Guitar Moderne occasionally features what we call Roots Moderne players: guitarists who have pushed a genre’s envelope. Seth Lee Jones was pitched to me as a blues guitarist, but when I checked him out on YouTube he was using multiple string-benders, picking behind the nut, and generally bringing the blues forward. Oh, did I mention he builds guitars?
October offers an international cornucopia of fantastic recordings from modern legends like Eivind Aarset and Elliott Sharp and newer faces like Álvaro Domene and Guillame Gargaud. This month also serves up a bassist, and a record from Nashville that sounds like it could have come out of Norway.
Hands down, the best part of Summer NAMM was running into Benn Jordan. A candidate for The World’s Most Interesting Man, He plays guitar upside down, has a great YouTube channel, performs in front of thousands as Flashbulb, and is a Mixed Marshal Artist. He recently posted this video describing his laptop-free setup for performing his music, a mixture of jazz, metal, electronica, and beats.
I have wanted to talk to Marc for a long time. As we discuss, we were playing the Bleecker Street scene at roughly the same time when we were both working sidemen in the New York of the Seventies. Both his book, Unstrung, and his new Ceramic Dog record, Hope, are terrific, and highly intertwined. We talk about that and a lot of other deep musical and highly humorous stuff.
The traditional product release cycle is a thing of the past. Thanks to the internet and YouTube, companies are no longer bound to the standard of unveiling major releases at the January NAMM show. Though Boss was not at the Summer show, they picked a time that coincided with the Nashville exhibition to unveil two new products that should be of special interest to modern guitarists: a guitar with their SY synth technology built in, the EURUS GS-1 Electronic Guitar; and a bluetooth expression pedal, the EV-1-WL Wireless MIDI Expression Pedal.
Here are a couple of comprehensive looks at these innovative devices: