The Past is Yet to Come- Craig Ventresco


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“Guitarist Craig Ventresco may be one of the best ragtime pickers alive today. He was heard fingerpicking on the Crumb soundtrack, but with “The Past Is Yet to Come,” we get an entire disc of his dizzying guitar solos. The results are stunning. Ventresco’s ability to perform rags by Big Bill Broonzy, Eubie Blake, and Scott Joplin is awe-inspiring; his dense arrangements sound impossibly difficult to play, but they are a sheer pleasure to hear…his energized playing breathes new life into the works. Ventresco’s a real talent and ragtime lovers couldn’t ask for a finer disc of guitar music. It may be sacrilegious to admit, but Ventresco’s technical ability is right up there with Blind Lemon Jefferson and Blind Blake — the only things missing are the pops and hisses of the 78s. An incredible disc.”

–Jason Verlinde,

“Craig Ventresco is the most “authentic” neo-ragtime/acoustic blues wrangler in the country…his commitment to this stuff is admirable; in a way, it’s the same kind of proselytizing fervor that fired Clapton and the original Rolling Stones.”

— Joe S. Harrington, New York Press

“San Francisco-based acoustic guitarist Craig Ventresco makes his way where almost everyone else fears to tread nowadays – reviving forgotten vaudeville and pop tunes from the early years of the 20th century. That, of course, is a no-no in a 21st century musicological scene that is more than a little embarrassed by the pop music of those days – often for PC reasons – yet Ventresco’s spirited, intricate arrangements for solo guitar sound anything but anachronistic.”

— All Music Guide

“I have been knocked out by Craig Ventresco’s guitar playing for years, but having just acquired The Past is Yet to Come, I am really blown away!”

–Michael Weare, United Kingdom

Acoustic guitarist Craig Ventresco’s style is a unique combination of ragtime, rural blues, early jazz guitar and traditional string band influences. His playing is at once fiery, melodic and inventive. Ventresco’s tastes are unfettered by music in the modern era; he has instead concentrated on early 20th century vaudeville, ragtime, and popular songs as recorded on obscure 78s and cylinders from the dawn of recorded music. The CD includes music written by Eubie Blake, Scott Joplin, Big Bill Broonzy, James Scott, Lucky Roberts, and a Ventresco original as well. He learns most of his repertoire by ear, and his raucous yet sensitive playing style is a welcome alternative to the scholarly, delicate approach that usually characterizes ragtime guitar recordings.

Craig made his recording debut with his band Bo Grumpus, a string-and-percussion trio often heard at ragtime music festivals across the USA and Canada. The 33-year-old guitarist perfected his craft before some of the world’s toughest audiences, on the streets of San Francisco. You may well hear echoes of Blind Blake, Blind Boy Fuller or Blind Lemon Jefferson in Craig’s playing, and with good reason – they were street musicians too, after all, and like Craig, they knew how to play the music that loosened the people’s pocket change. His solo playing was featured on the soundtrack of Terry Zwigoff’s critically acclaimed films “Crumb” and “Ghost World.” This is his first album of solos.

This artist is available for concerts and other personal appearances. For information, Contact Us.

Track List

The Past Is Yet to Come

1)         Shuffle Rag

2)         An Operatic Rag

3)         Goodnight Angeline – Medley

a) Goodnight Angeline

b) Heartbreaking Baby Doll

4)         Whoa, You Heifer

5)         Tobasco – Ragtime Waltz

6)         Ragtime Oriole

7)         Oysters & Clams – Medley

a) Oysters & Clams

b) Just Because She Made Dem Goo-Goo Eyes

8)         Dance of the Nile Maidens

9)         A Black Smoke

10)         Sunflower Slow Drag

11)         Shadow Blues

12)         Handsome Harry

13)         Lingering Love – Medley

14)         The Georgia Grind

15)         Salome

16)         High Brown Blues

17)         Junk Man Rag

18)         Back to Baltimore – Medley

Additional information

Weight .3125 lbs
Dimensions 5.25 × 5 × .25 in



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