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Most versatile guitarist?

GUEST,Roger the skiffler 02 Jun 00 - 05:37 AM
kendall 02 Jun 00 - 08:10 AM
The Shambles 02 Jun 00 - 08:15 AM
Whistle Stop 02 Jun 00 - 08:16 AM
Dave (the ancient mariner) 02 Jun 00 - 08:18 AM
Ella who is Sooze 02 Jun 00 - 09:11 AM
catspaw49 02 Jun 00 - 09:36 AM
Midchuck 02 Jun 00 - 09:41 AM
MK 02 Jun 00 - 09:45 AM
Lanfranc 02 Jun 00 - 09:47 AM
Jon Freeman 02 Jun 00 - 10:05 AM
GUEST,Mike Billo 02 Jun 00 - 10:35 AM
Mbo 02 Jun 00 - 11:26 AM
TerriM 02 Jun 00 - 11:47 AM
Mooh 02 Jun 00 - 01:23 PM
Jon Freeman 02 Jun 00 - 01:53 PM
Mooh 02 Jun 00 - 03:23 PM
Jon Freeman 02 Jun 00 - 04:21 PM
Brendy 02 Jun 00 - 07:53 PM
Jon Freeman 02 Jun 00 - 08:00 PM
Brendy 02 Jun 00 - 08:03 PM
Jon Freeman 02 Jun 00 - 08:19 PM
Brendy 02 Jun 00 - 08:29 PM
Jon Freeman 02 Jun 00 - 08:46 PM
Brendy 02 Jun 00 - 08:54 PM
Rick Fielding 02 Jun 00 - 09:52 PM
bflat 02 Jun 00 - 10:01 PM
gillymor 02 Jun 00 - 10:11 PM
Rick Fielding 03 Jun 00 - 11:21 AM
Rick Fielding 03 Jun 00 - 11:22 AM
Murray MacLeod 03 Jun 00 - 03:47 PM
GUEST,Valerie 03 Jun 00 - 03:58 PM
GUEST,Mike Billo 03 Jun 00 - 06:42 PM
GUEST,J Woodland 04 Jun 00 - 11:59 AM
GUEST,Lyle 04 Jun 00 - 02:12 PM
Rick Fielding 04 Jun 00 - 11:33 PM
Sorcha 05 Jun 00 - 12:32 AM
Robo 05 Jun 00 - 01:11 AM
Robo 05 Jun 00 - 01:12 AM
bob schwarer 05 Jun 00 - 07:12 AM
bob schwarer 05 Jun 00 - 07:12 AM
GUEST,James 05 Jun 00 - 08:01 AM
Gary T 05 Jun 00 - 09:26 AM
GeorgeH 05 Jun 00 - 10:42 AM
Whistle Stop 05 Jun 00 - 11:11 AM
Mooh 05 Jun 00 - 11:47 AM
ddw 05 Jun 00 - 11:17 PM
mactheturk 05 Jun 00 - 11:19 PM
Melani 06 Jun 00 - 12:26 AM
Brendy 06 Jun 00 - 03:14 AM
GUEST,Auxiris 06 Jun 00 - 03:55 AM
Rick Fielding 06 Jun 00 - 11:57 AM
Jim the Bart 06 Jun 00 - 12:52 PM
Herge 06 Jun 00 - 04:05 PM
Murray MacLeod 06 Jun 00 - 06:14 PM
mactheturk 06 Jun 00 - 11:16 PM
tgreenie 07 Jun 00 - 12:26 AM
ddw 07 Jun 00 - 12:36 AM
Rick Fielding 07 Jun 00 - 01:12 AM
bob jr 17 Jun 00 - 10:43 PM
Rick Fielding 18 Jun 00 - 12:38 PM
Lucius 18 Jun 00 - 09:40 PM
Seamus Kennedy 18 Jun 00 - 10:11 PM
Peter Kasin 19 Jun 00 - 03:22 AM
MikeofNorthumbria 19 Jun 00 - 08:25 AM
barrygeo 20 Jun 00 - 08:24 AM
Whistle Stop 20 Jun 00 - 08:42 AM
barrygeo 20 Jun 00 - 10:48 AM
Whistle Stop 20 Jun 00 - 11:18 AM
Rick Fielding 20 Jun 00 - 11:15 PM
M. Ted (inactive) 21 Jun 00 - 12:52 PM
Whistle Stop 21 Jun 00 - 03:02 PM
Lucius 21 Jun 00 - 09:53 PM
Lonesome EJ 21 Jun 00 - 10:27 PM
gillymor 21 Jun 00 - 11:36 PM
Rick Fielding 22 Jun 00 - 12:38 AM
Steve Latimer 22 Jun 00 - 10:48 AM
M. Ted (inactive) 22 Jun 00 - 01:18 PM
Steve Latimer 22 Jun 00 - 01:30 PM
Steve Latimer 22 Jun 00 - 01:44 PM
GUEST,the happy farmer 23 Jun 00 - 12:44 PM
M. Ted (inactive) 23 Jun 00 - 02:01 PM
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Subject: Most versatile guitarist?
From: GUEST,Roger the skiffler
Date: 02 Jun 00 - 05:37 AM

