6 really great guitar-based albums

John Cahill writes:

While reading Channa Vithana article about Joe Satriani I was inspired to write about some of my favourite guitar based albums. I enjoy listening to a wide variety of music, but my biggest passion is the guitar. I guess somehow for the guitar is a instrument that is able to capture a wide range of moods and emotions; it is also able to fit into a lot of different styles well. On a personal note I tend to enjoy players who have great technique as well as creating interesting musical ideas. None of the albums I what I call Shred albums; the guitar fits more within the context of its environment!

#1: Nicola Hall 1st Album Various

I enjoy violin based music with a gypsy feel and this album captures on of my all time favourites Zigeunerweisen Op 20 by Pabo Sarasate. This CD combines great technique with beautiful playing. But really stands out for me is her almost Django tone. Perhaps it’s the gypsy pieces she choose but the tone for me is just breath taking Other tracks Paganini Violin concerto No2 and Tedesco Concerto No1

#2: Jonas Hellborg Shawn Lane and Jeff Sipe Temporal Analogue of Paradise

I was lucky to see Shawn play live at the Pizza express in Dean Street. I have seen many great players but Shawn is the one who most stood out for me, he just seemed to have total command of his guitar creating one amazing line after another; the way he created all those crazy Indian notes from his guitar was amazing to see. This album sees the band playing some very improvised music; each player has so much room to breathe but also they compliment each other so well. Great stuff!

#3: Ted Greene Solo Guitar

Anyone who has studied guitar has probably come across the Ted Greene books (Chord Chemistry, Modern Chord Progressions and Solo Guitar Volumes 1 and 2 ). For years I tried to hunt down this album but it was very rare and the internet was just in early days.Unfortunately like a lot of things it’s only after a person death that material becomes more easily accessible. Full of beautiful yet sophisticated chordal melodies; one man playing his guitar but sounding like an Orchestra!

#4: The Hellecaster: The Return of the Hellecasters

Three country cats playing some of the wildest guitar music you can hear. Imagine a band with a sense of fun. Imagine a band with some serious Chickin picking. Imagine this mixed with tinges of Django and Charlie Christian, Imagine some really wild bends and you have some idea of what this album is about.

#5: Vlatko Stefanovski & Miroslav Tadic Krusenvo

Sometimes coming across albums that blows you away is a strange process. One time when looking for obscure progressive fusion album reviews I came across a review of this album; what I read intrigued me enough to purchase the CD and within 20 seconds I was totally captivated by the magic I heard.

The album has some beautiful playing and some great Eastern Europe folk music transcribed into a contemporary setting; along with Strunz and Farah Live and Birelli Lagrene and Vic Juris live this is my favourite guitar duo album. Yes its that good

#6: VM Bhatt And Ry Cooder A Meeting By The River

A wonderful combination of Mississippi Delta blues and the Ganges. The music is relaxing and exotic at the same time; beautifully recorded in true audiophile style. It has the power to soothe deeply!

John Cahill


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