Carbe and Durand is an acoustic-guitar duo that rips it up one moment, plays it soft-and-slow the next, and always has their audiences on their feet applauding at the end because these musicians give the listeners what they want.....high-quality entertainment, lots of familiar melodies and stunning guitar playing. All of this is evident on their new album, A Bridge Between.
For the past 20 years these two guitarists, Liza Carbe and JP Durand, have built musical bridges between numerous genres that range from classical guitar to blues, from pop music to rock'n'roll, from world-fusion to nuevo-flamenco, from full ensemble performances to their warm stripped-down twin acoustic guitar offerings. Not only a professional partnership, but also a married couple, these two musicians share a common passion. They very much love to play their guitars, and they do it constantly at concerts and in the studio.
Carbe and Durand are best-known as co-founders, along with guitarist Jim Stubblefield, of the acclaimed genre-bending instrumental "world guitar" group Incendio which has released nine best-selling albums and two DVDs available internationally. The group has toured regularly since 2000 and has built a large and loyal following.
But in between Indendio recording sessions and tours, Carbe and Durand have also pursued a separate career. As composers, they have made a name for themselves in Hollywood by writing music heard in an astounding variety of television shows and feature films, from the blockbuster comedy movie "Bridesmaids" to TV programs such as "Law and Order" and "Burn Notice" among countless others. In addition, as a duo with usually just the two of them playing acoustic guitars, Carbe and Durand have performed many concerts. Audiences enthralled with the duo's performances have repeatedly asked if the music that was being played could be purchased. With this impetus, Carbe and Durand decided to make a live-in-the-studio album representative of their concerts. The result is A Bridge Between which features three original compositions along with their crowd-pleasing acoustic-guitar arrangements of beloved classic melodies from the pop charts of the last half-century.
A Bridge Between is available as a CD or as digital downloads from a variety of online sales sites such as CDbaby, Amazon, iTunes, eMusic and many others. More information about the group and their music is available at their website carbeanddurand.com. Internationally if their music is not easily available in your territory, contact their website about purchasing.
Carbe and Durand have created amazing acoustic-guitar instrumental versions of songs with well-known melodies such as Cyndi Lauper's "Time After Time" (inspired by Luc Sylvain and Bireli Lagrene's version), The Rolling Stones' "Paint It Black" (Durand: "We thought to have some fun giving it a rhumba-flamenco treatment.") and Ozzy Osbourne's "Crazy Town" (Durand: "We like to find ways to rock out on acoustics. It started as a tribute to Randy Rhodes, but we never expected it to become so popular with our audiences.").
Several of the cover tunes were specifically written for acoustic guitar, but Carbe and Durand take the recognizable melodies off into new places with their two-part playing. "Scarborough Fair" is a traditional folk tune popularized by Simon & Garfunkel. Carbe says, "I remember singing and playing this back in college. It always amazes me how a good melody can live on 350 years." "Classical Gas" is one of the few acoustic-guitar instrumentals to ever crack the Top 40 pop charts (Mason Williams, 1968). "This one lends itself to Liza's classical technique," explains Durand. They also tackle The Beatles' acoustic "Blackbird." "It's a great finger-style piece that works well for two guitars. The Paul McCartney melody-line is so active and beautiful," states Carbe.
The duo show their versatility by including Stevie Wonder's "Isn't She Lovely" (Carbe: "We love the way this swings, and the groove."), the Jimmy Webb-penned Glen Campbell hit "Wichita Lineman" (Durand: "All my life every time this song came on the radio I had to stop whatever I was doing and listen. It's near perfect."), Tears for Fears' "Everybody Wants To Rule The World" (Carbe: "At first our audiences always seem a bit shocked and amazed by our rendition, but they end up loving it."), and Sting's "Fragile" (Carbe: "I enjoy soloing on this piece, and the brooding, melancholy atmosphere resonates with me.").
But in addition to all of the classic melodies that have become standards in our culture, Carbe and Durand show why their own music is so often used for Hollywood soundtracks. They open the album with an original, the title tune, which, Carbe says, "took us both to a peaceful place," or, as Durand puts it, "like a big comfy chair because the music is both wistful and comforting." Another original, "A Thought For You," is a bittersweet creation because it serves as a tribute to a departed friend, guitarist Larry Weber, who played with Carbe in a band called Red Van Go. They borrowed Weber's Lowden guitar to play on the track to help capture his spirit. Their third composition on the album is "Mountain Song," the first piece of music they ever wrote together from 20 years ago. "Some music just has to wait for its moment to be recorded," says Carbe. These originals were recorded on steel-string guitars instead of the nylon-string ones used on the rest of the album.
Liza Carbe (pronounced lee'-zuh car-bay) brings a wealth of musical knowledge, guitar discipline and performance experience to the duo. A guitarist from the age of eight, she went on to obtain her degree in classical guitar from Cal State Northridge. After college she found herself serving two masters -- classical guitar and singing by day, and playing rock'n'roll bass at night. Soon she was traveling the world playing in the all-female Platinum-selling rock group Vixen followed by a tour backing up former Santana singer Leon Patillo. During her stint playing guitar in Lindsay Buckingham's touring band, she met Durand. Shortly thereafter they began making music together and were married. Soon they were writing background music for "Entertainment Tonight," and that music eventually went into the general Paramount music library and started to be used extensively in many different movies and TV shows. Carbe has produced or co-produced more than 50 albums, and she has not only composed for television, but also played on and produced many TV music segments. Additionally she began playing bass with the Jim Stubblefield Group that would eventually, with the addition of Durand, morph into Incendio. But despite her expertise in playing bass with Incendio as well as numerous earlier rock acts, she always kept her classical guitar technique up with practice, library music recording and lessons with Jorge Strunz from the famed Strunz and Farah. Now Carbe is excited to return to her first instrument, the acoustic nylon-string guitar, which is an integral part of the Carbe and Durand sound.
Durand comes from the world of rock and the blues. Raised in West Los Angeles, he embraced both rawness of punk rock as well as rocking guitarists such as Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Eric Johnson. However, Durand is also of Peruvian descent, so part of his upbringing included listening to artists such as Trio Los Panchos, Los Morochucos and even Julio Iglesias. Durand got his degree in economics from UC Berkeley before working in the music industry at MCA Records, and later at Spanish-language television (the powerful Univision and Telemundo networks where he assisted in producing live music events including "Fiesta Broadway"). Durand playing in a variety of rock bands over the years, including his Steely Dan cover group, Pretzel Logic, that also included Carbe at one point. They later formed the band Book of Storms. Some of their electric and acoustic made-for-television music was packaged under the name Carbe-Durand as a limited edition CD, Sketches. Eventually Durand joined Incendio, a group where he is able to incorporate his love of South American traditional and pop music with rock, jazz and world influences.
"After all our experiences in the music business -- composing, touring, playing rock or world music, producing pieces for film and TV -- it is extremely refreshing and satisfying to strip our sound down to just two acoustic guitars and play music that we love and that audiences obviously connect with," states Durand.