Guitar Moderne Top Records of 2017

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There were many terrific records in 2017. In another year, Charlie Rauh’s Viriditas, Dan Phelps’ Arc, and Rights by Manuel Troller’s band Schnellertollermeier might have fit on my “Best of…” list. But this year saw so many releases by modern guitar superstars that I just have to recommend reserving some money to also pick up their worthy efforts.

This list is mine; feel free to list yours in the comment section.

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Summer NAMM 2017

Summer NAMM in Nashville remains a cozy, guitar oriented affair. The freak show element that enlivens winter NAMM is absent in the more tradition-oriented music city version. Still Gator cases provided some photo ops.There weren’t a great number of new things of particular interest to modern guitarists, but the few there were proved pretty exciting.

Gator

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Reeves Gabrels in His Nashville Habitat

Current Cure guitarist, Reeves Gabrels was a resident of Nashville for many years. These days, on breaks from touring and recording with The Cure, the former Bowie sideman is prone to perform at the new location of his former hangout, The Family Wash. Last night he took bluesman Jimmy Reed’s tune on a journey into the future. For the Ultimate Reeves Gabrels Interview click here.

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Top Records of 2015

The past year was a banner one for modern guitar.There were many notable records by artists covered in Guitar Moderne and others. Here, in no particular order are some of the highlights.

Raoul Björkenheim Out of the Blue [Cuneiform]

Raoul made the list last year and this year’s release is equally stellar.

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RIP David Bowie: Champion of Modern Guitar

I occasionally play a party game with friends. I posit, “Everybody laments musicians who die young, like Jimi Hendrix, John Lennon, Janis Joplin, et al, saying, ‘What might they have accomplished if they had lived.’” I then say, “Name as many musical artists as you can, who lived and have continued to grow and be creative.” My list tends to be short: Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Jeff Beck, Jim Hall (while he was alive), Pat Metheny, maybe one or two more. It occurred to me today, as I learned of David Bowie’s death, that I never included him. On reflection, I realized it was because the fact that he would continue to grow and change as an artist as he aged was so obvious it didn’t bear mentioning.

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