Tommy Emmanuel and Martin Taylor Acoustic Guitar

2014 February 28

Tommy Emmanuel and Martin Taylor Acoustic

Lightnin Hopkins – Mojo Hand

2013 March 4

Lightnin Hopkins Youtube video – Acoustic Guitar – Mojo Hand

Tony Hogan

Lightnin Hopkins Blues Guitar Youtube

2012 April 10

Lightnin Hopkins doing an Acoustic Blues Guitar version of Baby Please Don’t Go

For more Blues Guitar Check out T Bone Walker

Jon Gomm Youtube

2012 February 17
by tony hogan

This is a very good contemporary acoustic guitar arrangement of the the Soul / Funk tune by Chaka Khan by an excellent guitar player by the name of Jon Gomm. It includes a number of techniques such as Tapping, Harmonics, Hammer Ons, and Pull Offs and at the same time is very musical

To visit Jon Gomm’s Webs ite go to Jon Gromm

Tony Hogan

Russ Barenberg – Acoustic Guitar Youtube

2011 August 30
by tony hogan

Russ Barenberg playing beautiful acoustic guitar on the tune Drummers of England… a lesson in musicality

For more beautiful guitar go to Russ Barenberg and Jerry Douglas

For Russ’s website Russ Barenberg … and he has Skype lessons !!!!!

Acoustic Guitar Youtube Antoine Dufour

2011 June 7

Here’s a bit of great Acoustic Guitar by Antoine Dufour

For more great guitar check out Andy McKee

Bruce Cockburn Youtube Acoustic Guitar

2011 April 9
by tony hogan

Here’s an acoustic guitar video of the great Canadian acoustic guitar player Bruce Cockburn.  There is a certain amount of electronic processing involved but it is relevant for the composition called End of All Rivers

To hear Bruce Cockburn playing  in a more traditional style and discussing his technique , check out

Bruce Cockburn Acoustic Guitar

Gary Moore Youtube – RIP

2011 February 6

Gary Moore – RIP – 6th Feb 2011

Peace and good thoughts to Gary’s friends and family

Tommy Emmanuel Youtube Singing

2011 January 24
by tony hogan

A lot of Acoustic Guitar players like Tommy Emmanuel, so it will be of interest to many to see him singing a Merle Travis tune, Nine Pound Hammer. Also watching him sand the soundboard of his acoustic guitar while making a train sound is also fascinating, if not precarious. The guitar work while he is singing is worth noting, some great country blues playing.

Go to other Tommy Emmanuel Youtube

I’m back after a long break of minimal blog posting – Tony Hogan

John Martyn Youtube – Spencer the Rover

2010 December 4
by tony hogan

Late last year, John Martyn, the magnificent Scottish singer songwriter passed on.  He played a lot of open tuned acoustic guitar songs.  He was a master of the ballad.  This youtube acoustic guitar video is of John Martyn playing the traditional folk song Spencer the Rover in 1977.

For more beautiful John Martyn go to I don’t Want to Know

Tony Hogan

Paco McLaughlin and Di Meola Youtube

2010 October 6

Mediterranean Sundance by Al De Miola,  and Paco De Lucia.  This tune set the standard for acoustic guitar jamming

Matthews Southern Comfort Youtube Woodstock

2010 August 25
by tony hogan

Here’s a version of the Joni Mitchell  tune Woodstock by the very melodic band Matthews Southern Comfort.  This was recorded in the early seventies and is very musical sounding.  A trip down memory lane for some people, it’s different to the Crosby Stills Nash version and also to the original by Joni.  I love the harmony in the chorus.

For more beautiful seventies tunes check out Joni Mitchell

Phil Keaggy Youtube Acoustic guitar Video

2010 July 28
by tony hogan

Many people are familiar with the great acousrtic guitar player Phil Keaggy.  For those that do not know his playing, it will be a treat to be introduced to a player of his standard. This youtube guitar video is of Phil playing an instrumental called Count Down.

