Get this crazy baby off my head!


Thomas Leeb

Thomas Leeb - Riddle - 1999 - Thomas Leeb

This is unlike anything I have ever heard, it was at the time (thomas sent me the album himself back when it was released, he was living in the states temporarily somewhere out west). I was stunned. The range of sounds he can make with one guitar is just stunning. Search on youtube and you will find a couple of videos including "askaskero" and "riddle" from this album played live... you will not believe your eyes (especially if you have ever picked up a guitar). This is not an album that is about the technical nature (although the technical aspect is astounding), he writes good songs with soul and movement. He "rocks" with an acoustic guitar and bends in blues elements all the while. Listen to all of "Riddle" and just wonder that it is all played on one guitar with 2 hands... this is jaw dropping material from that stand point but the songs are also memorable. I am not a huge fan of straight up instrumental music but this is an exception everyone should make. - from ***** unheralded genius, December 24, 2006 by & © David Koblentz "King's X Guru" (Edison, New Jersey) © 1996-2011, Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates http://www.amazon.com/Riddle-Thomas-Leeb/dp/B000CAFT4U

Thomas Leeb was born in Austria in 1977 and has played more than six hundred concerts in Austria, Germany, Italy, Spain, England, Ireland, Brazil and the USA since his first stage appearance at the age of fifteen. He has also recorded four solo-CDs and taught workshops and masterclasses internationally during these years. Although originally self-taught, he earned a BFA in Music from the California Institute of the Arts in 2003 where he studied guitar with Miroslav Tadic and Larry Koonse and Ghanaian dance/drumming with the Ladzekpo family. Thomas' natural sense of rythm and melody, combined with a tasteful use of gravity-defying extended techniques takes listeners on a National-Geographic-style musical rollercoaster. He is still not entirely sure what kind of music he actually plays and has recently resorted to calling himself 'the bastard child of acoustic Fingerstyle'. Thomas is currently located in California. ©1997-2011 SoundClick Inc. All rights reserved http://www.soundclick.com/bands/default.cfm?bandID=228135

Thomas has said that "Riddle", the title track, is his "attempt to recreate my metal-days on an acoustic guitar." The album features one vocal song, and nine instrumentals. The album could loosely be described as "instrumental blues folk", however it is normally a useless task trying to define or categorize music genres. Like the great acoustic guitarists Stephen Bennett or Laurence Juber (on this blog), Thomas Leeb has a unique and incredible guitar technique, and "Riddle" is an exceptionally good album and HR by A.O.O.F.C. This kind of music will be around long after the "X-Manu-factor-ized" "music" is forgotten. Buy Thomas' brilliant all-instrumental "Desert Pirate" album and promote real music. It does exist! [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 83.6 Mb]


1 Riddle
2 Springtime Groove
3 The Winds Are Changing
4 Charlie Hunter's
5 Sled Dog Racing
6 Almbleamal Landler
7 The Shearing
8 The Hard Can
9 Äkäskero
10 So Do I
11 The Last Pint (Bonus Track)

All songs composed by Thomas Leeb, except Tracks 4, 6, 7 (Trad.)


Thomas Leeb - Acoustic Guitar, Vocals
Eric Roche - Acoustic Guitar, Nose Brush
Gottfried Gfrerer - Acoustic Guitar
Eric Spitzer-Marlyn - Keyboards, Backing Vocals


Thomas Leeb (born September 14, 1977 in Klagenfurt, Austria) is an Austrian fingerstyle guitarist. Thomas Leeb grew up in the small Austrian mountain village Turracher Höhe, Carinthia, as the youngest of four children of a hotel-owner's family. Over a period of thirteen years he taught himself the electric guitar, then switched to acoustic guitar. He was fifteen when he decided to become a musician and had his first concerts, even though his parents made him finish high school. He produced his first CD Reveller (now out of print) when he was seventeen. After high school he toured Ireland for four months as street musician. In 1997 he recorded his second CD Hope (out of print) and finished third in the 1998 Open Strings Festival in Osnabrück, Germany. In 1999 Leeb published his third CD, Riddle, on the web portal MP3.com and studied at the California Institute of the Arts, focusing on world music and traditional music from Ghana. His teachers were percussionists Kobla and Alfred Ladzekpo, and guitarist Miroslav Tadić. Leeb graduated in 2003 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. He produced his fourth album, Spark, in 2004 and went completely indie, selling the CDs from his website. In 2006 he recorded the CD Upside Down and in 2007 Desert Pirate. Leeb tours incessantly, mainly in the US, in Europe (Austria, England, Germany, Ireland and Croatia) and in Asia (Taiwan, Korea and Japan); he has managed to build a worldwide fan community. He irregularly teaches as freelancer at two music schools in Los Angeles. Every summer he organizes a workshop at his Austrian hometown Turracher Höhe which is highly frequented, especially by British guitarists. Leeb taught master classes at the London Music School and the Guitar Institute of Technology in Hollywood. He was featured in several international guitar magazines, such as Guitar Player and Acoustic Guitar. Leeb is an influence especially for young guitarists, for example Newton Faulkner. Thomas Leeb is married and lives in Val Verde, California. Thomas Leeb calls his music "the bastard child of acoustic guitar", combining unusual techniques, ideas and harmonies with a frank tongue-in-cheek attitude. His friend, Irish guitarist Eric Roche, called him "my brother in strings" and was a major support for his development. Roche held Leeb in high regard: "I was his teacher for about five minutes and then I heard him play." One of Leeb's main musical influences is Michael Hedges. Leeb follows his own path as guitarist and composer, displaying a very idiosyncratic and particular guitar style. Characteristic for this style are percussive elements generated by hitting the guitar body with the heel of his hand or single fingers while playing intricate fingerstyle patterns. On his Desert Pirate CD he uses a scratch-board, glued to the surface of his guitar. With it he adds rhythmic scratch sounds to some of his pieces which are surprisingly similar to typical DJ scratching sounds, despite their "acoustic" origin. Some of his pieces possess odd-meter measures and recall Eastern and Balkan music; much of his work is rhythmically complex and meticulously worked out. Leeb is an endorsee of Lowden guitars and Parkwood Guitars. His guitars are amplified with a Fishman Rare Earth system (internal microphone/magnetic pickup combination). His live sound is produced by a K&K Pure Western soundboard transducer. His additional technical equipment encompasses L.R. Baggs Para and Highlander PAM DI boxes as well as an Alesis NanoVerb system.


A.O.O.F.C said...


p/w is aoofc

ratso said...

...as someone who claims to play 'fingerstyle' guitar, I am always interested in those more skilled than I (ie just about everyone). Thanks for the new opportunity Mr Fingal...

A.O.O.F.C said...

Cheers,ratso! Maybe in a few years you'll be as expert as me! (LOL)!...TTU soon...P

Danneau said...

Me too! I think I was actually a better guitarist forty years ago, but I still have a great time at it and I've developed a much better appreciation for the technical and musical wizardry that others perform. Thank you.

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi,Danneau. I first took up guitar in 1978. I reckon it has taken me 33 years to become an average acoustic guitar player. I remain gobsmacked at the talents of guitarists like Jan Akkerman, Laurence Juber, the late Emily Remler, Larry Coryell, Jeff Beck, aso&sf. With those guys, saying that "Genius is one percent inspiration, and ninety-nine percent perspiration" doesn't ring true with me.I think it's the other way around! However I never get disconcerted. Like you, I've also learned to appreciate these great talents more and to continue to play more for my own self satisfaction. I was "trying" to play "Deacon Blues" last night, but did I give up?...YES!!! TTU later, Danneau...P