CD Review of Best of Esteban by Esteban

Music Home / Entertainment Channel / Bullz-Eye Home

Buy your copy from Esteban:
Best of Esteban
starstarstarno starno star Label: Dreambox
Released: 2006
Buy from

“My life is meaningless unless I can study under you.”

This is the message that Stephen Paul kept sending musician Andres Segovia time and again. It wasn’t until Paul disguised himself as a bellhop at a hotel Segovia was staying at and springing the message on him in person when his life was forever changed. Segovia took the eager musician under his wing, gave him private lessons at his own home, and renamed Paul “Esteban.” The rest is history. Or so they say.

The question is: just how popular is Esteban? The guy’s been around forever, but didn’t gain wide exposure until he started hawking his guitar packages on cable shopping networks QVC and HSN. For anyone who’s stayed up late at night surfing their TV channels, they’ve undoubtedly seen Esteban selling one of his guitars. The man’s become big enough to have his own infomercial, and in the land of infomercials, that’s pretty damn big. Will you buy some “Girls Gone Wild” DVDs or an Esteban guitar, complete with amp, chord chart that can be mounted as a handsome poster, and instructional videos? Titties or Esteban? Such a tough decision.

Yes, it would seem that the man’s appearances on the shopping networks and through his own infomercial prove that he’s larger than life. But again, this may simply be due to those appearances more than his actual music. For that, dear friends, is simply middle of the road. Oh, Esteban can really play his guitar, there’s no doubt about it, but he’s no more entertaining than say, Yanni or John Tesh. Just because you’re technically gifted doesn’t mean you’re actually playing some enjoyable music. But here Esteban is anyway with a “best of” collection.

Don’t know where to start in the interchangeable Esteban catalog? Then start right here. Twelve tracks (two of them being interludes) that work fine as background music for one of those swanky new age stores. Pull out the beaded curtains and Indian rugs and sip some green tea while you marvel at the majesty that is Esteban! Seriously, what can be said of a collection of songs that include such nuggets as “Bésame Mucho,” “Here Comes the Sun,” and “Fernando”? Esteban tackles each of them with tasteful licks and the same plain vanilla backing band that he pimps out on all his TV appearances. The production is spotless! The mix is perfect! The Esteban is mucho grande!

It’s hard to say if this is truly the “best of” Esteban, as hardcore fans will surely say 12 tracks is not enough! If you’ve ever seen these rabid fans on the infomercials, you will know just how enamored they are of their Segovian-approved idol. These people have learned to play guitar thanks to Esteban – a man who was just telling everyone to get their kids away from the video games and computers on his latest TV appearance – and how would they have done it otherwise? I mean, you can mount that chord chart in a shiny frame and put it on your wall! At its “best,” this stuff is just middle of the road EZ listening radio fare.

An interesting note on Esteban’s guitars. According to his Wikipedia entry, “Esteban's guitars sold through QVC and HSN have been criticized as difficult to play due to the high action and poor intonation…[T]he newer Esteban American Legacy Guitar featured in TV infomercials has received a mix of positive and negative reviews.” So apparently this man’s guitars, which are sold at cut rate prices (but are worth at least thousands according to the sales pitch), are about as good as the guy’s music. Fair, but not half as good as the infomercials they’re sold through.

~Jason Thompson