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Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa
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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Antonio Forcione - the most versatile guitar player I have ever seen

I was fortunate enough to be able to see Antonio Forcione (guitar player of note) in Kalkbay this month. The concert was held in the Olympia bakery and it was quite a show. The setting lent itself quite nicely to a rather intimate show and the other two guitarists, Tony Cox and Saudiq Kahn were ofcourse exceptional as usual. Tony is an excellent story teller and makes everything an interesting experience, Saudiq plays extremely nicely and the guitar he had sounded so phenomenal BUT then, enter Antonio Forcione.

If you ever get a chance to see Antonio Forcione live and in concert, beg, borrow or steal the money for the entrance fee and you will see the show of your life. Apart from being a bit eccentric, I have never seen a more impressive display and guitar mastery in my entire life. I never even knew people who had such talent existed. My styles I have always admired are Merle Travis, Tom Bresch, Chet Atkins, Jerry Reed, Buster B, Marcel Dadi and most recently a gentlemen called
Bruce Keener. However these gentlemen all have a style that sounds pretty impressive and even have some speedy fingering which will blow your mind. Take for example Jerry's Breakdown. Man awesome stuff and difficult as hell. However, enter Antonio Forcione....

I caught myself on numerous occasions counting his fingers to see whether he really only has 10 fingers. Man he utilizes every inch of his guitar and his fingers, hands, palms, back of his fingers in the bass slides (finger under the bass string) and playing like a double bass while all the time keeping rythm by playing the front, back and sides of his guitar and still playing the melody by using harmonics, slides, hammer ons, pullofs and literally any trick you have ever seen in the books or on the net. It is all there. Fingerpicking, blues, rock, flamenco and he seems to have mastered them all.

He will think nothing of stopping a tune because his guitar is slightly out of tune, fix the tuning and then restart. The crowd was so mesmerized that they did not even notice these slight little things. They sat at the edge of their seats and they were listening intently to every little note or sound in some cases that was coming out of that guitar. I have never seen a guitar take such abuse and yet produce such sweet sounds.

I can truly say that it changed forever the way I will look at or think about a guitar.

Do yourself a favor and try to experience first hand the experience that is Antonio Forcione. If you like guitar music in any form you will not be sorry.