Beyond Berkeley Guitar
"Beyond Berkeley Guitar" was curated and produced by Sean Smith, who also produced "Berkeley Guitar". As the title suggests, "Beyond Berkeley Guitar" expands the boundaries, stylistically and regionally, to display the prowess of seven Bay Area guitarists, all of whom use solo guitar composition as a means of profound personal expression. This collection spans generations of players, from Aaron Sheppard, a twenty year old virtuoso fingerpicker, to Richard Osborn, a free-raga style player who studied with Robbie Basho in the 1960’s. The album also offers the rare treat of hearing a woman represented within a genre dominated almost entirely by men; Ava Mendoza, whose wiley and highly technical playing closes the album. Included as well are two gentle players, Trevor Healy and Chuck Johnson, who both come from avant rock pasts; Lucas Boilon, who largely keeps his extreme talent to himself; and Sean Smith, who continues to stretch the boundaries of American Primitive through genre and influence re-appropriation.