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Author Topic: The Most Subtle "Guitar God"  (Read 4760 times)
ducktrapper
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« on: December 28, 2015, 09:21:50 PM »

Not to say that Hendrix and Page were incapable of subtlety but it's not exactly what they're known for. Clapton could stand with his feet in both camps but it's not totally his oeuvre. Anywho, I had long drive today and I was listening to the last Robbie Robertson album "How to be Clairvoyant" and if I had to nominate someone to be the king of subtlety, it would be him. Harrison. Knopfler, Cropper come to mind, as well, but no one is better than Robertson for playing tasty little licks and short fiery bits that come just a little short of being actual guitar solos. Who else comes to mind?      
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tuffythepug
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« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2015, 01:11:50 AM »

Not to say that Hendrix and Page were incapable of subtlety but it's not exactly what they're known for. Clapton could stand with his feet in both camps but it's not totally his oeuvre. Anywho, I had long drive today and I was listening to the last Robbie Robertson album "How to be Clairvoyant" and if I had to nominate someone to be the king of subtlety, it would be him. Harrison. Knopfler, Cropper come to mind, as well, but no one is better than Robertson for playing tasty little licks and short fiery bits that come just a little short of being actual guitar solos. Who else comes to mind?      

For me it would be Knopfler.  Subtle, understated, every note  just right.  I'll have to give Robertson a fresh listen.
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L07 Shooting Star
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« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2015, 08:08:29 AM »

I've got to give it more thought, but David Gilmour pops in my head as a first stab at it.
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« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2015, 11:28:08 AM »

Classical guitarist David Russell is quite humble and soft spoken.  Google his name and NPR Tiny Desk Concert for a taste of his virtuosity.  It might make you want a Larrivee classical guitar.
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Queequeg
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« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2015, 04:16:37 PM »

hey, Merry Christmas, all.
Chris Smither gets my vote.
I don't care if he never sings at all.
He coaxes maximum tone and soul with his hands from every note.
Pure guitar goodness.
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ducktrapper
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« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2015, 04:59:56 PM »

For me it would be Knopfler.  Subtle, understated, every note  just right.  I'll have to give Robertson a fresh listen.


Start with The Band, Music From Big Pink and beyond. Knopfler is one of my favourite players but he solos WAY more than Robertson. 
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ducktrapper
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« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2015, 05:04:31 PM »

Classical guitarist David Russell is quite humble and soft spoken.  Google his name and NPR Tiny Desk Concert for a taste of his virtuosity.  It might make you want a Larrivee classical guitar.

Classical guitarists are not subtle, to my way of thinking. It's mostly soloing and showing off that virtuosity. I was thinking of the kind of guitarist that can be easily overlooked. Besides, Robertson is hardly humble. I would never claim that.  
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ducktrapper
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« Reply #7 on: December 29, 2015, 05:06:08 PM »

hey, Merry Christmas, all.
Chris Smither gets my vote.
I don't care if he never sings at all.
He coaxes maximum tone and soul with his hands from every note.
Pure guitar goodness.

He would definitely qualify, by my definition. 
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ducktrapper
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« Reply #8 on: December 29, 2015, 06:34:59 PM »

Don't get me wrong, as I said earlier, I'm not talking of guitarists capable of subtlety. Almost any good guitarist has that capability, after all. It's just that any player who has recorded a solo, say, much longer than eight bars is not who I have in mind. David Byrne of Talking Heads or Johnny Ramone, who never did a solo would be other nominees.   
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broKen
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« Reply #9 on: December 29, 2015, 10:57:27 PM »

hey, Merry Christmas, all.
Chris Smither gets my vote.
I don't care if he never sings at all.
He coaxes maximum tone and soul with his hands from every note.
Pure guitar goodness.

Hi Mark,,, still breathing?   

How bout our own Dale (maplebaby)
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« Reply #10 on: December 30, 2015, 06:25:57 AM »

I'm thinking also, many so-called session guitarists, the names of most I wouldn't know without looking them up, but are heard on countless recordings.  Well, I guess they aren't "guitar gods" but I think there are several that have the knack of adding guitar parts with just the right amount of nuance.  Their names appear over and over in the credits of popular recordings.  To many in the business, they are considered the best and most skilled guitarists of all. 
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"Badges?  We don't need no stinkin' badges."

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If I never make it, I'll still be fine.


 
ducktrapper
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« Reply #11 on: December 30, 2015, 01:21:16 PM »

I'm thinking also, many so-called session guitarists, the names of most I wouldn't know without looking them up, but are heard on countless recordings.  Well, I guess they aren't "guitar gods" but I think there are several that have the knack of adding guitar parts with just the right amount of nuance.  Their names appear over and over in the credits of popular recordings.  To many in the business, they are considered the best and most skilled guitarists of all. 

