My years of making music in New York City coincided at various times with Elliot Sharp’s. Our musical worlds, however, rarely overlapped. I was playing blues and country music; accompanying singer-songwriters, both struggling and famous; and playing in pop bands that were trying to get record deals (my more avant-garde efforts would come later). Elliot, on the other hand, was at the nexus of all the art that was pushing the envelope during that period, and is still to this day. I never saw him perform live or met him until shortly before I left New York to move to Nashville in 2012, and then it was in a wonderful duo performance with Mary Halvorson.
If there is a young guitarist you captures the Guitar Moderne ethos perfectly it is Nick Reinhart. In his work with Tera Melos and with Nels Cline in Big Walnuts Yonder he exhibits a spirit of musical experimentation and pushes the guitar’s sonic potential as far as it will go, with virtuosic technique and wry humor. Premier Guitar caught up with him when he came through Nashville and did an extensive rig rundown, revealing his fan bestowed nickname (no pun intended). Reinhart also reveals one of his sonic secrets. Spoiler alert: Superglue.
Some Xmas gifts for the modern guitarist in your life.
The band Cairo Knife Fight is Nick Gaffaney, a drummer from New Zealand, and George Pajon Jr, a Grammy award winning songwriter and guitarist who has worked with The Black Eyed Peas, Fergie, Carlos Santana, Macy Gray, John Legend, and Sting. The duo redefines what two musicians can create live with Gaffaney drumming, playing keyboard bass, live looping, and singing, while Pajon generates live looped soundscapes and riffs. Thanks to Pete Thorn, we get a glimpse of how they do it. Are bands like this and Josh Dion’s Paris Monster the future?
Full disclosure: Though Source Audio is not one of my advertisers; I am their rep in Nashville. As with my advertisers, I don’t claim they make amazing things because I work with them, I work with them because they make amazing things, so I feel touting them at every opportunity is providing a service to you, the reader. The latest fab product from Source Audio is the True Spring Reverb pedal