Words & Deeds

Michael Deeds: Prepare to freak during the week of the guitar geek in Boise

It’s Electric Guitar Week in Boise.

No, it’s not official. But I’m going to step gingerly on the mayor’s toes, yank the nearest whammy bar and make a citizen’s-arrest-style city declaration.

Over the next seven days, The Aristocrats, Gov’t Mule and Matthew Curry will perform.

If you tinker with a little guitar yourself, avoid these gigs at all costs. Seeing these masterful musicians in action will cause you to drive tearfully to the nearest pawn shop and sell your gear. Don’t worry, though. Feedback howling across the Foothills should drown out your sobs.


The Aristocrats:

We’d better extend the pawn-shop warning to drummers and bassists. The Aristocrats, an instrumental rock-fusion trio, are what you call a “chops act” — long-haired men playing approximately 3 billion notes per minute. British guitarist Guthrie Govan is the reason that the group was part of Joe Satriani’s G4 Experience guitar retreat this summer. But American bassist Bryan Beller and German drummer Marco Minnemann are phenoms, too. (Does Minnemann ever stop smiling?) Check out the song “Texas Crazypants” on The Aristocrats’ new album, “Tres Caballeros.” Listening to it feels like circuit training.

Govan, 43, was a member of Asia from 2000-2006, but that’s far from his first band. He started gigging when he was 5. Perhaps he is an alien. He appears to have utter command of virtually any music genre. That said, The Aristocrats’ proggy, shred style definitely is Govan’s wheelhouse. Give the guy credit: He is keenly aware that his technically proficient playing isn’t for everyone. “I’m a skinny, twitchy, coffee-drinking character,” he explains on Facebook, “and the music I hear in my head sometimes has more notes than other people enjoy.” 9:30 p.m. July 14, Reef, 105 S. 6th St., Boise. $20, eventbrite.com . Opener: Travis Larson Band.


Gov’t Mule:

You’re supposed to be mesmerized while watching a guitarist’s hands. I once spent a significant amount of time at a concert staring at Warren Haynes’ foot. I could not stop watching him work that Cry Baby Wah pedal. His


was talented.

Fans of the Allman Brothers Band are familiar with Haynes, 55, who spent years as one of the Southern-rock band’s guitarists (opposite Derek Trucks in the 2000s). He got his start at age 20 in David Allan Coe’s band. Haynes’ own group, Gov’t Mule, has been a staple of the jam-band scene since forming in 1994.

He’s an extraordinarily soulful singer, which is one of the reasons it’s fantastic to see him with Gov’t Mule. As a guitarist, he’s heavily influenced by blues. Haynes won’t try to melt the fretboard with speed. He’s too song-driven. He’s also a fantastic slide guitarist. A natural improviser, he’s spent lots of time performing with members of the Grateful Dead. 8 p.m. July 15, Revolution Center, 4983 Glenwood St., Garden City. $29.50 general ($35 at door), $59.50 VIP. Ticketfly .


Matthew Curry:

I’ve written this before: There is nothing normal about this newcomer from Normal, a small city in Illinois. He’s 20, left-handed and plays like Stevie Ray Vaughan infused with Jonny Lang — although Curry’s effortless blues-rock style arguably is more shred-tacular.

His stock has skyrocketed since the Boise Blues Society first booked him for a free show in Boise in 2014. (Next week is the last time we’ll ever see him without having to pay.) Curry has been opening for slack-jawed elders such as Steve Miller, Peter Frampton and the Doobie Brothers. Frampton called him “the next guitar hero.” Curry is so smooth and nasty-talented that it’s borderline irritating. Did I mention that he has an excellent, gravel-laced singing voice, too? Noon to 6 p.m. July 19, Julia Davis Park, 700 S. Capitol Blvd. Cost: three canned goods for Idaho Foodbank. Openers: Ben Rice Trio, Hoochie Coochie Men, Freudian Slip.


Take your clothes off and turn on the tube. Reality series “Naked and Afraid XL” debuts at 7 p.m. July 12 on the Discovery Channel.

Jeff Zausch, 28, of Pocatello, is one of 12 nude survivalists tossed into a Colombian jungle for 40 days.

“Basically, it’s ‘Naked and Afraid’ on steroids,” Zausch, a geographic information systems specialist at Idaho State University, told me. “It is not only a survival challenge now, but it is also a societal challenge. It’s how are you going to interact not only with the survival aspects, but how are you going to survive the people, as well?”


Join Tim Johnstone and I as we talk about summer concerts in mountain towns, plus play songs from The Arcs, Destroyer, Wilco and more.

“The Other Studio” airs at 9 p.m. Sundays on 94.9 FM The River.


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Michael Deeds’ column runs Fridays in Scene and alternating Sundays in Explore.