To say Les Paul was an innovator would be the greatest of understatements. Though we might take his inventions and ideas for granted today, his influence on the development of music, and the way it is recorded, is unparalleled.
Here’s some rare footage of two guitar legends at work. It’s Chet Atkins joined by Mark Knopfler in a 1987 performance. The duo plays the standard “I’ll See You in My Dreams” followed by a rendition of John Lennon’s “Imagine.” The former track appears on Atkins' and Knopfler’s 1990 collaborative album, Neck and Neck.
Chet Atkins made countless recordings as a studio musician, producer and solo artist. Many of his recordings — particularly those of the artists he produced in Nashville, like Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison and the Everly Brothers — laid the foundation for early rock and roll.
Chances are you’ve never heard of the late jazz guitarist Lenny Breau, but ask Pat Metheny or Tommy Emmanuel and they will surely tell he has had a profound impact on nearly every guitarist who heard him play. Guitarists revered him as an innovator for his finger-style chord melody technique, stunning pinch harmonic runs and wide musical vocabulary, ranging from country to jazz to classical.
After flying under the mainstream radar for years, Australian guitarist Tommy Emmanuel is enjoying the recognition his millions of YouTube views are bringing him. His strategy for success is simple: Tour relentlessly, and be so damn good that they can’t ignore you. And it's working.
As an example of Brooklyn Cowboy Kitsch and flat-out guitar coolness this first-year Gretsch Model 6130 Roundup is sure hard to beat! Perhaps it was overcompensation for being up north in the big city, or maybe just an example of '50s exuberance, but when Gretsch decided to create a solidbody guitar for the country/western market, they really went all in with this one.
There’s this nagging question I can’t get out of my mind. How does Dolly Parton play guitar with those long fingernails? ‘Cause it’s been decades since I gave up any thought of having nails that went more than a millimeter past the ends of my fingertips.