I don't like to use terms like "Perfect" guitarist but while listening to one of my Lonnie Johnson records yesterday I was thinking of his versatility: duets with Eddie Lang, band work with Louis Armstrong, accompanying his own singing and others, like Victoria Spivey, and solo work. A long career which included playing violin, working in industry and composing (he claimed he was the originator of Careless Love but forgot to copyright it). Of the later players Joe Pass played solo, in small groups with Oscar Peterson, accompanied Ella Fitzgerald,played in Eddie Vinson's backing band.
Who would other 'Catters, especially guitarists who can judge these things better than I nominate as the most versatile or best all-round guitarist?
RtS


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Subject: RE: Most versatile guitarist?
From: kendall
Date: 02 Jun 00 - 08:10 AM

Gordon Bok


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Subject: RE: Most versatile guitarist?
From: The Shambles
Date: 02 Jun 00 - 08:15 AM

Richard Thompson.


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Subject: RE: Most versatile guitarist?
From: Whistle Stop
Date: 02 Jun 00 - 08:16 AM

Hard to settle on just one. Martin Simpson comes to mind, as does Ry Cooder. And myself, of course...


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Subject: RE: Most versatile guitarist?
From: Dave (the ancient mariner)
Date: 02 Jun 00 - 08:18 AM

John Renbourn.


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Subject: RE: Most versatile guitarist?
From: Ella who is Sooze
Date: 02 Jun 00 - 09:11 AM

I went to see Dick Gaughin do a gig in a pub in Bristol UK a few months ago.

He was such a good player, that whilst he was talking about the next song, he just automatically played whilst chatting. Half playing half retuning. It was Like a nervous tic.

He playing was amazing, and so nice to listen to. I really enjoyed the evening. Plus got to chat to him at the bar - he's a nice guy too.

Up to now it is the most inventive guitar playing I have heard.

Ella


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Subject: RE: Most versatile guitarist?
From: catspaw49
Date: 02 Jun 00 - 09:36 AM

I'd think ol' Chet would have to fit in here somewhere perhaps.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Most versatile guitarist?
From: Midchuck
Date: 02 Jun 00 - 09:41 AM

Doc Watson. He pretty much invented modern acoustic flatpicking; but I have met f*ng*rp*ck*rs who went to great lengths to emulate his achievements in that abominable and detestable art as well.

Peter.


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Subject: RE: Most versatile guitarist?
From: MK
Date: 02 Jun 00 - 09:45 AM

I agree with all of the names mentioned above.

I'll add David Bromberg to the list.

(and Rick Fielding's no slouch either!)


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Subject: RE: Most versatile guitarist?
From: Lanfranc
Date: 02 Jun 00 - 09:47 AM

Chris Newman is high in my esteem, so is Mark Knopfler.


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Subject: RE: Most versatile guitarist?
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 02 Jun 00 - 10:05 AM

Chris Newman is my favourite.

Jon


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Subject: RE: Most versatile guitarist?
From: GUEST,Mike Billo
Date: 02 Jun 00 - 10:35 AM

The late George Barnes did it all. Played Jazz, Blues, Country, Pop, Western Swing, etc. and did it all VERY well. I've never heard anyone else play so brilliantly in so many different settings.


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Subject: RE: Most versatile guitarist?
From: Mbo
Date: 02 Jun 00 - 11:26 AM

Andrew York.

--Mbo


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Subject: RE: Most versatile guitarist?
From: TerriM
Date: 02 Jun 00 - 11:47 AM

I'd have to go with Ry Cooder, too.


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Subject: RE: Most versatile guitarist?
From: Mooh
Date: 02 Jun 00 - 01:23 PM

Hey Rick, how much ya pay MK for that? Can I get a piece of the action?

One rather stupendous (and humble) guitar slinger is Simon Mayor. Known more perhaps for his mandolin family work, he's a super guitarist, and an inventive accompanyist.

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: Most versatile guitarist?
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 02 Jun 00 - 01:53 PM

Never heard his guitar work Mooh but I have heard him play mandolin!

Jon


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Subject: RE: Most versatile guitarist?
From: Mooh
Date: 02 Jun 00 - 03:23 PM

Jon, I was once treated to an impromptu demonstration of his abilities while we were waiting for something to happen at a festival. He was simply trying out my guitar. I was stunned. Another who was there has remarked that he's never heard my guitar sound so good. No wonder! Mooh.


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Subject: RE: Most versatile guitarist?
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 02 Jun 00 - 04:21 PM

Ae Mooh, that sort of thing has happend to me. Thinking of which leads me onto a guitar player who although I have not heard play guitar did something similar with my tenor banjo! and is probably worthy of this list.

His name is Richard Durrant, he is classically trained and has done work with Sky either as a stand in or a replacement for John Williams and also runs to folk music and as far as I can make out judging by experience above can probably play just about any fretted stringed instrument to an amazingly high standard.

Jon


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Subject: RE: Most versatile guitarist?
From: Brendy
Date: 02 Jun 00 - 07:53 PM

What was that other guy's name in Sky, Jon? He used to play opposite John Williams.
BTW I saw Williams and Pete Townsend do an acoustic version of 'The Pinball Wizard' on one of 'The Secret Policeman's' other 'Balls'. It was peculiar to see a Rock song get the 'classical' touch.
I remember remarking the total difference in posture between the two of them.

