What would rock music be without the guitar? What would most music today be without the guitar? It’s difficult to imagine, and nearly impossible to really think about. We wouldn’t have Elvis, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, and other legends that have directly influenced much of today’s music. Fortunately, we can all relax because the guitar exists. However, for Alex Brubaker, the guitar is not just a guitar. It’s a rhythm section and an entire musical ensemble that can be looped, distorted, delayed, scratched, hit, tapped, and transformed into new musical opportunities. With influences ranging from Dream Theater to Trace Bundy, you might expect that his style would reflect progressive experimentation with this age-old instrument. You would be close to correct, but listen for yourself to one of his songs called “Ice Mountain.”
After starting on prog rock and metal in high school, Brubaker transformed his style by applying the same ideas and techniques to the acoustic guitar, but that’s not all. He has incorporated looping, tapping, alternate tuning, and using two guitars. His creativity is refreshing and his ideas are unique. Brubaker released his debut album called Deconstructing the Temporal Lobe in September 2009 after only two years of experimenting with percussive fingerstyle guitar. You’ve got to give it another listen if you are the least bit interested in the guitar or if you just like music! In this next song, Alex incorporates both acoustic and electric guitar to create a pretty dope riff. It’s called “Phoenix.” Check it out.
Slightly different than your typical I IV V, huh? In today’s music industry, we get sucked into songs with the same progressions, forms, rhythms, and bass lines. It’s like walking through an art gallery with paintings, sculptures, and art forms that are just modern copies of what’s been done before. They’re good, but they are just communicating what’s been said in earlier paintings without any creative change. It’s not only rare to try to be an innovative artist, but it’s also difficult. Similar to the rise of street art in recent years, the rise of new independent music has seemed to explode through channels like youtube and social media. It’s easier now than ever to go searching for new artists and music because of technology.
Alex Brubaker likes to challenge music. What new sounds can I make using this instrument, and what obscure pattern of rhythms can I fit here? These are common questions for Alex. His debut album Deconstructing the Temporal Lobe features sounds and feelings created by using the guitar in a variety of ways. With electric and acoustic, distorted and clean, Alex displays a mixture of experimentation on the guitar that makes for great listening anytime. Songs like “Phoenix” display powerful riffs with creative loops and textures, while songs like “Debris of a Brainstorm” take you from one melodic idea to another. When you listen to Alex Brubaker’s songs, they allow your mind to relax and just listen, because each guitar medley paints an incredible picture. Check out more of his music and purchase Deconstructing the Temporal Lobe at alexbrubakerguitar.com.
By Steve Harpine | Nashville Ambassador | @Steve_MWL | Beat-Play & Music Without Labels, LLC.