's live rig
describing a few of the many sounds he wrings out of a
Fender Stratocaster... April 1995. And in June 1996 a
twelve page pictorial of his various recording and live rigs
and his extensive guitar collection.
• “Best Studio Guitarist” award from Guitar Player
magazine's reader's poll.
• “Best Guitarist of Los Angeles ” from the LA Music Awards
In the mid-90s Carl continued to work consistently in the LA studios, playing on such interesting records as Chad Wackerman's “The View” with Allan Holdsworth and Jimmy Johnson, and Steve Bailey's” Evolution” with Greg Bissonette, T. Lavitz and Yes vocalist Jon Anderson. He played on 3 of trumpeter Rick Braun's top selling jazz CDs and “Free Zone”, an album featuring Alphonso Johnson, Ralph Humphrey, Larry Steelman and Ernie Watts. Carl has contributed guitar solos to both of Gordon Goodwin's acclaimed CDs, the latest one featuring Michael Brecker and Take 6. He worked on the number one soundtrack album (Billboard charts) from the movie “The Crow”, and the edgy, dark 1995 film “Strange Days.” Further soundtrack work has included “Crow II, City of Angels”, “Endless Summer II”, “The Negotiator”, “Blow”, “High Crimes,” “Collateral Damage and “Walking Tall.”
May 1996 saw the release of Carl's third CD. Entitled Slang Justice , This blues oriented project prompted the best reviews ever. Guitar Magazine wrote “Slang Justice establishes Verheyen as one of the top modern virtuoso blues interpreters of our day.” This record also marks the first time Carl's music is available worldwide, with retroactive releases of the first 3 CDs on European and Japanese labels.
Later in 1996, while working an average of eight to ten recording sessions a week, Carl still found the time to teach (CCR guitarist/vocalist) John Fogerty guitar lessons. In the fall of that year Rick Davies reunited Supertramp and Carl was asked to rejoin the legendary band. They recorded another classic ‘Tramp album entitled
“Some Things Never Change,” which went gold or platinum in many countries all over the world. During that period Carl played on the BeeGees hit record called “Still Waters” and had his songs placed in the movies “The Usual Suspects” and “Apt Pupil.”
On the educational front Carl continues to be a presence. Besides the video and G-Vox libraries, Fender Musical Instruments commissioned him to be the on-screen player for their first instructional CD-Rom entitled “Guitar 101.” This basic learning aid was included with all of the student model guitars sold by Fender! And Carl has been a guest lecturer at the following institutions:
• University of Southern California (Los Angeles...
yearly since 1996)
• Musician's Institute (Los Angeles.... yearly since 1988)
• Berklee College of Music (Boston...
Guitar Week headliner, 1995)
• Duquesne University Guitar Camp (Pittsburgh...
yearly since 1998)
• Berklee College 's West Coast Music Camp
(Los Angeles.....yearly since 1999)
• National Guitar Summer Workshop
• LA Music Academy (Los Angeles... .2001, '03, ‘04)
• Leeds School of Music (Yorkshire , UK... 2002)
• Hull College (Yorkshire , UK... 2002)
• Guitar Institute of London (London, UK...
yearly since 2002)
• Bath International Guitar Festival (Bath, UK… 2003)
• Music Academy International (Nancy, France… 2004-05)
In 1997 the Carl Verheyen Band began the first of many overseas tours, playing to new fans all over Europe. Directly following the last show in Copenhagen, Carl flew to Paris, France to begin an extensive world tour with Supertramp, eventually playing in 17 countries. That year saw more touring with the CVBand in late summer, followed by another Supertramp tour which resulted in the record “It Was the Best of Times.” This double live CD was recorded during a 5 night stand at the Royal Albert Hall in London, 11 years after first performing there with the band in 1986.
Early in 1998 Carl began recording his 4th CD Slingshot . This record was entirely conceived and written during the backstage downtime in the various stadiums and arenas of the ‘97 Supertramp World Tour. Following in the blues-rock tradition of “Slang Justice,” the focus is on serious guitar playing and soulful vocals. The result is a masterful take on a timeless art form. Augmented with Chad Wackerman on drums, the group embarked on another European tour in the spring of that year, playing to sell out crowds in Germany, Holland, Belgium and Denmark. The band was filmed for television at the Leverkusen Festival just outside Koln, Germany, and later Carl returned to Europe to play the Blues and Jazz Festival in Vienna, Austria.