But I have to say Chris Newman also. Anyone who has listened to the Fred Wedlock album "The Oldest Swinger in Town" will be familiar with his accompaniment on everything from the title song to probably the best 'Soldiers Joy' I have ever heard, to 'Nuages', the 'Alexander's Ragtime Band' medley, and his seminal version of the Beatles' melody 'Yesterday', which was used as the tune for Fred's own hilarious parody, 'Breathalyzed'
Other notable accompaniments in that record was his version of 'The Teddy Bears Rave up'.

On that album he caressed every genre with imagination, humour, and technical excellence.
And then, of course, there's his duets with Mairéad.
He's an amazing all rounder, is our Chris!

B.


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Subject: RE: Most versatile guitarist?
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 02 Jun 00 - 08:00 PM

Brendy, I was going to say Herbie Flowers good job I looked it up - he wass the bass player. Apparently Kevin Peek was the other player.

Jon


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Subject: RE: Most versatile guitarist?
From: Brendy
Date: 02 Jun 00 - 08:03 PM

Kevin Peek it is, Jon - well spotted!
He was good, alright, but I never heard him outside of that band.
Know anything about him?

B.


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Subject: RE: Most versatile guitarist?
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 02 Jun 00 - 08:19 PM

I didn't Brendy but here you go http://www.ozemail.com.au/~clasguit/peek.htm

Jon


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Subject: RE: Most versatile guitarist?
From: Brendy
Date: 02 Jun 00 - 08:29 PM

Thanks, Jon. He's been around a bit.
I bet you the highlight of his career was whatever he did with the 'New Seekers'

NOT!

B.


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Subject: RE: Most versatile guitarist?
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 02 Jun 00 - 08:46 PM

Just a thought here, I wonder how many players like Kevin Peek (although he got known through Sky) there are who must certainly qualify on a listing of most versatile guitar players that spend most of their lives in the background doing session work and we don't know of.

Jon


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Subject: RE: Most versatile guitarist?
From: Brendy
Date: 02 Jun 00 - 08:54 PM

Thousands, Jon, thousands.

Talent is no pre-requisite of success. Granted, having said that, none of the people here mentioned are slouches, by any manner of means. But my line has twinges of the theme of the Pro vs Am discussion elsewhere.

We, as 'professional' musicians (and I don't put myself in ANY category - certainly not among any names mentioned here), have to always be aware that "There's kids out there who can whip the frets off you".

Being 'discovered' is what makes the difference.
And a lot of that depends on luck.

B.


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Subject: RE: Most versatile guitarist?
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 02 Jun 00 - 09:52 PM

Well I guess the MOST versatile guitarist would be someone who could play at a world class level with fingerstyle and flatpick. They'd be able to make a believer out of me when they played blues, REAL country, rock, REAL folk, polka, classical, flamenco, and any other form that they had heard. They'd have to have the chord knowledge of Joe Pass but be able to play a 3 chord song with sensitivity. Oh, and they'd have to be able to improvise brilliantly, and sight-read with skill. Pretty tall order what?

I can think of VERY few who would meet almost all those criteria. Some who would come close are:

1. George Barnes

2. Tony Quarrington

3. Danny Gatton

4. Roy Buchannan

A couple of folks come to mind who've proven they have the SKILL (speed, and investment in the various traditions) to be that greatest all-round guitarist.

1. David Bromberg could

2. Django Reinhardt could have

My guess is that there IS one player out there who currently does it ALL. My guess is he/she is not a pro, and only his/her friends have a clue how good that player is.

Remember, the world only heard of Danny Gatton by accident. Had a fan not INSISTED that someone from "Guitar Player" come down to the local dive to see him, he would have lived out his life (willingly) in total obscurity.

Rick


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Subject: RE: Most versatile guitarist?
From: bflat
Date: 02 Jun 00 - 10:01 PM

I don't think anyone can be the arbiter for "MOST" at best how about agreeing on the top ten. I've heard the recordings of Gordon Giltrap and will soon see him in the US. He's from the UK I understand. I'd like to add his name to the list.


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Subject: RE: Most versatile guitarist?
From: gillymor
Date: 02 Jun 00 - 10:11 PM

It's good to see the late Danny Gatton mentioned. I use to see him at the Childe Harold in D.C. on Sunday nights with Liz Meyer and with his own band Danny and the Fat Boys many years ago. The things that guy could do with a telecaster left folks shaking their heads in disbelief. Got room for Hank Garland on your list, Rick?

Frankie


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Subject: RE: Most versatile guitarist?
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 03 Jun 00 - 11:21 AM

Ol' Sugarfoot, Frankie? Indeed I would. Problem for me is that most of the people listed probably have the chops to play very well in every style, but most would not have the interest in that many forms of music.

Do you remember the name of the guitarist who worked with his wife (a black woman) as a duo? I think they were based in New Orleans, and he was truly one of the most exceptional musicians I've ever seen...WAIT A MINUTE! his name was TUCK ANDRESS! The duo was Tuck and Patty. He was superb.

