Nels Cline has always been an oddity to me. And maybe that really explains his ‘style’ if he even has any. He is a truly a fantastic musician, and a guitarist that can play literally any style is a special indeed. Now, what separates Nels from any session player is his attention to ‘art’ when he plays styles. Sure he can play blues to country to rock to jazz to noise, but he has the ability to put a passionate character thumb print on anything he does. That’s special.
A little while back I did a pedal board break down from his Wilco rig which is quite interesting. I thought his ‘noise’ section was especially interesting and I found this absolutely amazing video of Nels doing a live improvisation in 2008 at the Henry Miller Memorial Library in Big Sur, CA. Sometimes when I see the word ‘improvisation’ I get that taste of acid in the back of my throat, but since this was Nels Cline, I had to see what he was going to do. This isn’t for everyone, but there might be a cool thing or two for most of you.
The video was submitted by stelkins
Let me know what you thought of this!