Guitarist – April 2023
English | 134 pages | pdf | 126.14 MB

If you were paying attention to the news in the past few weeks, you might have come across a rather startling headline. This year, a Grammy – the music world’s equivalent of an Oscar – for Song Of The Year was awarded to celebrated guitarist and singer Bonnie Raitt, for the track Just Like That from her latest album of the same name (it also won the award for Best American Roots Song, with Made Up Mind winning Best Americana Performance). Of course, Raitt’s career has unfolded in anything but a ‘just like that’ manner. Her debut album came out in 1971 and, over the course of a 50-plus-year career she has won 13 Grammy Awards and no less than 30 nominations. It’s hard to think of a more illustrious and consistent contribution to guitar music, in some ways, given the quality of her playing, singing and recordings throughout.
So it was rather shocking to see the website of at least one major newspaper breathlessly claim that ‘an unknown blues singer’ had snatched a Grammy for Song Of The Year. Who could this total newcomer be, this mysterious ingénue who had strayed, blinking, into the spotlight? Why, Bonnie Raitt! I’m sure the ‘unknown blues singer’ in question will enjoy placing the award beside the others on her mantelpiece… Talk about beginner’s luck.
While it’s tempting to ascribe this risibly bad headline to lazy journalism or a cynical attempt at clickbait, it represents a more troubling trend. If a dazzling career in guitar music lasting over half a century (and counting) can be misrepresented so easily, it means that we all need to do as much as we can to promote guitar music – to help people understand how it can bring so much joy and solace, and so that it doesn’t slip off the cultural radar entirely in this post-rock ’n’ roll era. Do that and all of us genuinely ‘unknown blues singers’ out there playing pubs might be in with a shot of a Grammy some day. Well, we can dream… Enjoy the magazine issue and see you next time.

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