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Beatles spark local musical Career
By Richard O Jones

Eric Loy's mucial career began, more or less, on Feb. 9, 1964.  It's a easy date to pin-point because it was the first time the Beatles appeared on national U.S. television.  "When I saw the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show, I just had to have a guitar." Loy said. "It just changed my life."  He was only 10 years old at the time but since that day, Loy has continued to explore music of all kinds, his guitars cometimes exceeding the 6-string standard with the unusual harp guitar.  "Harp guitars were very popular at the turn of the last century," he said. "My first on was a 1905 Gibson.  But they died out like the dinosaurs." Guitarist Michael Hedges brought the instrument to the forefront in the mid-1980s, Loy said, playing an instrument built in the 1920s.  "The one I play now is built from the blueprints of his, but it has more strings." he said.  Acquiring the instrument, however, was only the first step.  Playing it was a different matter.  "I didn't know what to do with it when I got it." he said. "It sat around for six months than I learned a Michael Hedges songand started writing my own material."  Loy's seven albums contain a wide variety of musical tones and styles from original avant garde compositios to Jazz and Classical and New Age, and people attending his performance at the Music Cafe's special even Saturday night might even hear ao Christmas tune or two, if not a Sousa march or a cartoon theme song. "I do Christmas songs all year around, even in the summer time," he said. "I just worked up a new one the other day.  "I'm always on the lookout for something unusual, to try to make it musically interesting and not just play "Sweet Home Alabama" or "Freebird" oer and over again," he said, "but also to be tasteful and unique.  "I just love music."  Next to the Beatles and Hedges, Loy said one of his big influences has been Chet Atkins, who is, he insists, "not just some country hick."  For his CD "Eric Loy Live" - which, he also insists, is better than "Eric Loy Dead" - he appropriated an Atkins arrangement of "Stars and Stripes Forever" for fingerstyle guitar.  "When I first heard his version, I thought, Ok, this is the end, you can't do that," he said. "But you've got to keep doing new stuff."  The Music Cafe, the Fitton Center for Creative Arts' performance venue for local, adds to its normal forth-Tuesday schedule this month to present a special day-long festival in the Village Green Amphitheater in Fairfield Commons.  "This will be an all-day extravaganza of music combined with an art show and Taste of Fairfield in cooperation with the Fairfield Parks and Recreation Department," said Diane Evans, spokesperson for the music cafe.  For more information call 863-8873


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