Rick


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Subject: RE: Most versatile guitarist?
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 03 Jun 00 - 11:22 AM

Ol' Sugarfoot, Frankie? Indeed I would. Problem for me is that most of the people listed probably have the chops to play very well in every style, but most would not have the interest in that many forms of music.

Do you remember the name of the guitarist who worked with his wife (a black woman) as a duo? I think they were based in New Orleans, and he was truly one of the most exceptional musicians I've ever seen...WAIT A MINUTE! his name was TUCK ANDRESS! The duo was Tuck and Patty. He was superb.

Rick


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Subject: RE: Most versatile guitarist?
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 03 Jun 00 - 03:47 PM

Hey Rick, do you really think it is important to be able to sight-read with skill ? Kind of eliminates Doc Watson as a contender !

Murray


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Subject: RE: Most versatile guitarist?
From: GUEST,Valerie
Date: 03 Jun 00 - 03:58 PM

Or playing it upside down?
I'd give my right arm to be ambidextrous


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Subject: RE: Most versatile guitarist?
From: GUEST,Mike Billo
Date: 03 Jun 00 - 06:42 PM

Rick; Tuck and Patti are my fellow San Franciscans (she a native, him, only lived here about 25 years), and yes he is FANTASTIC, But, I still stand by my the nomination in my first posting of George Barnes (which you seconded).


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Subject: RE: Most versatile guitarist?
From: GUEST,J Woodland
Date: 04 Jun 00 - 11:59 AM

I think that Leo Kottke has to be in there somewhere. Don Ross is another really wildly inventive guitarist.


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Subject: RE: Most versatile guitarist?
From: GUEST,Lyle
Date: 04 Jun 00 - 02:12 PM

Interesting thread! Charlie Collins made everybody he played with sound better, and was tremendous by himself.

And Norman Blake has to be there somewhere.

Lyle


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Subject: RE: Most versatile guitarist?
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 04 Jun 00 - 11:33 PM

Actually I DON'T think sight reading is important. Certainly not as far as feel and emotion. I was just trying to work with the original phrase "Most versatile". Virtually all the people named here are terrific players in their field, but many only play in certain keys, and certain styles. The "most versatile" guitarist surely should be someone who has DEMONSTRATED that they are "world class" in many areas.

The closest ones to that from what I can see would be: George Barnes, Tuck Andress, Tony Quarrington, and perhaps Bromberg. Although I only saw Tuck play for one hour, my final vote probably would go to him, as I watched him play in several keys, flatpick AND fingerpick, play folk AND jazz harmony, and use several classical positions, and accompany a vocal beautifully.

Now my FAVOURITE guitarist is Doc Watson. Very versatile for a country folkie, but not the MOST versatile.

Rick


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Subject: RE: Most versatile guitarist?
From: Sorcha
Date: 05 Jun 00 - 12:32 AM

No, the Doc isn't the most versatile, buy he is the best flatpicker around. Have to vote for Chet A as the most versatile,with Bromberg as a second. Where are Dan Crary, Happy Traum, Steve Kaufman, and has anybody heard
Beppe Gambetta?
WOW!!


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Subject: RE: Most versatile guitarist?
From: Robo
Date: 05 Jun 00 - 01:11 AM

"I have seen the David

Seen the Mona Lisa, too

And I have heard Doc Watson

Play Columbus Stockage Blues."

--Rob-o (for Guy Clark)


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Subject: RE: Most versatile guitarist?
From: Robo
Date: 05 Jun 00 - 01:12 AM

Er, "Stockade" blues.


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Subject: RE: Most versatile guitarist?
From: bob schwarer
Date: 05 Jun 00 - 07:12 AM

Norman Blake


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Subject: RE: Most versatile guitarist?
From: bob schwarer
Date: 05 Jun 00 - 07:12 AM

Norman Blake


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Subject: RE: Most versatile guitarist?
From: GUEST,James
Date: 05 Jun 00 - 08:01 AM

Eric Clapton, John Martyn, Marin Simpson but best of all...Adrain Legg.


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Subject: RE: Most versatile guitarist?
From: Gary T
Date: 05 Jun 00 - 09:26 AM

While I would second Sorcha's opinion in the post about 6 up from this one, I feel compelled to add Harvey Reed and Stephen Bennett (sp?) to this list. They both have an amazing range of material and had me sitting in awe, slack-jawed. (Saw each of them at Winfield--I believe Stephen will be there this year.)


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Subject: RE: Most versatile guitarist?
From: GeorgeH
Date: 05 Jun 00 - 10:42 AM

Well, Martin Simpson beats all the others I've heard from the nominations here . . Though I've never heard him play Flamenco, he's certainly covered a vast range of styles in his own playing and in those he's performed with . . (Did anyone SEE the Canadian documentary about the guy on Death Row - in Texas, IIRC - for which Martin did the soundtrack . . which was not quite what he was expecting when he went into the studio?? I've heard Martin tell the tale a couple of times, and gather the programme won an award, but am curious if any of you erudite folks actually saw it . .)

On the other hand, I can also imagine Martin's reaction to ANY attempt to define the "best" or "most versatile" or whatever, so I'll give up at this point . .

