Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Just Bring Me Back My Girl

The acoustic guitar is an instrument oft-ignored in the modern popular music landscape, if only because, well, it seems like everything's been done on it that could conceivably be done. It's an antiquated, tired vehicle of musical composition. Pedals and manipulation aside, pure, unadulterated acoustic playing rarely raises any eyebrows.

There are, that being said, exceptions to this perception. Recently, artists like Sir Richard Bishop (formerly of Sun City Girls) and even the layered psychadelics of GHQ have paid nod to John Fahey. Fahey is, arguably, the modern revivor of the acoustic guitar, taking many disparate playing styles and integrating them into cohesive albums with exceptional skill. Possibly the pinnacle of his early works is 1969's The Yellow Princess, which finds Fahey incorporating some minor percussion to his usually bare, back-to-basics style, with great results. Here's a song:

Download "Irish Letter"

Inspired, or perhaps exposed, by Fahey's innovation, Leo Kottke joined Fahey's label in the early 70's. His album, the aptly titled 6 & 12-String Guitar is an absolute masterpiece in general, and, perhaps, the primary flag-bearer for the "acoustic revival" occurring at the time. Here;s a song:

Download "Busted Bicycle"

Lastly, there are the modern incarnations, including the absolutely fucking amazing Sir Richard Bishop. Formerly of the slightly less focused indie/experimental group Sun City Girls, Richard Bishop has recently been exploring his playing skills in wonderful CD-R releases that have distributed recently. Really, really cool stuff, building on the ideas Fahey etc. generated. Here's a song from All Strung Out:

Download "Free Masonic Guitar"


Post a Comment

<< Home