Many stringed instruments, ancient and modern, are played using a “slide” technique that allows musicians to make continuous transitions in pitch by sliding their fingers—or pieces of glass, bone, stone, ivory, metal or other materials—across the strings at the neck of the instrument. At the end of the 19th century, this technique made a bold appearance in the Western world as an alternate way to play the traditional Spanish guitar. Introduced first into the popular Hawaiian musical styles of the day, the technique was not only readily adopted, but also quickly adapted. Throughout the following century, it inspired the development of new instruments and was at the center of fresh musical styles and playing techniques.
The album, The Magic and Mystery of Slide Guitar, was produced in conjunction with the special exhibition of the same name that reveals the musical saga of slide technique through a display of rarely seen historic and contemporary instruments obtained by the Museum of Making Music from private collections across the U.S., Canada and India.
This album has multiple facets. It compliments the visually stunning iconic electric and acoustic guitars of the exhibition; it brings to life the diverse musical styles that these instruments express, including: jazz, rock ‘n’ roll, blues, Hawaiian, country, folk, western swing, and world fusion; and it highlights the talent of some of today’s top players who harness the richness of expression and tonal effects that this style of playing offers.
The artists appearing on this album are some of today’s most prolific representatives of slide technique. Each artist featured here not only generously made their music available to help illustrate the many styles and genres that this exhibition touches, but also set aside time from their busy schedules to perform at the Museum and share their passion for music with our guests. We encourage you to visit their respective websites to learn more about each of these spectacular artists: