March 1

Recently I was reminiscing about one of my favorite guitar players, Michael Hedges.

He was a steel string acoustic player who recorded several solo albums for New Age label Windham Hill. His first two records were all instrumental compositions while his third, Watching My Life Go By, was his original music and vocals.

Now, judging by that description, most people would picture a super technical guitar player perched atop a stool, fully engrossed in his playing, with a silent audience of onlookers.

Nothing could be further from the truth! Hedges was one of the most entertaining performers I’ve ever seen! He was a dynamic bouncing ball of energy live, playing to both sides of the stage, inviting audience participation and banging out classic rock and new pop tunes along with his original compositions with equal gusto.

I had dug back into his music (on CD) and decided to see what there was out their on YouTube. Turns out there was a lot! Quite a bit of mid 70s up through his 90s stuff. Here’s an example of one of his more technical originals called Aerial Boundaries:

Owing to his recording on Windham Hill he was often pigeon-holed into the New Age genre, but he would self effacingly describe his playing style “Heavy Mental”, “New Edge” or “Acoustic Thrash”.

Post Spokane Public Radio Recordings & Videos Sale, I came across a load of records from the sale at a local Goodwill. It was mostly easy listening, classical and opera stuff but there were a few boxes listed as pop/rock and jazz/blues. In one of those was a sleeveless, but still nice, copy of Watching My Life Go By.

So, the reminiscing continues, scotch in hand, this evening. Thank you, Michael.

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