G.


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Subject: RE: Most versatile guitarist?
From: Whistle Stop
Date: 05 Jun 00 - 11:11 AM

There seem to be a lot of folks who are naming their favorites, without regard to versatility. I love Leo Kottke, Norman Blake, Doc Watson, Danny Gatton, Adrian Legg, and some of the others mentioned. But I don't know if versatility is necessarily their strong suit. Again, Martin Simpson and Ry Cooder ar ethe two that come to my mind most readily.

Caveat: I could be giving some of these folks less credit than they deserve, since I can only go by what I've heard of their music, which may not reflect their full range of talents. If anyone wants to champion any of the folks on this list, and point me in the direction of recordings that showcase their versatility, I'd be grateful.


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Subject: RE: Most versatile guitarist?
From: Mooh
Date: 05 Jun 00 - 11:47 AM

Anybody mention David Lindley? Mooh.


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Subject: RE: Most versatile guitarist?
From: ddw
Date: 05 Jun 00 - 11:17 PM

Rick,

Surprised you didn't stick Josh White in there somewhere. I saw him work a couple of times, even after he had had operations to scrape the arthritis calcides off his hands, and he was pretty awesome. Never saw him flatpick, but he could do a lot of FPing runs out of his fingerpicking style. Also never heard him try flaminco, but his blues style was pretty close to jazz at its simplest.

Also someone I haven't seen mentioned, but who always struck me as a pretty extraordinary picker was Roy Clark before he prostituted himself for the big bucks on Hee -Haw.

david


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Subject: RE: Most versatile guitarist?
From: mactheturk
Date: 05 Jun 00 - 11:19 PM

I think Martin Simpson might pick Pierre Bensusan, as would many celtic guitarist,( at least as their favorite, if not the most versatile.)

Mac


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Subject: RE: Most versatile guitarist?
From: Melani
Date: 06 Jun 00 - 12:26 AM

Another vote each for John Renbourn and Gordon Bok. Impossible to choose between them. Gordon Bok makes it look easy; John Renbourn simply looks ecstatic.


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Subject: RE: Most versatile guitarist?
From: Brendy
Date: 06 Jun 00 - 03:14 AM

It is interesting that the 'European' contingent lean towards 'European' preferences, while the North American towards their players.
Each of the above are prime examples of what versatility is all about, after that, as has been said, it's only down to personal choice.

B.


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Subject: RE: Most versatile guitarist?
From: GUEST,Auxiris
Date: 06 Jun 00 - 03:55 AM

I'd say Arty McGlynn.

cheers, Aux


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Subject: RE: Most versatile guitarist?
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 06 Jun 00 - 11:57 AM

Yup David, Josh White is one of my ALL time fave guitarists. I guess folks are just defining the term "most versatile" differently than I am.

Rick


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Subject: RE: Most versatile guitarist?
From: Jim the Bart
Date: 06 Jun 00 - 12:52 PM

I want to add a couple of other guys who deserve honorable mention, if not more. They are extremely versatile, but probably not most versatile - I think those have been pointed to altready.

Bruce Cockburn - need I say more?
Duane Allman - no one, I believe mentioned slide guitar (which is why I, personally, think Ry Cooder is the man). And DA played a real nice acoustic, too.
Marty Stuart - He's a little bit country and a little bit rock 'n roll, a real sharp dresser and he's a whole lot more. He's also a monster on the mandolin. Check out a recording called "Busy Bee Cafe" (I think that's the name) for some really fine picking by him and others.

One name I'm gonna put out is a man known for his mandolin playing, but who was a very accomplished all-around musician - the late Jethro Burns. I had the distinct pleasure of working with him a few times and never met a nicer gentleman, or a more inventive, clever, brilliant musician. He has a number of recordings on Flying Fish that show his jazz chops. Or you could hear him on many of Steve Goodman's recordings.
BTW, Jethro's son, John Burns, is an incredible guitarist, singer, writer and all-round good guy. He can be heard on some of John Prine's stuff; he backed up JP for years as part of the Famous Potatoes. And I think he's working on his own stuff in Nashville. I guess growing up with Jethro as father and Chet Atkins as uncle must have rubbed off.


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Subject: RE: Most versatile guitarist?
From: Herge
Date: 06 Jun 00 - 04:05 PM

Yes Arty McGlynn would be hard to beat. Herge


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Subject: RE: Most versatile guitarist?
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 06 Jun 00 - 06:14 PM

If we are now discussing versatile Celtic players, it is a no-contest situation. Tony McManus wins by a street length, because of his unique virtuosity as both a fingerpicker and flatpicker. If only he could play slide like Martin Simpson .........

Murray


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Subject: RE: Most versatile guitarist?
From: mactheturk
Date: 06 Jun 00 - 11:16 PM

Let us not forget Mr. Bert Jansch...

"Bert Jansch's impact on the acoustic guitar is egual to Hendrix's impact on the electric guitar." Neil Young.

Had a major influence on the likes of Jimmy Page, Donovan, Martin Simpson and Richard Thompson.

Mixed elements of folk, blues and jazz.

Formed group "Pentangle" with John Renbourn.

