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A place on Aces & 8ths for those articles and such, that just don't seem to fit any where else.

Zombie Jamboree | The 5 Worst Singers at Baseball Games | Unusual Stage Acts | Stupid Stage Antics | Biker Bands
Acoustic Finesse | Acoustic Finesse, The Sequel | SXSW | Flat Pickers | Birth of a Genre | 8 Late Great Guitarist | Fruits & Veggies
Fruits & Veggies, The Songs | Pete Townshend

Acoustic Finesse - The Sequel

 An individual's skill on the acoustic guitar is not just a matter of speed, although speed is impressive, it is more about their control, accuracy, and self expression, or their "finesse". The performers listed here are from the recent submissions to "Acoustic Finesse" and are listed because of their unique interpretation on the art form of "acoustic fingerstyle guitar", the list is not meant to slight any one's particular favorite. We will continue to add any submissions/suggestions as they come in, Thanks to all for the suggestions/submissions. We will follow up with a section on "flatpickers" as soon as possible, again thanks.

Don Ross - Blue Bear | Muriel Anderson - Bakers Dozen | Kaki King - Goby | John Butler - Ocean | Pat Metheny - Into A Dream
Tim Reynolds - Letting Go | Preston Reed - Blasting Cap | Alex Belcher - I Hope This Finds You Well | Carlos Vamos - Little Wing
Stevie Ray Vaughan - Rude Mood | Mike Oldfield - Taurus 3 and Amarok bits | Michael Hedges- Aerial Boundaries
Monte Montgomery - Six String Wooden Friend | Lenny Breau - The Claw | Al Di Meola - Fugatta | Chet Atkins - Starry Starry Night
James Blackshaw - River to Heaven

Don Ross - Blue Bear

Don Ross is a Canadian fingerstyle guitarist noted for the emotion and intensity of his playing as well as his use of extended technique. Ross mixes blues, jazz, folk and classical music creating a style that he describes as "heavy wood". Don Ross is the only person to twice win the U.S. National Fingerstyle Guitar Championship (1988 and 1996). His album Huron Street reached the top ten on the Billboard new age chart. In the liner notes to Ross' 2003 album Robot Monster, Bruce Cockburn writes, "Nobody does what Don Ross does with an acoustic guitar. He takes the corners so fast you think he's going to roll, but he never loses control." Don Ross studied composition at the music department of York University in Toronto with David Mott, James Tenney and Phil Werren. After receiving his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Music in 1983, he studied philosophy at St. Hyacinth College and Seminary in Granby, Massachusetts while living at San Damiano Friary in Holyoke, Massachusetts and then started his novitiate for the Canadian custody of the Conventual Franciscans of Immaculate Conception Province at St. Francis Friary in Staten Island, NY. (Thanks to PsyWolf). 'Artist Discography'


Muriel Anderson - Bakers Dozen

Muriel Anderson, is a composer and award winning guitarist. Anderson studied classical music in college at DePaul University with Leon Borkowski. She later took master courses with classical virtuoso Christopher Parkening. In 1989 she became the first woman to win the National Fingerpicking Guitar Championship. Anderson is founder & director of the Music for Life Alliance. Muriel Anderson is also the founder and host of the All Star Guitar Night which donates its proceeds to the Music for Life Alliance. Muriel Anderson crosses the genres of folk, classical, jazz, bluegrass, and world music and is respected by guitarists worldwide. She can be heard in concert and as a guest on radio shows across the globe performing her unique arrangements and original compositions. (Thanks to Duffy). 'Artist Discography'


Kaki King - Goby

Kaki King is an American guitar player and singer-songwriter from Atlanta, Georgia. While King was still a small child, her father encouraged her interest in music. She was introduced to the guitar first, but when she learned to perform on the drums, they became her first serious instrument. Kaki King played in bands in high school with classmate Morgan Jahnig, who would later become the acoustic bassist of Old Crow Medicine Show. Upon graduating from The Westminster Schools in Atlanta in 1998, the two friends made their way to New York University. During her time there, Kaki King adopted the guitar again after years of neglect, and the 5'1" musician played a few occasional gigs and busked in the New York subways. King's style combines fret-tapping with slap bass techniques, using the guitar for percussive beats, as well as sound layering and looping, which creates a complex sound. Her playing style evokes Michael Hedges and Preston Reed, the latter of whom she explicitly cites as an influence. Although she shares both similar playing techniques and a last name with guitarist Justin King, the two are not related. (Thanks to PsyWolf & Ben C). 'Artist Discography'


