Comment: Guitar Heroes?

on Monday, June 21, 2010
Words: Simon Opie Guitar Hero panel
In recent times it has become unfashionable to be a guitarist and it is often assumed that the golden age of the guitar was back in the 60s/70s/80s when extended solos were de rigeur. And in that sense I’m glad its over. Nonetheless there’s a lot of really great guitarists around just now, some well known like Graham Coxon, who arguably had to also sing before his talent was recognised, and others like Tad Kubler from The Hold Steady whom hardly anyone has even heard of since Craig Finn takes all the attention in that band.

One of the very best is ex-Marilyn Manson sidesman John 5 who has released quirky but quite brilliant solo albums like 2008’s 'Requiem' (for the few who like instrumental guitar music, anyway) and who has just contributed some top notch playing to Rob Zombie’s new album, 'Hellbilly Deluxe 2', which is certainly, and surprisingly, my album of 2010 so far. Granted there’s not been a lot of competition as yet but it’s a really entertaining collection of songs, although the packaging is not for the faint hearted.

If anything, the sheer range of talented guitar players from Jim Root and Mick Thomson of Slipknot through to the recently late and much lamented Jack Rose, is astonishing from both a technical and a stylistic perspective. Talent abounds wherever you look and whatever genre(s) you espouse. So the art of great guitar playing is definitely not dead – maybe it’s just calling less attention to itself these days.

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