Whilst pondering the imbalance betwixt the amount of music in my blog and the amount of music I've been involved with in the last half a century, it occurred to me that Friday Night is Music Night!
This is my trusty Yamaha APX10 steel string acoustic guitar. It's a beautiful thing, and one of the best things about it is that it's very similar in feel to an electric guitar.
I'm an electric bluesman at heart, and to be honest, I've never really got on with acoustic guitars...in fact I only bought this guitar so that I could play with Jezz, who is an acoustic guitarist through and through.
But I'm no great shakes on the acoustic...I can play a bit, bang out a few chords or riffs, or a little solo here or there...but I can't really make it into a full performance - I always want drums and bass to be playing over!
But over the years I've come across a few brilliant acoustic guitarists, who manage to get a really full, complete sound out of a guitar, in a variety of ways.
First up is Foy Vance with a sublime cover of the Jimi Hendrix song Crosstown Traffic...the video is poor quality, and out of sync with the audio...
...but wow, what a storming performance this is:
That just completely blows me away every time I listen to it...what wouldn't I give to be able to sing like that?! I can play the guitar part pretty convincingly, but those vocals...
In a completely difference style, Antonio Forcione doesn't sing, but instead conjures an impressive variety of sounds from a single guitar, and plays with such soulful, bluesy funk that you can't help but get drawn into it:
He also does a great job of playing a bass line with his thumb whilst playing chords, melody and licks with his fingers...again, I would love to get my guitar to sound like that (albeit he has the sound soaked in forgiving effects more commonly associated with an electric guitar).
Then of course there's Tommy Emmanuel, the Australian genius who can make a solo acoustic guitar sound like...well, like this:
That white boy sho' can play!!
It's incredible how he seems to manage to play bass, rhythm, melody and lead guitar, all at the same time...
And so many notes in so short a time - always a winner with other guitarists!
Now, I can't believe I'm going to do this after those three amazing video's, but here's my little addition to the party.
This wasn't really a performance, more a simple recording to help me to remember the arrangement I'd written for the classic Hendrix electric guitar song, Voodoo Child.
The point is, the sound quality is dubious, and it starts fairly tentatively, taking me about two minutes to relax and get into it...and I'm wearing my pyjama's...
But anyway, here it is:
Several things strike me, having just watched that for the first time in ages and ages...
- Firstly - oh yeah, I do remember it now - so that worked!
- Secondly, didn't I look a lot younger back then (around 9 years ago)?!
- Thirdly, I'm sitting typing this in exactly the same place that I'm sitting playing that!
Somehow, that seems to conclusively prove that the more things change, the more they stay the same.
Something like that, anyway.