It’s Bandcamp Friday! Bandcamp is waiving its revenue share for all music & merch sales today. I’d like to recommend seven artists I am fortunate to personally know.
In addition to his many own pursuits, Tony Geballe selflessly wrangled a group of virtuosos and amateurs into the performing ensemble The New York Guitar Circle. It opened a few ears, maybe slightly redirected a few lives, and definitely terrorized innocents with Thrakking and whizzing. Here is a single from his gorgeous acoustic album Native of the Rain.
I’m still buzzing from a solo I saw Jon Diaz perform during a New York Guitar Circle event; I was watching his hands closely, but still don’t understand how one gets sounds like that out of a guitar. Jon is also one of the nicest and most quick-witted people you’ll ever meet. “Griot” from his album Circling From Above is a personal favorite.
I went to college with the one-of-a-kind Jeni Hankins. Belatedly, I only recently discovered that she is an accomplished singer/songwriter. Check out her touching recent single “Goodnight, Tazewell Beauty Queen”.
Patrick Grant has a storied career as a musician and educator, but one place to start is with his unique project Tilted Axes — a large mobile ensemble of (mostly) electric guitars with a repertoire of avant-garde-informed rock (or is that rock-informed avant-garde?) music. This particular album has something for everybody, but I especially love “Pedal Swells”.
Daniel Llinas is an expressive, emotive musician, and as the saying goes: serious without being solemn. Daniel kindly gave me a few guitar lessons, including making one illuminating point I won’t forget: some pieces of music are life studies; you can explore them for a lifetime without exhausting them. Check out his recent album En Remolinos.
Craig Shepard is a singular composer/performer, for whom recordings only begin to represent his work. I enjoyed getting to know Craig on an epic carpool trip upstate, and later he would challenge me to not compromise while drilling guitar repertoire in the middle of a New Jersey field during a ferocious heatwave. His Trumpet City and On Foot projects are best experienced in a live environment, but there are two engrossing recordings of the latter. Also check out this set of compositions for music boxes.
Elisa Corona Aguilar
I know Elisa Corona Aguilar through the New York Guitar Circle, and feel lucky to have been exposed to her own music and performances. Something I’ve learned to appreciate in music is the application of instrumental and electronic virtuosity to soulful composition and performance. If that resonates with you, listen to this excellent album of hers in collaboration with Eduardo Huchín Sosa.