Diversions :: Chris Forsyth (Bootleg Mix)

Diversions, a recurring feature on Aquarium Drunkard, catches up with our favorite artists as they wax on subjects other than recording and performing.

2013 isn't quite done, but it's safe to say that the most glorious electric guitar record of the year is Chris Forsyth's stupendous Solar Motel. The album calls to mind a dream team of six-string mavericks -- Garcia, Verlaine/Lloyd, Thompson, Quine and plenty more. As one might expect, Forsyth is a connoisseur of guitar anti-heroism, so we asked him to put together a "bootleg mix" of jams that inspired the new record. Forsyth's selections, and words, below...

Tetuzi Akiyama: Short Piece Dedicated to Blind Willie Johnson and Blind Joe Death

I did nine dates in Europe with Tetuzi Akiyama back in the autumn of 2010. We'd met before and played together, even put out a CD (Phantom Limb & Akiyama, Hot Ginger  [Archive, 2006]), always playing electric. On this tour, during which we played solos and sometimes duos, he played acoustic. These gigs left me convinced that he's one of the most incredible and underrated acoustic guitar stylists I've ever heard up close. In London, we did two nights at Cafe Oto and on the second night, we played with other people. I did a first/only time duo with Rick Tomlinson of Voice of the Seven Thunders (which was very pleasing to do and is up on the Free Music Archive) and Tetuzi did a trio in a very reductionist mode with Seymour Wright and Ross Lambert. He then did an encore that nearly made my heart stop. On display was not only his devastating vision of the blues, but his sense of humor - he wore an airline sleeping blindfold and dedicated it to Blind Willie Johnson and Blind Joe Death. Lo and behold, someone taped it and it showed up on YouTube some months later. It has about 1000 hits as I write this and I'm sure I must be responsible for at least half of them.

Only the good shit. Aquarium Drunkard is powered by its patrons. Keep the servers humming and help us continue doing it by pledging your support.

To continue reading, become a member or log in.