Stu Hamm, Alex Skolnick and Joel Taylor–the Power Trio!

By Anita Stewart, Journalist and Chyrisse Tabone, Photographer–Tampa, Florida

Venue: Largo Cultural Center-July 6, 2015-Stu Hamm Band

Rock at Night checked out the Stu Hamm Band at the Largo Cultural Center near Tampa on Monday, July 6, 2015. Great venue and wonderful staff!

No opening act and stripped down to show the audience that the music really is all that matters! Just Stu Hamm with his green and red basses, Alex Skolnick of Testament on guitar with Joel Taylor who had flown in especially for this performance, the first night of the tour.

Alex has worked with so many and is an expert in different genres, World Music, Jazz, Rock, Metal. He loves collaborating with the artistic projects of others such as painting exhibits, spoken word and literature. He has a BFA from The New School for Jazz & Contemporary Music for Jazz Performance. And he wails on guitar! His style is similar to Joe Satriani, whom he studied under for a time. Other influences are Steve Vai and Jeff Beck.

Joel Taylor made this a trio by accompanying them on the drums. He has worked with Al Di Meola and Yanni, just to name a few and is in hot demand as a session drummer and instructor. He wowed the crowd with his talent and few in the audience would have ever known that this was the first night they had all been on a stage together.

Rock at Night did get a few minutes to talk to Stu who did this show and facilitated a well attended Bass Workshop at Tampa’s Sam Ash store on Sunday, July 5th, the day before.

This writer asked him what he thought about Chris Squire’s (bassist for the band Yes) untimely death last week. He said Chris Squire’s work on Yes’s album FRAGILE was what made him want to be a bassist. Seems like bass players all over the world are saying that same thing!

Stu’s performance was really quite incredible and like Chris Squire who had already paved the way, Stu was able to bring the bass, normally the backbeat and the low rhythmic sounds underneath the melodic lines of harmony into the forefront as the lead instrument. Great talent and a must see show! Bravo! Please come back soon!





Read Rock At Night’s in-depth interview with Stu Hamm


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Anita Stewart
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