MORE NICHE PLAY­ERS

Guitar Techniques - - TALK BACK -

A few years ago, I was as­ton­ished by a GT re­sponse to a re­quest for more ar­ti­cles on less fa­mil­iar gui­tarists, the gist of which seemed to be, ‘Well, Richard Thomp­son doesn’t sell mil­lions of al­bums so the public must be right.’ Al­though this as­pect has been ad­dressed to a de­gree, the im­pli­ca­tion seemed to be that, for ex­am­ple, Bert, John and Davy didn’t sell so well ei­ther, so why bother? How­ever, in the same mag there was a tran­script of a piece by French player Pierre Ben­su­san, hardly a house­hold name.

Al­though an ad­mirer of Clap­ton, Page, Jimi, Ste­vie Ray and so on, my heart does some­times sink when I see your lat­est edi­tion with one of these guys fea­tured yet again on the cover. I also don’t think that you have ad­e­quately cov­ered the stag­ger­ingly orig­i­nal Jeff Beck. Or, say, Ol­lie Hal­sall, whose so­los made me want to run de­spair­ingly from any Patto gig. I can’t re­mem­ber see­ing one of Ol­lie’s so­los tran­scribed. Per­haps you could fea­ture Dzal Martin - still do­ing the busi­ness for var­i­ous artistes. There are many over­looked or up and com­ing black and Asian play­ers (Ti­nari­wen?). How­ever, I do love the fea­tures and re­views in GT.

Dave Jack, Usk

I can’t be­lieve I would re­ply in such terms to a re­quest for lesser known play­ers, but I un­der­stand the point that was be­ing made. Peo­ple usu­ally com­plain about the preva­lence of the Clap­tons and SRVs on gui­tar mag­a­zine cov­ers, with­out tak­ing on­board that we need the big names to sell is­sues (or see­ing what else is cov­ered in­side). We have to be pro­por­tion­ate when it comes to the mass vs niche ap­peal of artists, so it’s not re­ally sur­pris­ing that some fea­ture more than oth­ers. There are great gui­tarists in ev­ery town, but it would be im­pos­si­ble to have them all in GT so we have to go with our best in­stincts. I’m sure we’ve cov­ered Ol­lie in the past, have fea­tured Jeff on many, many oc­ca­sions and sim­i­larly Messrs Jan­sch, Ren­bourn and Gra­ham. Not touched on Dzal or the won­der­ful Tuareg group Ti­nari­wen, but we did a World Mu­sic se­ries a while back. We do try our best to cover most things, but it has to be in some kind of pro­por­tion.

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