Saturday, January 27, 2007

You better learn to play guitar, Part 1

It's all TRex's fault. He posted a piece at Firedoglake tonight using lyrics and music from John Mayer, and that got me thinking, as I commented over there.

I was pretty ambivalent about Mayer until I saw him on the Grammy's a few years ago (full disclosure: I'm a voting member of the Recording Academy). He did one of his songs 'unplugged', just voice and a small body Martin guitar. I said "Holy crap, the kid can play".

The thing is, there are and have been several well known singer-songwriters who are less well known for excellent guitar chops.

Here's Vince Gill showing state-of-the-art Telecaster skills:

And here's Mayer with Brad Paisley, another stellar country player:

Here's Paisley in concert:

As long as we're in a country mode, here's a great player that may surprise some of you-Glen Campbell:

Glen again. This really shows his guitar technique:

But it isn't just the rock and country players, it also the jazz greats. Anyone remember George Benson? He did much more than "Breezin'" and "Masquerade":

And here's George playing Brubeck:

More later, in part 2.