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.
I have wanted to talk to Marc for a long time. As we discuss, we were playing the Bleecker Street scene at roughly the same time when we were both working sidemen in the New York of the Seventies. Both his book, Unstrung, and his new Ceramic Dog record, Hope, are terrific, and highly intertwined. We talk about that and a lot of other deep musical and highly humorous stuff.
This month our Picks runneth over. Covid has been unable to stifle those who were born to create. Solo projects and remote collaborations abound, but group projects are finding their way into the mix as well. We start off with Sonar’s Stephen Thelen and all-star guests.
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.