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New CD Features 'Fingerstyle' Guitar Playing - 2001-06-11

Five years ago, Narada Records released a collection of solo guitar pieces called "Guitar Fingerstyle." It features some of the world's most skilled guitarists whose original fusion of folk, blues, jazz, pop and classical gave new meaning to the word "unplugged." The album was so popular Narada has released a second collection featuring another impressive lineup of acoustic guitar greats.

Today's fingerstyle guitarists, like Don Ross, follow in the footsteps of such modern guitar pioneers as Chet Atkins, Leo Kottke and John Fahey. Their roots run deep, all the way back to the blues, ragtime, country and gospel that sprang from the banks of the Mississippi River and the back porches of the Appalachian Mountains. Fingerstyle guitar even has its roots in Celtic music, captured by husband-and-wife duo Al Petteway and Amy White.

So what is fingerstyle guitar? According to Fingerstyle Guitar magazine editor John Schroeter, it's "a technique that uses the fingers of the right hand to individually pluck the strings rather than a flat pick to strum or pick them. Melody," says Schroeter, "combined with independently moving bass lines creates a complete, almost 'orchestral sound.'"

"Hold On To Forever" is by Minnesota guitarist Billy McLaughlin, who appeared on Narada's 1996 release "Guitar Fingerstyle." Also making an encore appearance on "Guitar Fingerstyle 2" is London-native Laurence Juber.

Laurence Juber arrived at his latest venture into solo acoustic guitar by way of pop and rock's biggest names. For three years he was the lead guitarist for Paul McCartney & Wings, and he's appeared on albums with Air Supply, Belinda Carlisle and the Monkees. Juber's tune "Fall Of A Sparrow" comes from his 1999 album "Altered Reality."

Indeed, the new compilation "Guitar Fingerstyle 2" is, as John Schroeter describes it, "an acoustic road trip with plenty of detours and scenic side trips." Also featured on the 16-song set are guitarists Alex DeGrassi, Stephen Bennett, Daniel Schwartz, Dean Magraw, Muriel Anderson, Peppino D'Agostino, Benjamin Woolman and Kentucky-born Pat Kirtley who wrote and performed "Gone Fishin.'"