Inspired By … Book of Shadows (Zakk Wylde)

Inspiration is a funny thing. It can strike at any time and in ways you might never have imagined. The wonderful thing about any kind of art, to me, is its ability to connect with and deeply move you.

Zakk Wylde did that to me. With an acoustic guitar.

When I first got tickets to see Zakk Wylde perform solo around, I think, 1996, I was expecting to show up at Toronto’s “Opera House” and be regaled with the thunderous sounds of his Pride and Glory CD (what an album that one is by the way. Holy cow). Instead, he took the stage with only an acoustic guitar, a keyboard for a few songs, and his sidekick, Nick Canatese.

It was brilliant.

Sometime later, Zakk brought that same tour to a little bar in the town where I live. I arrived early and made sure to be right against the stage, at the front, to watch Zakk do what he does with a guitar. The soul and passion that poured out of him at those shows was unlike anything else I’d seen before or since.

Here’s one of the songs from that era:

You may know Zakk Wylde best for the sonic body slams he delivers with his brothers in Black Label Society. Or perhaps you’re more familiar with him as Ozzy’s sidekick for a time. But if you haven’t yet taken time out to enjoy his “Book of Shadows” album, put it on your list. In fact, he now has released “Book of Shadows II” and is about to tour to support it.

I wouldn’t miss it.

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