Today I want to share a few musical gems with you with the hope that you will enjoy them as much as I do!

First, I want to share a superb version of “The Water is Wide” by Tommy Emmanuel and Stephen Bennett.  Tommy Emmanuel is an accomplished multi-style guitarist whom I very much appreciate, especially when he plays acoustic (his electric guitar music is much less interesting).  Before seeing this video, I did not know about Stephen Bennett, but I can tell you that I typically am very dubious of musicians who use fancy instruments or, for that matter, a looper.  Some musicians have guitars with tons of strings, but can’t write a melody.  Those who use and abuse the looper pedal are typically even worse.  So when I see them I always want to say “if you are good, then six strings is all you need, and if you are bad, then even 10’000 strings – or a looper – won’t help you”.  Well, Stephen Bennett is clearly an exception to this (totally subjective) “rule”.  Yes, he plays a rather fancy looking harp-guitar, but the *manner* in which he uses it is superb and, crucially, he does not rely on the extra capabilities of his instrument, he only uses them to enhance his otherwise superb play.  I absolutely love this interpretation of “The Water is Wide”, especially how Emmanuel and Bennett play the melody in two voices.  I think that this is a true gem:

Next, a video+notes of the interpretation of Gordon Jenkins‘ superb and deeply moving composition “Goodbye” (which he wrote after the death of his first wife in childbirth) interpreted by Philip Catherine, my absolutely favorite guitarist and the man who most inspired my own guitar playing.  I found a version with notes on YT, and this is the one I wanted to share with you.  The style here is very minimalist, reserved, but deeply, deeply emotional and, I think, absolutely beautiful.  This is improvised music (or Jazz) at its very best, imnsho.

Next, I want to introduce you to a young Russian guitarist, Anton Oparin, who interprets a composition by J.S. Bach (my absolutely favorite composer, bar none) on the electric guitar.  Question: is it a sacrilege to play Bach’s music on a modern, electric, instrument?  In my opinion, absolutely not!  In fact, Bach’s immense popularity amongst so many modern guitarists (there is even a entire style of music called “Baroque Rock”) proves how timeless Bach’s genius was.  See for yourself:

Lastly, I leave you with my favorite Manouche guitarist, Angelo Debarre and his superb interpretation of the tune “Valse d’Angelo“.  I absolutely *love* Manouche music (especially waltzes!) and I think that Debarre is the best of the best in this style.  Enjoy and have a great week-end!

 

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