Biography of guitarist Tony McAlpin: childhood, music, success
Tony McAlpin is an American lead guitarist who, in addition to his own projects, has worked with many different bands and musicians. Before picking up the guitar, he received a musical education in the piano class, and also learned to play the violin. His main idol has always been Fryderyk Chopin, whom he recalled as one of the most influential people in his life. That is why you can find interpretations of some of the great composer's works on many solo albums. McAlpin... It is worth noting that Tony made a huge contribution to the neo-classical end movement 80s! And his style, which is an alloy of instrumental rock, shred, blues and fusion, easily recognizable.
The name of this man is synonymous with contemporary musical virtuosity. Whether performing as a solo artist, band member, session musician, touring artist or producer, Tony McAlpin continues to prove that he truly is one of rock's most amazing and versatile musicians. His playing combines elements classical, jazz and fusion in the genre hard rock / metal both guitar and keyboards.
American guitarist and keyboardist Tony McAlpin was born August 29, 1960. He grew up in Springfield, Massachusetts, and from an early age he was immersed in music ... While still a schoolboy, Tony was a pianist and violinist in classical education! At the age of five he entered Springfield conservatory, where he studied classical music under the guidance of Marion Jensen for twelve years. Later McAlpin continued his studies at the College of Music HARTT in Hartford under the guidance of professor Raymond Hanson. At the same time, the main musical influence for him has always been Fryderyk Chopin, to whom he would later pay homage on many of his studio albums. Tony first picked up a guitar at the age of 12 years old…
Over a long career spanning several decades, Tony McAlpin produced, wrote and arranged 13 solo instrumental studio albums! In addition, he released 4 album from his jazz fusion group CAB, 3 album with his progressive rock band Planet X and a number of other projects ... It is worth noting that McAlpin played a big role in the neoclassical metal of the 80s: he became famous for combining blues and jazz fusion in one genre. Having received a classical musical education, his subsequent rock recordings retained the pronounced influence of this period.
Tony McAlpin debuted in 1986 year with an instrumental album Edge of Insanity, after which he formed a group MARS with the drummer Tommy Aldridge, vocalist Bob Rock and bassist Rudy Sarzo. However, the group disbanded quickly, and McAlpin returned to his solo career while founding his own label, Squawk. Releasing an album "Maximum Security", in 1987 he founded another group called MacAlpine… Their lone record Eyes of the World appeared in 1990, shortly after which McAlpin returned to instrumental projects for the rest of the decade, releasing a series of albums, among them - Freedom to Fly, Evolution, Live Insanity…
Still in the first half 80s McAlpin became the leader of the neoclassical guitar virtuoso movement of the middle and the end of the decade! He was arguably the first new rock guitarist-instrumentalist of the 80s to sell out 100,000 copies in USA. His debut album Edge Of Insanity and following him Maximum Security have been cited by countless guitarists as the most influential recordings... As for Maximum Security, Tony played all the instruments on this album (with the exception of drums), emphasizing his musical dexterity. McAlpin continued his distinguished work in 90s, releasing critically acclaimed releases that remain among the best-selling of his discography.
The period of the 90s - what did he bring?
In the end 90s Tony joined forces with Derek Sherinian and Virgil Donatito form the progressive rock band Planet X, regularly touring Europe and South America. IN 1999 bassist Bunny Brunel invited McAlpin to join his jazz fusion band CAB along with a drummer Dennis Chambers and keyboardist Brian Odger. This led to the release of their self-titled album in 2000, which was nominated a year later for a Grammy! Two more CAB albums followed, after which the band went on tour around the world, including Europe, Asia and Russia.
Shortly thereafter, Tony was invited to join the guitar virtuoso's band. Steve Vai (together with Billy Sheehan on bass) where he played both guitar and keyboards, often doubling Vai's impressive parts on both instruments... Tony performed and toured the world with Vai for seven years, playing to hundreds of thousands of people and appearing on a certified double platinum DVD titled Live at the Astoria, London!
New millennium and new successes
In 2006 Shrapnel Records celebrated Tony's 20 year career release "Collection - The Shrapnel Years" - an album containing some of his most musical highlights, comprised of aggressive rock and fusion compositions that highlight McAlpin's incredible technique and melodic flair... These tracks also feature outstanding performances by some of progressive music's greatest musicians, including drummers Steve Smith and Dina Castronovoas well as bass players Billy Sheehan and Tony Franklin.
In 2007 Tony was the guitarist for the legendary French pop musician Michel Polnareff during a very successful tour of France! A special performance of the event was televised throughout France…McAlpin also appeared in the award-winning film 2008 of the year Crazy: The Hank Garland Storyplaying a cameo role Wes Montgomery.
Proof that Tony can feel equally free as a guitarist and keyboardist, his collaboration as a guitarist-accompanist with such famous keyboardists as Vitaly Kupriy and Derek Sherinian. His impressive career spanned several decades! And legacy McAlpin truly impressive...