John Butler - Ocean

John Butler is an American-Australian musician. He is the frontman of the John Butler Trio, a band that has achieved two platinum records in Australia with Three (2001) and Living 2001-2002 (2003). Their album Sunrise Over Sea debuted at number one on 15 March 2004 and shipped gold in its first week of release. Born to an Australian father and an American mother in Torrance, California, USA, John Butler and his family migrated to Australia on 26 January 1986. Butler is known around the town of Fremantle, Western Australia as the "Million Dollar Hippie". After growing up in Pinjarra, Western Australia, Butler began his musical career as a busker in Fremantle before achieving his current fame. His band's first two albums (John Butler-1998 and JBT EP-2000) were moderately successful, allowing him to establish a largely word-of-mouth following. The breakthrough came with the Three album in 2001, featuring the tracks "Take" and "Betterman", both of which received considerable radio airplay on Australian alternative youth radio station Triple J and rated highly in their annual Top 100. Appearances at Big Day Out and other major festivals followed. By the time Sunrise Over Sea was released three years later, the single Zebra was getting extensive airplay on commercial radio and proved a major hit for the band. In 2006, the band promoted the album extensively in the United States. (Thanks to Pol). 'Artist Discography'


Pat Metheny - Into A Dream

Pat Metheny is an American jazz guitarist and composer. One of the most successful and critically acclaimed jazz musicians to come to prominence in the 1970s and '80s, he is the leader of the Pat Metheny Group and is also involved in duets, solo works and other side projects. His style incorporates elements of progressive- and contemporary jazz, post-bop, latin-jazz and jazz fusion. Pat Metheny was born and raised in Lee's Summit, Missouri, a suburb south-east of Kansas City. Following his graduation from Lee's Summit High School, he briefly attended the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida. After Metheny withdrew from the University of Miami in his first semester, he was offered a teaching position. Metheny came onto the jazz scene in 1975 when he joined vibraphonist Gary Burton's band and recorded Bright Size Life with bassist Jaco Pastorius and drummer Bob Moses. (Thanks to Trina). 'Artist Discography'


Tim Reynolds - Letting Go

Tim Reynolds is a multi-instrumentalist who is best known as a "profoundly talented guitarist", playing instrumental rock, on acoustic or electric guitar, mixed with a unique and incalculable number of influences from other genres in his music. One reviewer has declared him "an under-rated master". Reynolds is the founding member of the band TR3, and has frequently performed with the Dave Matthews Band and often tours with Dave Matthews as an acoustic duo, in addition to performing as a member of Dave Matthews & Friends. Tim Reynolds was born in Wiesbaden, Germany, where his father, a career military man, was stationed. He says he hails from nowhere, because the family moved so often. Some of the places the family lived include Germany, a farm in Indiana, then on an army base in Alaska, then to Kansas, then to Missouri, where he lived longer than any other place until he was old enough to move away as an adult. As a young child, Tim Reynolds was able to learn guitar and electric bass guitar, so he could perform in the family's local Church choir three times a week, with the secret added bonus that he was able to begin experimenting with learning what is now second-nature "cutting killer riffs" and "spooling rock and roll with funk and soul music by the age of twelve". Upon graduation from high school, he moved away from home, and met some jazz and experimental musicians around Charlottesville, Virginia, and he had developed a love for jazz music, so he decided to stay. (Thanks to Josh). 'Artist Discography'


Preston Reed - Blasting Cap

Preston Reed is an American fingerstyle and tapping guitarist. Preston Reed learned guitar as a child on his father's guitar and had a short stint at classical guitar. When he was 16 his interest was rekindled by Jorma Kaukonen's acoustic guitar-playing in Hot Tuna. He took the guitar again and began to compose his own songs in the style of Leo Kottke and John Fahey. His first public gig was at Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C., in concert with Allen Ginsberg. He continued recording and performing and signed his first major label record deal with MCA Records with the help of his friend Lyle Lovett. Preston Reed played with various other musicians, spanning the whole spectrum between Linda Ronstadt and rock – Band NRBQ. He was featured on American radio and TV - broadcasts. Between 1979 and 2007, he recorded 15 albums on several labels - mostly solo acoustic guitar -, guest-starred on other musicians productions, founded his own Outer Bridge-label and featured on two solo videos. He has been commissioned for film soundtracks and a suite of original music for the Minneapolis Guitar Quartet. (Thanks to Strom). 'Artist Discography'


Alex Belcher - I Hope This Finds You Well

Alex Belcher has just recently ventured out of the world of freelance and virtuoso guitar work and begun writing and performing songs of his own. He is currently studying music at Belmont University and Berklee College of Music.  (Thanks to hakkola).


