After a ferocious battle between ten tremendously talented finalists, Trey Alexander has won the title of Guitar Player's Guitar Hero 2006.
Styles: Melodic progressive fusion, jazz, Country, Classical, Blues, Rock
Back Ground: At age 15, Alexander pulled down a guitar that had been a family wall decoration, and began playing after hearing Hendrix's "Voodoo Chile" on the radio. Within a week, his dad found him a teacher, and he began to study different styles of music. He learned how to play with other musicians by attending open mic jams, and, by the age of 18, was working on his first album. Alexander currently plays with The Trey Alexander Band-- a progressive rock fusion band with jam band elements---and his style is both melodic and technical, drawing upon highly developed legato phrases, hybrid picking, eight finger tapping, and sweep arpeggios.
Owner of Shrapnel Records
25 September, 2006
After a ferocious battle between ten tremendously talented finalists, Trey Alexander has won the title of Guitar Player's Guitar Hero 2006.
The finals took place on the evening of September 23, 2006 at San Francisco's legendary Great American Music Hall in front of a near-capacity crowd and six celebrity judges (Joe Satriani, Steve Lukather, Richie Kotzen, Rafael Moreira, Shredmistress Rynata, and Musician's Friend Head of A&R, Steve Read).
First runner-up was Patrick Woods -- who unleashed a stunning solo-acoustic performance -- and second runner up was David Powers, who started his show by stripping off a business suit to reveal a Superman t-shirt.
Bountiful prize packages were offered by GH06 sponsors First Act, Mesa/Boogie, Hughes & Kettner, Epiphone, and Musician's Friend, and Alexander also won a Fender Stratocaster signed by each of the judges.
Complete details -- as well as a photo essay of the event -- will appear in the January 2007 issue of GUITAR PLAYER, which hits newsstands on November 28.
In addition, video clips of all ten performances will soon be uploaded to the Web, where the public will be invited to choose THEIR favorite guitar hero. Every one who votes will be entered in a drawing to win an extremely rare GH06 collector's edition guitar from First Act. Only two GH06 guitars were manufactured, and GH06 Guitar Hero Trey Alexander got the first one. You may be the lucky winner of the second!
Dad’s Guitar Hero
By Alejandro Rios
LANCASTER COUNTY, PA - “You will be the best guitar player who has ever lived.”
Morris Conley Alexander II uttered those words to his son one night in November 1999.
A few hours later, he suffered a fatal brain hemorrhage.
At the time of his father’s death, Trey Alexander was 18 and learning to master the instrument that helped him forge a close bond with his father.
And then his dad — his biggest fan — was gone.
On Sept. 23, Alexander unleashed years of guitar lessons, open mics, jam sessions and memories of his father on a stage in San Francisco.
His inspired performance was enough to beat nine competitors from around the world to take the title of Guitar Player magazine’s Guitar Hero 2006.
The win earned Alexander two guitars, an amplifier and a feature story in Guitar Player, but it gave him much more.
“(The judges) gave me something I’ll never be able to repay ... and that’s the dream of my father,” Alexander said.
“I was lucky to have an incredible dad, and every day I wake up, that’s all I can think about.”
The competition was judged by some of the top guitarists in the world: Joe Satriani, who counts Steve Vai among his pupils; Steve Lukather of Toto; and Richie Kotzen, who played with Poison and Mr. Big.
Alexander played an original tune, “The Modern Equivalent.”
“I don’t really remember much of playing the song,” he said. “I just closed my eyes and hoped everything went OK.
“I could feel (the crowd’s) energy.”
So could the judges.
In an e-mail, Satriani said Alexander “put on a well-paced performance that showed me he had good technique, tone and his own sense of style.
“He didn’t buckle under the pressure. He appeared sincere and communicated well with the band,” Satriani wrote.
“Toward the end of his performance, he really let loose and showed us the showman lurking in his otherwise mellow character; it was really a stroke of genius the way he played the crowd.
