Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Featuring a myriad of some of the world's greatest guitarists past and present, from Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, B.B. King, Buddy Guy to modern day axe wizards Derek Trucks, Joe Bonamassa,Warren Haynes, John Mayer and many, many more, the 12 hour event was the place to be if you're a fan of cream of the crop musicianship.
The festival wasn't entirely devoted to the reigning stars of guitar however, as there was ample room for new talent to shine as well.
Particularly on the Village Stage, where interspersed between guitar clinics courtesy of the aforementioned Bonamassa, slide guitar maestro Sonny Landreth and pedal steel star Robert Randolph was featured a performance by fast rising blues rocker Ryan McGarvey, who threw down a blistering 30 minute set that was just as hot as the sweltering heat of the Chicagoland summer.
McGarvey, a native of Albuquerque, New Mexico, who as previously reported was chosen out of over 3500 entrants as winner of the Ernie Ball Play Crossroads contest, displayed all the skills which have seen him tearing up the Southwest the past several years.
Armed with talent and poise way beyond his 23 years, he gave the more than appreciative crowd who had gathered exactly what they wanted - blistering hot guitar pyrotechnics contained within strong, classy, structured compositions which had the assembled eating out of the palm of his hand by the end of his performance. Accompanied by a stellar band consisting of bassist Sam Miller and drummer August Johnson, it was old school power trio rock par excellence with an edge for the 21st century.
When asked about the experience of playing at such a prestigious event, McGarvey had this to say,"It was the thrill of a lifetime. I still haven't been able to find the words that can truly express the feeling I had to just be in the presence of such greatness, and to play at the same festival as they were".
One might even say it was a bit mystical. As evidenced by this fan produced footage of "Mystic Dream", live at Eric Clapton's Crossroads Guitar Festival, Toyota Park, June 26, 2010. (Photo credit : Robert M. Knight)