Antonio Forcione is the best guitarist you’ve never heard of. A true virtuoso of the acoustic guitar, he’s been playing tiny Fringe venues for the last twenty years, when in a just world, he’d be packing out Madison Square Gardens.
By turns lyrical, funky, ethereal, haunting, and playful, his one-man show is a delight, and his playing, simply breathtaking.
Opening with an homage to the late great Flamenco artist, Paco de Lucia, his always melodic line imperceptibly mutates into driving riffs, with harmonics, pull-offs, grace notes and outrageous top of the neck finger taps.
As much fan as composer, he takes several standards for a brisk walk, including Marvin Gaye’s Grapevine and Stevie Wonder’s Superstition, but his own compositions more than stand equal, especially Madiba Jive, his tribute to Nelson Mandela, where he sounds like a whole township band.
Forcione first toured as a 13 year old prodigy. Hailed as The Jimi Hendrix of The Acoustic Guitar, he fuses many traditions into his own unique style, and while he plays with great passion and intensity, between songs he chats with laconic humour. As he says, “If you know the words, and you want to sing along…. Don’t.”
Words: Tim Maguire
Antonio Forcione: No Strings Attached, Assembly George Square Studios, Aug 7 – 17, 21:10