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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
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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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