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Expansive Bill Frisell biography, Beautiful Dreamer, announced

Bill Frisell performs live
(Image credit: Luciano Viti/Getty)

Faber is due to publish a new biography of Bill Frisell, Beautiful Dreamer: The Guitarist Who Changed The Sound of American Music, by UK music journalist and writer Philip Watson.

Due out May 24, the book tracks Frisell’s continued evolution across a career spanning more than 45 years: from his days at Berklee through to his time as a jazz guitarist in New York’s Downtown scene into the genre-spanning blend of folk and Americana that he tapped-into throughout the '90s and beyond.

The author, Philip Watson – known for his work in titles like Esquire, The Guardian, Q and The Wire – has not done things by halves. The writer has made the most of extensive access to Frisell and his family to get firsthand insight into the guitar great’s formative experiences, life stories and musical approach. 

In addition, Beautiful Dreamer incorporates ‘listening’ interviews from many of the guitarist’s big name fans and collaborators – among them Gus Van Sant, Paul Simon, Van Dyke Parks and Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon – each of whom offer their own reflections and comments on Frisell’s key works. 

Clocking in at over 450 pages, it looks set to become the definitive document of one of North America’s living guitar legends. Guitar World has had a sneak preview and can tell you it is beautifully written and addictively constructed. We suspect the only reason fans will want to put it down is to pick up their guitars.

Bill Frisell Beautiful Dreamer cover

(Image credit: Faber & Faber)

Bill Frisell, Beautiful Dreamer: The Guitarist Who Changed The Sound of American Music is due out on May 24 (US) and March 17 (UK) in hardback and ebook.

Head to Faber’s official site for more information.

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Matt is a freelance journalist who has spent the last decade interviewing musicians for the likes of Total Guitar, Guitarist, Guitar World, MusicRadar, NME.com, DJ Mag and Electronic Sound. In 2020, he launched CreativeMoney.co.uk, which aims to share the ideas that make creative lifestyles more sustainable. He plays guitar, but should not be allowed near your delay pedals.