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.
They tell me those kinds of headlines attract web traffic, but I believe this actually may be the ultimate Reeves Gabrels interview. An occasional resident of Nashville, the former Bowie, current The Cure guitarist was able to sit down with me for two extensive sessions, during which he was courageously candid about his life, exquisitely detailed about his gear, and immensely interesting in his ideas about music and the art of making it. His new record, Reeves Gabrels & His Imaginary Friends, is a brilliant example of building on the classic blues roots of rock’s yesteryear to create music as modern as tomorrow. So, without further ado: The Ultimate Reeves Gabrels Interview.
You may notice some labels making recurrent and multiple appearances on this list and from year to year. These labels have become successful, forward thinking purveyors of boundary stretching music, so it is not surprising they are attracting the best of the best. Cuneiform has a long history in this field, which makes up and coming, virtuoso Anthony Pirog a good match. Rune Grammofon continues to support the ground-breaking work of modern guitar hero Stian Westerhus, while Anti and Nonesuch are becoming the go-to labels for roots artists looking to remain relevant.
Once again this is a purely subjective list, so please let me know if you feel strongly about a record I have left off. We are fortunate so much great modern guitar music is available, but it makes it hard for one man to keep up. Happy Holidays.
Our holiday present to Guitar Moderne readers is the fifth version of the Guitar Moderne Festival. This one features famous pickers (Adrian Belew, Reeves Gabrels), and lesser known players (Shawn Perlowin, Chris Michetti) who should be better known. While you have time off enjoy these stellar examples of the art of guitar.
Adrian Belew full concert rockpalast 11-03-2008