Friday, November 03, 2006

My (current) favourite guitarist

For the last 25 years, give or take a few, if you had asked me who my favourite guitarist was, I would (without hesitation) have replied "Brian May". As mentioned in a previous post, Queen have always been my favourite band. And Brian May's guitar playing and expertly constructed riffs, solos and fills are the main reasons why I like Queen so much. (Oh, and they had a great lead singer too...)

Occasionally, however, I go through phases of listening to other fantastic guitarists, and sometimes these others rise up to be my favourite, if only for a brief moment. From '87 to '89, for example, Nancy Wilson from Heart took the top spot. (But then again, if you're a teenage boy who would you rather have lots of pictures of on your wall, Brian or Nancy?) But Brian re-claimed the title when 'The Miracle' was released in 1989. Nuno Bettencourt from Extreme took the top slot in 1992 when Extreme's masterwork 'III sides to every story' was released only to be knocked from the top slot again when I saw Brian May in concert (Edinburgh Playhouse) the following year. OK, he has silly hair, wears clogs and has questionable fashion sense, but he plays the guitar like a master.

Anyway, I have recently got up to date with the post-Extreme career of Nuno Bettencourt and I have to say he has reclaimed the top spot from the curly haired one. Of course, it'll never last, but for now I'd just like to rave about how good Nuno is as a guitarist and take you all through an album-by-album tour of his back catalogue (to be posted soon).

One thought strikes me about my favourite guitarists. With the exception of Brian himself, most of my favourite guitarists are acoustic-rock guitarists. Both Nuno Bettencourt and Nancy Wilson, despite being fantastic on the electric guitar, seem most at home on the acoustic. The best track on Nuno's latest album ('Broken' on 'Love' by DramaGods) is based around an acoustic riff and the best track on Heart's latest album ('Make me' on 'Jupiter's Darling') features Nancy's acoustic picking quite heavily.

Can anyone out there recommend any other acoustic guitarists who rock? I may want to listen to them...



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