The Acoustic Boundary-Smasher
Michael Hedges studied classical guitar and composition before turning his passion to the steel-string acoustic, exploring alternate tunings, open-string techniques, slap harmonics, percussive thumps and the exploration of silence as a compositional element.
His first albums for the new-age Windham Hill label, BreakfastInTheField (1981) and Aerial
Boundaries (1984), had Hedges unfairly pegged as a new-age artist. But he consistently pushed against such categorisations.
Popularising the use of altered tunings, harp-style runs and guitar-as-percussion. Today, an entire movement of guitarists has taken what Hedges began and expanded upon it. But of course, Hedges is the original and the best.
WHERE TO START All Along The Watchtower
A great example of how Hedges personalised this Dylan-via-Hendrix classic.
BOSS LEVEL Ragamuffin
It’s not just the complexity of the melody, rhythm and harmonics. It’s in the dynamic range that Hedges explores from one section to the next, and within the picking strength of individual notes in specific chords.