Worth honorable mention, anyway.

Mac


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Subject: RE: Most versatile guitarist?
From: tgreenie
Date: 07 Jun 00 - 12:26 AM

Dang, they're all great. But they all listened to Segovia and drooled.


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Subject: RE: Most versatile guitarist?
From: ddw
Date: 07 Jun 00 - 12:36 AM

Another guitarist nobody's mentioned is Lorendo Almeda. I never heard him do blues or folk or country, but he could go from classical to flamenco to jazz with complete fluidity.

Also a young Canadian who has been making quite a name for himself in the last few years — Jesse Cook. Extraordinary fusion of latin and jazz, but capable of other things as well.

david


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Subject: RE: Most versatile guitarist?
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 07 Jun 00 - 01:12 AM

Ummmm, Jethro Burns. Now THERE was a picker!

I've been thinking about this lately and I think there's a problem in only naming "famous" guitarists. I'm more convinced than ever that the MOST VERSATILE person is a virtually unknown sideman. Someone capable of playing many styles really well. My final vote goes to Canada's Tony Quarrington. I can't think of any piece in any style that he wouldn't be able to replicate with a few minutes practice. He's not famous, but has played on hundreds of recordings. Among the famous....I'll still go with Danny Gatton.

Rick


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Subject: RE: Most versatile guitarist?
From: bob jr
Date: 17 Jun 00 - 10:43 PM

well i guess versatille i would have to say that jimi hendrix was real versatille and real underated as far as you folks go i reckon cause he gets so much hype and he showboated a fair bit but the man could really really play his instrument . his acoustic style was also real nice and as much as i like richard thompson and bert jansch and john renbourn and all they hardly constitute versatallity david bromberg yeah and i can go along with ry cooder and duane allman if your talking bout players who just ease into any situation..


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Subject: RE: Most versatile guitarist?
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 18 Jun 00 - 12:38 PM

Another thought just occurred to me. Boy do we have a lot more resources to learn from today than those folks at the turn of the century (or even 1960). Today (if you've got the chops) you can buy a video and learn Joseph Spence's style in an afternoon. If it's raining all day you can sit with a video of Doc Watson and learn "Deep River Blues". He said it took HIM ten years to learn it. No wonder there are so many good pickers around. My hat's still off to the originators. They had to pick it out of thin air.

Rick


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Subject: RE: Most versatile guitarist?
From: Lucius
Date: 18 Jun 00 - 09:40 PM

The guitar. Ubiquitous and multifarious. Just popped in from "The World's Greatest Guitarist" chat to plug Jerry Garcia. As an exponent of rock, jazz, bluegrass and traditional--well even a non-deadhead like myself has to appreciate his versitility.

Any chance of starting a "Which guitarist has the strongest personal style" (re: least versitile--but still great) thread for afters?

Lucius


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Subject: RE: Most versatile guitarist?
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 18 Jun 00 - 10:11 PM

For pure versatility, Danny Gatton, Chet Atkins, Charlie Byrd, Chris Newman, Gerry O'Beirne in no particular order. All the best. Seamus


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Subject: RE: Most versatile guitarist?
From: Peter Kasin
Date: 19 Jun 00 - 03:22 AM

I have to second Murray MacLeod's motion on Tony McManus. The man is equally amazing at accompanying, picking tunes, really just doing whatever he wants to on the guitar. An honorable mention to San Francisco's Steve Baughman.


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Subject: RE: Most versatile guitarist?
From: MikeofNorthumbria
Date: 19 Jun 00 - 08:25 AM

"Most versatile guitarist" is not necessarily the same as "favourite", or "greatest" - and it's a harder category to judge than those two. Why? Because many professional pickers can do all sorts of things outside the genre for which they're best known, but rarely reveal this except at informal jam sessions, which few of us are privileged to hear.

But on the evidence of my own ears, there's one obvious contender no-one seems to have mentioned yet:

Davey Graham.

After decades of neglect, Davey is finally getting the recognition he deserves, now that his classic recordings (and some amazing tapes of after hours sessions) are becoming available on CD.

If you haven't heard any of them yet, your education as a guitar afficionado is still incomplete.

Happy listening!


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Subject: RE: Most versatile guitarist?
From: barrygeo
Date: 20 Jun 00 - 08:24 AM

Since Mudcat is also dedicated to Blues Hoe about

B.B.King and Rory Gallagher - for the blues vote.


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Subject: RE: Most versatile guitarist?
From: Whistle Stop
Date: 20 Jun 00 - 08:42 AM

Barrygeo, I think B.B. King is great; in my early days, one of the records that had a strong influence on my own lead guitar playing was Live At The Regal. But again, we're talking versatility here -- and in my view, B.B. has to be in the running for LEAST versatile guitarist. The man can do a whole lot with one note, but in the end it's still only one note, and he just plays it over and over again.


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Subject: RE: Most versatile guitarist?
From: barrygeo
Date: 20 Jun 00 - 10:48 AM

Whistle Stop, Cannot disagree aout versatility but couldn't bear a list of great guitarists without his name there. BArry


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Subject: RE: Most versatile guitarist?
From: Whistle Stop
Date: 20 Jun 00 - 11:18 AM

Agreed, Barry; he certainly deserves a place of honor.


