Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Gary Lucas: Solo Acoustic Guitar

Anyone who hasn't experienced the solo acoustic guitar work of Gary Lucas, or who would like to immerse the ears in the many facets of that work, would do well to head over to Gary's site and its solo acoustic page (http://garylucas.com/www/soloac/). There you'll find You Tube links to many hours of solo video footage.

Gary has incredible fingerpicking prowess but can use the slide, or combo strum and pick his way through all kinds of material. He's absorbed a wide spectrum of roots music, especially the old country blues styles, and made them his own. There's a version of the Stone's classic "Last Time," Skip James' "I'm So Glad," "Bali Hai," 1930s Chinese pop, and originals drenched in the heritage of the acoustic and its modes and techniques. But he surely extends those techniques and such, transforming them into major stylistic statements about the Lucas way to play.

He gets a sound that is almost uncanny--listen and you'll understand what I mean. He plays a 1940s Gibson and coaxes from it all kinds of tones, and his playing on a very old, all-metal National Steel Resonator almost sounds banjo-like.

Gary Lucas is the consummate artist, surely one of the major acousticians out there today. That is to put his electric work aside for the moment, but we'll return to him and some recent releases in the coming weeks. In the meantime, spend a little time at his site and I think you will be amazed and pleased.

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