2020 Performer Lineup
Friday, August 7 – Friday Night Kick-off
Saturday, August 8 – Acoustic Day
Sunday, August 9 – Electric Day
Friday, August 7
Stig Mathisen is a guitarist and educator from Northern Norway, currently residing in Los Angeles. Stig has a Masters and a Doctoral degree in guitar performance from University of Southern California, where he graduated with numerous awards for outstanding achievements. He studied Classical guitar at Tromso University for over six years, and has worked extensively as a freelance guitarist and University lecturer in both Norway and in the U.S. An eclectic guitarist by nature, Stig is equally comfortable with rock, jazz and classical music, and has rubbed shoulders with numerous world-class musicians over the years. A passionate explorer and a relentless seeker of all knowledge pertaining to guitar, improvisation, composition, music history and music philosophy, he has been on a quest since his formative years to discover the inner mechanics and the deeper secrets of music. Stig is currently the Chair of the Guitar Program (GIT) at Musicians Institute, in Hollywood, California, and he has written several of the books currently in use as core curriculum at the college.
One of the greatest and most influential guitarists in the world, Preston Reed has been captivating audiences globally for almost three decades with the two-handed integrated percussive style he began developing in the 1980’s.
Preston’s music combines chord-based grooves, soaring melodic runs and polyrhythmic percussion, fulfilling the orchestral potential of the guitar body. The power and depth of Preston’s timeless, imagery-evoking compositions are as unique
as his execution. Blues, rock, metal, funk, jazz and classical styles are distilled into a breath-taking visual and sonic experience – a border-hopping musical language that tells stories without words.
As millions of YouTube viewers have discovered, Reed’s recordings and live performances continue to define the sound of the pioneering compositional guitar genre he invented over a quarter century ago.
“Spectacular… the best one-man show this reviewer has seen since Bruce Springsteen… A terrific performer” – The Irish Independent
“In a class of his own” – London Evening Standard
“True spellbinding guitar mastery” – Guitarist Magazine
“Heart stopping tour de force” – Billboard
“… widely thought of as the world’s most gifted guitarist” – Total Guitar
“Reed’s fiendishly intricate blend of blues, rock, country and metal styles ducks and weaves itself away from measurability” – The Irish Times
“You can’t speak about the acoustic guitar scene today without including Preston Reed” – Premier Guitar Magazine
Saturday, August 8 – Acoustic Day
World-renowned guitarist and singer John Pizzarelli has been hailed by the
Boston Globe for “reinvigorating the Great American Songbook and re-
popularizing jazz.” and the Seattle Times saluted him as “a rare entertainer of the old school.”
Established as one of the prime contemporary interpreters of the Great American Songbook, Pizzarelli has also expanded his repertoire with high-profile collaborations with Artists such as Sir Paul McCartney, James Taylor, Michael McDonald, Kristin Chenoweth, Rosemary Clooney, Bucky Pizzarelli and many more. With the recent return to his roots, Pizzarelli released his new album, For Centennial Reasons: 100 Year Salute to Nat King Cole. His themed shows suggest there is no limit to Pizzarelli’s imagination or talent. John has performed on the country’s most popular national television shows such as The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Conan, Jay Leno, David Letterman and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Los Angeles-based fingerstylist Scott Goldman has been playing guitar for over 30 years. He found his inspiration at a Leo Kottke concert in the early 1970’s and has never looked back. As life takes its twists and turns, Goldman ended up eventually taking a day job but continued to pursue guitar playing in his spare time. After sharing some of the tracks with friends, Goldman was encouraged to put together an album of recordings. The compositions on Off Season range from moody and contemplative to more aggressive pieces. In addition to opening Guitar Town, Goldman has served as Executive Director of The Grammy Museum as well as VP of the Grammy Foundation and MusiCares. Goldman, who moderates numerous appearances per year at The Grammy Museum, serves as Master of Ceremonies for Guitar Town, as well as moderator for the popular Guitar Town morning guitar workshops.
ALL OVER THE MAP
Twenty albums into his five-decade career, Steve Wariner still has
plenty of musical tricks up his sleeve. On All Over The Map, his fans will hear him like never before. For the
first time, Wariner displays the astonishing breadth of his talents on
one album. All Over The Map, on Wariner’s own SelecTone Records,
showcases not only the dazzling, innovative guitar work for which he’s
so well known, but his command of other instruments as well.
“People know me as an artist and a guitar player, but I don’t think they
know the full musician side of me, including playing steel, lap steel,
drums and even upright bass,” Wariner says, all of which he tackles on
the new set. “This album pulls back all the layers.”
Throughout All Over The Map’s five instrumentals and seven vocal
songs, Wariner brings a sense of joy to his music that rings out as an
expression that is at once deeply personal, but also universal.
