Despite plague, lockdown, transportation issues, and touring revenue loss, a surprising number of artists managed to release new material last year. Current modern guitar legends, Eivind Aarset, Stian Westerhus, and Nels Cline all make appearances. Legends in the making Ádám Mészáros, Tim Motzer, Nick Milevoi, and Eyal Maoz’s chime in as well. On a sad note, rumor has it that the Rare Noise label is folding. They are going out with a bang though, contributing three records to this year’s list. I hope I am misinformed.
A few years ago, I was contacted by Andy Summers’ publicist regarding interviewing him about his then new record, Metal Dog, a masterpiece of modern guitar mayhem. Now he has a new book of hilarious short stories, Fretted and Moaning, and a new record, Harmonics of the Night, so it seemed like a perfect time to chat again. We spoke in general terms about gear but he was kind enough to also send me a more specific list, available below.
I deem November 4th Fuzz Day, as two major pedal companies have chosen it to reveal their latest entries into the fuzz world. The new Hizumitas is a collaboration with Wata of the Japanese band Boris and EarthQuaker Devices. It ticks off the Big Muff box, while Boss’ new FZ-1W Waza Fuzz resides more in Fuzz Face territory.
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.