Don Ross is no stranger to fans of progressive fingerstyle guitar. Ever since releasing his debut album, “Bearing Straight”, in 1989, he has been on the forefront of the contemporary fingerstyle movement. Don won the U.S. National Fingerstyle Guitar Competition in 1988 & 1996. To this day, he is still the only player in the world to have won the competition twice! In addition to acoustic guitar, Don also sings and plays electric guitar, slide Dobro and lap steel guitar, harp guitar, piano, keyboards, bass guitar and drums. It is no exaggeration that Don Ross’ groove-oriented style has influenced a generation of fingerstyle players who came on the scene after him.
One of whom is fellow Canadian Calum Graham, who, though he was born after the release of “Bearing Straight”, began absorbing every lick he heard Ross play, eventually resulting in his own solo debut, “Sunny Side Up”, in 2009. Calum became the youngest player to win the Canadian Guitar Festival in 2010 at the age of 18. In 2013, Graham released a solo instrumental album titled “Phoenix Rising”. The title track has already generated over 2.8 million views on YouTube, with other songs also notching-up impressive numbers. The success of the album enabled Graham to expand his global fan base and he soon began touring internationally.
Pairing these two artists at very different stages in their careers, the 2013 release “12:34” is not only a really fun album to listen to—it’s also a great story of mentorship and inter-generational collaboration. Now we are treated to the two guitar greats playing together in same show!
Both players use modern fingerstyle playing, featuring lots of extended techniques, alternate tunings, and gorgeous tones—it also creates a soundscape that is larger than the sum of its parts. Oh, and if you think two guys playing acoustic guitars can’t be a rock band, take a listen to the album’s cut, “Hey Ya” and you just might change your mind.
Calum has sandwiched his Bragg Creek appearance between solo tours of China and Germany in the fall of 2017, Don leaves for a solo tour of Korea and Japan after the Bragg Creek gig. We are fortunate to get the two together for one unforgettable night!