Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Artist of the Week - Buckethead

I have to admit, I didn't really know much about this guy. I'd seem him on the occasional live show as a guest guitarist, but other than that, I just thought he was a novelty heavy-metal thrash axe man. Well, when i'm wrong, I say i'm wrong. He is a very gifted composer and musician. If you get chance, check out his Wiki page. The KFC bucket, mask, and long-hair wig are more than just a novelty here. It's almost meant as a deliberate distraction. Most great guitarists overload your senses with flashy clothes, painful facial expressions, and they run all over the stage twisting into all kinds of weird yoga positions. Aside from the occasional break dance or nun-chuck routine on stage, once Buckethead (real name Brian Carrol)pics up the guitar, everything is played almost completely dead-pan. It's all about the music, there's nothing else going on. Brilliant if you ask me. Him catalog of music is VAST. He had been called the #8 Top Guitarist of all time and if you listen to his stuff, you'll hear why. He has a mystique about him: There are no known pictures of him (aside from an old yearbook pic)without the trademark KFC bucket, mask, and dark-grey painters outfit. I have played guitar for years, and i have developed a 6th sence when it comes to listening to other players. I'm convinced the mask limits his view of his guitar, and like any real guitar virtuoso, he only has to feel it. His diverse range of playing covers the heaviest thrash metal to the most etherial acoustic compositions. He has incredibly long fingers which enable him to construct chords that are just crazy difficult. An example of this starts at 4:15 in the first video below. Most human beings would single-finger pick that.