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Subject: RE: Most versatile guitarist?
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 20 Jun 00 - 11:15 PM

Aiee chihuawa! How could I have forgotten Lennie Breau? 'Course I'm still operating with the criterion for "most versatile" and a LOT of us ain't. He went from country, to Chet, to classical to jazz. That's a fair stretch.

Rick


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Subject: RE: Most versatile guitarist?
From: M. Ted (inactive)
Date: 21 Jun 00 - 12:52 PM

I am surprised that nobody has mentioned Tommy Tedesco, the great studio guitarist, who made his living by being versatile. I would guess that he played every style at one time or another, for and with the best. And he kept it up for years. He was a great site reader, as well.

There is a difference between being a versatile player and being a great artist, and on that note, I'd have to say that I vote for Bola Sete, who was an incredible Bossa Guitarist, and who was also regarded as a classical guitarist in the rank of Segovia.

There is another area, and that is the area of theory--because, bottom line, in order to play in different styles you have to understand the fundamental musical ideas that are the basis of each style, and how to use them.

Love him or hate him, Dennis Sandoli, who seldom performs, but has taught for many years in Philadelphia, is the master in this area. People like Pat Methany have studied with him, as have Art Farmer and John Coltrane. Sandoli's guitar students are like a a music Mafia in Philadelphia. playing everywhere in everything from the rawest of thrash bands to TSOP style R&B, to all types of Jazz. Sandoli has a rare talent for taking the genre, breaking it down, and putting it back together in a way that you can build on.

(And no, I never studied with him, don't necessarily recommend it, and am not necessarily even an admirer--but that is another discussion)


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Subject: RE: Most versatile guitarist?
From: Whistle Stop
Date: 21 Jun 00 - 03:02 PM

Good points, M.Ted. I suspect that the reason people didn't mention these folks is that relatively few of us know who they are or what they have done. Tommy Tedesco occurred to me, too, when I was originally replying to this thread. But then I realized that, while I am aware that he has played on an enormous number of records by a wide range of artists, I couldn't actually name any of them -- I know all this from reading articles about him, and interviews with him, but I can't actually tell you what he played on. Anonymity is part of the deal for session guitarists, especially on older recordings.

[By the way, another legendary session musician, bassist Carol Kaye, was recently the subject of a profile on public radio. She's still around, and has some fascinating stories to tell.]

As for Bola Sete, well, I've heard of him, but that's about it. And your message is the first I've ever heard of Dennis Sandoli. Guess there's still a lot of music out there waiting to be discovered (at least by me).


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Subject: RE: Most versatile guitarist?
From: Lucius
Date: 21 Jun 00 - 09:53 PM

Bola Sete is a great one. I especially liked his playing with Vince Giraldi (sp?), my memory is not betraying me, no? However isn't he, like many of these, a great guitarist, but well within one genre. Mark Knoffler comes to mind here for his work on various soundtracts, Dire Straits, Chet Atkins duets and the Notting Hillbillies, but I think that the guy that mentioned Tedesco has this thread pegged.

Lucius


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Subject: RE: Most versatile guitarist?
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 21 Jun 00 - 10:27 PM

Rock, blues, country, folk, soul, jazz...Robbie Robertson has demonstrated journeyman skill in each of these genres in his work with Dylan, The Band, John Hammond, and in his solo material.


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Subject: RE: Most versatile guitarist?
From: gillymor
Date: 21 Jun 00 - 11:36 PM

I mentioned Hank Garland awhile back because besides being a famous country instrumentalist he produced a jazz album a long time ago called Jazz Winds From a New Direction that contained some of the most joyous and inventive playing I've ever heard. Tony Rice, although he only plays steel string acoustic seems like someone who could (and has) add something great to just about anything he played on. And of course Junior Brown with his guitsteel and his incredible country, blues and rock chops is way up on my list.

Frankie


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Subject: RE: Most versatile guitarist?
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 22 Jun 00 - 12:38 AM

Welcome back MTed, I missed you. the annoying anonymous flamers have gone to other pastures.

I saw Tedesco in a club once and was a bit disappointed. He did the better part of a set demonstrating how he could play in "any" style. He was quite verbal about it, but when he played country, classical, flamenco, and FOLK(!!) he appeared to play only chiches and phrases that were YEARS out of date. The audience thought it was wonderful but myself and the other two guitarists with me were sorely disappointed. In his last set, he played pop and jazz, which was much more enjoyable. Although technically he was very fast, we didn't find him to be very clean or inventive. I could never begin to approach his skills, so I'm a bit leary about any criticism, but that was my take. I certainly felt that (other than the reading) Lenny Breau was a far more versatile and inventive player. Still put Danny Gatton and Tuck Andress up there. What do you think of them?

Rick


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Subject: RE: Most versatile guitarist?
From: Steve Latimer
Date: 22 Jun 00 - 10:48 AM

I remember my dad playing a Lenny Breau album for me when I was in my teens. I was awestruck. I really have to listen to him again.

Going back into the rock arena, there are several players who I really like, but versatility may not be their strong suit. I think that Steve Howe of Yes would fit the category well.

