Guitar Odyssey Wired For Sound
Call â€?em what you will (ax grinders, stringmeisters, fret burners), guitar players are the main men (and sometimes women) in the worlds of rock, blues, and country.
So the idea behind this 90-minute, Canadian-produced documentary (examining various guitaristsâ€™ styles, hearing their stories, and of course listening to them play) is sound, so to speak. The first half spotlights a dizzying array of players, from older rockers (Peter Frampton, Steve Winwood, Black Sabbathâ€™s Tony Iommi, Yesâ€™s Steve Howe, Tom Petty, and many others) to younger guns (Mark Bryan of Hootie and the Blowfish, Soul Asylumâ€™s Dan Murphy), from country pickers (Travis Tritt, Kix Brooks of Brooks and Dunn, Chet Atkins) to blues giants (B.B. King, T-Bone Walker), with a couple of bass players (the Whoâ€™s John Entwistle, Jefferson Airplaneâ€™s Jack Cassady) thrown in for good measure. They talk about how they started, pay tribute to their own heroes and favorite axes, discuss the evolution of their techniques, etc.; thereâ€™s a little history, including Les Paulâ€™s invention of the solid body guitar and studio multitracking, and several too-brief live concert excerpts.
The second half consists of unedited solo improvisations (mostly blues riffing) by about 20 of the players; good idea, mixed results. In the end, those who canâ€™t tell a G string from an F-hole wonâ€™t be fascinated; jazz guitar lovers will feel short-changed; some will be outraged about who isnâ€™t represented (what, no Eddie Van Halen?), and Emmylou Harris is the only woman on hand. Still, guitar freaks will find plenty here to make their strings twang.
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