contact: Blues Saraceno Management


I am repeatedly asked similar questions either in person or via E-Mail and the reality is that I don't have the time to answer each one individually. So, we've put together the following to answer some of the most commonly asked questions. (Feel free to E-mail us your questions as well but it may be a while before they get answered)

1. What have you been up to lately?

Basically it gets down to 3 categories.

A. TV/ Film

The bulk of my time goes to TV and Film. The deadlines are tough but I have found it to be very rewarding. I love the constant challenge of trying to raise the bar. I have been doing everything from scoring theme songs ( U.S.A network's "Dead Zone") to creating music for such "A-list"  sound libraries as Extreme Music. I've also found a little time to work on some movie projects (Scott Caan/ Dallas 362). Television and Film has proven to be a great forum for me to explore and apply very diverse styles of music as well as create some new and exciting sonic textures.  A lot of the music that I compose gets used for promos and movie trailers as well as used constantly in television shows and films (see composer section for a more detailed list). It is not uncommon to have multiple commercials and or television shows running in multiple countries throughout the world, all at the same time and using the same piece of music.

B. Sessions

I do countless sessions....  Artists have ranged from Melissa Etheridge ("Lucky" on Island Def Jam) to Ziggy Marley (Island Def Jam). I also play on a ton of up and coming projects as well. Being able to do sessions via the internet has allowed me to take on lots of varied and challenging projects.

C. Production

When time permits, I have been producing artists. I produce and engineer as well as mix. When the situation calls for it I've been known to write for different artists as well. I enjoy the role of producer as it allows me to approach the situation from a totally different perspective. It also allows me to apply some of the many of the techniques that I have picked up over the years while working with some of the industry’s top producers and engineers.

I have produced such varied acts as the multi-platinum iconic Indonesian rock band SLANK to acting sensations Lindsay Price (Beverly Hills 90210, CSI, Lipstick Jungle, Eastwick) and Eric Balfour (24, 6 Feet Under, O.C., Texas Chainsaw Massacre) as well as singer songwriters (Brad Cohen) and spoken word artists.

2. Are you going to release another solo album anytime soon? Any Instrumental albums?

First of all let me say that I very much do appreciate all of the requests for more product... I really do, and this  question is always a hot topic.

With my current workload, It always comes down to the same reality for me... The lack of time required to put out a quality product and the fact that once I release an album it will be floating around the internet for free days later. At the moment It just can't justify taking that much time away from an already jammed work schedule.

In regard to doing more instrumental guitar records, Please keep in mind that I give the same amount of effort to everything that I put my name on (TV/Film, Producing, Sessions, Guitar tracks, whatever...) so the amount of effort required to keep putting out records for a relatively limited audience (just due to the amount of people that actually appreciate instrumental music) vs. really trying to take a stab at the grand marketplace is a tough one for me. And also from an artistic stand point, I did 3 of them when I was 15 or 16 and I have just realistically moved on to new and more exciting challenges.

So to show my appreciation for your requests, what I have done is try and load this website with an extensive amount of sound clips and content for the true guitar aficionados to appreciate. Between the gear page and the pedals page alone, you have a couple of albums worth of content to listen to... Enjoy!

If time permits, I will try and make some of the content available for download in the future.

3. Do you work with up and coming artists as well as established acts?

The answer is yes... a lot... (see internet sessions)

Working with the industry's heavy hitters is always really exciting!!! It is a real thrill to be in the room with all of that talent while the music is going down. I have to say that, for the most part, all of the artists that I have worked with over the span of my career have been just  AWESOME ... Not just as artists but as people too...  As much as I look forward to working with a lot of the industry's high profile artists I also really enjoy working with newer artists. No two artists that I have ever worked with (famous or otherwise) have approached the creative process in exactly the same way, I find that these differences allow me to grow as an artist/producer. I love to try different approaches and experiment with different sounds and just basically redefine the whole process as I go, I find newer artists are a lot more willing to try this. To be honest I find it much easier to produce or work on projects for other artists... It just seems easier to be more objective.

Lately, I have been playing on a bunch of people's records without even meeting them. Now with the internet and such, mostly what happens is that I am contacted via the website, and asked to play or work on a particular project. They will send me the files via my FTP site and I end up playing or working on their record without even talking to them..It has been working out quite well, I've actually done a bunch of projects this way. In essence, I am just given a description of what is wanted, I record it in my studio using all of my own recording gear, and then send back the files via FTP. This process allows me to take my time and really give a result that I am happy with.

4.  Would you mix and master my project?

Mix = Yes

Master = Depends, most likely not.

