Thursday, 26 March 2009

A Beginners Guide to Acoustic/Solo

This is another genre my Dad can take credit for me now enjoying so much, he has put the grumpy man with a guitar into my ears from an early age. Unlike him the artists I choose to listen to often come out of bands either as a side project or after the split of the band.

I particularly love the surprise element of artists who have come from this background . Most notably the difference between Lightspeed Champion and Test Icicles or Frank Turner and Million Dead is astonishing. Both have gone from making heavy music with shouty vocals to breathtaking beauty. Other fine examples of the element of surprise have been Albert Hammond Jr. and The Nightwatchman(Tom Morrello) both guitarists who came out with a solo record proving not only they can sing but they can also write a great record.

The inclusion of acoustic allows for a wider track selection including one of the tracks from the fantastic acoustic part of the most recent Hot Club De Paris and the incredible Rodrigo Y Gabriella who if you ever get the chance to see live you should. The fact they can make the level and depth in sound they do using only an acoustic guitar each is truly amazing.

This is a genre where more than one CD could be put together, there are some great artists that didn’t make it onto the CD but are more than worth a listen for example Babar Luck, Liam O’Kane, Jim Lockey, Matt Reynolds and Robb Blake.

Obviously as with the previous lists history plays an important part in the genre it would be a crime to not include Lou Reed or Iggy Pop and strong arguments could (and should) be made for Elvis, Johnny Cash, Buddy Holly and even Bob Marley fortunately there will be enough time for me to add them to the mix in due course.

Although I find the history of musical genres fascinating and important the solo scene is currently growing stronger than it has been for a long time so if there is one genre to get my sister into this is the one. The key artists included are:

Lou Reed
Iggy Pop
Moldy Peaches
Jeff Buckley
Lightspeed Champion
Ben Folds
Bright Eyes
King Django
Vic Ruggiero
Albert Hamond Jr.
Justin Sane
Badly Drawn Boy

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