Clawhammer

Ken Donaldson

When I took up the guitar in the 1960s I was in awe of the finger-pickers of folk/blues like Bert Jansch, of ragtime like Stefan Grossman and of jazz like Martin Taylor. They play not with a pick but with the thumb and a few fingers of their right hand. Done well this produces a unique harmonic beauty and complexity not really achieved with a pick. Over the years I have played a small selection of tunes this way, colloquially known a clawhammer style, and so here they are- they are mostly done in a single take, no overdubs just one track, warts and all.

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