5. What is your current amplifier set up?

My constant search for true amp greatness has led me to Mojave amplification. I was originally approached by Mojave Amplification to do some sound clips for their line of amplifiers, After having a chance to play four different models of their product line (Plexi 45, Coyote, Scorpion and Sidewinder.... each one stellar in it's own right), I came to the conclusion that they were the best sounding modern amps that I had heard! What started as a work for hire turned into an endorsement situation based solely on the merit of their product. I really feel that the Mojave product stands out from the pack. I found it refreshing to finally play on a non-master volume amp that gave me that shade of "old school" classic tone with just the right amount of that newer "edge" that you need in order for it to compete with what is going on in music today. After getting familiar with the Mojave product line, I settled on the "Sidewinder" model as my personal first choice. It's a 4xEL 84 power section, around 30 watts.... I tend to favor the sound of cranked up power section over the typical fizzy pre amp sound that a lot of players go for, so the Sidewinder suited my requirements perfectly. Another added bonus was that the Mojave responded well to having fuzz/fizz and boost pedals driving its front end. Recording the Mojave amplifiers was a pleasure. I have posted the mp3's on my Gear page so that you can give them a listen for yourself.

6. What kind of guitars are you playing?

I consider guitars to be much like eating utensils, Each one has a very specific purpose . I use different guitars for different applications. Humbuckers, Single coils, solid body, semi hollow body, acoustic, electric... They all sound so different and have their place in my arsenal of sounds.

I have been using the Ernie Ball/Music Man guitars for quite a while now. I tend to toggle between the original Gold Sparkle Albert Lee model that was made for me by Dudley Gimple out of the custom shop in San Louis Obispo and two stock models, The 20th anniversary silhouette and the 25th Anniversary. Both the 20th Anniversary and the 25th Anniversary have mahogany tone blocks (which comes stock) in them and for whatever reason it helps gives those guitars a little extra something. The 25th Anniversary is actually a chambered guitar so that helps give it a slightly different sound than your typical solid body. The Gold Sparkle Albert Lee features 2 Seymour Duncan humbuckers, A big 'ol 50's era maple neck with big frets and a 1/2 inch maple cap on the alder body. I had them add the maple cap to give the guitar a little more definition and help cut through the mix, especially on the distorted stuff. I realize the importance of the classic guitar tones (such as a Strat, Tele, Les Paul, 335 etc. ) but I also see the appeal of having something just a little different to help stand out from the crowd .....  for this reason, as well as their flawless craftsmanship and great tone, the Ernie Balls have been known to get a real workout.

As far as pickups I use Seymour Duncan. The pickups vary from guitar to guitar but usually consist of either Seth Lover, Custom Custom, or  P.A.F style humbuckers. If I am using a guitar that has a tremolo then chances are that I will have my own model Trembucker (PA-TB3B) in it. The whole concept behind the PA-TB3B was to make up for what the guitar naturally loses when you route out the body and add a tremolo. Most guitars take on a thinner more anemic quality once they are routed out, so having a pickup that helps compensate for that is a huge benefit. In general, I tend to favor lower output pickups and let the amps and pedals do the work.

I use Ernie Ball strings (Slinky). The gauges vary from guitar to guitar but a safe bet is always a set of 10's. Picks are of the Extra Heavy variety.

7. What effects/Pedals do you use?

Well obviously I am a big fan of the Dirty Boy pedals and for good reason. When I first started playing guitar, I never used pedals due to the fact that most of the pedals that I tried at the time just sounded awful. It wasn't until I started to seek out the more obscure pedals from Italy, England, Japan and Germany (from around the 60's and 70's) that it all started to make sense. I started to use those pedals with smaller combo amps for sessions (so that I wouldn't have to carry truck loads of heads and cabinets) and the sound was Huge!  I loved a lot of the sounds those old funky vintage pedals were putting out but the stock pedals were very limited and each one came with its own set of issues. This is where my father stepped in, Alex quickly realized the untapped sonic potential and started working on taking it to the next level. He would design and make pedals that would give me all of the "character" that I liked from the older pedals but had a much, much broader range and didn't have all the issues that came with the vintage stuff. His pedals are huge tone shapers. I could take the thinnest single coil sound, run it thru his pedal and it would sound like a cannon.... I could also take the fattest, wooliest, sloppy bottom end guitar tone and turn it into a lean mean street fighting rhythm with a tight bottom end that I could easily solo on as well. All of a sudden a lot of the amps that I kept around (because they would do one thing exceptionally well..) instantly became usable in so many different situations. The game really opened up for me me at this point. I was looking for pedals that left colossal sonic footprints, and that is what he gave me. I found the whole pedal journey to be quite exciting and the more I got into it the more I started to realize what an asset using pedals can be. The use of the right fuzz/boost pedals opened up a whole new world of sonic textures and would inspire me to create material that I never would have had I used different sounds/tones. I loved the fact that it wasn't really that big of a commitment on my part, one stomp of a switch and I was back to my regular sound and I could also drastically alter my sound by simply adding a different pedal. If you are looking to get familiar with the Dirty Boy pedal line I recommend trying the Ball Buster, Buzzy Boy, Germanium Boy or Afro Fuzz to get started. The Dirty Boy pedals are absolutely untouchable at what they do!!

8. Who took the High Res photos on your website?

Rick Gould - icphoto@pacbell.net