The Beach Boys, "Surfin' USA," Surfin' USA
Jimi Hendrix, "Manic Depression," The Best of Jimi Hendrix
The Byrds, "Turn! Turn! Turn!," The Byrds' Greatest Hits
The Byrds, "Eight Miles High," The Byrds' Greatest Hits
Ravi Shankar, "Kafi-Holi," The Essential Ravi Shankar
John Coltrane, "Africa," Africa/Brass
Nels Cline, "Cymbidium" (Live)
Nels Cline, "Rod Poole's Gradual Ascent Into Heaven," Coward
With a career starting in the late seventies and over 100 albums under his belt, Nels Cline is one of the most influential guitarists and composers today. He aptly fits the title of "The Avant Romantic" that Rolling Stone gave him and proves it by expertly shifting from one genre to another, venturing into worlds of melodic improv and minimalism. His diverse recording background highlights work with Willie Nelson, Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth and, most recently, indie heroes Wilco. In addition to the numerous collaborations with big-name artists, Cline works closely with smaller jazz ensembles and has released several solo albums.
While his past work focused more on acoustic guitar, he currently works with up to 15 effects pedals in order to hone in on a particularly distorted sound. His latest record, Coward travels through a range of styles from acoustic to electronic, improv, delicate abstractions and a bit of electro-funk.
In a session with host David Dye, Cline takes us on a tour of the music that made him want to play guitar: The Beach Boys, Jimi Hendrix and The Byrds.
This story was originally published on April 15, 2009.