A few weeks ago, I read “1971 - Never a Dull Moment: Rock’s Golden Year” by David Hepworth. In the book, Hepworth argues that 1971 was the most important year in rock history. According to the author, the rock landscape changed in those twelve months, with massive shifts at an industrial, social and cultural level. As a result, a huge number of monumental albums were released; The Stones’ “Sticky Fingers”, “Who’s Next” and “Led Zep IV” to name but a few. And, it was the year that a plethora of rock legends established their place in the pantheon of popular music.
In 1970, Derek and the Dominos released “Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs,” one of the landmark rock albums of all time. Arguably Eric Clapton’s definitive musical statement, “Layla” is also the record that made Slowhand synonymous with the Fender Stratocaster.But, while Clapton and Fender are synonymous today, his early sound, and some of his most famous recordings, were actually created using Gibson instruments. Today, we’re going to run through Eric Clapton’s Gibson years, and three of the Ted McCarty-and-co designed guitars that he staked his name with.
Leo Kottke is a fingerstyle institution, and an inspiration to guitarists across the globe. His unique blend of folk, blues and jazz and his distinctive syncopated, polyphonic melodies have earned him accolades and followers galore. And, his battles with adversity – he’s overcome partial hearing loss and a near career-ending bout with tendonitis – are testament to his dedication to his craft.
We’re living in a great time for acoustic music. Fingerstyle guitar is thriving, and outlets like YouTube give exposure to new guitarists on a regular basis. But, this wasn’t always the case. In the ‘80s, when synths and electronic sounds reigned supreme, some thought the humble hollow-bodied six-string would go the way of the dinosaur.
Is he really a great guitarist, or do his detractors have it right? Today, I’m going to try and get to the bottom of it.
Welcome back to the final part of Thalia’s in depth interview with Jared James Nichols.
In this final edition, we pick up on Jared’s Blues Power mantra, life on the road, and how his impressive Epiphone signature Les Paul came to be…