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.
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:
Visionary Instruments’ MIDI controller guitar appeared at NAMM in recent years. Rob O’Reilly has apparently also been making instruments with MIDI control functions for at least five years but, it was only thanks to Pete Thorn mentioning the Paul David demo that I discovered this. David’s demo may leave you drooling and there are a bunch of video demos on the company site that make this instrument very appealing. At €2,990 (@$3500) it is not cheap but for the amount of tech seems quite reasonable. Let me know if you would like to see an interview with Mr. O’Reilly.
Click more for Rob himself demoing the features in depth.
His work at the intersection of guitar and technology makes Jonathan Crossley an ideal interview for Guitar Moderne. If you are interested in looping, processing, guitar synthesizers, and other guitar-related modalities, don’t miss this one.
Stian Westerhus and Eivind Aarset were two of the main guitarists that led me to found Guitar Moderne. With their obvious technical skills, command of analog and digital effects, and rock star charisma, they made it easy to get excited about new forms of guitar playing. Stian has just released a recording of a live set from DOKK-huset in Trondheim Norway, available on Bandcamp. Even though half the performance is Westerhus processing his vocals, there is plenty of astounding guitar. If you purchase the audio recording, you get access to a beautifully shot video of the live performance. We talked about the record and many, many other things.