“I have a feeling we will be hearing great things from Trey for years to come.”
Alexander’s father became his biggest supporter, booking his son’s first gig and taking him to every open mic and jam session he could find.
In November 1999, after returning home from a Steve Vai concert, an excited Alexander shared his experience with his father and then played for him for hours.
Before going to bed, Morris hugged his son and whispered the words of encouragement that would be the last thing he ever said to Trey.
Since his father’s death, Alexander has made it a point to “carry on the legacy of the greatest influence in my life.”
Although he’s still on an emotional high from winning the competition, Alexander has managed to return to his daily routine.
He teaches guitar at Manor Music Mansion in Lancaster and also teaches his craft through Music Virtuosity, an online Web cam music lessons community venture.
Always looking to improve his skills, Alexander takes lessons from Greg Howe, the innovative, critically acclaimed guitarist who has released several solo albums and worked with Michael Jackson, Enrique Iglesias and Justin Timberlake.
Alexander’s band, The Trey Alexander Band, is working on a new album.
“It was the most amazing thing I’ve ever been involved in,” Alexander said of his Guitar Hero experience. “It’s hard to believe; I bawled like a baby when they (chose) me.”
In addition to the feature article in Guitar Player, the win earned Alexander one of only two GH06 collector’s-edition guitars from First Act valued at $2,000, a Fender Stratocaster signed by the judges worth $1,000 and a $3,000 Roadster Mesa/Boogie amp.
Alexander was accompanied at the competition by his fiancée, Talia Drennen, but he mentioned the presence of one other person.
“I felt my dad there,” he said. “(The judges) basically put me in touch with my father once again.”
Guitar Players, Guitar Hero 200
Congratulations from the entire staff of Guitar Player!
You have been chosen from literary thousands of entries to be one of the ten finalists to vie for the title of Guitar Player’s Guitar Hero 2006.
Editor in Chief, Guitar Player
Countian is ‘Guitar Hero’
Manheim guitarist Trey Alexander wins title in San Francisco contest sponsored by Guitar Player magazine.
By Diane M. Bitting
Lancaster New Era
Published: Sep 30, 2006 12:29 PM EST
LANCASTER COUNTY, PA - Manheim guitarist Trey Alexander is now officially a Guitar Hero.
The 24-year-old musician holds that title after winning Guitar Player magazine’s Guitar Hero 2006 competition, held last Saturday in San Francisco.
Alexander was among the 10 finalists chosen to compete in this second annual event, held at the Great American Music Hall and judged by such celebrated guitarists as Joe Satriani, Steve Lukather (Toto), Richie Kotzen (Poison, Mr. Big), Rafael Moreira (CBS’s “Rock Star: Supernova) and Los Angeles-based musician Shredmistress Rynata. Steve Read of Musician’s Friend was the sixth judge.
Alexander played an original jazz-influenced tune he wrote titled “The Modern Equivalent.” His competitors came from throughout the United States and included a guitarist from Russia.
“It’s still really hard to believe that it even happened. I can’t believe that I was even in the competition let alone to come home with a win,” says Alexander.
“It’s still unbelievable. .... I just love playing the guitar so much that every day I’m so fortunate to just pick it up and enjoy it. To get anything plus that is just hugely appreciated.”
Such an accolade was also the dream of his late father, Morris Conley Alexander. “That night, I got to give (that dream) to him in some way, shape or form,” says Alexander.
Alexander’s prizes included a Fender Stratocaster signed by the judges, a rare GH06 collector’s edition guitar from First Act and a Mesa/Boogie roadster amplifier.
A photo essay of the event will appear in the January edition of Guitar Player, available Nov. 28.
Previously, Alexander was featured in Guitar Player’s Reader’s Spotlight column in May. He teaches guitar at the Manor Music Mansion in Millersville and fronts the Trey Alexander Band. He is also signed to an international guitar-teaching Web site (www.musicvirtuosity.com).
