Dave Reffett’s guitar playing captured the attention of rock and metal fans with his 2010 album, The Call Of The Flames.
The album features Reffett’s singing, guitar and bass playing, plus guest performances by George Lynch, Mike Mangini (Dream Theater, Annihilator), Michael Angelo Batio, Chris Poland (Megadeth, OHM), Joe Stump (Holy Hell) and Glen Drover (Megadeth, King Diamond). The record was mixed by Mudrock (Alice Cooper, Avenged Sevenfold) and mastered by George Marino (Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, Metallica).
Reffett’s playing garnered industry attention from the likes of Iron Maiden frontman Bruce Dickinson, who featured it on his BBC radio show, adding, "Fantastic guitar playing from bandleader and Berklee graduate Dave Reffett … a must have for guitar fans."
Since then, Reffett has become a Guitar World contributor ("Betcha Can’t Play This") and GuitarWorld.com blogger, and he's been featured on Guitar World's Lick of the Day app.
I asked Reffett to weigh in on 60 minutes' worth of music that influenced him to become the player he is today. He accepted the challenge but agonized over the fact that many of his favorite bands such as Guns N' Roses, Over Kill, ZZ Top, Anthrax and Testament couldn’t fit on the list.
For those of you who aren't familiar with this classic Guitar World feature, the idea is simple: Create your ultimate hour-long playlist of the music that rocks your world.
Megadeth, “Tornado Of Souls”
“This was the first song that popped into my head. Megadeth is everything a band should be: killer memorable riffs, insane guitar solos, pounding drums and bass, great songs and a singer who demands your attention. I love everything about this song from start to finish. It’s perfection. When I was a little kid and learned how to play all the riffs, I felt like such a bad ass. In my opinion, the best Metal song of all time.”
Kiss, “Shout It Out Loud”
“I first heard about Kiss in the seventh grade when a buddy showed me an issue of Hit Parader. I didn't care if they played music or not; I just thought they were cool. Once I heard the songs, I was hooked. Kiss has so many songs I could choose for this list. They’re probably my favorite band, them and Megadeth. After digging a little bit for more info about Kiss, I got the CD Unplugged, and that’s what really blew me away, music-wise, from them. But “Shout It Out Loud” has always held a special place for me. Everybody knows “Rock 'n Roll All Nite” and it's a great song, but to me, “Shout It Out Loud” is such an anthem. I can be in a bad mood and put this song on and it just makes me want to have a good time.”
Queen, “Bohemian Rhapsody”
“There was no way I could make a list and not have this song on it. It’s a perfect song from beginning to end, a total masterpiece. Freddy was one of the best frontmen to ever walk the planet, and he really sells this song big time. Brian May is an amazing guitar player. I love his tone, and on this song I really dig it when it kicks into the heavy part at the end. And talk about a song that tells a story. People should study this song, it totally paints a picture. I really love “Tie Your Mother Down” and “Stone Cold Crazy” as well. Queen rules. Wish I could have seen them live. The footage I’ve seen looks pretty amazing.”
Dio, “This Is Your Life”
“I love Dio to the core. Everything the man has ever done is brilliant. Probably the best rock singer of all time. From his doo-wop stuff in the '50s, to Elf, Rainbow, Black Sabbath, I love it all. There are so many Dio songs that are special to me: “Rock and Roll Children,” “Rainbow In The Dark,” “Caught In The Middle,” “Fever Dreams” ... the list goes on and on. I chose “This Is Your Life” because the chorus gives me goosebumps every time. He makes you believe every word of it and makes you want to get up and do something about it. That’s the mark of a true singer -- they sell the statement and make you believe it. It’s so sad that he has passed on, but I take some comfort in knowing he was still putting out amazing records and touring like crazy and putting guys a third of his age to shame right up until the end. He was the real deal.”