For other Phil Keaggy giutar vids, check out Phil Keaggy

Martin Taylor Guitar Tutorial Video

2010 July 2
by tony hogan
Martin Taylor is one of the worlds great jazz guitar player, he is a master of solo chordal arrangements, chord substitutions, improvisations and counterpoint.  In this video, he is playing the music of the song Stella by Starlight

Martin Taylor – The Music of Jimmy Van Heusen
Also I was  forwarded this link to a Martin Taylor tutorial which you may be interested in.    Learning to play various styles is a great way to expand your musicality, check it out
Go to the Martin Taylor Website

Jackie Marshall Youtube RockWiz

2010 June 15

Jackie Marshall is a Brisbane based acoustic folk country songwriter who tours the Australian music circuit.  This youtube video is from when Jackie was a guest on the Australian music show, Rockwiz

I recently performed at the same venue as Jacki, she  has an exceptional voice, and is  willing to chances ‘ in the moment’ with voice improvisations,  there’s elements of Jazz , blues in her music as well as folk country, a totally unique performer and very real.  A fantastic live act.

Check out Jackie on MySpace Jackie Marshall

Jackie Marshall website Jackie Marshall

Doc Watson Youtube Guitar Lesson

2010 June 6
by tony hogan

Here’s Doc Watson playing and  teaching a Bluegrass Flatpicking tune called Salt Creek with the host Steve Kaufman, Steve is also an exceptional flatpicker who has written very high quality guitar educational material.

For more great acoustic guitar Tony Rice

Julian Bream and Stephane Grapelli Youtube

2010 May 24

Guitar players and jazz enthusists will find this youtube video very interesting.  Julian Bream, one of the great emotive classical guitar players teaming up with Stephane Grapelli, the great jazz violinist playing the tune Nuages by Django Reinhardt.

Check out Martin Taylor who also played with Stephane Martin Taylor Youtube Video

Bluegrass Flatpicking Youtube

2010 May 13

Here’s a great Acoustic guitar Youtube video of three Bluegrass players playing dreadnought guitars it was introduced to me by Australian Guitarist Steve Gadd, the video is of Keeny Smith, Wyatt Rice and David Grier. This is a fantastic example of fluency in flatpicking and improvisation around a theme.

Check out Tony Rice

Antoine Dufour New Website

2010 May 1

Of interest to those readers who like contemporary acoustic guitar players  who can actually play their instruments, there is a new Anoine Dufour site up.  If you don’t know this fantastic acoustic guitar open tuning player you are in for a real treat.  Apart from playing with all the taps, artificial harmonics and other percussive noises, Antoine plays very melodically.

Here is Antoine Dufour on Youtube playing fingerstyle guitar

Click now to go to the Official Antoine Dufour Website

Joe Pass Semi Acoustic Youtube

2010 April 25
by tony hogan

Not all acoustic guitar players are familiar with the great jazz guitarist  Joe Pass (1929 – 1994) so I thought it would be a good idea to add a video of him playing his trademark  solo semi acoustic guitar.   An interesting thing about Joe Pass when you watch his instructional videos is he says he only thinks two chords, the one and five, although he plays very complex substitutions, chord voicings and improvisations, his underlying thinking is very simple.

Check out Martin Taylor

Don Maclean – Youtube

2010 April 24

Don MacLean as you would probably know made it successful in the seventies.  What I really liked about this acoustic guitar youtube video of him was the way his guitar playing has matured and also his voice.  His playing is very solid. This is probably my favourite Don MacLean song, the guitar part is quite beautiful and a good lesson for solo singeracoustic guitarists in how a good guitar arrangement can make a piece of music sound complete with just guityar and voice.  Listen to all the moving parts, it’s tremendous.

“And I will not be part of her cocktail generation”

And here’s Ian Anderson from Jethro Tull doing a version of his acoustic song Wondering Aloud

Led Zeppelin Acoustic Youtube – That’s the Way

2010 April 13
by tony hogan

This is Led Zeppelin live featuring acoustic guitar, it’s from the Led Zeppelin 3 lbum, my personal favorite.  It has Jimmy Page playing in G tuning, the guitar is tuned to D  G B D G B.  The 3 album had other such classics as Bron-Y-Aur Stomp, Hat’s off to Roy Harper, and Gallows Pole. The over all texture of many of the tunes is slightly Celtic, partly because of the use of the open tuned guitars which create a modal feeling.n  And also those who owned the origal vinyl would have had the joy of rotating the cover for hours :)    ( Get an original and you’ll see what I mean).  This style which Jimmy Page plays on this album has influenced many other players.  It stems from the folk boom of the 60′s and notably there was Davey Graham, Nick Drake and John Martyn who were also proficient at open tuned guitars.

