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Screw Your Best of Year Lists, Here Is David Vassalotti’s Best Guitarists of All Time List

From Fahey to Frith, consider this a handy album gift guide for the guitar shredder in your life.

David Vassalotti's Broken Rope was one of the more impressive if under appreciated albums of 2016.

The guitarist for Florida's atmospheric punks Merchandise, stepped out for his second solo album of lo-fi guitar pop, industrial noise and musique concrete and in the process created one of the more versatile and interesting albums of the year.

His live show is also impressive as demonstrated by footage shot and edited by Jeremy Balderson, of his appearance at the Northside Festival Showcase earlier this year. Using loops, distortion, feedback and vocal echoes he produces a dexterous and skilful show.


As the year comes to a close David gives us a rundown on some of the guitarists that have inspire him and continue to amaze him.

John Fahey
Fahey is a religion. I have almost all of his albums and there's no sore thumb in the bunch. From country blues, Dixieland, Indian raga and classical all come together in a totally natural and unpretentious way. It's not flashy, but pure. His playing is so personal. His writing is also brilliant and he started releasing his own LP's IN THE FUCKING 50s. He is an all-around inspiration for outsider music.

Richard Thompson
My favourite in the 'classic rock' vein. He's a real ripper. Those early Fairport Convention records and I Wanna See the Bright Lights Tonight are mainstays. This is miraculous guitar playing, where Eastern flourishes and country folk somehow meet in the middle (which may sound horrible on paper, but I swear it's good).

Fred Frith
Another independent touchstone. There is a treasure of innovative playing in his solo records and his work in Henry Cow, Art Bears, the Residents, Naked City, Skeleton Crew, Massacre, etc (the list could go on and on). Fred is a real hero - plus he shreds the violin to boot.

Maurice Deebank
Most of my favourite guitarists are Englishmen. Deebank played guitar on the first four Felt records and those have been a massive inspiration on my playing over the years. It is clean and tasteful and never over-the-top. What's he up to now?

Paco de Lucia
The flamenco maestro. Listening to him play confirms my total inadequacy as a guitar player. I should just give it up and learn computer programming.

David Vassalotti's 'Broken Rope' is available now through Wharf Cat records.

Lead image: Tyler Gamble