Saturday, September 13, 2008

Masters of Guitar Concert Series - Michael Whisler

Last night I saw Michael Whisler perform at the Empire Arts Center as part of the Masters of Guitar Concert Series. He is described in this way on his website:
Michael Whisler is young self-taught acoustic fingerstyle guitarist and songwriter. He composes for both 12 and 6 string guitars with dynamic power and speed while drawing from American folk, blues and classical music. His tunes range from ripping fast paced instrumentals to slower more emotional ballads and even dissonant free time melodies. He also blends a unique bottleneck tone to some of his compositions which utilize alternate tunings. Although Michael is mainly a solo guitarist he does throw in his low warm vocals to some of the tunes, while all along never noticing there isn’t a band backing him up.

I would add that Michael seemed easy going and funny in his remarks about his music and in the stories he told between songs. His voice reminds me of Leonard Cohen and Jakob Dylan... is that possible? He looks about 12 years old on his myspace page, and once on stage it's clear he's not, but he did resemble Jeremy Sisto who played Elton in the 1995 film Clueless. These are the kinds of thoughts that run through my mind when I'm not awestruck by his terrific guitar playing ability.

You can hear some of his songs here.

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