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Rewinding 2019 | The Most Heroic Guitarists

The best and the rest of the year's fretboard fireworks technicians.

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Da, dee, deedle, dee … Da, dee, deedle, dee … Da, dee, deedle-dee, da dee, deedle-dee, da-dee deedle-dee, dadee deedledee, dadeedeedledee, dadeedeedledeedadeedeedledeedadeedeedledee whiddleewhiddlee, leeeeeeee, leeeeeeee, leeeeeeeeeoooooowwwwww, wrrrrrrroooooooowwwwwww, rrrrooooowwwwwrrrrr … And the rest of the best song-based fretwork that I heard in 2019:


TINNITIST’S PICK

Jimi Hendrix
Songs for Groovy Children: The Fillmore East Concerts

WHO IS HE? Seattle’s favourite rock ’n’ roll son until the arrival of Kurt Cobain. The guy who wanted you to stand next to his fire and excuse him while he kissed the sky. The first guitarist to set his axe on fire onstage (literally and figuratively). One of the charter members of rock’s 27 Club. And, most importantly, the most iconic, innovative and influential guitar player between Les Paul and Eddie Van Halen — accompanied here by his short-lived latter-day Band of Gypsys featuring old Army buddy Billy Cox on bass and thundering groovemaster Buddy Miles on drums.

WHAT IS THIS? The fifth — yes, fifth — different package to contain music from the band’s legendary New York City shows on New Year’s Eve 1969 and New Year’s Day 1970. Thankfully, this is the first (and hopefully last) version to serve up the whole enchilada: All 43 songs played during the four shows, presented in sequence and without edits (for better and/or sometimes worse). That list includes a handful of cuts that have never been officially released until now, along with some that only appeared in concert footage and others previously issued in edited versions.

WHAT DOES IT SOUND LIKE? Something that should (and could) have been issued nearly half a century ago. Especially since the bootlegs have been around almost that long. Sound-wise, the set — helmed as always by eternal Hendrix producer, musical wingman and torchbearer Eddie Kramer — purports to have been remastered and remixed, but honestly sounds about the same as previous releases.

READ THE FULL REVIEW AND HEAR THE ALBUM HERE


HONOURABLE MENTIONS

The Allman Brothers Band | Fillmore West ’71
Gary Clark Jr. | This Land
Madison Cunningham | Who Are You Now
The Dream Syndicate | These Times
Rory Gallagher | Blues
Steve Gunn | The Unseen In Between
Colin Linden & Luther Dickinson With the Tennessee Valentines | Amour
Nils Lofgren | Blue With Lou
Robert Randolph & The Family Band | Brighter Days

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