Drew Zingg. If you haven't heard of him (which you probably haven't), get to know him. I will admit that I hadn't heard of him, but after listening to a few songs I am beyond impressed to now be aware of a very talented guitarist. Although I had not heard of Drew Zingg before a few weeks ago and my facial expressions surely gave that away, I was told he was the lead guitarist of Steely Dan in the '90s and served as their musical director. I know Steely Dan! I also love Michael McDonald and Zingg has worked in his touring band! This still doesn't tell me too much about Drew Zingg and surprisingly, while doing research, I found he is not the only Drew Zingg.
The other Drew Zingg died in 2000 which confused me for a moment because Drew Zingg is releasing a new album next week. My fascination with Drew Zingg also stems from having friends who are professional musicians. As much as I love music, it is rare that I can surpass the musical knowledge of my friends. I am eager for them to listen to Drew because they can listen to the complexities and intricacies of his guitar work and appreciate it in its entirety. It also means I can mention a guitarist that nobody has heard of and earn some respect (maybe even a pat on the back). There are only so many times you can mention Thelonius Monk before people start rolling their eyes.
I will be the first to tell you that Frodo is not the hero in Lord of the Rings. Without the help of his best friend Sam, he would have failed on his journey. Drew Zingg is the Sam to Steely Dan's Frodo. But still, who is Drew Zingg? This was harder than trying to find where in the world Carmen San Diego was hiding, but I did learn a few things. First, he is a Vassar alumnus. Although, I did not go to Vassar my best friend did and I've had some entertaining trips to Poughkeepsie so he is already awesome in my book. Also, I was not the only person who had never heard of him. Guitar Magazine named him as one of the 12 "best guitarists you've never heard of." He is a best kept secret, but also a respected blues, soul, and rock guitarist. If you knew of his reputation, it would precede him. I love best kept secrets, but Drew does deserve some public recognition. He actually has talent. I can't say that for many "musicians." Also, if you say his name three times in the mirror he pops out of your closet willing to give you a free guitar lesson. I made that last sentence up, but if it were true I would take him up on his offer. Besides touring he has also worked with the likes of Gladys Knight, Boz Scaggs, and The New York Rock and Soul Review. I am very excited to hear some of his new material on November 1st as Steely Dan and Michael McDonald are doing guest vocals. He is also doing a cover of Lionel Ritchie's "Easy." I wish I could tell you that my love for '70s and '80s music is giving my age away, but I'm still in my early 20's, just clearly born in the wrong decade.