Don Alder - Acoustic Guitar Shredding Tapping

Don Alder plays acoustic fingerstyle guitar with a passion that has quickly earned him a reputation as Vancouver's "best kept little secret". Don is a world-class fingerstyle guitarist with a "wow factor" that has let to multiple endorsement deals with major manufacturers and a collaboration with Greenfield guitars to produce a signature acoustic guitar- the "Don Alder G4" model.  Don currently resides in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Don Alder's unique style of playing incorporates fingerpicking with simultaneous percussion on the soundboard to create a wall of sound. Don is the winner of the 2007 International Fingerstyle Championship. (Thanks to Fjosnisse). 'Artist Discography'


Carlos Vamos - Little Wing

Carlos Vamos and Dulcimer player Lindsay Buckland, also know as the famous Unknowns, perform original and instrumental compositions.  Their music is described as world music, or ambient; exceedingly relaxing, without forfeiting rhythm, and replete with melody. "Its is highly infectious… slightly psychedelic and characterized by a sort of pink floyd spaced out style…" Buckland who is from Australia, plays a Appellation Dulcimer , and Vamos, from Spain, uses the Tapping technique on his electric guitar, whereby he touches the notes like a piano, playing with both hands on the fingerboard, as many as three melodies at the same time. He as been playing the guitar for 26 years. (Thanks to frankthehelmut). 'Artist Discography'


Stevie Ray Vaughan - Rude Mood

Stevie Ray Vaughan - (October 3, 1954 – August 27, 1990) was an American blues-rock guitarist, whose broad appeal made him an influential electric blues guitarist. In 2003, Rolling Stone magazine ranked Stevie Ray Vaughan #7 in its list of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time, and Classic Rock Magazine ranked him #3 in their list of the 100 Wildest Guitar Heroes in 2007. Even though SR Vaughan initially wanted to play the drums as his primary instrument, Michael Quinn gave him a guitar when he was seven years old. Vaughan's brother, Jimmie Vaughan, gave him his first guitar lessons. On August 25 and August 26, 1990, Vaughan and Double Trouble finished the summer portion of the In Step Tour with shows at Alpine Valley Music Theatre, just outside of East Troy, Wisconsin. The musicians had expected a long bus ride back to Chicago. However, Vaughan was informed by a member of Clapton's crew that three seats were open on one of the helicopters returning to Chicago with Clapton's crew, enough for Vaughan, his brother Jimmie, and Jimmie's wife Connie. It turned out there was only one seat left; Vaughan requested it from his brother, who obliged. At 12:44 a.m. pilot Jeffrey Browne guided the helicopter off the ground. Shortly after takeoff the helicopter crashed into a ski slope and all five on board were killed. Although the crash occurred only 0.6 miles from the takeoff point, it went unnoticed by those at the concert site.  A serious loss to the music world of one if it's premiere musicians. 'Artist Discography'


Mike Oldfield - Taurus 3 and Amarok bits

Mike Oldfield is an English multi-instrumentalist musician and composer, working a style that blends progressive rock, folk, ethnic or world music, classical music, electronic music, New Age and more recently dance. His music is often elaborate and complex in nature. He is best known for his hit 1973 album Tubular Bells, which broke new ground as an instrumental concept album and launched Virgin Records, and for his 1983 hit single "Moonlight Shadow". 'Artist Discography'


Michael Hedges- Aerial Boundaries

Michael Hedges (December 31, 1953 – December 2, 1997) was an American composer and acoustic guitarist born and raised in Enid, Oklahoma.Hedges attended Phillips University in Enid, studying classical guitar. It was here that he studied under his compositional mentor, E. J. Ulrich. Subsequently Hedges was a Peabody Conservatory composition major who applied his classically trained musical background in combination with various unusual techniques to the steel-string acoustic guitar. He covered a wide range of musical styles and was considered an extremely dynamic performer in concert. He was discovered in the early eighties by William Ackerman who heard him performing in a Palo Alto cafe and immediately signed him to a recording contract on the Windham Hill label. 'Artist Discography'


