Watch St. Vincent absolutely nail Little Wing

St. Vincent performs live
(Image credit: Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images)

St. Vincent (aka Annie Clark) is one of the 21st century’s bona fide electric guitar heroes - clocking in at no 12 on our round-up of the past decade’s best guitarists - but she’s not exactly known for playing it safe when it comes to tone or technique. Yet the Masseduction hit-maker recently went back to perhaps the original guitar hero for an intimate, and spot-on, performance of Little Wing.

Ushering in the new year, Clark shared a video of her playing the Jimi Hendrix classic with the caption, “I’m celebrating New Years Day by misremembering Little Wing on a pitchy guitar. True joy.”

For the video, Clark put down her signature Ernie Ball Music Man model to pick up what looks like a beaten-up example of the obscure Fender Lead II - mostly likely the green model she used at the 41st Annual Kennedy Center Honors in December (see the image at the bottom of the page) - running into a subtle auto-filter for a sonically updated take on the intro to Hendrix’s original.

A post shared by St. Vincent (@st_vincent)

A photo posted by on on Jan 1, 2020 at 4:25pm PST

We’d say she nailed it - even though blues is something Clark has actively tried to avoid over the years.

In 2017, she told Guitarist magazine, “I did try to shy away from the pitfalls of the poorly played blues guitar.

“It’s fun to riff on the classic stuff that every guitar player knows, but I get away from that in particular because there is John Lee Hooker and there is Howlin’ Wolf, and I don’t think that that’s where I need to add to the conversation.”

Clark recently interviewed another guitar legend, Kirk Hammett, which allowed the metal icon to open up about his ideas getting shot down by Metallica’s “tone police”.

St. Vincent performs live

This is most likely the Lead II in question - but what, exactly, is that finish? That's no Surf Green... (Image credit: Michele Crowe/CBS via Getty Images)

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Michael Astley-Brown

Mike is Editor-in-Chief of, in addition to being an offset fiend and recovering pedal addict. He has a master's degree in journalism from Cardiff University, and over a decade's experience writing and editing for guitar publications including MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitarist, as well as 20 years of recording and live experience in original and function bands. During his career, he has interviewed the likes of John Frusciante, Chris Cornell, Tom Morello, Matt Bellamy, Kirk Hammett, Jerry Cantrell, Joe Satriani, Tom DeLonge, Ed O'Brien, Polyphia, Tosin Abasi, Yvette Young and many more. In his free time, you'll find him making progressive instrumental rock under the nom de plume Maebe.