For Jimmy Page, check this out Jimmy Page

Tony Hogan

Matt Stevens Guitar Player

2010 April 5
by tony hogan

He’s a short review of Matt Stevens, a guitar player, which was done by Pinpoint Music

“Matt Stevens’ Echo takes its audience on an exhilarating and romantic instrumental adventure. Ranging from light and melodic to deep and aggressive, the moods set by this album flow together like a masterfully woven screenplay. Lyrics are not necessary and would only distract from the virtuosity of Stevens’ guitar compositions.” – Pinpoint  Music.com

Matt Stevens

www.mattstevensguitar.com

John Butler – April Uprising Album Review

2010 March 21

John Butler Trio – April Uprising – New CD Album Review


From the perspective of a musician / guitarist

April Uprising

I was sent a pre-release copy of the new John Butler Trio album to review, and after hours of listening and thinking about the music, here’s what I have to say viewed from the perspective of a musician

One sign of a classic album is whether guitar players across the globe working  as soloists, in duos, trios and bands will be able to grab hold of the tunes and add them to their repertoire.

The opening track Revolution on the new JBT  album had me with a guitar in hand after about 60 seconds, I hit rewind on the CD waited for the eerie intro to finish and was playing along E5 G5 C5 A5 and moving into the chorus without blinking an eye, this tune is very playable.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

My very first impression of the album was, this going to be a big production album, and I don’t mean over produced either, I just mean big sound, professional, mixed and mastered properly.  I went straight to the booklet that came with CD only to find it was recorded in John’s home studio (keeping in mind that home studio means something different in 2010 to what it did 1n 1983), this for me meant that throughout the album there was  going to be a certain amount of intimacy in the music and possibly a little experimentation.

THE RHYTHM SECTION

Before I get too far into this, I must congratulate the rhythm section and John Butler’s common sense to allow them to participate in a big way. So many acoustic players push themselves totally to the front of the mix and use the rhythm section as a backwash.  Not in this case, the album is very percussive and rhythm driven; this is one thing which separates John Butler out from many other guitar players.  He’s not guitar focused, he’s texture focused, yes there a lots of guitars, but they are really just tools.  A lot of acoustic players aren’t willing to dirty up their sound too much, this limits the creativity a little, I think we can all learn from players like JB and his contemporary Ben Harper, and in a way way I’m reminded of the late great John Martyn who would use the Big Muff pedal back in the 70′s, who although played some very pure acoustic guitar open tunings, was happy to explore sound.

CD PRESENTATION

What I do like a lot is the fact that they’ve gone to the trouble of printing a booklet for the album in bigger than size 2 font, it includes all the lyrics and better still, a list of the type of guitars used on each track.   John Butler is using 6 strings in various tunings (amplified), 12′s, lap steel, resonators, backless banjo (?), electrics, and when we hear the whistles and bangs, it’s nice to know they are glockenspiel, steel drums or Ebow etc, it saves a lot of time as a musician trying to make sense what’s going on.

THE ALBUM

It would be an understatement to say that John and the band have a social conscience, but I say it anyway as some people may not be familiar with his approach to life. It is nice to see players getting some commercial airplay who have an interest in the wellbeing of the community, instead of the garbage we are fed by the paparazzi about who’s zooming who this week.  Tracks one and two, Revolution and One Way Road are very strong statements just for starters, and once a person is familiar with the music, it’s worth digging in to see what these guys are about..

The album is a mix of styles, and listening to the diversity of it, it is clear that John Butler could easily be successful in a number of styles if he were to concentrate on just one genre,  this is something that really stands out for me. There are fifteen tracks on this album and if you didn’t know John Butler’s music, it would be easy to say that the person who recorded the first and second song is not the same musician on track six, Johnny’s Gone, or track fifteen A Star is Born, this not a criticism, there is enough glue to keep the whole album together and for me, this is a very good thing, as it shows there is a wealthy well of musical possibilities to draw from and that the John Butler Trio is not a group who will lock themselves into a particular style and run dry due to a lack of inspiration.

My favorite tunes are Ragged Mile,  it briefly reminded me of the bluegrass tune The Cuckoo as done by Doc Watson, the backless banjo sound is glorious, the tune starts with a bass and very good drum part, and a simple harmony in the chorus.  Johnny’s Gone has a tremendous drum part and a very musical sounding chorus, at this point this is the other tune that appeals to me, but it is currently Sunday night, and if I go back and listen to the album tomorrow, I could name a couple of other tunes that I would say are standouts.

