There were many terrific records in 2017. In another year, Charlie Rauh’s Viriditas, Dan Phelps’ Arc, and Rights by Manuel Troller’s band Schnellertollermeier might have fit on my “Best of…” list. But this year saw so many releases by modern guitar superstars that I just have to recommend reserving some money to also pick up their worthy efforts.
This list is mine; feel free to list yours in the comment section.
I first met Jim Campilongo in San Francisco, where he was wielding a Strat, using a Boss Metal Zone pedal, and playing soaring rock solos with a funk/rock band. I watched him morph, first into a burning country Tele player, and then into themore personal Jimmy Bryant meet Thelonious Monk master that brought him gigs with Nora Jones and Martha Wainwright. These days he regularly holds court with his trio in lower Manhattan. His ability to wrest a plethora of sounds out of a Telecaster plugged straight into a Fender Princeton, combined with a unique playing style and brilliant compositions has garnered him the respect of many much better known guitarists. Among them is Nels Cline, another transplant from the West Coast. Campilongo joined Cline during his Stone residency last summer and Nels apparently returned the favor last month at the former San Francisco guitarist’s Rockwood residency.