Guitar Player's Guitar Hero
For millions of lost souls, malcontents, borderline hoodlums, and even a few generally nice people, the electric guitar has offered the promise of salvation. Embedded in these beautiful planks of wood are the seeds of stardom, achievement, mystery, devotion, education, entertainment, bliss, and inner peace. But it is also a vessel for frustration, disappointment, anger, dashed dreams, and unrealized potential. So you see, while absolutely everybody in the galaxy can be beguiled and mesmerized by the guitar, it's a relatively a small community of obsessed wackos who can push beyond all of the instruments hardships and bummers to become fully immersed in the complexities of guitarcraft.
Likewise, Guitar Player magazine speaks to everyone who has ever watched icons such as Jimmy Page, Eddie Van Halen, Stevie ray Vaughan, or Jimi hendrix, and wished they could pinch even one sub-atomic particle of those players' stellar cool by strapping on a guitar, plugging into an amp, and adopting a suitably heroic stance. Believe me, we'd love it if all human units shared the fabulous joy of playing guitar.
But GP is also a stern taskmaster, and the magazine strives to push ambitious and passionate guitarists to sound better and play better. These are the cats whose obsession with the guitar transcends enjoyment and comfort. For these disciples , life with out the guitar is unthinkable-it's as much a part of their being as their heart and brain. They practice like demons, continuously run scales and chord progressions in their heads (which is one reason they always seem slightly spaced-out), and assess every noise and environmental sound for melodic and tonal ideas. They do not accept physical limitations. If a musical idea is initially deemed impossible, they will overcome any obstacles to manifest the sounds they hear in their heads.
The ten people competing in front of you today absolutely represent the transcendent level of obsession. The talent and commitment of these ten players blasted out of our playback systems, and won over the GP editors, who had to audition thousands of entries to discover the best of the best.
Tonight, these players have to strut their stuff in front of two guitar legends (Joe Satriani and Steve Lukather), a mind blowing virtuoso (Richie Kotzen), a "shredmistress" (Shredmistress Rynata), TV's hottest rock guitarist (Rafael Moreria of the Rock Star house band), and the head of A&R for Musicians Friend (Steve Read)
In addition, everyone at Guitar Player would like to give a big thank you to Epiphone, First Act, Hughes & Kettner, Mesa/Boogie, Musician's Friend, and Sonic Bids for their involvement in Guitar Hero!
Now let's salute Trey Alexander, Joe Cefalu, Ed DeGenaro, Nathan Hahn, Josh Karickhoff, Ron LoCurto, David Powers, Sergei Roudzinski, Anton Tsygankov, and Patrick Woods! No matter who wins Guitar Hero 2006, these ten musicians fly the flag for everything that is hip and thrilling and inspirational about the guitar.
Editor in Chief
Guitar Player Magazine
Guitar Player SpotLight
Trey Alexander in Guitar Player
Guitarist: Trey Alexander
Styles: Melodic progressive fusion, jazz, Country, Classical, Blues, Rock
Influences: Steve Vai, Jason Becker, Greg Howe, Jimi Hendrix
Main Guitar: Ibanez Jem
Location: Lancaster, PA
Back Ground: At age 15, Alexander pulled down a guitar that had been a family wall decoration, and began playing after hearing Hendrix's "Voodoo Chile" on the radio. Within a week, his dad found him a teacher, and he began to study different styles of music. He learned how to play with other musicians by attending open mic jams, and, by the age of 18, was working on his first album. Alexander currently plays with Sonic Lux-- a progressive rock fusion band with jam band elements---and his style is both melodic and technical, drawing upon highly developed legato phrases, hybrid picking, eight finger tapping, and sweep arpeggios.
For the Love of Music
When Trey Alexander threw himself into music as a teen, support from his parents, Morris Alexander, and Debbie Alexander, was crucial.
