Taplas (Wales)

Planet Solitaire – How has this innovative guitarist stayed off the radar for so long? Technically, stylistically and most important of all, passionately he is up there with the greats. Think Martin Simpson, Stephen Fearing, Leo Kottke, the late Isaac Guillory, he genuinely has what they have and in similar quantity.

What, very interestingly, sets him slightly apart is an even greater breadth of stylistic influences. Sure Messrs Fearing and Simpson have their share of experimentalism, but Walter Strauss here incorporates the sound of the West African kora, a little Native American folklore, and just a sprinkling of 60s psychedelia into his repertoire.

Apparently he has been performing at festivals in the USA, Canada and as close as Ireland, but only visited England and Wales earlier this year. Keep your eyes peeled for dates. On the evidence of Planet Solitaire, he is a guitarist you just have to see. – Trefor Patten