Carley Wolf -- Guest Picker, The Ghost Wolves
Name a song you hate—but which you must grudgingly admit boasts great guitar work.
If I hate a song, I don’t pay attention to the guitar work, I turn it off. For me it’s all about the song, and the guitar should serve that. But, if I had to pick something just off the top of my head, I would say “Pride and Joy” by Stevie Ray Vaughan. I’ve heard that song way too many times at blues jams growing up, but of course everyone respects his legacy, especially in Texas.

My current obsession is: Playing my vintage Japanese Teisco 1-string (and trying to find another one like it), getting to know my new Silvertone, and of course finding the gnarliest tone possible!


Jeff Palmer -- Reader of the Month

Name a song you hate—but which you must grudgingly admit boasts great guitar work.
“Smooth” by Santana. I’m not a pop guy and I don’t like Matchbox 20, but I could swim in those pseudo-violin caramel vibratos all day.

My current obsession is: Harmonics. Well-placed natural and pinch harmonics really make a riff or solo sing and stand out. I’ve been practicing them a lot.


John Bohlinger -- Nashville Correspondent

Name a song you hate—but which you must grudgingly admit boasts great guitar work.
Yesterday while driving I heard the 1984 semi-hit “Sunglasses at Night” by Canadian singer Corey Hart. This new wave, synth-driven track is an overt rip-off of “Sweet Dreams are Made of These” but the barely audible guitar solo on the end kills. Sounds like classic Lukather or Landau but was played by Andy Barnett, a guitarist I’d not heard of.

My current obsession is: Timing: It really is everything.


Chris Kies -- Associate Editor

Name a song you hate—but which you must grudgingly admit boasts great guitar work.
Pretty much anything that’s ever been recorded or played by guys like Brad Paisley, Keith Urban, and Joe Bonamassa. Whenever I’ve seen them live, I’m left dumbfounded by their abilities on guitar, but I still feel numb from their coma-inducing music.

My current obsession is: Women in music. I have an insufficient amount of female artists in my record collection, but lately I’ve been telling every person I meet about these musicians: Nikki Lane, Courtney Barnett, Mlny of Royal Thunder, Jillian in Ruby the Hatchet, Beth in Best Coast, Blues Pills, Pieta Brown, and Torres.


Jason Shadrick -- Associate Editor

Name a song you hate—but which you must grudgingly admit boasts great guitar work. I find most country music from the ’90s terribly redundant, overproduced, and dull. That is, until the amazingly beautiful and melodic fretwork of guys like Brent Mason and Dann Huff make an appearance.

My current obsession is: Learning the fine art of reggae guitar. It’s way more than a simple skank on 2 and 4. Players like Al Anderson, Junior Marvin, Peter Tosh, and Ernest Ranglin brought in elements of funk and rock to create a wholly unique, and underappreciated, style.