Michael Hedges: All Along the Watchtower (1987)
I first heard Michael Hedges’ music around 1990 or so, when Taproot came out. I was instantly enthralled. He revolutionized acoustic guitar playing, and despite being on the nascent Windham Hill label, he didn’t fit neatly in the “new age” category. Misty, Scott and I had the good fortune to see him live in 1994, a few years before his untimely death. I picked this video because, despite its middling visual quality, it captured his wry stage presence, his obsession with tuning, and his tremendous playing. I also beg you to go listen to Rickover’s Dream.
Andy McKee: Africa (2006)
Amy turned me onto Andy McKee this week, and oh my am I thrilled. McKee became Internet-famous at the end of last year when one of his YouTube videos was Dugg. I chose this video because the song will be familiar and will give you a beginning idea of his Hedges-like skills, but as with Hedges, you really need to hear one of his original compositions (like Art of Motion).
For this week’s bonus video, let’s take a look back at a commercial I saw when I was but a child.