Great Guitars: Catching Up with Guitar Player Presents

FOR YEARS, GUITAR PLAYER PRESENTS HAS CO-HOSTED concerts by some of the world’s most exciting guitarists at venues around the magazine’s home base in the San Francisco Bay Area.
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FOR YEARS, GUITAR PLAYER PRESENTS HAS CO-HOSTED CONCERTS BY SOME OF THE WORLD'S most exciting guitarists at venues around the magazine’s home base in the San Francisco Bay Area. Recently, D’Addario and Planet Waves sponsored some thrilling evenings of guitarcraft at GP Presents events. Here are some photos and recaps of what went down. And don’t forget to check for news on upcoming artists appearing at our monthly series of GP Presents concerts. —JIMMY LESLIE


GP consulting editor and Bay Area native Jim Campilongo flew his full NYC crew to Yoshi’s San Francisco, where the country-jazz maestro treated fans to new material written specifically for quartet, as well as new arrangements of old favorites. Campilongo’s cascading arpeggios on “The Prettiest Girl in New York” sounded as lovely as the title implies.

Jefferson Starship christened San Francisco’s plush new Live at the Rrazz venue. The psychedelic pioneers—with GP’s Los Angeles editor Jude Gold on guitar—played the seminal Jefferson Airplane album Surrealistic Pillow in its entirety, and Gold’s otherworldly interpretation of “Embryonic Journey” was the most inspirational guitar moment of the evening.

The vibe at Jose Feliciano’s Yoshi’s Oakland show was sky high, and was even more impressive considering Feliciano suffers from Dupuytren’s contracture in his left hand—a connective tissue disorder where the fingers bend towards the palm and cannot be fully extended. The 67-year-old told GP that he undergoes regular therapy, and simply refuses to let the affliction slow him down. Feliciano earned a spot in GP’s Gallery of Greats in 1977 for winning five Best Pop Guitarist titles, and at Yoshi’s, he thanked Guitar Player for giving him credibility.

Elvin Bishop’s show at Bob Weir’s Sweetwater Music Hall in Marin County was a vivid reminder that the most important part of being an interesting guitar player is to project personality. Bishop used greasy slide licks, preposterous bends, and various vibratos to whoop up the sonic equivalent of down-home cookin’. When he and trombonist Ed Earley played unison licks, the tonal blend was beyond tasty.