Skid Row, “Youth Gone Wild”
“Sebastian Bach -- he's another one of those incredible out-of-this-world singers. The dude is so talented. The Slave To The Grind record was much more influential on me than the self-titled record this song comes from. But when making this list, I had to go with “Youth Gone Wild." It’s such an anthemic song, and I love the message. And the singing section at the end just kicks ass. Just a great song.”Ozzy Osbourne, “Steal Away The Night”“Both Ozzy and Randy Rhoads are hugely influential to me. Randy had a very unique tone and a unique playing style. There are so many Ozzy songs I could've chosen, such as “Goodbye To Romance," “Crazy Train," “Diary Of A Madman” or “Flying High Again,” which were all a big influence on me. But I've always loved “Steal Away The Night.” The riffs and the lyrics are killer, and I love Oz's voice on it. I’m also a big fan of the Zakk Wylde era of Ozzy. If I had to choose a Zakk-era song, I'd have to go with something like “Old LA Tonight,” “I Don’t Want To Change The World,” “Miracle Man” or “My Jekyll Doesn't Hide." Zakk’s solo on that song is fantastic. For the Jake E. Lee-era stuff, I would have to go with “Bark At The Moon,” “Centre Of Eternity” or “Killer Of Giants." Basically, I love anything with Ozzy on it.”Van Halen, “Eruption”“I had to put Van Halen on here. I absolutely love the band. I wish I could've put something with David Lee Roth singing like, “Unchained”, but 60 minutes is not a whole lot of time to list all of your favorite music. When I heard “Eruption” for the first time I was just blown away. To me Eddie is the Michael Jordan of the electric guitar. On this song his technique is flawless, his tone unbelievable, and the tapping stuff was just so ahead of its time and I love the classical influence. I’m really glad that they're back together and the new CD “Different Kind Of Truth” is very good. I was also very influenced by David Lee Roth's solo material so it was hard not to put something by him on here, such as “Ladies Night In Buffalo”, “A Little Ain’t Enough”, “Just Like Paradise” “Shyboy” or “It’s Showtime”. He really put out some great stuff. “I’m The One” or “Hot For Teacher” could have easily made it on here too, that stuff just rocks and is timeless. It still stands up to this day. I love all the Hagar era Van Halen stuff too. It all rocks.Judas Priest, “Riding On The Wind”“I love everything about this, the drums, the guitar tone, the solos, Halford’s soaring vocals and I love the attitude. Judas Priest was and is one of my favorite bands ever. I saw them recently and they've still got it big time! They played for 2 and a half hours playing something from pretty much every album and it was incredible. My favorite Priest record of all time is “Painkiller”. It is so hard to choose just one Priest song. I could fill up 3 hours of nothing but Priest. “One Shot At Glory”, and “Beyond The Realms Of Death” are some other huge favorites of mine.”Michael Angelo Batio, “No Boundaries”“Metallica was the reason I picked up the guitar in the first place but Michael is the reason that I wanted to get really great. He has a lot of awesome material but this was the first one that just knocked me out and I still love it to this day. It's a very cool song and he uses basically every heavy-metal technique known to man on it. When I made my record “The Call Of The Flames” I knew I had to have him play a solo on something. He played on the song “Standstill And Scream” and was brilliant and it's awesome now because I'm going to be playing a solo on his new CD “Intermezzo” which will be great. Work hard people…dreams come true.”Iron Maiden, “Aces High”“When I was growing up in a small town in Kentucky the only band I knew in the metal world was Metallica. I started to get really into them and then one day my best friend at the time brought me a cassette tape that he had dubbed and said check this out and it was Iron Maiden's “Piece Of Mind”. I fell in love with that album quickly and I had to hear everything they had ever done. When I discovered “Power Slave” that record just absolutely kicked my ass. So many songs on it rock but “Aces High” just had something special about it. The riffs are incredible, the vocals, and I really love the guitar solos. I had a tab book for this record when I was a kid and I learned all the parts note for note. Maiden was a huge influence on me. If you haven't seen Iron Maiden in concert do yourself a favor and go see them, they’re incredible.”Ted Nugent, “Turn It Up”“I got a Ted Nugent box set at a yard sale when I was about 13 and I got totally into Nugent. “Cat Scratch Fever”, “Great White Buffalo” “Free-For-All”, “Little Miss Dangerous”, that stuff rules man! Nugent is a total bad ass. I love his guitar playing. His style is very fluid and he's got a killer tone. He really knows how to play and I love those