GUITAR PLAYER AND BROADJAM have partnered to offer Broadjam members a chance to share their chops with GP readers and beyond. Well, there’s one tiny proviso—you have to impress the Broadjam community and the Guitar Player staff. After you post your track, it will be evaluated by Broadjam members. Then, the GP editors will listen to the top-rated picks in order to choose the finalists who end up in this column. For more information, go to broadjam.com/contests. Rock on!
Locality: Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
The Song: “Chuck N”
What We Dug:Wow. Schurse shifts into fifth gear from a standing start, powering his poppin’ and snappin’ licks and pedal-steel-like bends with a round, clean tone. Schurse’s technique is near flawless, and he has a knack for blending chicken pickin’, cascades, and melodic licks into a musical narrative, rather than blasting listeners into catatonia with a barrage of supersonic riffs. With his attention to songcraft and sh*t-hot pickin’, Schurse pays a fabulous homage to his influences, which include Brent Mason, Brad Paisley, Albert Lee, Redd Volkaert, and Chet Atkins.
Locality: Kent, United Kingdom
The Song: “Awakening”
What We Dug: Kenny takes his time setting up “Awakening”— appropriate, given the title—and employs a fat, overdriven tone to drive home his beautiful, laconic, and airy melodic lines. While the massive tone pretty much bullies any sense of dynamics, Kenny manages to evoke vocal-esque phrasing with a masterful use of bends, finger vibrato, and tremolobar manipulations
TODD M. SMITH
Locality: Boston, Massachusetts
The Song: “Cliffs of Aran”
What We Dug: Smith’s British Isle-flavored acoustic romp is a delightful mix of subtle percussion, supple picking, cagey counterpoint lines, and dancing melodies. His tone is taut, articulate, and crystalline, and even though he keeps the lines percolating, he imparts a sense of adventure with his picking dynamics and by slyly fading up the percussion and guitar overdubs.
Locality: Smithtown, New York
The Song: “Agincourt (The Bullfight)”
What We Dug: Although it seems all Spanish-guitar works dealing with bullfights are somewhat familiar, Anthony’s sure fingering, sensitive phrasing, and cinematic dynamics catapult his reading to the level of a bigscreen blockbuster. Every melodic line snaps the air like a bullfighter’s cape, and you can almost hear the cheers of the crowd and feel the tension in the ring.
BEAR TRAX STUDIO/JD COX
Locality: El Paso, Texas
The Song: “The Mental in Instrument”
What We Dug: Cox states this is a tribute to Van Halen and Santana. I didn’t get that so much, and I was a bit put-off by the stiff groove (and bad tom fills), but there’s no denying Cox’s ear-catching, gloriously edgy guitar tone and his seductive melody lines.