Category Archives: Traditional

Bert Jansch

Born in Scotland in 1943 Bert Jansch is a folk guitarist probably best known for his work with the group Pentangle.

His style of playing was usually fingerstyle acoustic guitar which was distinguished by his unusual chord voicings, use of extended chords, and his clever use of unusual time signatures. Jansch played a number of instruments including banjo, Appalachian dulcimer, recording, and concertina, as well as, on rare occasions, picking up the electric guitar.

He learned his trade initially in Edinburgh in the early 1960’s before moving to London where his music was heard, covered, and famously copied by some of the leading musicians and bands of the time including Donovan, and Led Zeppelin. In the late 60’s and early 70’s Jansch had a lot of success with Pentangle before the group split up in 1973, to reform again in the early 1980s.

Sadly, Jansch died in 2011, leaving behind a large body of work for his fans to enjoy. He recorded at least 25 albums and toured extensively from the 1960s to the 21st century as well as winning 2 lifetime achievement awards from the BBC, one for his solo work, and one for his work with Pentangle.

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Leo Kottke

Blues, Jazz, Folk, Fingerstyle, slide,  syncopation, and much more.  Leo Kottke is a truly innovative and one-off guitarist.  He hasn’t had it easy in his playing career and has had to overcome a number of obstacles along the way.  A partial loss of hearing, and, tendon damage in his right hand resulting in him having to alter his technique.  Leo Kottke is a recognised master of the guitar.

Kottke has focussed on composing and recording instrumental music but has also been known to sing as well.  He has also collaborated with many other artists including.  Chet Atkins, Lyle Lovett, Margo Timmins, Mike Gordon, and Rickie Lee Jones. He has recorded tunes by Tom T. Hall, Johnny Cash, Carla Bley, Fleetwood Mac, The Byrds, Jorma Kaukonen, Kris Kristofferson, Randall Hylton, and many others.

Ry Cooder

Ry Cooder is a guitarist, singer, and, songwriter.  He is known for his slide guitar playing in particular and also his interest in traditional American music.

He has collaborated with many musicians, including Larry Blackmon, The Rolling Stones, Van Morrison, Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Randy Newman, Earl Hines, Little Feat, Captain Beefheart, The Chieftains, John Lee Hooker, Pops and Mavis Staples, Flaco Jiménez, Ibrahim Ferrer, Freddy Fender, Vishwa Mohan Bhatt and Ali Farka Touré. He formed the band Little Village with Nick Lowe, John Hiatt, and Jim Keltner.

He has also written and performed on many film soundtracks.  Have a look at 80’s guitar/road movie crossroads to which Ry Cooder provided all the slide guitar parts, terrible film but a great soundtrack.

Throughout his career he has played many different genres of music encompassing folk, blues, Tex-Mex, soul, gospel, rock, and much more.  To date he is still writing, recording, and putting down some awesome guitar parts.