Rock of Ages: Musical Influences of Guitar Hobbyist Jim Spencer

In Music on October 30, 2011 at 6:30 am
Jim Spencer St. Louis

Jim Spencer St. Louis

Sitting comfortably on an old wooden chair at the Busch Guitar Studio in St. Louis, Jim Spencer gently strums the steel strings of his Spruce top acoustic. The notes are unmistakable: Here Comes the Sun.  The Beatles, says Spencer, are an influence on his playing style left from childhood. Growing up in the 60s and 70s, Spencer found music a part of everyday life, and it has followed him well into adulthood.

Jim Spencer credits groups like the Beatles, Pink Floyd, and more contemporarily, Nirvana as having a major impact on him.  There is something about music, says Spencer, that sets the soul free and allows the mind to clear. St. Louis is a town full of musical history, and he is proud to call the Gateway City home. Many talented musicians hail from St. Louis, including Cheryl Crow.

Playing for fun, muses Spencer, is just that. Fun. He is learning the Pink Floyd song “Wish You Were Here” and from the look in his eyes, he’ll get it quickly. Spencer is lost in the melody; anyone familiar with the tune is sure to understand why.

The 90s brought the alternative group Nirvana into Jim Spencer’s play list. The nervous sound of Kurt Cobain’s voice belting out confused yet beautiful lyrics intrigued him. Jazz music, says Spencer, is another genre that has a direct impact on his guitar playing style, and as luck would have it, St. Louis is a fantastic city for catching Jazz festivals underneath a clear summer sky. A favorite of this St. Louis native is Al Di Meola, a talented Jazz guitarist and an artist that Spencer often tries to emulate in his guitar play. In fact, Jim Spencer has many musical influences and, as he grows as a musician, their predominance will no doubt begin to fade, allowing his own personal style takes shape.

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