His dad signed him up for lessons right away after Alexander, then 15, taught himself the tune of Jimi Hendrix’s “Voodoo Chile” in one night after never having played before. Soon, his dad was taking him to open-mics and jam sessions.
“I was really fortunate to have a father like I did,” says the now 24-year old Alexander, who is featured in the May issue of Guitar Player magazine.
Alexander, who today teaches guitar to teenagers, believes that the parental support he enjoyed continues to be important to aspiring musicians today.
A positive sort of “family values” is needed to counteract the “rough” image of rock, that “to be in a rock and roll band you have to drink a lot of beer,” as Alexander puts it.
Instead, music can be a positive passion, says Alexander, who in 1999 as a 17-year-old blues guitarist fronting his own blues band.
“It seems like the kids that practice more are actually doing better in school,” he notes. “It just forces them to know when they get involved in something, they stick to it and dedicated to it.
When Alexander was 18, he saw is guitar idol, Steve Vai, in concert. And he couldn’t wait to describe this experience to his father.
“He listened to me play for hours that night,” he writes in his bio. “Before going to bed, he hugged me and whispered to me; ‘you will be the best guitar player who has ever lived.’ …They were the last words he ever spoke to me because he died of a brain hemorrhage that very night. I realized that I needed to continue living my dream, and by doing so, I would carry on the legacy of the greatest influence in my life, my father.”
Alexander still practices hours a day. And he still loves the blues and rock. But his style has grown to embrace the jazzier fusion-based progressive rock sound embodied by the band Sonic Lux, for which he does guitar and vocals.
This five-piece band’s music is influenced by Vai’s progressive rock guitar, jazz pianist Chick Corea, and the banjoist Bela Fleck.
The band’s release of its four-song EP coincides with Alexander being featured in Guitar Player’s Magazine Reader’s Spotlight column record producer Mike Varney.
Guitarists such as Jason Becker, Greg Howe and Paul Gilbert have made names for themselves after being showcased in this Column.
“I have been dreaming about being in Guitar Player since I was 15 years old!” says Alexander.
He describes his other dream in his bio: “to reach the entire world with my devotion and enthusiasm for music.”
And he’s working on that, one young guitar player at a time.
Alexander teaches a variety of genres at the Manor Music Mansion in Millersville. Among his 60 students, which range in age from 5 to 50ish, more than half are teens, some of whom have fallen in love with music the way he did as a teenager.
Case in point is Mike O’hara a 17-year-old Hempfield High School junior who has been studying guitar (mostly electric) with Alexander for about two and a half years. His brother, Steve, 16, started bass guitar lessons with Alexander about a year later.
“I love music more than anything in the world,” says Mike, who practices 30 to 40 hours a week. “Music is the only world where suffering, anger, joy, like something as simple as a salamander, still has equal beauty when expressed the right way.” (The salamander refers to Vai’s song, “Salamanders in the Sun,”)
He adds, “Any emotion, any thought can be the most beautiful thing you’ve ever heard.”
This is music to Alexander’s ears. He tries to expose young people to “the good stuff,” music that maybe they wouldn’t giving a listen to.
In addition to Vai, Alexander’s biggest guitar influences are Greg Howe and Swedish guitarist Yngwie Malmsteen.
Trey Alexander’s (www.treyalexander.net) talent has taken him pretty far, so another 2,800 miles shouldn’t be that big a deal.
That’s how far Alexander will travel in September to strut his stuff onstage at Guitar Player Magazine’s Guitar Hero Competition. He is among 15 guitarists (five are alternates) from around the globe who will vie for the chance to win some big-time gear, a feature in the magazine and a track on an upcoming Rounder Records CD sampler.
Alexander said he almost missed the chance when he mistook the e-mail announcing his selection for junk mail. The guitar gods were smiling on him that day.
The good people at Guitar Player Magazine will cover Alexander’s airfare, hotel stay and grub for the three-day event, and Alexander said the magazine will even hook him up with concert attire and a back –up band. Sweet!