Gibson Byrdland’s that he plays. I’ve seen him live a couple times and he never disappoints. “Turn It Up” is an awesome song that many people over look. The double bass pedal rocks and the solos kick ass. Derek St. Holmes sounds amazing on this too. He's a really underrated singer.”AC/DC, “Girls Got Rhythm”“I had to put something from the Bon Scott era of AC/DC on here. They were such a huge influence on me. I love Brian Johnson too I think he is incredible but the Bon Scott era stuff really takes me back. “Girls Got Rhythm” is one of the songs I really love, but there are so many. “Problem Child”, “Riff Raff”, the list goes on and on. The imagery in the lyrics on this one, the riffs, how tight the band is together, the tone, everything about it just rocks. And I always liked Angus's style. I could be mistaken but I remember reading an interview with him where he said he gets his tone by just putting everything on the amp at 7. Whatever he does it works he sounds great.”Pantera, “Primal Concrete Sledge”“Dimebag Darrell and Vinnie Paul were my dudes man. Vinnie is just a monster on the drums. I almost chose “Becoming” just for the drums on that one. Dimebag was such a monster as well. I love his lead playing like all of us but he rarely gets the credit he deserves for being such an awesome rhythm player he was. The riffs that he wrote were so memorable “Cowboys From Hell”, “Floods”, “Revolution Is My Name”, the list goes on and on. The dude had riffs for days. Pantera were simply badass metal at it's finest.I even own and love all of the pre-Cowboys From Hell records, like “Power Metal” and “Metal Magic”. All great stuff, worth hunting down.”Black Sabbath, “Hole In The Sky”“Black Sabbath were huge heroes of mine, I burnt all of those records out back in the day. I love “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath” and I love all the Sabbath albums but “Sabotage” is badass. “Symptom Of The Universe” was also so incredible and “Hole In The Sky” is fantastic too. I love the heaviness; I love Ozzy's vocals and the riffs. Pantera’s version of this was really awesome too. I was really sorry to hear about Iommi getting sick, hope he gets better soon. The dude is such a living legend. The Dio era of Black Sabbath was truly incredible as well so it's so hard to choose only one Sabbath song. I almost put “Turn Up The Night” on here which was a Black Sabbath song that Dio sang on, but I ran out of room and I figured since Dio was already represented on the list then I would put this. It’s crazy when people try to make you choose between Ozzy era Sabbath or Dio era Sabbath. I say we don’t have to choose we have both.”Dokken, “Tooth And Nail” “George Lynch is such an amazing guitar player. He deserves so much credit as an innovator. He is what made Dokken special I think. Without him they wouldn’t have made it nearly as big as they did the songs by Dokken were what set them apart above the other bands back in the day and George's guitar playing just kicked it into overdrive and put them heads above everybody. I almost put “Mr. Scary” on here but the “Tooth And Nail” solo always blew me away. I love the tapping, the fluid lines that he plays and his unorthodox style. You know its him right away when he plays, he has such a unique recognizable style and tone. I was really blessed to have George play on my song “Caravan Of Cannibals”. The solo he did on there was awesome. George always puts out great material and is an amazing songwriter. His new record “Kill All Control” is awesome if you haven’t heard it yet.”Metallica, “Metal Militia”“Metallica were one of my big bands back in the day and have been a huge influence on me. They were the whole reason I picked up the guitar in the first place. I had played tuba, trumpet and baritone in grade school but once I saw “The Unforgiven” video on MTV that's what made me want to play guitar. “Metal Militia” always kicked ass. It's got some awesome riffage going on in there and I love the leads. I have some old bootlegs of Metallica with Dave Mustaine on lead and he is just blazing on songs like this. Great stuff.”David Allan Coe, “Will You Remember Me”“I know this one isn’t very metal but Coe is one of my favorite artists. The dude is such an unbelievable songwriter. I have 3 or 4 gigabytes of nothing but him on my computer. There are so many great songs I could have chose by him. I almost chose “I Can't Let You Be A Memory” which Warren Haynes wrote but “Will You Remember Me” is written by him and is very cool. His lyrics get very deep and I love the vibe. David Allan Coe's “Castles In The Sand” to me is one of the best albums ever made. Pick that one up it's really good. Best country singer ever as far as I'm concerned. The Rebel Meets Rebel album with Vinnie and Dime was very cool too. “Jack Daniels If You Please”, another great one. I could go on for days (laughs).”