RANDY ELLEFSON RISES FROM ASHES WITH THE FIREBARD
JUNE 29, 2004 (GAITHERSBURG, MARYLAND) – Some music critics say that hard rock guitar music died in the 90s, but this summer’s tours by bands such as Kiss, Van Halen and Scorpions proves otherwise. Joining the revival is guitarist Randy Ellefson, who is determined to show instrumental hard rock is alive and well, too. With the June 29, 2004 release of his debut CD, The Firebard, both Ellefson and the genre are rising from the ashes.
A few years ago, a severe case of tendonitis in both arms rendered Ellefson unable to play guitar for over a year. Even a year later, his fingers would shake on the strings, and he could barely play once a week. Another four years passed before he could perform his own rock music again, but he is still restricted to playing guitar only three hours, every other day. “I’m used to the limitation, but one result is taking 2 years to record the album.”
To perform The Firebard, Ellefson had to make adjustments, such as rigging his drum machine with letter openers to play it with his feet. He also engineered it at home so he could record whenever he was able to perform the guitars and bass.
The injury was caused partly by a Bachelors of Music in classical guitar, where he had accomplished four years of playing requirements in only two years. Despite once reaching #3 on MP3.com’s classical guitar charts, Ellefson has left that genre behind. “I can’t play often enough to maintain two styles, and rock is more important to me.”
He’s not alone. As hard rock lovers make their way to this summer’s rock concerts, he’s a new artist carrying on the same tradition. The Firebard includes nearly an hour of crunching riffs and the largely abandoned art of lead guitar. Once considered self-indulgent and vain, guitar solos are making a comeback. Also filling the CD are melodic riffs in the vein of Roth-era Van Halen and classic Scorpions.
The age of rock is not over, and like Ellefson himself, is poised to rise from the ashes like the legendary phoenix.
The Firebard is available online June 29 via randyellefson.com, CDBaby.com, and Guitar9.com.