On my last tour in Germany I made it over to the Frankfurt Musik Messe and hung out in the Acoustic Guitar “Section” of the fair. Maton Guitars, Lakewood Guitars and Acoustic Music were all within walking distance of each other.
It was a blast!!! Since I play Maton guitars as my primary instrument, I spent quite a lot of time over by them.
Then I stumbled upon this fellow, Soenke Meinen who blew me away.
Many of his old videos are no longer on YouTube, but here’s one of his most famous current tunes:
Soenke and I chatted. He knew me from youtube, so we took turns playing at the booth. What a nice kid! And he’s young. Uh oh, us semi-old farts had better keep practicing! 🙂
As legend has it, Soenke was a devoted classical guitar student and at precisely the time that his teacher fell ill and announced he could no longer teach him, Soenke just happened to go to a Tommy Emmanuel concert for the first time.
The rest is history, or at least the beginning of it!
What struck me about Soenke was the calm, relaxed, poise with which he plays. His technique was “poetry in motion” – which is something I strive for. I could hear a depth and a knowledge of music.
A lot of young players these days start out by playing “Tommy” – which really is fine. We all climb the musical mountain in different ways. In Soenke’s case I was really excited to hear a kid with great technique and a solid grasp of harmony and proper voice leading – and a lyricism that touched my heart.
He played a bunch of original songs when I heard him. They were very Tommy Emmanuel “inspired”. Maybe a voicing here and there, a strum here and there were reminiscent of the great Tommy…but the “compositions” were his and there is a serious composer here!
Sonke has a great sense of song form and melody. The phrasing makes sense…in fact – I truly would love to learn some of the kid’s songs! He’s the real thing.
Soenke surprised me the just other day, via Youtube. He smashed a bunch of my licks and ideas together, then added his own magic…and created a tune called “Adam’s Groove”. Here is a live version of it. (Dang, he’s gigging with this tune…that deserves a 2nd thank you)