Finding new artists with a unique style and sound is challenging with the ocean of options. However, these promising new acoustic guitar artists manage to carve out a sound and style that makes them memorable.
These artists are exciting for those looking for new music to escape the top 40 charts. But their unique style might also deserve attention for those who are looking to learn guitar and expand on their style repertoire.
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Izzie Walsh and her band from Manchester bring a northern English charm to bluegrass music, having been described as bringing the ‘Tennessee front porches’ to their gigs in London and Manchester.
Her vocals sit somewhere between an early Dolly Parton and an emotive Stevie Nicks. With a full country-style band, Izzie Walshe’s songs show her resilience and willful energy.
Playing as she does with a full band, her guitar-playing style creates space for the other instruments and her voice. Her use of muted strumming with upbeat strokes makes her style in ‘Not Today‘ intriguing. The song itself evokes the feeling of wanting to pause all your worries for a day before later facing them.
Max Runham is a singer-songwriter from Swanley who plays both alone acoustically, and also with a full band. Equally comfortable with the emotional and the humorous in his many songs, he escapes a simple definition. With influences as diverse as Fleet Foxes and Ray Charles, Max Runham’s sound has a richness worth exploring.
His guitar style also challenges what is expected from an acoustic singer-songwriter. Dipping into dominant chords and colorful chord extensions, his playing on ‘Ways of the Wizard‘ is both calming and swinging. The song conjures the fun and lightness of a spring evening spent with friends.
Joncan Kavlakoglu, a gifted guitar player, describes himself as a ‘funk-flamenco guitarist.’ But his virtuosic approach to the acoustic guitar blends multiple styles to create a unique upbeat sound. He only needs his guitar to create driving, fun, and highly danceable music with no need for looping pedals or supporting instruments.
His song ‘Mental State‘ showcases the energetic and percussive approach to the acoustic guitar he has mastered. Just on the strings, he mixes strumming, picking, and slapping to create the full sound of an ensemble with only one guitar.
He makes it impossible to sit still when he begins drumming on the guitar’s body. He manages to act as both guitarist and drummer sitting alone on stage.
Robin Joel Sangster (Copper Viper)
Robin Joel Sangster’s lyric voice and melodies pair well with his folk-style guitar playing. Playing in the folk duo Copper Viper his style turns to a more bluegrass feel with fellow band member Duncan Menzies on the fiddle or mandolin. On his own, his acoustic performance gives an understated beauty that is offset in the bouncing songs of the duo.
Playing on his own on ‘Run Boy Run‘ his vocals reminds listeners of Don McLean with a subtle finger-picking style that is soothing to the ear. In his duo, playing ‘Hung Up Alone,’ he switches to a thumping strumming style that creates the high-energy bluegrass sound.
So Much More
These are only four of the promising artists that are out there. Each has their own unique styles that set them apart from chart-topping songs.
Whether you are hoping just to find new music to listen to, or want to discover your style on the acoustic guitar, these artists are a useful start. Hopefully, they will make you dance, sing, or want to pick up a guitar and learn to play yourself.
Photo Credit: Max Runham by BenRoperFilms, Youtube.
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