“This album is me. It is what I do,” the four-time GRAMMY Award
winner says. “This just shows off everything that I love and what I’m
about—not only the writing, but the musicianship and where I come
from, my roots and my blood. This is me right here.” It’s so thoroughly
him, that Wariner, an accomplished artist, even painted the cover
As the album title aptly captures, stylistically, the music is
exhilaratingly diverse, spanning country, bluegrass, rock, jazz and pop, all unified by Wariner’s adroit playing and singing. As Wariner, who wrote 10 of the 12 tracks here, worked with musical friends and heroes from all over the world—including some from as far away as Australia—he realized he was spanning the globe geographically as well. “People would say, ‘Describe the album’ and I’d say ‘Well, it
showcases my singing, my musicianship, I’ve got guests, there’s some instrumentals. It’s all over the map’,” he recalls. “Finally one day, I go, ‘that’s my title right there!’”
Top among Wariner’s collaborators is the late, legendary Merle
Haggard. The pair co-wrote heartbreaking, traditional country ballad, “When I Still Mattered To You” in 1996 and Wariner revisited the trackafter Haggard’s death earlier this year.
Wariner, who produced the album primarily at Twangra-La, his home studio outside of Nashville, also enlisted a league of top-flight
musicians to work with, making it his most guest-laden album since
his acclaimed instrumental set, 1996’s No More Mr. Nice Guy. “I just
started thinking about some of my pals I hadn’t had a chance to record with,” he says. The Grand Ole Opry member brought in brilliant guitarist Eric Johnson for lilting, jazzy instrumental, “Meanwhile Back In Austin,” Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Duane Eddy for the twangy “Nashville Spy-line” and Jack Pearson, known for his work with The Allman Bros., for rollicking album opener, “Drop Top,” a remake of Billy Love’s 1952
Chess Records cut. The Kentucky Headhunters’ Greg Martin plays on the swampy “Way It Goes,” which features a rare social commentary from Wariner, while his longtime buddy Ricky Skaggs provides exquisite mandolin accompaniment on bluegrass delight, “Down Sawmill Road.” “This is about the highest level of musicianship you can get, these guys,” Wariner says. “That’s what I wanted and what’s amazing is they’re all my friends. In the case of Eric and Jack, I’ve known them forever but never did have a chance to go in and cut with them. That part of the bucket list is pretty much being fulfilled.”
Wariner started crafting the album more than 20 months ago,
beginning with the breezy “CGP,” shorthand for Certified Guitar
Player, a designation lovingly bestowed upon him and four other
guitarists by Chet Atkins for their exemplary playing prowess. He’s joined by the other two remaining CGPs, Tommy Emmanuel and John
Knowles, in the tribute to their friend and mentor.
Wariner even manages to duet with himself on guitar and steel guitar
on tangy “Modulation Situation.” The shootout came at the suggestion
of his son, Ryan, whose bluesy rocker, “The Last Word,” Wariner
recorded for All Over The Map, playing alongside his son.
The most personal song on the album is “Mr Roy,” a western swing
tribute to his dad, featuring Wariner on lap steel. “This is really a tip of
the hat to my pop, who is such a dear influence for me,” he says. By the time Wariner was 10, he was playing drums with his father’s band. He then picked up the bass, and as a teenager, moved from his native Indiana to Nashville and joined Dottie West’s band. It was only a few years later that Atkins signed him to RCA and produced his first recordings. More than 30 Top 10 hits followed, including 14 No. 1s such as “All Roads Lead To You,” “Some Fools Never Learn,” “ Lynda,” and “Where Did I Go Wrong.” The moving “Holes In The Floor Of Heaven” garnered Wariner the ACM award for Song Of The Year in 1999, as well as CMA awards for Song and Single Of The Year. Additionally, artists ranging from Garth Brooks, Keith Urban and Clint Black have all scored hits with Wariner-penned songs. Forty years after signing his first record deal with RCA, Wariner’s passion for writing, playing and singing music remains undiminished. “I was every bit as enthusiastic about recording this project as I was the very first day I went in with Chet Atkins in 1977 and recorded my first stuff. I still get as excited, especially when the room is full of great players. The joy is in creating for me, and it never goes away.” As he prepares to release All Over The Map, he urges his fans to do some traveling with him, perhaps over some new musical terrain, as he continues the journey he started so long ago. “I came to Nashville when I was 17,” he says. “I came here as a player. I still am. And I wanted this album to show every facet of what I do and what I love. This record just reveals who I am.”
Sunday August 9 – Electric Day
The Louisiana slide guitar icon Sonny Landreth released his new studio album Blacktop Runon February 21, 2020 via Provogue Mascot Label Group. Blacktop Run follows his previous Grammy nominated album Recorded Live In Lafayette (2017) and his back-to-back Blues Music Awards for Best Guitarist and Best Blues Album for Bound by the Blues (2015).
His groundbreaking work has long mixed familiarity with experimentation, and his latest ten-song collection stretches from hard-edged electric instrumentals to wistful acoustic ballads. The project’s range is the fruit of a renewed collaboration. Producer RS Field who helmed Landreth’s trio of breakout albums joined the six-stringer and co-producer Tony Daigle to finish the record.
“His brilliance and creative energy recharged us,” Landreth said of reuniting with Field. Most of the tracks were recorded live at famed Dockside Studios on the Vermilion River south of Lafayette, LA. “We came up with new and better ideas, and that’s what you want,” he added. “It couldn’t have gone better.”