The event takes place September 22- 24, with the competition scheduled for September 23 at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco.
Guest Judges include guitar greats Steve Lukather and Joe Satriani.
Here’s hoping Alexander gets a “Guitar Hero’s” welcome on his return form the West Coast in September.
Hello my name is Trey Alexander I am 23 years old and have been playing guitar for 8 years. The first guitar that I ever played was picked up by my father as a decorative piece for our home. My parents were antique dealers. I was fifteen years old and had never before played an instrument. The guitar didnï¿½t look like anything special, and to this day, I donï¿½t even know the brand name. I didnï¿½t have many friends; therefore, I was very close to my parents. I was greatly influenced by their taste in music. For as long as I can remember, I have been a music fan, especially Motown and Classic Rock. And although I have always had a love for music, I never expected this instrument to completely change and inspire my life.
ï¿½Voodoo Chileï¿½ by Jimi Hendrix was playing on the radio one day. I had heard the song many times before, but this time was different. The old guitar sitting in our living room provoked my curiosity. Never having read a music note, I took my chances, picked it up and began to play. It felt comfortable in my arms. I played all night. It didnï¿½t take long before I figured out the melody to the Hendrix song and it didnï¿½t take long for my parents to realize that I had a natural ear for music. By the end of the week, my father had found me a guitar teacher.
From that day on, I practiced intensely every single day. I played so much that month that I wore the winding off of the strings of that old acoustic guitar. I entered my first guitar competition only months later and won first place. My motivation was strong and my love for the guitar was even stronger. Soon after that, my father booked my first gig. He was my biggest supporter. He took me to every open mic and jam session that he could find, sometimes four or five a week. Although these times were exhausting for the whole family, we kept up this regiment for years because my father believed in me.
When I was eighteen years old, I had the pleasure of seeing Steve Vai perform live in concert. This was the first time that I had ever heard him play. I was in complete awe. I went home to try to explain this experience to my father. He listened to me play for hours that night. Before going to bed, he hugged me and whispered to me ï¿½you will be the best guitar player who has ever lived.ï¿½ Those words stay with me to this day. They were the last words he ever spoke to me because he died of a brain hemorrhage that very night. I realized that I needed to continue living my dream, and in by doing so, I would carry on the legacy of the greatest influence in my life, my father.
I put all of my energy into my band. We practiced seven nights a week for the next couple of years. Together we created our first album in 2000 self-titled The Trey Alexander Band. I went on to establish a more fusion-based progressive band, now known as Sonic Lux. Our music is heavily influenced by Steve Vai, Chic Korea, and Bela Fleck.
I am currently employed by Manor Music Mansion in Millersville, PA as a guitar teacher. I have about sixty students per week. I enjoy teaching because I value being a motivator and sharing my love for music with others on an intimate level. I have also created a website for my students so that they always have a place to come for help outside of the lessons. When I am not with my students, I am working in my studio on my next full-length album, expected to be complete by mid-2006. My dream is to reach the entire world with my devotion and enthusiasm for music.
Fried Chicken has entered the Pennsylvania Top 10 at Broadjam!
Fried Chicken has entered the Rock - Progressive Rock Top 10 at Broadjam!
Teen Weekend: New Era Newspaper
Teen Weekend: New Era Newspaper
A few years ago. Trey Alexander was in his room listening to the radio when the Jimi Hendrix song “Voodoo Chile” came on.
“That’s a great tune. I’d like to learn it.” he though to himself. So he picked up a “junk” acoustic guitar that was lying around and did just that, even though he had no experience playing guitar.
Since he was in the habit of taping songs off the radio, he listened to that song over and over and over until he could recreate the sound. Then he went out to his parents and said, “look what I can do.”
Now the 17 year old can pick up one of his 2 electric guitars and make them blister in the same vein as the late blues guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughn and Albert King.
Trey plays guitar and sings mostly the blues in his own three–man group, the Trey Alexander Band, at times with the band Blue Voodoo.
