I was thinking about odd instruments done in a glorious way, shedding the skin of this-is-the-instrument-that-does-this vibe, and thinking about players who maybe take that instro into a totally angled direction, only to really come back full circle to a holy-shit-that-totally-works and really isn’t that weird; giving lessons so to speak.
Washington Phillips was a blues player whom rocked something that academics will still arm-wrestle (pull out the monocle) over. Be it a zither or dolceola or celestaphoneagramoharpoguitarolin (I know, it isn’t, that doesn’t exist), it sounds river.
Susan Alcorn is a pedal steel guitarist that caught my ears a while back listening to her solo works, and recently a Eugene Chadbourne collab stuck out a touch as well. She’s not afraid to get a little tweaked, yet holds that old-time sound you want to feel from the instrument ringing out all pretty like. A great instrument to move the pylons.
Yoshi Wada is one hell-of-a bagpipe player when he isn’t droning other self-made oddities and kicking the shit out of our minimalist vision. Here’s a link to his Off The Wall album released in 1985 up on UbuWeb, deemed a “bagpiping masterpiece” (I picture the quoter comparing bagpiping records and concerts for years on end to make this final conclusion, a thesis maybe) (nonetheless correct).
Paul Metzger calls the banjo his home, although he’s right messed about with it, adding strings and modifying it to his strengths, what comes out the other end is a radical hybrid of eastern and drone and eerie and quiet and shattering and odd.