I have noticed a recent trend toward a resurgence of headless guitar designs being favored by modern guitarists. Rick Toone builds beautiful examples of this style guitar (as well as “headed versions”). He had the idea to ask some clients, Chris Buono, Todd Haug, Killick Hinds, Ken Kinter, Gabriel Levi, Steve Sjuggerud, and Ede Wright, to record an album of music featuring his instruments. The result is a terrific compilation of modern guitar improvisation.
With the holidays coming, you may have some extra time and/or need to retreat to another room while the family argues about politics. These should keep you busy. Featuring Nick Reinhart playing jazz?!), Ava Mendoza, Bob Lanzetti, Keisuke Matsuno, and others.
David Binney Nick Reinhart Justin Brown Eric Revis Chris Fishman Blue Whale 1st Set Full
With the Xmas season fast approaching, this Swiss label could provide one-stop shopping for all the modern guitar records you need to please fellow fans or yourself. This small label offers over 250 recordings, many of which feature pioneers (Fred Frith, Elliot Sharp) and current stars (Mary Halvorson, Kurt Rosenwinkel) of modern guitar. It is also a great place to discover new players from Europe (Dominic Landolt, Vojko Huter).
Life and website issues got in the way of doing timely NAMM reports this year. In my defense many of these products just started shipping a couple of months ago. As has become habit, there were hundreds of cool pedals on offer, mostly variations on pedals you have seen and heard.
With NAMM 2020 coming up, I thought I would do a listing of the things I saw last year that might be different and of more interest to the modern guitarist. The theme in January seemed to be the return of modulation (flange, chorus, and phase), fuzz/harmonizer combos, and guitar synth pedals. I am featuring only what I consider to be the most interesting takes on each. Please check company websites for details.