After two Grammy nominations, multiple appearances at Clapton’s Crossroads Guitar Festival and wide-ranging acclaim from fellow players and fans worldwide, Landreth is looking forward to playing the new material live. “It’s all about telling the story,” Landreth says, “and as long as I can find my way up that path, I’m all in.” As the songwriter’s narrator sings in the title number of Blacktop Run, “A new day is dawning and I have never felt so alive.”
No Depression may have said it best when they called Lee Roy Parnell “a fine writer blessed with a rich, soulful vocal delivery and a blistering array of guitar chops drawn almost equally from Texas blues, Memphis soul, and Southern rock traditions.”
Parnell is part of a long line of Texas roots-music eclectics and is among the elite few who can be identified as a triple threat. An ace guitarist, as well as a distinctive singer, and hit songwriter, his music runs the gamut of diversity. Combining the influences of Blue-Eyed Soul, Delta Blues, Road House Rock, Southern Boogie, Texas Swing, Country and Gospel, Parnell’s sound defies conventional classification. He draws from a broad range of musical sources and combines them with seamless dexterity and, unlike many other hard-to-pigeonhole artists, Parnell has enjoyed a run of success on the country and blues charts.
After honing his skills over more than a decade of playing clubs in Austin, Houston, Dallas/Fort Worth, and New York, the triple-threat Americana/Blues-Rock artist known for his guitar prowess (particularly slide guitar), smooth soul-drenched voice, and top-shelf songwriting skills laid a new foundation in Nashville. After earning a regular spot at the famed Bluebird Café and a publishing contract, Parnell launched his solo career on Arista Records, which produced many country hits including “A Little Bit Of You” (#1 hit); “What Kind of Fools Do You Think I Am” & “Tender Moment” (both #2 hits), and four other Top 10 hits: “Love Without Mercy,” “On The Road,” “I’m Holding My Own,” and “Heart’s Desire.” Parnell also scored a hit collaboration with Trisha Yearwood — “When A Woman Loves A Man” and a well-known Top 15 with “Givin’ Water To A Drowning Man.” Parnell has earned two GRAMMY® Award nominations for his instrumental tracks, “Cat Walk” (with Flaco Jiménez) and “Mama, Screw Your Wig On Tight” and was nominated for the CMA Vocal Event of the Year on “John the Revelator” (with The Fairfield Four).
Parnell has received widespread acclaim as a guitar slinger. Gibson has honored Parnell with the creation and production of the Lee Roy Parnell Signature ’57 Les Paul Goldtop guitar, modeled after the only guitar Parnell owned from the time he was 15 years old until he was well into his 30’s. In 2019, Gibson and Parnell collaborated once again on the Lee Roy Parnell Signature 1959 Les Paul Standard.
During his storied career, Parnell has toured/collaborated with many music legends including The Allman Brothers Band, Merle Haggard, Delbert McClinton, and Bonnie Raitt. In 2011, Parnell was presented with his most cherished honor: being inducted into the Texas Heritage Songwriters’ Hall of Fame, joining the likes of such talented composers as Kris Kristofferson, Rodney Crowell, JD Souther, Willie Nelson, Guy Clark, and others.
In 2017, Parnell released his first new album in over a decade — the critically-acclaimed Midnight Believer — on Vector Recordings/BFD. Parnell produced the Stax- and Muscle Shoals-inspired album and co-wrote all 10 songs with award-winning songwriter Greg Barnhill, including the poignant, yet hopeful “Sunny Days,” which features a special guest appearance by The Fairfield Four. Midnight Believer made All Music’s “Best of 2017 Favorite Blues Albums” list and received rave reviews from the likes of Keb’ Mo’ (“Call up your honey, get your favorite drink. And play this album”) and Rodney Crowell (With Midnight Believer, Lee Roy Parnell is playing and singing better than ever. The band’s crackin’ and the songs are right on point”). Vintage Guitar raved in a review: “The big percolating funk of ‘Hours In Between’ sets the stage nicely…stylish chord changes, a fat guitar sound on the fills, and a nasty, biting feel on the solo gets your attention quickly…’Too Far Gone’ features a gorgeous, melodic solo that is warm enough to melt ice…this is one of the most pleasant surprises from 2017’s record releases.”
In addition to solo Midnight Believer Tour dates, Parnell has been busy touring with fellow world-class guitarists John Jorgenson and Joe Robinson as Guitar Army and making frequent Grand Ole Opry appearances. Parnell also joined famed guitarist Steve Vai in Hollywood during the summer of 2018 for Vai’s remarkable 53 1/2-consecutive-hour Big Mama-Jama Jamathon to benefit Extraordinary Families, a leading nonprofit foster family, adoption, and advocacy agency dedicated to improving the daily lives and long-term outcomes of children and youth in foster care. Other players on the bill included Moby, Dweezil Zappa, Dave Navarro, Orianthi, Al Di Meola, Lee Ritenour, Steve Morse, Derek Smalls and hundreds more.
For more information: www.leeroyparnell.com