Bob Wilson
Bob Wilson

The guitar is certainly the instrument of our generation, having dominated popular music for nearly half a century. With millions of people playing the guitar and thousands performing and recording, how does one distinguish one's self as a guitarist these days?

Bob Wilson has accomplished this through dedication to music and the guitar, and by drawing on such a wide range of influences that his playing style is his own. We never listen "through" his playing to its sources, because the source is right here. He's one of a kind, and has never relented in maintaining and continuing to develop his phenomenal technique. He practices every day. Did you hear that, kids?

Bob is equally at home on electric or acoustic guitar; an accomplishment in itself. The acoustic which he uses when playing with Rick Shubb is a Selmer Maccaferri. The use of this guitar is itself a creative choice, since this style of guitar is seldom if ever combined with a five string banjo. The Maccaferri is usually identified with Django Reinhardt and Gypsy jazz. While Django is certainly one of Bob's favorite musicians, Bob is not particularly a Django-style player, and instead of the softer strings traditionally favored by the gyspy players, Bob strings his Maccaferri with light gauge steel strings. His playing in this context is a blend of harmonically rich chord solos, dynamic single-note runs and solos, Travis-like finger picking (for which he uses a flatpick and his fingers), and always tasteful comping and rhythm. He's likely to draw on any of a number of sources for inspiration, among whom he cites Charlie Christian, Django Reinhardt, George Van Eps, Tal Farlow, Johnny Smith, Barney Kessel, Wes Montgomery, Merle Travis, Hank Snow, and others. And those are just the guitar players. Jazz, county, folk, rock, name it.

In addition to his passion for music, Bob Wilson loves movies. He's a walking encyclopedia of films from the '30s and '40s, and never tires of searching for more films from that era to discover. His expertise in this area is remarkable when you consider that he has been totally blind all his life; a fact that one tends to forget at times because he just doesn't seem handicapped. It's truly amazing to watch a movie with him as he identifies bit players by a line or two of dialogue.

Not since his early twenties has Bob Wilson pursued a full-time career in music. Instead he has supported his wife and two sons as a full-time school teacher, maintaining a part-time music career playing casuals on weekends. But this is a part-time career which he has always taken very seriously, and he takes a back seat to no one when it comes to dedication, technique, creativity and just plain musical talent,

Bodega Sessions: $15.95
includes postage in the USA. International orders will have postage added.

about the tracks | about Rick Shubb | about Bob Wilson | about Charlie Warren
liner notes by Paul Shelasky | liner notes by Rick Shubb | gear

read the reviews: San Francisco Examiner | Dirty Linen Magazine | Bluegrass Breakdown
Listen to some of the music: Avalon: (MP3: 2.8 MB) | Sherlock Holmes: (MP3: 2.6 MB)

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