I've seen B.B. a bunch of times, love his tone, his vibrato and his showmanship, but the last time I saw him I found myself thinking 'Learn some new notes, man"


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Subject: RE: Most versatile guitarist?
From: M. Ted (inactive)
Date: 22 Jun 00 - 01:18 PM

I am back in a limited capacity, as they say--though I didn't really leave because of the flamers, per se--I have some long term health problems that interfere with my ability to deal life in general, and I got too invested in some not very important things here, and it was starting to affect my overall situation.

Now, as to Lenny Breau and Danny Gatton--Lenny was one of the greats, both in terms of his level of talent and the quality of work--not enough people know about him. As luck would have it, I was on a Lenny Breau listening kick when he died unexpectedly, so I have a (probably somewhat inappropriate) personal attachment to him,

Danny Gatton was the ultimate phenomenon --he had absorbed all of this crazy mishmosh of different genres of music that we are bombarded with, in every aspect of our lives, and he had woven it together and made something greater than the parts. People always talk about his ability to play what seemed technically impossible, but to me, the most important thin about his work was that he played with a subtle sense of humor.

I haven't heard a lot of Tuck Andress, though I have liked what I heard, and was impressed with how well he could hold together any style song with a single guitar. Would really like to hear him live.

Also, Hank Garland is anouther great, who had done a lot of great work and yet is not widely known--

Rick, Tommy had been doing a workshop tour for one of the music companies, and the little bit that he did was from that. Part of the thing about "versatility" is that it means you can take whatever someone throws in your lap and make it work.

This idea of "The Most" or "The Greatest" or whatever, is basically an unreasonable proposition, based in our societies preoccupation with competitive sports, where fastest, farthest, and highest, and the most are really measurable.

Guitarists are usually composers and arrangers as well, and each works with a different set of ideas, and develops different aspects of the music. It makes comparison hard. There are few people who could find enough common ground to compare Jimmy Hendrix and Merle Travis. Given the fact that they both accompanied Elvis, here are such great differences in the styles and techniques of James Burton and Scotty Moore that it is hard to compare them.

Beyond that, it really isn't possible to gauge the depth, widtth and breadth of a musician or performer, by one piece of music, one concert, or one cd.

Performances of all kinds are really contrivances--the audience is not intended to ever know what went into it, to maintain the illusion, it is necessary for them to accept what they see at face value, and be "Amazed".

They never know that their favorite guitar idol spent hours learning to play a solo that someone else (or, often, three other people) created in a studio.

They never know that their favorite "downhome" traditional artist studied at a prestigious preforming arts school, or that he learned his famous guitar licks from his more talented but less successful brother.

Aspiring guitarists never know that the piece that they so carefully studied and copied from a "The Greatest Guitarist of All Time" was actually written by someone else, who was never credited, then multitracked, with the melody notes overdubbed by a guy with funny hair from Brooklyn, because the "Greatest Guitarist" kept clamming the notes.

Fame, or notoriety, doesn't really have much to do with how versatile someone is, in fact, the more famous someone is, the less versatile they can be, because people get to know them for one thing, and they want to hear it.

The most veratile guitarist in the world is some guy that has been playing as the house accompanist on open mike nite for singers, in some small club in Old Town, or Soho, or on Union Street, or a similar place in some other big city.

He plays Jazz for the Jazz singers, country for the country singers, a little Rogers and Hammerstein for the aspiring show singers. He can play fingerstyle, he can fake blues, and he knows the changes to most everything that hit the top ten because he plays weddings, in season. He can cover "Miserlou" and "Usku Dar", or "Allah Zein" for the Middle Easterners, and plays "Sakura" for the Japanese tourists.

Everyone knows his first name, only the nite manager and the bookeeper know his last name. He's been there for ten year, and when he leaves, they'll buy a piano replace him with a Billy Joel wannabee who empties the place by his second week.

And then, someone will hear him, in Boston, or Vegas, or at the Holiday Inn, or maybe it will be someone else, that reminds them of him.


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Subject: RE: Most versatile guitarist?
From: Steve Latimer
Date: 22 Jun 00 - 01:30 PM

M. Ted,

I think that about sums it up. Well said.


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Subject: RE: Most versatile guitarist?
From: Steve Latimer
Date: 22 Jun 00 - 01:44 PM

M. Ted,

I think that about sums it up. Well said.


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Subject: RE: Most versatile guitarist?
From: GUEST,the happy farmer
Date: 23 Jun 00 - 12:44 PM

heheheheh -- M. Ted, I think you must have actually _played_ the guitar at some time -- that appears to make you almost unique in this thread.

a lot of this thread reminds me of that old bit they used to do on the Letterman show (long, long ago when it was actually funny) called "Limited Perspective", where the gag would be something like an orthodontist reviewing movies and rating them according to the quality of the actors' teeth.

it's just a silly, silly, silly concept...


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Subject: RE: Most versatile guitarist?
From: M. Ted (inactive)
Date: 23 Jun 00 - 02:01 PM

Some of the others here can play, or at least are reputed to do it. As for me, I've been fooling around with the guitar so long that people have given up trying to argue the point.


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