In the new millennium Carl continues to be at the forefront of the modern day guitar scene, touring Europe and the US yearly. In early 2000 sessions began for the next record from the Carl Verheyen Band, entitled Atlas Overload. This recording featured the road tested touring band of Cliff Hugo (formerly with Ray Charles, Manhattan Transfer and Melissa Manchester) on bass and Steve DiStanislao (formerly with Joe Walsh and currently with Dave Crosby & Graham Nash, and Loggins & Messina) on drums. Essentially a live in the studio recording, it captures the intense energy of a CVBand performance. All the sounds were created by the trio with as few overdubs or fixes as possible. Carl once again proved himself a great songwriter and with his virtuoso band mates, he masterfully pulled off the challenge of trio playing. It should be noted that this band, playing constantly since 1997, achieves a Zen level of musical telepathy and their jams are an amazing event to witness live. The level of musicianship transcends any stylistic pigeonholes, with blues, jazz and rock fans enjoying the performances equally.
Soon after that he recorded Real to Reel, an instrumental record with European jazz guitarist Karl Ratzer. Released in the 2002, this live CD has become a cult favorite among guitar players. While continuing to tour 3 to 4 months out of the year, Carl still does a fair amount of studio work in LA and master classes at various universities and music stores. And three books written on the subject of recording the guitar feature Carl extensively:
• The Essential Studio Guitarist by Chris Standring.
• The Recording Guitarist by Jon Chappell.
• Studio City by Carl Verheyen... the anthology compiling
all of Carl's Guitar magazine columns.
In 2001 he began work on an entirely different kind of project, an acoustic solo CD. Called Solo Guitar Improvisations, it was released in early spring to outstanding critical acclaim. After extensive touring with the CVBand, Carl began a series of solo acoustic shows supporting the new recording. In September Supertramp was again reunited from all over the world to record their best album in many years. Called “Slow Motion” and released in March 2002, it is another timeless chapter in the band's rich musical legacy.
In February 2002 the CVBand braved the English winter for their first UK tour that saw Carl and Cliff reunited with saxophonist and Supertramp band mate John Helliwell for the last show. Next came Supertramp's "One More for the Road" World Tour, another massive stadium endeavor that touched down in 12 countries in 6 months. Upon returning to LA, Carl then scored a movie during this time called "The Metro Chase." Using techno sounds and incorporating Django Reinhardt style acoustic guitar with upright bass, violin, accordion and drums, the music was the opposite extreme of the new CD the CVBand was simultaneously bringing to completion.
Entitled SIX , this latest recording is the most fully realized disc the band has made. With extra help from keyboard wizard Jim Cox (Ringo Star, Aerosmith, Mark Knopfler, BB King), the sound is full and fat. Once again the songs were written backstage in the bellies of the stadiums and arenas during the previous Supertramp tour. At the beginning of 2003 the CVBand hit the road again, embarking on an 8-country tour celebrating this new release. And in the UK Carl and the band headlined the Bath International Guitar Festival and played two sold out shows in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Between concerts with the CVBand in LA and solo performances around the USA, Carl scored an edgy motorcycle film for the Discovery Channel. In February of 2004 drummer Bernie Dresel (Brian Setzer, Andy Summers) joined the band as they embarked on a series of 3 tours: Europe in the spring, the UK in the summer and the west coast of the USA in the fall. While home in Los Angeles Carl wrote and produced 2 songs for BB King and 3 for Jose Feliciano for a CD benefiting the Diabetes Foundation.
January of 2005 saw the long awaited taping of RUMOR MILL, the live DVD from the CVBand. This was released in May 2005. And in March Mel Bay released Carl's first instructional book entitled Improvising Without Scales. This text and CD package contains examples of Carl's style and includes the philosophy behind his unique improvisational line development. Carl's signature guitar strings made by Thomastik-Infeld contain his unique Stratocaster setup instructions that enable the guitarist to duplicate his uncanny ability to stay in tune with a floating bridge. And Avalon Guitars now produces the Carl Verheyen Stage Model acoustic guitar, a high end double cutaway instrument specifically designed for live performance. It produces the most natural acoustic sound available for live application.
In May of 2005 the CVB departed for a very successful tour in Europe with legendary drummer Chad Wackerman once again on board. After a month of sold out shows and sun drenched European festivals the group collected in Los Angeles to begin recording a new studio CD, due out next year………Stay tuned!