Carl Verheyen


Carl Verheyen

Carl Verheyen is an American guitarist, publicized for his work in Supertramp. He is currently based in L.A. recording and touring with the Carl Verheyen Band.

History

Verheyen is a L.A. based session guitarist, who was also a member of Supertramp, and has his own band called the Carl Verheyen Band.

Verheyen is the author of many instructional books, including "Improvising Without Scales," as well as "Studio City," a collection of articles written for the magazine "Guitar for the Practicing Musician" from 1996-1999. In 1996 Carl won the prestigious LA Music Awards category of best Guitarist, while Guitar Magazine called him "One of the top undiscovered guitar players in the World."

Verheyen is one of the top session guitarists in Los Angeles, known as being a versatile performer of many musical styles. His first solo album was entitled "No Borders." His follow up, "Garage Sale," featured his own vocals, belying a musical direction that Verheyen says is his main focus. “I buy all the hot guitarists’ records, but I end up checking them out once or twice and then filing them. I much prefer listening to a great melody, and vocal music is what I’m most passionate about.” This record was a transitional one in other ways too, as it showed Carl’s improvisational skills embracing blues-based forms and beginning to forge a unique chordal concept that can be heard on his soulful cover of Bob Dylan’s “My Back Pages.”

1998’s Slang Justice, Verheyen's third release, was the first time he toured to support one of his records. His bandmates during the tour included bassist Cliff Hugo, drummers Chad Wackerman, Steve DiStanislao and Bernie Dresel. “The difficulty was fitting these artistically satisfying little tours in between my other job, which was lead guitarist for the British pop group Supertramp.” Sometimes the tours would dovetail together and Carl would finish playing a 20,000 seat stadium and go directly to a small club to play for 300 loyal CVB fans.

In fact Slingshot, released in 1998 was written entirely backstage at the various arenas that Supertramp was playing on their Some Things Never Change world tour. For this CD Carl expanded the trio format to include some of LA’s heaviest players including drummer Gregg Bissonette and keyboard legend Jim Cox. A blues-rock style mixed with pop and jazz influences crystallized on this record and the songs became part of the ever expanding live show the band was delivering night after night on the road.

Carl continued to play on other artists’ records whenever he was in town, racking up credits on CDs by the Bee Gees and Cher and movie soundtracks including The Crow and The Usual Suspects. When the CVB reunited in the studio in January 2000, Carl had a stripped down, back to basics approach in mind that resulted in the CD Atlas Overload. Texturally sparse and raw, this music quickly became some of the band’s most exciting concert material.

Although the band was gaining popularity and garnering very positive reviews, Carl needed to give another side of his music some attention. The acoustic guitar had always been a part of the CVB albums, but in 2001 Carl devoted an entire CD to solo guitar composition and acoustic playing. Entitled Solo Guitar Improvisations, the recording began another avenue of solo concert touring that Carl continues to this day. The virtuoso pieces that he plays at these performances are the perfect compliment to the blistering dazzle of his electric CVB shows.

Working closely with the Austrian string company Thomastik-Infeld, Carl developed a line of signature strings for the electric guitar that perfectly balance the tremolo bridge of the Fender Stratocaster. He also helped design a unique double cutaway acoustic guitar with Avalon Guitars, a highly respected manufacturer from Northern Ireland. Besides instructional DVDs and various on-line lessons available, Carl now has a book/CD detailing his unique “intervallic” style called Improvising Without Scales. Another book entitled Studio City is a compilation of all the columns Carl wrote for Guitar Magazine between 1996 and 1999. Carl currently writes a monthly column for Chitarre, Italy’s #1 guitar publication.

Another side project was released in 2001, a CD entitled Reel to Real with Karl Ratzer, Vienna’s most important jazz guitarist. This recording was very different than the highly produced CVB CDs. Recorded in just two days, it consisted of extended “jams” and interactive musical sparring between the two guitarists and the assembled rhythm section. Immediately following the release of this project, Carl took the band back into the studio to realize another collection of songs. This was to be the 6th record by the CVB and was therefore simply titled SIX. Following in the tradition of 1994’s Garage Sale, Carl recorded a cover of Lennon, McCartney’s “Yes It Is” using a chord style fans had come to recognize as “uniquely Verheyen.” The band toured extensively behind this record eventually playing in 14 countries over 2 years.

In 2005 the band recorded Rumor Mill, a DVD box set with a live concert, an acoustic concert, behind the scenes interviews and rehearsal footage, as well as a master class and many more features. This collector’s edition was nominated in seven categories and won Best Dual Disc at the DVD Entertainment Awards and Best Additional Features at the Surround Music Awards.

Released in 2007 was "Take One Step." The band recorded the material over an entire year, frequently performing the new songs on the road before committing them to record. The CD includes an extended piece called “Bells of April” that uses the many sounds of the electric and acoustic guitar orchestrally and departs radically from traditional song form.

Gear

Carl has used just about every guitar, pedal and amp ever built. His favourite guitar of choice is the Fender Stratocaster.

" The guitar goes to a A / B pedal board with different distortion pedals for the clean side and the dirty side. For the clean I am using a Zendrive pedal and out to a Stamps Tremolo Reverb unit in a rack with a tc chorus pedal and a Lexicon stereo MPX 100 delay, then into a 1964 Fender Twin and a '64 Vox AC-30. The distortion side goes though a Langraff Perfect Distortion pedal, a Voodoo Labs Pro Octavia and an Italian pedal made by VDL Professional Analogics called "Il Distorsore". From there it oes into a Dr Z SRZ-65 amp and the speaker out feeds a THD Hotplate. The speaker out of the Hotplate feeds a "dry" cabinet, either a Marshall 4X12 from the '60s or a THD 2X12 cab. The line level out on the Hotplate hits an old Lexicon PCM-41 and a little Lexicon LXP-1 reverb. This line level signal goes to the power section of a 1969 100 watt Marshall head that was modified so that the bass input is a power amp in. The speaker out feeds another Marshall 4X12 or another THD 2X12 cabinet. In Europe I use the same pedal board but I have a Euro transformer in my Dr Z over there and I currently use 2 Fender classic Twin reissues that are also European power. My rack is slightly different but it's the same basic idea because in a trio nothing is more organic than an A / B rig. No MIDI and no channel switching going on to cut your signal off for that brief instant. Instead all the delays and reverbs hang over as you change sounds and actually stack on top of each other making for seamless transition while radically changing the tones!"

Carl is coming to Germany in Mai 2008 with his Band.

Albums

* Take One Step
* Rumor Mill
* Carl Verheyen Band Live in LA
* SIX
* Solo Guitar Improvisations
* Atlas Overload
* Slingshot
* Slang Justice
* Garage Sale
* No Borders
* Real to Reel

External links

* [http://www.carlverheyen.com Official website]
* [http://www.myspace.com/carlverheyen Official Myspace]
* [http://www.guitarjamdaily.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1006&Itemid=47 Audio Interview with Carl on Guitar Jam Daily]
* [http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0894177/ Carl Verheyen] at the Internet Movie Database


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