Call ''em what you will (ax grinders, stringmeisters, fret burners), guitar players are the main men (and sometimes women) in the worlds of rock, blues, and country. So the idea behind this 90-minute, Canadian-produced documentary (examining various guitarists'' styles, hearing their stories, and of course listening to them play) is sound, so to speak. The first half spotlights a dizzying array of players, from older rockers (Peter Frampton, Steve Winwood, Black Sabbath''s Tony Iommi, Yes''s Steve Howe, Tom Petty, and many others) to younger guns (Mark Bryan of Hootie and the Blowfish, Soul Asylum''s Dan Murphy), from country pickers (Travis Tritt, Kix Brooks of Brooks and Dunn, Chet Atkins) to blues giants (B.B. King, T-Bone Walker), with a couple of bass players (the Who''s John Entwistle, Jefferson Airplane''s Jack Cassady) thrown in for good measure. They talk about how they started, pay tribute to their own heroes and favorite axes, discuss the evolution of their techniques, etc.; there''s a little history, including Les Paul''s invention of the solid body guitar and studio multitracking, and several too-brief live concert excerpts.
The second half consists of unedited solo improvisations (mostly blues riffing) by about 20 of the players; good idea, mixed results. In the end, those who can''t tell a G string from an F-hole won''t be fascinated; jazz guitar lovers will feel short-changed; some will be outraged about who isn''t represented (what, no Eddie Van Halen?), and Emmylou Harris is the only woman on hand. Still, guitar freaks will find plenty here to make their strings twang. --Sam Graham
As riveting a biography of a musical instrument as the life story of any of its mostgifted practitioners, WIRED FOR SOUND: A GUITAR ODYSSEY looks at the humble beginnings of the acoustic guitar in the Kalamazoo workshop of inventor Orville H. Gibson and its emergence from the shadows of the big band rhythm section to the center stage of blues, country and rock-and-roll.
WIRED FOR SOUND: A GUITAR ODYSSEY Features vintage performance footage and original testimonials from some of the greatest players in music history, including John Lee Hooker, Chet Atkins, Les Paul, Tom Petty, B.B. King, Peter Frampton, Hank Williams Jr., Emmylou Harris, Dave Matthews, the Elvis Presley Trio''s Scotty Moore, Grateful Dead founder Bob Weir, The Who bassist John Entwistle, The Rolling Stones'' Ron Wood and Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan.
The Kings of Blues, Rhythm and Blues, Country and Western, and Rock and Roll tell the amazing, true story of the Gibson guitar and how it rocked their world.
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