It looks like things are opening up. But if you are like me—not quite ready to hang out around hundreds or thousands of people who may or may not have been vaccinated—you might prefer to stick with the Guitar Moderne virtual festival. Watch some newly available videos by legends Terje Rypdal and Bill Frisell, as well as great performances by A-team modern guitarists Mike Baggetta, Marc Ribot, and Eliot Sharp in the comfort of your disease-free home.
You say you are interested in finding some modern guitar music that you haven’t yet heard? Just head on over to The Modern Guitar Show segment at Jack Sonni Guitar Radio any Saturday and Sunday night at 11pm Eastern Standard Time.
Curators Michael Ross and Joel Harrison will endeavor to open your ears to new sounds from an old instrument. The options for doing so are multiple. You can download the Jack Sonni Guitar Radio app for the Apple or Google Store, you can go to the Jack Sonni Radio website, the iHeart Radio site, or the Live 365 site.
Here is the maestro as a youngster at the beginning of his tenure with the greatest musical aggregation I have ever seen. A year before this concert, he came into Rudy’s Music in New York, where I worked. He had a Gibson SG Junior and wasn’t happy with the noise from its single-coil P-90. For my sins, I convinced him to replace it with a Seymour Duncan JB and arranged for the installation. He must have also had this regular SG or purchased it later.
Cut to 1991—Bill was celebrating his 40th birthday playing with Robin Holcomb at the Great American Musical Hall in SF. I had lobbied hard for the opening slot with my band because I knew Bill would be in Robin’s band. Bill had a cold that night and wasn’t having the best birthday, nevertheless he was kind enough to help me carry my gear to my car. He is not only one of the all-time guitar greats, he is a helluva guy. Happy Birthday Bill.
If anyone were to be into pedals it would be the modern guitarist. Granted there are a few who play only acoustic, and even fewer who exclusively play plugged straight into the amplifier, but the majority of modern guitarists are to some extent looking to find new sounds in the electric realm and pedals help them go there. The firmament of modern guitar heaven is filled with gods who use a plethora of stompboxes in their quest for sonic freshness. Adrian Belew, Nels Cline, Eivind Aarset, Stian Westerhus, David Torn, Nick Reinhardt, and others employ effect pedals as an essential part of their artistry.
For them, and guitarists of all stripes, this year has seen the release of, not one, but two books (actually three) devoted to these playable, collectable, fetish-encouraging devices.