“When I found guitar, I didn’t want to do anything else,” says Ephrata’s answer to Johnny Lang, a nationally known teen-age blues guitarist.
When Trey first discovered the guitar his parents started him with acoustic lessons and soon, he says, “I had worn the guitar strings apart.” He had soon wan a guitar-playing contest held by his guitar teacher. Within a few months he had switched to electric guitar.
He has also taken piano lessons and can read music, but virtually all of his playing-guitar and keyboard- is by ear.
“When you started learning you instrument, you can remember things without thinking to much, says” says Trey. “The more you play, you see more parts, more notes, more places to go, things you didn’t see before.”
After his sophomore year at Ephrata Senior High School, Trey decided to leave school and earn his GED so he could devote as much time as he could to guitar playing.
“It’s still and education, but I’m able to practice more for the thing I want to do for a living,” says Trey, who figures he’ll earn his equivalency degree in a few months. Sometimes he plays 10 to 11 hours a day.
“He walks around with that guitar like it’s a permanent attachment to his hip” says his mom, Debbie
She puts this restriction on him. “After ten o’clock, he can’t play with an amp….he just walks around with no amp.
While blues has become his forte –he names Muddy Waters and Robert Johnson as other influences- “I play all styles now,” says the guy who has hundreds of albums in his collection.
In deed, after playing a little B.B. King, he can play a few bars of Beethoven’s “Fur Elise” as easily as he can do Ozzy Osbourne’s Crazy Train,”and you should hear him do a Hendrix-like take on the “Star Spangled Banner” He knows some country tunes as well.
But blues which he heard along with rock oldies while growing up and began listening to in his earnest in recent years, has been his first musical love because “I can hear how much feeling they (the artists) have inside of them.”
“When I first hear Stevie Ray Vaughn it brought tears to my eyes when I watched him play (on videotape). You could see the feeling and soul behind his playing.”
Although he’s only 17, Trey has experiences to draw upon to invoke the blues: the deaths of two friends in car accidents, his father having and stroke (and now recovering), and the death of his Grandmother.
“You go through things like that and it makes youa stronger person, but it hurts a lot at the same time,” he says.
He also realizes that: “You have to pull through. Life won’t just stop.” Thus the blues, besides being his innate style, is a way of expressing and coping with those feelings.
Trey and his band—also ray Holiday on Bass and Ryan Bencak on Drums__ have laid down the blues at such places as the Rawhide in Ephrata (where he will be Saturday). Doc Holiday’s, Emerson’s Pub, the Blue Star and Hot Z Pizza in Landisville.
Despite getting nervous stomach some times, Trey isn’t too affected by stage fright.
Bar Fly Entertainment
Bar Fly Entertainment
A few months ago, Barfly ran an April fool’s story about a 16 year old guitar prodigy. It turns out that the truth is stranger than Fiction. Trey Alexander, at 17, is the real deal. He’s currently performing with his own tro and in the band Blue Voodoo.
I love the Blues says Alexander, of his musical style. “I really love all styles of music. We do a lot of Jimi Hendrix, a lot of Stevie Ray Vaughn stuff. And, we have some of our own originals that we throw in there.” Alexander, who performs on guitar and vocals, is joined by Ray Holiday on Bass (the group is looking for a permanent bass player as Holiday fills in.) and Ryan Bencak on drums. The Ephrata-based group formed about six months ago.
Asked why he chooses to play the blues, Alexander replies, “Blues has a lot of feeling and a lot of soul to it.” He admits, however, that his tender age has caused some critics to say he lacks the life experience to put his heart and soul in the blues. To defend his music, he says, “I’ve already been through a lot. I’m young, but I’ve traveled a lot. I’ve been all over the world.” Raised by parents who are antique dealers, Alexander had the opportunity to visit many different places and meet a variety of people. He also learned to appreciate good music at an early age. “I always listenend to oldies and blues, and all that stuff when I was growing up.” he says, adding, “I really like Albert King. Stevie Ray Vaughn is one of my favorites, and Jimi Hendrix, Muddy Waters, Robert Johnson.”
