Artists who surprised you with their musicianship?
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finleyville

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O.K.

So we all know that there are many bands that are filled with mediocre musicians. They are only popular because of their catchy sounding riffs or their pretty faces driving preteens mad with lust.

But has there been an artist who has totally surprised you with their talent after a particular song or concert?

Fleetwood Mac has always been a favorite of mine. But it wasn't until after I listened to Lindsey Buckingham playing "Big Love" solo on their The bridge that I was totally taken aback. I don't know how to play guitar, but his effort sounds above and beyond what others are capable excepting classical musicians.

Anyone else have a similar revelation?
 
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aerius

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Tori Amos playing piano, she's too good. I saw her live once playing 2 pianos at the same time and singing, how that's done is completely beyond me. Amazing voice too, and she looks oh so cute and cuddly.
 
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Braver

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on the whole, I think playing something difficult is not interesting. creativity is not in how hard something is to do, but thinking of something different from the usual and make it work. capability does give one options however.

The Gathering for instance doesn't strike me as the finest musicians ever, but they play very tight on CD and live as well. and they really explore, not their ability to play, but what they can change and add to their music. (sry, still not over that experience
).

King Crimson and (ex)members of that group (Tony Levin, Bob Fripp, Bill Bruford), are people who know every nook and cranny of their instrument, yet don't solely rely on their ability to play, but use that to ability to invent new styles and possibilities in rock music. Eric Clapton is a good example too. Unplugged shows a lot of his skill, as well a plain fantastic music.

too many hot musicians just play tough music for the sake of it. being able to pull it off live is important, but not as important as, and not a substitue for, creativity.
 
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kerelybonto

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I agree. For that reason, I'll throw out Dave Grohl. I was really, really impressed when this grunge drummer started the Foo Fighters, playing all the instruments and -- most importantly -- writing a lot of great songs. Nothing too astounding, but a lot of fun music and the occasional thoughtful lyric.

kerely

[Edit: Gah, I can't type.]
 
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Dave Matthews Band surprised me with how well they are able to play their instruments (especially the drummer, Carter Beauford).

Dave Grohl is a very insteresting musician, and I mean that in a good way. Sort of a one man band, but he can play each instrument considerably well, as kerelybonto said.

That's all that I can think of at the moment.
 
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There used to be an actress named Charo who had a goofy, brainless act that consisted in saying kootchie-kootchi. Turns out she is a superb Flamenco guitarist!
 
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Kid Rock is an amazing Guitarist and drummer.I hate his music but his talent is real.As many times as I have seen BB King perform live I have never really seen him play very well.I saw him about a year ago at Koko Taylor's Club and he just tore the place up.This from a 74 year old man.I never had any doubts that Wynton Marsalis is a great Trumpet player,but every time I see him live he just amazes me with his talent.
 
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Gwar. If you can overlook the toilet humour and freekshow act you may find them a surprisingly tight ensemble as I did, and the lead singer has a fab voice (deep, authoritative, and liquid, with good range). Songs like "The Road Behind", with its acoustic guitar intro, and subtle jabs at Axle Rose, are classic, and hint at the bands underlying potential that may be realized should they ever take themselves seriously.

Also, Prince was an excellent rock guitarist before selling out.
 
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Black Aspic

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Marilyn Manson.

The first few Manson CD's were brilliant, all hype aside. Maybe it was because of Trent Reznor's production, or maybe they can actually play...
 
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The late Bill Chase was an incredible trumpet player. Most young trumpet players (as I was when he was alive) focus mainly on the "screamers" (Maynard Ferguson, Cat Anderson, Jon Faddis, et al), but Chase was one that incorporated an amazing range (almost a 3 octave range) with solo creativity. What resulted was some of the best ad lib trumpet solos that I have ever heard.

I also agree with Tuberoller. I have seen Wynton Marsalis twice, and each time he amazed me. Both with his musicianship and his technique. He plays the Haydn Trumpet Concerto like I have never heard it played.
 
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zowie

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I don't think Tori's piano playing is all that outstanding, although she's got a unique and effective style. Would you like it so much if it was, say, played by an obese senior citizen?

Off hand, the biggest pleasant surprise I recall is Sammy David Jr. on an album of intimate duets between him and Laurendo Almeida on classical guitar. I always liked him, but his control and sensitivity in those settings, so different than the Vegas stuff, was incredible. Plus, the DCC remastering is fabulous. Pretty hard to get a hold of a copy these days.
 
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zowie

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Hey, I wouldn't knock Jon Faddis or lump him in with Barnyard Ferguson. He can do the baloon noises, but he can play anything else that's put in front of him too.

Charo can play Flamenco?!?!?!?!
 
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JMT

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Quote:

Hey, I wouldn't knock Jon Faddis


I don't recall "knocking" Jon Faddis. In fact I own many of his albums on vinyl.
 
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zowie

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Quote:

Originally posted by JMT
I don't recall "knocking" Jon Faddis. In fact I own many of his albums on vinyl.


I didn't think calling him a "screamer" sounded much like a compliment.
 
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JMT

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To each his own I guess.
 
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