Monte Montgomery - Six String Wooden Friend

Monte Montgomery is an American musician and singer-songwriter who is renowned for his live electric acoustic guitar performances. Montgomery's initial claim to fame is an appearance on PBS's Austin City Limits original program (episode #2411 originally aired on April 17, 1999) during which he performed a five-song set (including his original composition "When Will I," co-written with Scott Byers) with former band members Chris Maresh (bass) and Phil Bass (drums). Since then, Montgomery has gained favorable attention for his unique and energetic live performances nationwide, which many of Montgomery's devoted fans (affectionately known as "Montiacs") travel far and wide to witness. 'Artist Discography'


Lenny Breau - The Claw

Lenny Breau (August 5, 1941–August 12, 1984) was a Canadian guitarist. He was known for blending many styles of music including: country, classical, flamenco and jazz guitar. Breau, inspired by country guitarists like Chet Atkins, used fingerstyle techniques not often used in jazz guitar. Breau was born August 5, 1941, in Auburn, Maine. His francophone parents, Harold "Hal Lone Pine" Breau and Betty Cody (nee Coté), were professional country and western musicians who performed and recorded from the mid 1930's until (in Hal Breau's case) the mid 1970's. Their son began playing guitar at the age of eight. When he was twelve years old he started a little band with friends, and by the age of fourteen he was the lead guitarist for his parents' band, billed as "Lone Pine Junior", playing Merle Travis and Chet Atkins instrumentals and occasionally singing. Breau made his first professional recordings in Westbrook, Maine at the age of 15 while working as a studio musician. Many of these recordings were released posthumously on a CD appropriately titled Boy Wonder. 'Artist Discography'


Al Di Meola - Fugatta (Live 2004)

Al Di Meola is an Italian American jazz fusion and Latin jazz guitarist. Di Meola grew up in Bergenfield, New Jersey, and attended Bergenfield High School. He is now a resident of Bergen County, New Jersey. In 1971, he enrolled in the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. In 1974 he joined Chick Corea's band, Return to Forever, and played with the band until a major lineup shift in 1976. Di Meola went on to explore a variety of styles, but is most noted for his Latin-influenced jazz fusion works. He is a four time winner as Best Jazz Guitarist in Guitar Player Magazine's Reader Poll. Guitar historian Robert Lynch states: "In the history of the electric guitar, no one figure has done more to advance the instrument in a purely technical manner than Mr. Di Meola. His total command of the various styles and scales is simply mind-boggling. I feel privileged to have been able to study his work all these years." In addition to a prolific solo career, he has engaged in successful collaborations with bassist Stanley Clarke, keyboardist Jan Hammer, violinist Jean-Luc Ponty, and guitarists John McLaughlin and Paco de Lucía. He also guested on "Allergies" from Paul Simon's "Hearts and Bones" album (1983). 'Artist Discography'


Chet Atkins - Starry Starry Night

Chet Atkins (June 20, 1924 – June 30, 2001) was an influential American guitarist and record producer. His picking style, inspired by Merle Travis, Django Reinhardt, George Barnes and Les Paul, brought him admirers both within and outside the country scene, both in the United States and internationally. Atkins produced records for Perry Como, Elvis Presley, Eddy Arnold, Don Gibson, Jim Reeves, Jerry Reed, Skeeter Davis, Connie Smith, Waylon Jennings, and others. He created, along with Owen Bradley, the smoother country music style known as the Nashville sound, which expanded country music's appeal to include adult pop music fans as well. This was a sweet rendition and a good a place as any to end the section. 'Artist Discography'



James Blackshaw - River to Heaven

James Blackshaw is from London and primarily plays an acoustic 12 string guitar. Initially inspired by the guitarists of the 60’s Takoma label to teach himself fingerpicking, James Blackshaw writes long-form pieces primarily for solo 12-string guitar and piano that are heavily influenced by minimalist composers and European classical music and which use drones, overtones and repeating patterns alongside a strong inclination for melody to create instrumental music that is both intelligent, hypnotic and emotionally charged. (submitted by Will). 'Artist Discography'



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