Currently a high school student, Alexander is home schooled, allowing him more time to do what he loves; play the guitar. “I play a lot. I play about 15 hours a day, if not more. I practice all the time.” He says he doesn’t see an end in sight to his musician career. “Playing is what I love to do,” he affirms. It is what I want to do for the rest of my life, definitely.” The Trey Alexander Band will perform at Hot Z Pizza, 3001 Harrisburg Pike, Landisville, On August 14th.
Ernie Ball Radio
2 Songs released on EB Radio.
Loose Ends Magazine
Front Cover of the Magazine
Go out and see the 17 year old phenomenon Trey Alexander
Bar Fly Entertainment
At 18, Trey Alexander is an extremely accomplished musician. He began playing guitar at the age of 15, and was performing in clubs just two weeks later. He's adept at writing classical, blues, country, and Flamenco guitar pieces and also plays bass and piano. A former guitar teacher even told Alexander that he couldn't give him lessons anymore because Alexander's ability surpassed his. Yet, this considerable talent has not adversely affected Alexander, who remains gracious and humble when reminded of his success.
In fact, he's a quiet young man who prefers to let his guitar speak for him. During a recent conversation, he often peppered his words with various guitar riffs to illustrate different types of guitar forms from straight blues to classical. He spoke of his love of the blues and how the music has the ability to tell a story.
Alexander was home-schooled in a nurturing environment and says that his family completely supports his music career. He explains that it was his parents' idea that he begin lessons years ago. "One night I was listening to Jimmy Hendrix and I picked up an old junk acoustic that had about four strings on it, and I played the song. My parents said, 'We gotta get you lessons.' And I've been playing ever since. Sometimes I practice 10 or 11 hours a day." P4=In addition to Hendrix, Alexander is influenced by other older musicians like Led Zeppelin and Stevie Ray Vaughan rather than most newer bands. "My dad liked the older stuff. He liked just about everything ... but he passed away not too long ago, which was really tough," Alexander says. "He was a really great supporter of my music, and really took me as far as he could with it. He was awesome."
Alexander says he feels obligated, like many blues players, to keep the tradition alive. "There's not a lot of great music out there today. A lot of untalented people are finding a lot of ways to make money. Stevie Ray was one of our best blues players, and when he was gone, there wasn't much left. So we gotta keep it going."
Alexander keeps it going with the Trey Alexander Band which he formed after having played with Blue Voodoo since the age of 15. For the past four months, Alexander has been joined in his band by Hassan Estakhrian on bass and Ryan Bencak on drums. The group performs a mix of blues standards and original material.
Alexander acknowledges that a lot of young performers who choose to play the blues are not taken as seriously as their older counterparts because of the old notion that you have to have lived a long and hard life to really understand the nature of the music, but he says, "the thing about that isn't that the blues is about what you've experienced over all the years of your whole life. The blues is about somebody good feeling bad about something. It doesn't matter how old you are, you have pains in life. It doesn't matter if it's about a girl ... anything. I mean, my father passed away. If that isn't blues, I don't know what is."
He continues, "People don't realize that the blues can just be something you enjoy to play. It's something that's very fun to do, you know? You don't have to be suffering to play a blues song. You're telling a story with the music ... you sort of talk with it. It has personality. You can change it from a mellow sound to a kind of angry sound. So, it's not that you have to live it, but everyone goes through hard times, and it's definitely a way to express yourself. You can let out feelings that are inside of you."
Alexander doesn't mind when older musicians doubt his credibility because he knows that he's the best player he can be right now. "It's not that I've ever felt I had to be better than anyone else to prove anything," he states. "It's that I had to be better for myself. I put in a lot of hours to become the guitar player I am. I really busted my butt."