Scullers, Boston

02007-08-29 | Guitar, Ottmar, Performance, Touring | 16 comments

I played the first show with abandon and the band had a groove on that was undeniable. Everything felt brand-new. Some of my best playing.

Before the concert Jon told Stephen that I was born to tremolo… it is true, my three middle fingers are almost of equal length – which makes them very suited for playing a tremolo or for pick-pocketing. When I was 3 years old, an old gypsy woman told my mother that I would either become a famous guitar player or a thief. Well, I chose the tremolo and used to practice it non-stop when I was a teen. I would tremolo a dampened guitar string while reading a book or while watching TV, although that’s where my family drew the line – no tremolo while others were in the room…

The club wanted two 75 minute shows and we had prepared a special, shortened, set. Because it was so much fun to play, we played too long – each song becoming longer than usual as improvisation took over. Alan used our in-ear monitors to tell us to cut several pieces and play just one last song… We played for almost 90 minutes and had only half an hour to eat dinner before the start of the second show.


  1. rkbos

    for ottmar,

    thanks for such a fantasctic show at sculler’s last night. i took my wife to your show as a birthday surprise and our having a seat front and center made it all the more special. the first time that i listened to your music was during a drive that my wife and i took from san francisco to mendocino about six years ago. your music last night brought back wonderful memories of that drive.

    i want you to know that your performance and the setting made last night’s show the best night of music that either of us had ever experienced.

    hope to see you back here in boston again.

  2. Zaya

    Are you coming to Michigan or Canada anytime soon? I want to experience the wonder of one of your live concerts….

  3. dave

    Great show last night!

  4. Jacqueline

    Off topic as usual , but since you brought it up! What a fascinating culture gypsies are . Just sailed with a few! Lol and tempers! But the most passionate people I have ever met ! In my limited experience! Ode to the guitar…and the gypsy blood that runs through you! What fabulous music! And has calmed many of the beasts during dinner and super hour , sailors of the Great Lakes!


  5. gregg

    to ottmar,

    last nights first set was great. being a non musician and watching all 4 of you in perfect harmony with each other was great. I cant wait to take my wife back to see you on any return visits.

    Great job to all


  6. Eddie Russell

    when i see you using the tremelo i must admit it is quite smooth and consistent, is it possible to use tremelo on the b string…or do you just move to a picado?…i have just started to use tremelo, just the 3 finger classical one, not those crazy flamenco 4/5 finger ones… really does add to any peice

  7. Carol

    You also have a brain to go with those fingers to play tremolo. I’m glad you chose music over picking pockets.

  8. Adam Solomon

    Oof, thanks a lot for telling me about the three middle fingers thing–it turns out mine are horribly uneven, my middle finger a good centimeter or so taller than the other two, and all the worry it causes me is officially your fault :) Anyway, great job tonight at BB King, wonderful to see you play again and the shows are as fun as ever!

  9. Panj

    LOL…I had never thought of the trials and tribulations of the family of a musical genius. Thanks for sharing that warm memory of yours, Ottmar. (smiley face)
    In reading the description of a pick-pocket, the word Magician jumped out at me, for you truly are! A Healing Magician! You all are! God Speed!

  10. Dawn

    Ditto, like Zaya. Are you coming to the Midwest anytime soon? I’ve been following your career for a long time but missed every opportunity to see your group in concert. My one-year old daughter loves to dance around when I play your music! Thanks.


  11. Carol

    I agree, Panj. I turn on your music, and and just feel the stress disapate.

  12. Loki

    Great show at Sculler’s! I was sitting near the back but found the music quite moving. I first hears you in Sanata Fe many moons ago. I am delighted to you are in contact with Joan Halifax!

  13. Manuel Rangel

    Your tremolo is trully the best tremolo I have ever heard, I don’t think they are a lot of musicians who can play tremolo the way you do.

    I always tell friends that you will go into the history books someday as one of the best tremolo players on this planet. It is the truth and a fact.What’s cool is your tremolo keeps getting better and better as you grow.

    I would love to see your version of recuerdo alhambra or the Augustin Barrios: Una Limosna por el amor de Dios piece. I know you will kick some ass on those two pieces.

    By the way whats the secret to develope a kick ass tremolo?

  14. laurie

    Ottmar, Jon, Dave, and Stephen gave us two really fantastic shows in Boston this week. The evening was amazing. The music could carry you away to another place and at other times it was like an amusement ride – i found myself giddy and giggling… there wasn’t a dull moment. Loved the electric guitar solos – what a great sound and layer. It appealed to my adolescent but now matured love of that sound. I didn’t know Snakecharmer could get any better… The first show was packed and the second was like a small gathering clustered around the stage. The music was superb at both. I was seated in the back and when I sat down before the first show i thought there was a wall behind me with a mirror reflectng the dim lights in the dark paneled room. After a few minutes I sensed something behind me and turned to see dark figures milling about and that guitar case on the floor… I almost fell out of my chair when I realized they were all in an open room behind me and no wall there after all. A weird change in sense perspective. The band seemed to be having such a good time playing that evening and seemed to explore the limits (?) of each piece. It was such a memorable evening for me and so worth the 4 hour drive and leaving my husband and daughter to fend for themselves for a couple days.
    Thank you Ottmar, Jon, Dave, and Steve for a fantastic ride and I am so grateful for what you gave to us there. Have a great last show and a safe
    trip home.

    (off topic – here is what looks to be an interesting movie, playing in Santa Fe next week… I am hoping to see it here in Maine at the end of September.)

  15. laurie

    yikes…even after that long post I feel like i was hard-pressed to find words that
    accurately described my experience… maybe another language would have done a better job (i understand that german is hard to translate exactly into english because it loses something…true?) Anyway, thoughts and reflections keep coming… sorry for the lengthy post and second post, i guess.

  16. Gudrun

    Ottmar, did you play some tremolo pieces by Agostin Barrios Mangore during your education? He wrote wonderful tremolo pieces. I’m sure you would interpret them brilliant in your way!


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