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.
Nels Cline, Adrian Belew, David Torn, Eivind Aarset, Fred Frith—These superstars of modern guitar have been with us for decades and are all currently making vibrant, forward thinking music. Oz Noy and Stian Westerhus are relative youngsters in this category, still, we all might sometimes wonder where the next generation of players on this level will come from. I have featured many talented young players in Guitar Moderne, but Nick Reinhart is one of the few who embodies the rare combination of virtuoso technique on both guitar and effects required for superstar status in the world of modern guitar. His ability to spontaneously turn noise into music continues to astound me. Here he is wreaking great sounds out of a random sample of Earthquaker pedals and what are probably an unfamiliar amp and guitar.
I recently reviewed the iConnect Audio4+, an amazing audio/MIDI interface that allows you to integrate an iPad into your DAW. There are times, however, when you might want to send your guitar signal straight to your iPad, whether to make it part of your effects system for live shows or for recording purposes, and/or times when a complex system like iConnect may be overkill. For those occasions, and for a variety of other uses, consider IK Multimedia’s iRig Pro ($149.99).