At the Western Regional Folk Alliance conference a few months ago I heard some wonderful music. There were some songwriters who wrote stories that felt like they came straight from my heart only in ways that I could never express. There were voices that brought tears to my eyes. Still, I rarely hear something that just makes me shake my head and smile. Walter Strauss was one of those performers.
Every now and then there is a guitar player who does something completely unexpected. The greatest players of all time have done just that. Django did it in jazz. Jimi took electric rock guitar to new places. Michael did the same for fingerstyle acoustic. Now, I wouldn't put Walter Strauss in those same categories but he did something completely new to me that was just amazing. Walter is a wonderful player who does kora music on the guitar. A kora is a 21 string African harp. Now, there may be some other players out there who do kora on guitar, but if there are, I've never run into them. And I can't imagine anyone doing it better than Walter does.
This video is getting a bunch of play now as Acoustic Guitar magazine has an article on Walter's guitar and included this video. Wow!
If you get a chance to see him perform, I highly recommend it. Here's his current calendar.