I’d Do Anything is very ballady with a very clean light electric guitar part and I reckon  you’ll hear a lot of players playing it in the next few years,  the guitar part is almost hummable (to guitarists) and is very well defined, the band goes a bit harder on the chorus.   This song is sensational, it’s almost trance like.

The tune, Steal It is almost a classic pop song, if  I wanted a hit on the radio I’d go for that one, it’s a slow walk tempo, nice harmonies, uncomplicated and singable. Nice bass part and a distant sounding echoish electric guitar.  Mystery Man is a sort of a three feel, the lighter side of rock, an absolutely beautiful guitar part which will keep the young guitar players busy for a couple of hours here and there whilst they try and immitate it

There’s also a reggae tune, Gonna Be a Long Time, it has that John Butler reggae style vocal where he talks fast and very stacatto.  And once again the rhythm section plays exactly what is rerquired.  Nice solid acoustic guitar part, lots of up strokes and rounded off with a slide resonator solo, bordering on Hawaiin at times.

LIVE PERFORMANCE and MORE ALBUM INFO

I keep hearing from people who saw the John Butler Trio at Woodford this year that they were by far one of the best acts they have seen and although a number of the bigger sounding tunes sound fantastic on the album, the potential of these as they develop over a period of time in the live environment will probably eventually skyrocket the John Butler Trio into one of the worlds top rock live acts, the tunes have that sort of potential, as the band has a very broad audience because of the intangible cool factor that appeals to a younger audience as well as the roots blues crew.  There are four members in my immediate family, we all have different tastes but the whole lot of us like what we’ve heard.

There are a number of very good riffs throughout the album, the tune Close to You is pumping and has a very solid electric guitar part, complete with cowbell leading into the chorus.  One good thing about the album being done in John’s studio is they have had the opportunity to add a lot of additional parts that may not have been possible to add in another studio if working to a tighter timeframe, the option of walking into a very local studio environment when you’re feeling inspired is something that you’ll never get when having to book another studio.

Fool For You, the vocal part sits right back, in fact everything does,  the HAPPY DRUM (?) and drums are sitting slightly in the foreground with strings floating around, a great texture, a song with a lot of yearning and slight melancholy. The song Look Like You is a rather sarcastic dig at what media is doing to the young women of the community, it needs to be said every now and then by at least one person in the music industry.

I’d already heard track two, also it is starting to get TV airplay, it’s a powerful slide tune played on the lap and I’ve had a chance to go through John’s tutorial on how to play One Way Road, guitar players may be very interested in singing how John plays, and also see him thinking out loud.

The final track A Star is Born has a very reflective style of guitar and vocal  part and is a great round off to an album that sounds like a labour of love.

There are a number of tunes which I haven’t mentioned, this is not because I don’t like them, it’s time factor, I’ve spent eight hours listening and writing this article and I have one of my own recording projects to concentrate on.

IN SUMMARY

John Butler is a guitar player / musician who I’d recommend other acoustic guitar players to have a listen to, that is if you are not set in your ways and want inspiration on how to break out of your musical box.  This album is one I’ll be giving a lot spins in my CD player and I’m grateful to have the opportunity to review it.  In the couple of listens I’ve had I’ve learnt a lot about guitar, and the different approaches which are possible on one album.   We are lucky enough today that there is room in the commercial music industry for music that sits a little outside the standard formulas which are being used.  Having John Butler on the edge of that market has a benefit for a lot of other acoustic and roots/ blues musicians because it invites a broader audience into areas of music which deserve a much wider audience.  Congratulations John.

Tony Hogan

FOR MORE INFO go to John Butler  Trio

Acoustic Guitar Blogger Live Youtube Video

2010 March 8

A few weeks ago I (Tony Hogan) decided to return to playing live on a regular basis.  And I thought it would be a good idea to show the face behind my guitar blogs, so I have uploaded some samples of me playing acoustic guitar on stage.   The video is of an original tune which then morphs into 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover, it’s reasonably simple but musical.  My guitar is tuned down a semi-tone to Eb instead of the standard tuning.

I’ll be gradually uploading material from now on to my Youtube Channel.  In future I’ll add some open tuning pieces as well as jazz guitar tunes. The link is The Acoustic Guitarist Youtube

My MySpace is Acoustic Guitarist, this is new but I will update regularly, feel free to contact me there

Tony Hogan – Acoustic Guitarist