Yeah sure although you're right, the session guys were often overlooked in the "guitar god" department. We talked about guys like Tommy Tedesco, Al Casey and Glen Campbell before in the Wrecking Crew thread but they could certainly fit the bill. Steve Cropper who I mentioned above was one of the best and most successful purveyor of the form. Jimmy Johnson and Pete Carr from Mussel Shoals. Hugh McCracken in NYC. Joe South in Nashville. Joe Messina in Detroit.
I've been listening to Stealer's Wheel/Gerry Rafferty/Joe Egan a lot the last week and their guitarist, Paul Pilnick is not a household name but he sure could play some sweet stuff.   
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« Reply #12 on: December 30, 2015, 05:57:21 PM »

Some of my old guitar heroes appreciated for their own brand of subtle tasteful licks, and across a few unique styles and genres, would have to be Bruce Cockburn, Doc Watson, Chet Atkins, David Lindley (his Jackson Browne days and El Rayo X) Lowell George, Alvin Lee, Alan Wilson (Canned Heat), Kim Simmonds (Savoy Brown), Nils Lofgren (Bruce Springsteen), Peter Green (of the early Fleetwood Mac) and, of course, Mr. Clapton.
Fun just recalling my old LP's!        
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« Reply #13 on: December 30, 2015, 06:28:15 PM »

I'm thinking also, many so-called session guitarists, the names of most I wouldn't know without looking them up, but are heard on countless recordings.  Well, I guess they aren't "guitar gods" but I think there are several that have the knack of adding guitar parts with just the right amount of nuance.  Their names appear over and over in the credits of popular recordings.  To many in the business, they are considered the best and most skilled guitarists of all. 

That's one of the tough things...  their names (for the most part *didn't* show up on credits.  We might think <player x> is the guitarist on a given record, but in actuality it was one of these studio musicians (LA had the Wrecking Crew, Detroit had theirs, and Memphis had theirs, and others, no doubt). 

One of the first names that popped up when I first read the thread was George Harrison.  Some of country's slide players (whose names I don't even know) just blow me away with how the drop in little accents her and there.  But the same goes for bunches of those Motown tunes, well, not slide guitar, but little fills her and there. 

Ed
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Mikeymac
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« Reply #14 on: December 31, 2015, 06:35:27 AM »



One of the first names that popped up when I first read the thread was George Harrison. 


I agree - first one I thought of was Sir George.

Another tasty player who is subtle (but can also rip) and has great tone is Kenny Greenberg, a Nashville studio guy who has played with Bob Seger, Carrie Underwood, Kenny Chesney, Garth Brooks, and Reba McEntire, Faith Hill, along with many others. He's married to gospel singer Ashley Cleveland (who used to be a backup singer for Emmy Lou Harris), and his playing on her albums is a revelation - he always plays for the song, not the solo. It's just that the solo always fits.

Interview with Kenny Greenberg

Check out the mini-lesson at about 3:50...

 

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« Reply #15 on: December 31, 2015, 06:46:31 AM »

Lotsa tasty little licks in this tune (apologies - posted this in another thread here as well, but it certainly can't be over-exposed!).

Jack Semple - Rainy Night In Georgia

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ducktrapper
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« Reply #16 on: December 31, 2015, 01:05:54 PM »

Oddly, had another long drive yesterday and the Robertson album came back around in the changer. I noticed that the first tune did  have a rather long outro solo. Nothing flashy, however. All tone and texture and the sweetest use of a wah wah that I've heard in a long time. I was thinking more of his early work with The Band than his solo work, apparently. The Band, of course, are superb and his solo work, even the experimental Native American Canadian stuff, is well worth a listen. Robbie is one of the greats and, I again maintain, the king of subtlety and one of the most underrated guitarists of the rock'n'roll genre. Ask Clapton. As for me, as in the Classical 3 B pantheon, I rank the rock'n'roll 3 B's as my favorites. Beatles, Band, Bob, that is. 
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« Reply #17 on: January 02, 2016, 07:32:13 AM »

Jeff Lynne.
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Mikeymac
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« Reply #18 on: January 02, 2016, 09:46:44 PM »

Another who is surprising when you really listen to him is Lindsey Buckingham (Fleetwood Mac). Lots of tasty, just right guitar parts.
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ducktrapper
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« Reply #19 on: January 03, 2016, 12:52:44 PM »

Another who is surprising when you really listen to him is Lindsey Buckingham (Fleetwood Mac). Lots of tasty, just right guitar parts.

Yes, I hadn't thought of him but you're right. More fills, tone and textures than solos. A fine player and a good candidate.
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