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This French-born guitarist grew up in Switzerland where for a time he was classically trained, but he soon felt the need to explore the guitar without the limitations of written music and delved headlong into folk, blues, jazz and rock music. Now based in the UK, he has become a world-renowned player, highly acclaimed for his finger-picking style—plucking, picking and strumming at such speed that his fingers seem to appear just as a blur.
Bourbon had a smoky, interesting voice with more than a hint of JJ Cale, and his delivery had a pleasing take-it-or-leave-it quality. It’s not that he wasn’t pleased to see his attentive audience but most of them were there for the guitar! Part of Bourbon’s signature sound was to loop the end of phrases softly, echoing them over the next few bars of music but you can have too much of a good thing; it happened in every piece and without variation. He improvised on various musical styles and quoted directly from pieces including ‘Fleur De Lis’, ‘Ne Me Quitte Pas’, ‘Rodriguez Guitar Concerto’ and ‘Shine On You Crazy Diamond’, which injected the unexpected into this pleasantly individual hour of blues.