Great tone, tasteful playing - who?

Jimbro66Jimbro66 Frets: 786
No not, predictably, Gilmour but -  a busker!

A brave soul facing icy winds busking on a pedestrian bridge over the Thames yesterday. Fender Strat, neck pickup, what looked like a Roland Cube Street and backing tracks probably on an iPhone. Killer tone, one of the best I’ve ever heard from a Strat neck pu. Couldn’t believe such a great sound was coming from really simple gear.

That’s not all. The guy could really play. No vocals, just guitar over backing tracks. Stevie Wonder, that sort of thing, mapping out the melody then improvising in a very bluesy style but even then frequently referencing the melody rather than descending into self-indulgent widdling. Maybe as they say, tone is all in the fingers.
 
Not many coins in his open gig bag. Everyone was scurrying quickly by with hands in pockets and heads bowed against the biting wind. When I returned half hour later he was gone. Who was he? No idea, but I’ll think of him every time a new thread about the holy grail, great tone, is posted on the Fretboard.


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  • I once saw a guy in Manchester city centre playing a battered old cheapo acoustic and dispensing incredible jazz licks into the teeth of a biting wind. He also had great tone despite the sub zero temperatures. 
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  • Jimbro66Jimbro66 Frets: 786

    Even at this time of year London is full of buskers, street artists and human statues braving the cold to make a few quid. The lucky ones find a sheltered spot with maybe some radiated warmth from buildings but most are in wind-swept squares. The really unlucky ones are on the Embankment or on bridges over the river where the icy wind is relentless.

    They must be really hardy. It's not something I could ever do (soft southerner). Even short gigs outside in winter can be daunting.

    Anyone here go busking in winter?

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  • ClarkyClarky Frets: 2996
    edited November 2017
    there's an old fella in Reading that plays bluesy rock slide on what is certainly a home made guitar thing with 4 strings..
    he absolutely rocks

    I'll always stop and have a bit of a listen..
    and I'll always bung him a few squid
    play every note as if it were your first
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  • Jimbro66Jimbro66 Frets: 786
    Clarky said:
    there's an old fella in Reading that plays bluesy rock slide on what is certainly a home made guitar thing with 4 strings..
    he absolutely rocks

    I'll always stop and have a bit of a listen..
    and I'll always bung him a few squid
    :+1: Great talent can be found in the most unlikely places and is always worth rewarding :)
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  • axisusaxisus Frets: 10876
    Too bad you didn't take a little phone vid. See if he's on YouTube and post a video if you find one.
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  • Jimbro66Jimbro66 Frets: 786
    axisus said:
    Too bad you didn't take a little phone vid. See if he's on YouTube and post a video if you find one.

    Great idea. I wish I'd thought of that at the time. The cold must have numbed my brain :D

    I could have a look on You Tube but needle-in-haystack springs to mind. Shame he's not a member here.

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  • ClarkyClarky Frets: 2996
    edited November 2017
    Jimbro66 said:
    Clarky said:
    there's an old fella in Reading that plays bluesy rock slide on what is certainly a home made guitar thing with 4 strings..
    he absolutely rocks

    I'll always stop and have a bit of a listen..
    and I'll always bung him a few squid
    1 Great talent can be found in the most unlikely places and is always worth rewarding
    absolutely...
    I remember a few years back walking through the subways under La Plaza de la Independencia in Madrid
    there was a young student playing Moorish pieces..
    he was a stunning player.. 
    play every note as if it were your first
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  • ClarkyClarky Frets: 2996
    saw a guy Saturday night playing and singing on his own in a little pub in Kent over backing tracks..
    mostly Floyd [Wall / Dark Side / Wish You Were Here], and some other stuff [Freebird etc]
    Ibanez RG, GT100 and a Boogie
    sounded absolutely wonderful
    play every note as if it were your first
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  • KebabkidKebabkid Frets: 1421
    edited December 2017
    In the mid-80s, I used to go to Covent Garden a lot with the express intention of catching a jazz/flamenco busking duo who were very much in the vein of the Friday Night in San Francisco thing (McLaughlin, de Lucia, Di Meola). Normally, purely acoustic on nylon strung, guitars (one played flamenco, finger style, the other with a pick). Later, they started using mini-amps/PA but the reverb and use of an Octaver were always spot on and it was a great, full and percussive sound.

    They were incredible musicians who melded melody, technique, passion and fun all into one and soon had a large following and made a name for themselves and projected themselves from literally, the streets of London to venues, festivals, the studio (signed recording artists) and television performances, both nationally and worldwide.

    Sadly, they do not perform together anymore but they have their own, respective, successful careers but that was Eduardo Niebla and Antonio Forcione. Anyone seen or heard of them before?

     www.cairoeast.co.uk - Madness Tribute band (Bass Player) and guitarist elsewhere
    Feedback - http://www.thefretboard.co.uk/discussion/57885/
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  • There's a chap in Guildford who's always a pleasure to listen to. His Comfortably Numb is a treat to hear.
    "Working" software has only unobserved bugs. (Parroty Error: Pieces of Nine! Pieces of Nine!)
    Seriously: If you value it, take/fetch it yourself
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  • RavenousRavenous Frets: 1448
    edited December 2017
    Kebabkid said:
    Sadly, they do not perform together anymore but they have their own, respective, successful careers but that was Eduardo Niebla and Antonio Forcione. Anyone seen or heard of them before?

    I saw a duo doing that sort of thing there once - must have been 1988.  Can't be sure it was them but it may have been. Very impressive, technical crowd-pleasing stuff!

    Back in the '80s in Hull I saw a chap busking once.  Young, shaved head, but against type he was playing a classical guitar through a small battery amp doing various instrumentals (despite being a classical guitar snob at the time I don't recall what they were.)

    He was playing one particular bit very quietly... and when a very little girl walked up to inspect his guitar he did a sudden loud Rasgueado right across the strings. Made her jump a mile!

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