Posts by raven

“Soutoukou” solo

Posted by on Dec 13, 2013 in Video | 0 comments

“Soutoukou” solo

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Guitars without Borders: August 2012

Posted by on Aug 6, 2012 in Blog | 0 comments

Guitars without Borders: August 2012

Walter Strauss, Alex de Grassi and Franco Morone recently played a series of stellar steel string shows in California. The three venerated guitarists served up a smorgasbord of fingerstyle guitar flavored with musical influences from around the world. They wove together solos, duos and trios, playing original material and music from West Africa, Europe, and the Americas. Lovely appreciative audiences at The Freight and Salvage in Berkeley, Lagunitas Amphitheater in Petaluma, St. Joseph’s Cultural Center in Grass Valley, and High Street House Concerts in Santa Cruz.  ...

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Walter Strauss – Acoustic Guitar Magazine article

Posted by on Mar 25, 2012 in Recent Press | 0 comments

There is a feature on Walter in the May issue of Acoustic Guitar Magazine on Walter’s playing of West African stringed music on the guitar. The article is written by Teja Gerken and includes an interview, instructional videos and musical transcription/tablature. Here is an excerpt from the interview: Gerken: What comes to mind when you think of African guitar? Strauss: The first thing I think of is ornamented but very groove-based stuff. It really varies with the region. If I think about Malagasy guitar and look at the way people play, it’s quite different from Malian guitar. When I’m playing guitar and trying to do African music, I’m looking at playing guitar like the harps of West Africa. So I’m playing a harp style where I’m doing big stretches and a lot of cross-picking. The two realms of West African music I’m most familiar with trying to play on the guitar are the kora and the kamale ngoni. The kamale ngoni is Wassalou music—from the southern part of Mali. It’s similar to the kora but it’s a smaller gourd and has fewer strings. Read and view the full feature online at the Acoustic Magazine website or stop by the news stand to pick up a copy of the issue in print. To learn more about the author, visit Teja Gerken’s...

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From Walter in Mali: March 2012

Posted by on Mar 7, 2012 in Blog | 0 comments

From Walter in Mali: March 2012

Beacoup de miles since my last missive, as the internet has been elusive here. I arrived 2+ weeks ago in Bamako, Mali. It’s been a wonderful adventure so far. I’m staying with Toumani Diabate and his vast family – what would be extended family for us in the west is all immediate family here. All are together. It’s been amazing – pushing me to really expand and define my approach to playing the kora music on guitar. I’ve played with kora players, guitarists, ngoni players, a hunter playing traditional hunter’s music on a very rough gourd harp called called a simbi…

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Scotland Wonderful

Posted by on Mar 1, 2012 in Blog | 0 comments

Scotland Wonderful

Scotland seems worlds behind me now, but not for any lack of excitement and inspiration. The rest of my journeys there were wonderful. Lovely shows in Aberdeenshire, both solo and in collaboration with two great Scottish musicians, fiddler Johnny Hardie and percussionist/guitarist Davy Cattanach. We had big fun putting together the music and joining our different styles into a burst of musical conversation and spontaneity. The photo below is of me and Paul Anderson playing in Aberdeenshire. Like Mali, Scotland is heart deep in music and warmth. Can’t wait to go back, hopefully in the...

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