For guitarist Scott Lindenmuth, the Lynnwood Autumn Festival is practically a backyard event. "I grew up in Edmonds, graduated from Edmonds High," says Lindenmuth. "I played the festival a couple of years ago when it was still known as the Rites of Autumn." At that time, however, Lindenmuth played as a solo classical guitarist. This year he'll be working with his jazz/rock/fusion outfit, The Scott Lindenmuth Group.
Lindenmuth is justifiably considered one of the finest guitarists in the greater Northwest by both locals and the pundits of such respected rags as "Guitar Player" and "Down Beat" magazines. His wizard playing is sparkling, inventive, technically astute yet musically passionate. It comes as little surprise that he's been at his instrument for 27 years.
He says his earliest influences were Jimi Hendrix, Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page but throws in John McLaughlin as well.
He formed the original Scott Lindenmuth Group in 1980. There have been some member changes over the years, but the last addition was keyboard player Andy Roben six years ago. The other members are bassist Randy Jacobson and drummer Bill Dodge. These are talented, interacting musicians, not just accomplished sideman.
The group has recorded two albums of Lindenmuth's original material, Another Side, Another Time and Changing Rhythm and will begin a third in September. "I have a 24-track recording studio in my home," says Lindenmuth. "We'll cut some things and then start shopping them around."
But Lindenmuth doesn't stop there. He plays classical guitar at Quintana Roo Restaurant in Edmonds almost every Saturday evening and - as anyone who's ever seen his ad in the classified pages of Rocket magazine can attest - he teaches guitar.
"I've been running that ad for 10 years," Lindenmuth says. The ad, in one form or another, has always included a picture of the guitarist along with a list of the styles and techniques he offers: rock, jazz, classical, fusion, theory, improvisation and sight reading.
"When I first started, everyone was pretty much interested in rock," Lindenmuth says. "Now they want to learn everything. I have guys who'll bring their electric one week and their classical guitar the next. They want to know it all." Lindenmuth carries between 20 and 30 students a week.
But for all the things that keep him a busy man, playing, teaching, writing and recording, its working live with the band that Lindenmuth says he can never get enough of.
"We've been busier than usual this summer," he says. "We're doing the Autumn Festival and we played at the Bite of Seattle and some other things, but the problem is there are never enough places for us to play."