Mike Dawes: “Guitar right now is heavily edited, very engineered to engage, snippets of sound – the result is music that doesn’t sound like a journey”

Guitarist Mike Dawes performs onstage at Saban Theatre on June 07, 2022 in Beverly Hills, California.
(Image credit: Scott Dudelson/Getty Images)

It’s been something of a banner year for fingerstyle virtuoso Mike Dawes. He spent a significant part of 2022 on a world tour with Tommy Emmanuel, in addition to playing his own headline solo gigs, and holding down his job as guitarist in Justin Hayward’s band.

Dawes has been a professional touring musician for the better part of a decade, spending 10 or 11 months a year on the road. Consequently, extended pandemic lockdowns took a toll on him, both professionally and personally. Being back on tour, he says, made this “the most exciting year since I was 17 years old and discovering the acoustic guitar – it really feels like starting again.”

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Alison Richter is a seasoned journalist who interviews musicians, producers, engineers, and other industry professionals, and covers mental health issues for GuitarWorld.com. Writing credits include a wide range of publications, including GuitarWorld.com, MusicRadar.com, Bass Player, TNAG Connoisseur, Reverb, Music Industry News, Acoustic, Drummer, Guitar.com, Gearphoria, She Shreds, Guitar Girl, and Collectible Guitar.