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Spotlight: Jakob Bro

In a video below, Lee Konitz says about Jakob Bro’s  music, “He has no words for it. It’s not folk music, it’s not jazz, it’s not pop music, it’s not funk, you know, it’s just balladeering.” Bro’s beautiful sound and compositional voice, on his new ECM release Gefion, seem an extension of the more pastoral sides of Paul Motian, with whom he has played, and Bill Frisell, who has appeared on a few of the Danish guitarist’s records. It also recalls the patient, ambience of fellow Scandinavians like Jan Garbarek and Eberhard Weber in their more reflective moments. Still, Bro is occasionally capable of stomping on the distortion to shift from the calm of the pasture to urban tension. The uncatagorizable nature of his music, combined with his use of looping and effects, places him firmly in the modern guitar firmament. Those in Scandinavia will be able to see him perform this May, with a band that includes Frisell and Konitz, on his Balladeering Tour.

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Spotlight: Zac Keiller

As a man alone, on a stage, with a few effects, Zac Keiller creates compelling soundscapes, at times aggressive, at times elegiac, often both at once. The Australian guitarist has been on a journey for over a decade to find his musical voice and describes it admirably here

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My Books

Instead of four boring “Your Ad Here” banners on the side, I decided to replace three of them with ads for my books.

Getting Great Guitar Sounds has been in print for 30 years and is still relevant. I carefully stuck to basic principals rather than specific products so the info is not dated. Covers everything from the guitar to the amp and beyond.

Getting

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Spotlight: Indigo Street

I was attracted to the playing of Indigo Street through her creative guitar work when backing up singer/songwriter Jolie Holland. On Holland’s record, Wine Dark Sea, Street’s use of fuzz, dissonance and feedback within the context of Holland’s roots moderne sound was letter perfect. When Holland played Nashville, Street showed she was capable of pulling off the same hat trick live. Shy Hunters, her duo with drummer Sam Levin, opened the show. During their set another side of Street emerged; one where she played complex single lines while singing. I had to get her in the mag and—after months of patience—succeeded. Her story was well worth the wait.

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Early Adrian Belew Instructional Video

I was thrilled to be Creative Consultant on this video. Paul and Rob from DCI were drummers and weren’t sure what to ask him to demonstrate. When he says, “I was told to tell you that I use the compressor on all the time,” I was the one that requested he say that, as I felt it was a big part of the way he was able to get controllable feedback. Adrian had a bad cold that day from being immersed in a tank of cold water for a previous video shoot. .

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