It is no small thrill to sit face to face with Jeff Beck--by unanimous acclaim likely the finest rock 'n' roll guitarist in the world, and a highly affable fellow to boot.
Beck, who stopped by Los Angeles a few weeks ago to perform on American Idol with singer Joss Stone, also give a private performance at the Grammy Museum for a small and very lucky audience. Much of the night was devoted to tracks from Emotion & Commotion, his latest album, and one which-incredibly, given his status as a veteran artist-entered the Billboard charts at #11, the highest first-week showing there of his career.
Beck's appearance at the Grammy Museum was no accident; the guitarist received his fifth career Grammy this year, in fact, for his version of the Beatles' "A Day In the Life" from his recent DVD Jeff Beck Performing This Week...Live At Ronnie Scott's. Between his recent tour, his dual concerts with fellow former-Yardbird Eric Clapton, and an upcoming appearance at the Bonnaroo Festival, the guitarist may be enjoying his highest public profile in years.
Helping considerably is his artful Emotion & Commotion, which features a mixture of superb instrumentals, some with full orchestral backing, and guest appearances by female vocalists Joss Stone, Imelda May and Olivia Safe. Despite the varied contexts, Beck's masterful guitar work unites it all, and the album is one of his best--and commercially accessible--in years. And you can pick up a copy of it here.
In conversation, Beck was delightfully self-effacing, certainly opinionated, and clearly a man with many stories he could tell if he so chose. Check out both the interview and his performances here of both "Hammerhead" and "Over The Rainbow" from his Grammy Museum appearance.
As a special bonus--and one we think may delight Beck fans--check out this additional interview with Beck, shot by Y! Music back in 2001, in which he examines his recording career, album by album, and offers up his unique take on each and every one of them.
Then, and now: He's Beck and better than ever!