The best guitar music from 2021

Two new boxed sets are not only among the best releases of the year, they are some of the best guitar recordings of all time.  The first is Doc Watson: Life’s Work A Retrospective, four CDs of wonder and much better than any other Watson collection.

The second is Bola Sete, Samba in Seattle: Live at the Penthouse 1966-1968.  Sete has remained a largely obscure figure, with his reputation kept alive by a few cryptic John Fahey comments over the years.  His LPs have been hard to find, and they did not always reflect the full quality of his playing.  His best YouTube clips would come and go.  This boxed set shows Sete to be one of the best acoustic guitarists of the 20th century.  He is rooted in Brazilian bossa nova, but can play everything including Duke Ellington and Villa-Lobos.  Here is Ted Gioia’s appreciation of Sete.

In terms of original contribution and historical import, this has to be the release of the year in any field of music.

I’ll be getting you some classical music recommendations soon.


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