Eric Clapton’s playing on the Bluesbreakers record changed my life. This was a guitar tone unlike any other previously. Fat, sustaining, it recalled the violin on which I had begun playing music. So, of course, I bought the next Bluesbreakers record, this time featuring Peter Green, who died this week.
I discovered Benn Jordan’s YouTube channel, Benn and Gear through the usual side panel recommendations on the platform. I quickly realized that he is one of the most interesting musicians around. A guitarist who plays upside down and makes extensive use of the Roland VG-99, he is into boxing and MMA, has toured for years as The Flashbulb, combining metal and jazz guitar stylings, electronics, and beats, done extensive music for advertising and museum installations, and has a wicked sense of humor.
Sarah Lipstate has become something of a modern guitar superstar. Between opening for major acts, demoing the coolest products at NAMM, and her raft of distinctive ambient records as Noveller, she has proved a master (mistress?) of the looper. Her records reveal a serious composer, and through her Instagram page has proved she can geek out about gear with the best of them. Here she talks about how she made the excellent Arrow, which you should pick up immediately at Bandcamp.
Guitar wizards David Torn, Bill Frisell, Anthony Pirog, and Mary Halvorson all performed at the 2019 Big Ears Festival, but it was the Friday night performance by Rafiq Bhatia and his band that stole the show https://www.guitarmoderne.com/artists/big-ears-2019. Under lockdown in Brooklyn, Bhatia participated in a performance for the New York’s National Sawdust arts organization. That is presented here, followed by a video interview in which Bhatia reveals that all in the video is not as it seems.
It is still looking like summer festival season will be cancelled. But fear not; you can count on Guitar Moderne to continue to supply virtual, germ-free festivals like this. Pandemic is creating new paradigms for performance. Solo looping, already popular, ensures social distancing from band members. Those musicians brave (or foolhardy—you be the judge) enough to play together in an enclosed space are often doing so without an audience save for a skeleton camera crew.