L ansdowne-reared guitarist Steve Gunn, who has just released his new album, Eyes on the Lines (Matador), is a master of his instrument, incorporating a wide variety of influences into his hypnotic sound. Here, he names his five favorite players of all time:
Skip James, the great Mississippi bluesman who is buried in Bala Cynwyd. "He had this indecipherable style. Very mysterious, which coincided with his vocals. His rhythm and his playing is just very unique and strange."
John Cipollina of 1960s psychedelic band Quicksilver Messenger Service. "He had this really incredible style where he actually played finger-style with his thumb and his index finger. And he was a gear freak. He played with a lot of effects and had very loose, open, almost jazzlike phrasing with his lead style. He's amazing."
Sonny Sharrock. "Sonically, he could play straight up, any kind of style. He did this album called Black Woman, with one of the great, free-jazz lineups. His guitar playing is very spiritual - loose but very powerful. Dangerous. Like a little bit scary."
Jimi Hendrix. "He inspired me as a young kid, of course. But lately I've been exploring his later recordings, especially the live stuff. The Isle of Wight Festival. it's just so aggressive and the band is on fire. Polyrhythmic and free. I'm just remembering how powerful he was."