Guitarists

Way back in 1965, Taj Mahal left his Massachusetts home and headed to California in search of a 17-year-old blues phenom named Ry Cooder. The rest, as Mahal puts it, is “our-story.”

Photo by Abby Ross

Almost six decades after forming the short-lived Rising Sons, the two legends reconvene to pay tribute to the classic blues duo of Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee on the warm and rootsy Get on Board.

Deep into Taj Mahal and Ry Cooder’s Get on Board: The Songs of Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee, percussionist Joachim Cooder lays out, letting the two elder musicians can take a pass through “Pawn Shop Blues.” To start, they loosely play around with the song’s intro on their acoustic guitars. “Yeah, nice,” remarks Mahal off-handedly in his distinctive rasp—present since he was a young man but, at 79, he’s aged into it—and Cooder lightly chuckles. They hit the turnaround and settle into a slow, loping tempo. It’s a casual and informal affair—some notes buzz, and it sounds like one of them is stomping his foot intermittently. Except for Cooder’s slide choruses, neither guitar plays a rhythm or lead role. They simply converse.

Read More Show less

From channeling life experiences through his playing to his gospel influences and learning from right-handed players, Gales digs deep.

Read More Show less
Rig Rundown: All That Remains' Mike Martin & Jason Richardson [2022]

Celebrating The Fall of Ideals, Mike Martin upgrades with two smoking PRS Custom 24s, while Jason Richardson unveils two dazzling Music Man Cutlass signatures.

Read More Show less
Umphrey's McGee's Brendan Bayliss on Led Zeppelin's "Ten Years Gone" | Hooked

Guitarist Brendan Bayliss illustrates how Jimmy Page's mystical playing mixed exotic chords and open strings producing "the most beautiful guitar riff ever written."

Read More Show less
x