Classics Rock! New Pete Downes album available


Classics Rock! album coverClassics Rock! – the new album by Pete Downes – which features famous classical themes with classic grooves – will soon be available for digital download through itunes, Amazon and other leading streaming and download services. A short run of CDrs will also be available. Audio samples will be available soon.


Prelude no. 1 in C Major Ave Maria

Based on J.S. Bach’s opening Prelude from The Well Tempered Clavier. Part of Gounod’s Ave Maria theme is incorporated. However, improvisation allowed me to keep Bach’s original structure.

Bourrée Shredded

Based on the J.S. Bach’s Bourrée from  Lute suite no BWV996, given a modern rock treatment.

Moonlight Sonata Reggae

Beethoven’s opening movement always suggest to me an undercurrent of 4/4 time cutting across the triplets – as in a reggae feel!

Prelude no. 2 in C minor Disco

Yes! An arrangement inspired by Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean of Bach’s second Prelude from The Well Tempered Clavier.

Lacrymosa Blues

From Mozart’s Requiem in D minor, the Lacrymosa suggested to me a classic Blues feel with its 12/8 time signature.

Chopin Chops (Waltz in C# minor)   

I’ve always wanted to play this Chopin tune. However, it’s not a natural guitar piece and its ebbing and flowing tempo meant much experimentation in finding a tempo which rides through all sections. Played with a jazz waltz feel.

Swan Lake Swing

Tchaikovsky’s simple yet beautiful melody given a jazz ballad treatment.

Partita in E Major

Famous as a violin solo piece, this was also present in Bach’s Lute Suites BWV 1006a. . This was from a live video take by PD3 (Pete Downes Trio)  and was previously released on their album Song for Sophia. To check out the video by PD3, Google PD3 Partita.

La Catedral Rock

The first movement from the Augustin Barrios piece as an introspective ballad.

Prelude no 3 in C# Major

The third prelude from Bach’s preludes & fugues. To see the video, Google Pete Downes Prelude 3.


Pete Downes: electric and acoustic guitars
Alex Lofoco:
electric bass
Andy Coe:
double bass
Tim Bruce:
drums and percussion.

Cover: portraits of composers are intentionally cropped to focus on their faces – not the fashion of their period.

A few of my favourite guitarists and musicians

Here are some clips of some of my favourite musicians – past and present.

Jan Akkerman

Here playing with the band Focus. This guy inspired me to play guitar. Akkerman mixed jazz licks with a rock sound and managed to avoid every cliche in the book. He was shredding before the word was used!. They also did Sylvia, released in UK around the same time. Quality musicianship and humour!

Pat Metheny
Wonderfully lyrical guitarist and composer

John Scofield
Great string bender fusing blues, rock and jazz.

Ana Vidovic
Wonderful classical player who started very young, playing ‘La Catedral’. First movement is in the Grade 8 curriculum, and an earlier performance where the guitar is bigger than her!

Miles Davis with John Mclaughlin
Check out how liquid the 3rd of the scale is:Major, minor and everything between. I discovered the symmetrical diminished scale thanks to this track (s,t,s,t,s,t,s,t).

Paul Kossoff
I learned vibrato and string bending listening to and working out his solos with the band Free. Great expressionist playing. Also with paul Rogers: one of the finest rock vocalists ever in my view. Great blues rock feel. Simple and effective. Big sound for a trio.

BB King
How to express a lot with one note!

Li’l John & The Hoods


Hear some samples:    

A Change is Gonna Come Soul
Highway to Hell Rock
Get Lucky  Funk

Li’l John & The Hoods are the most versatile band around. From Screaming AC/DC to soulful Sam Cooke, this group of Internationally renowned musicians can provide a set of tunes appropriate for any event.

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