featuring: Bob Brozman, Pierre Bensusan, Jorma Kaukonen, John Renbourn, Stefan Grossman, John Fahey & Martin Simpson
The seven fingerstyle guitarists presented in this 93 minute DVD have all put their own, highly personal stamp on the instrument, not only by the way they play, but also by the music they write and interpret, and the emotions and images their music invokes. As divergent as these performances are, the personal backgrounds of these highly creative and influential musicians are interwoven by the mentors who inspired and guided them and by the events which have become a part of modern musical history.
Interviews and performances are included with each artist.
Titles include: BOB BROZMAN Zonky, Down The Road, Train Song PIERRE BENSUSAN La Femme Cambrée, Cordilliére JOHN FAHEY On The Sunnyside Of The Ocean, Who Will Rock The Cradle JORMA KAUKONEN Embryonic Journey, Water Song JOHN RENBOURN Sweet Potato, Angie STEFAN GROSSMAN Struttin’ Rag, Blues For The Mann MARTIN SIMPSON Medley: The Turtle & The Asp/Dreamtime, Icarus
Running time: 93 minutes
Review: The title of this collection suggests that guitars play their masters rather than the other way round, and it might be true. Showcased are seven masters of the fingerstyle guitar who have all left their indelible mark on the acoustic (and in some cases electric) guitar. Unlike many Vestapol/Rounder guitar video releases, this is not for instruction, but purely for fun, though many guitar afficionados may find themselves cozying up to the screen to get a closer look at all the flying fingers.
Featured in live performances are such fine artists as Bob Brozman, who gets the longest spot as he demonstrates with an almost sideshow barker's zeal his particular brand of old-timey, steelguitar pyrotechnics. In comparison, Pierre Bensusan is all subtlety, grace and filigree, particularly on the lovely, lyrical "La Femme Cambree." Blind Joe Death himself, John Fahey, is in particularly extroverted (for him) form, turning in stellar, emotion-drenched versions of "On the Sunnyside of the Ocean" and "Who Will Rock the Cradle." Former Jefferson Airplane guitarist Jorma Kaukonen is joined by the current lineup of Hot Tuna for
a full electric -band workout of his normally solo signature piece "Embryonic Journey," as well as a lovely, long take on his classic "Water Song."
Master English guitarist John Renbourn can be found in a solo acoustic setting, where he plays a finely tuned and complex "Sweet Potato," as well as his version of the Davey Graham classic, "Angie" (which was once the song that all acoustic guitarists cut their teeth on). Video compiler Stefan Grossman also gets his day in the sun, playing definitive versions of "Struttin' Rag" and "Blues for the Mann."
The video closes with the comparatively young guitarist Martin Simpson, who shows his unique and awesome technique on the slide guitar. Under Simpson's masterful hands the guitar howls, cries, and struts its stuff on tunes like "The Turtle & The Asp Dreamtime" and the melodic "Icarus." – Dirty Linen