WIdely regarded as one of the greatest rock singers of all time, Chris Cornell has fronted some of the most unique and successful bands of the modern era, namely Soundgarden and Audioslave. Between (and in some cases, during) those projects, Cornell also penned pieces for film soundtracks (Singles, Great Expectations and Casino Royale, among others) and issued a trio of solo albums, resulting in an impressively diverse body of work.
Warren Haynes—the eclectic electric-guitar ace behind Gov’t Mule and longtime Allman Brothers Band member and touring guitarist for the Dead—is no stranger to Guitar World readers. His virtuosic, polished blues-rock playing owes just as much to Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton and Johnny Winter (Haynes’ earliest influences) as it does their influences—the three Kings (B.B., Freddie and Albert) and Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters and Elmore James.
A “capo”—short for capotasto, which means “principal fret” in Italian—is a device used to shorten the vibrating lengths of a guitar’s strings; when fitted behind a given fret, it stops the strings at that point, as if you were barring a finger across them, while creating a new “nut,” or “zero fret,” in the process freeing up all four fingers.
For 40 years, Pat Metheny’s musical path has continuously evolved, embracing acoustic, electronic and symphonic sounds, pitting him alongside disparate luminaries like David Bowie, Joni Mitchell, Ornette Coleman, Steve Reich, Bruce Hornsby, Carlos Santana and Herbie Hancock.
Back in 2000, in Los Angeles’ Conga Room, as a guest of a Virgin Records publicist, I had my mind blown by my friend’s new client, singer-songwriter Joseph Arthur. When actress Rosanna Arquette came onstage for a duet on Arthur’s “Invisible Hands,” I was hooked.
Jerry Garcia is best known as the lead guitar player and primary singer/songwriter of the Grateful Dead. Though they are regarded as pioneers of the “jam band” genre that rose to prominence in the late Sixties, the Grateful Dead, unlike many of their counterculture contemporaries, never faltered with the changing times.
Jerry Reed (1937–2008), known by many as Burt Reynolds’ truck-driving partner in crime in the 1977 film Smokey and the Bandit, was also a highly accomplished and influential guitar picker. Let’s look at some of the technical and stylistic elements that made Reed a great player.
Regarded as one of the greatest guitarists of all time, Delta blues wizard Robert Johnson recorded only 29 songs (plus 13 alternate takes, in two sessions) during his 27 years of life. They were cut when he wasn’t playing for tips on street corners, in juke joints or in front of barbershops and other commercial establishments.
What happens when you mix bluesy, Robert Johnson–style fingerpicking and tropical “Calypso” grooves, with repertoire consisting of spiritual hymns and sea shanties sung by a gruff-voiced, scat-singing, foot-stomping stonemason? You get the inimitable Joseph Spence (1910–1984)