US National Fingerstyle Champion
Chris Proctor -
Steel String Guitar For the New World
One reviewer recently tried to capture the essence of Chris Proctor’s music: “What to call his unique melange of styles? There’s an aspect of Americana in the echoes of Appalachian and old-timey styles that are apparent in just about every track, but there are also elements of jazz, Celtic folk, and a dash of blues in here somewhere. What Proctor does is create guitar music that reflects the whole heritage of the instrument and still has his own distinct stamp — a tall order, but he’s up to the job”
Critics also call his guitar playing “breathtaking,” “haunting,” and “rich.” Guitar magazines describe his compositions as “spectacular,” “elegant,” and “exquisite,” and praise his twelve-string work as “revelatory.” Media reviewers trace the roots of his style to folk, jazz, pop, and classical music, categorize his playing as “Baroque Folk,” “New World Steel String,” “Solo Guitar Orchestra,” “Instrumental Americana,” and compare him to Leo Kottke and Michael Hedges.
These luminous and diverse quotes reveal the breadth and depth of Chris Proctor’s music- his solo, 6 and 12-string guitar concerts and recordings. Two additional comments typify the first-time listener’s reaction: “Wow- I didn’t know that acoustic guitars could sound like that,” and, ” It seems as if there are three guitarists up there on stage, not just one.”
Here’s more of what critics, listeners, presenters and concert audiences say about Chris Proctor:
- He is an acclaimed composer of original music and a wonderful arranger for the 6 and 12-string guitars.
- He is a performer with a gift for communicating the tremendous variety, vitality, and accessibility of his music.
- His amazing variety of guitar sounds and textures, and the rich tapestry of bass, melody, and inner voices, bring an orchestral quality to his music that surprises and delights audiences who haven’t heard him before.
- His compositions and arrangements shine with folk, jazz, pop, classical, and ethnic influences.
- He is a superlative workshop, master class and residency/outreach leader, author of numerous instructional articles in the guitar press, and producer of two world-class instructional videos for 6 and 12-string players.
Ten CDs on Flying Fish, Windham Hill, Rounder and Sugarhouse Records, his victory in the US National Fingerstyle Championship, his books, DVD’s, videos, magazine articles, and endorsements all testify to Chris’s standing as one of the elite solo guitar composers, arrangers, and performers of the day.
- Close and Personal Friends, Chris’s new CD is now out, and drawing raves from both his audiences and the guitar press.
- Morning Thunder, his concert/interview DVD, was released in March, 2011 by Stefan Grossman’s Vestapol Video Guitar Artistry DVD series. This DVD features 15 pieces from Chris’s January, 2010 concert for the International Guitar Series in Grand Rapids, Michigan, interspersed with short interview segments details Chris’s background, compositional and arranging approach, unorthodox guitar gear and techniques, and his choices of instruments.
- Ladybug Stomp, his 2007 release, returned Chris to his compositional roots. with eleven striking new original pieces, and a sweet closing duet with the late Artie Traum- the classic Stephen Foster piece, “Hard Times (Come Again No More).”
- Chris Proctor- Guitar Collection on Alfred/Warner Publications, brought us 12 of the pieces from the CD of the same name in music notation and tablature, along with an instructional CD to help the learner navigate the difficult sections of each piece.
- The Chris Proctor Collection, his 2004 release, sported newly-recorded versions of 16 of his favorite and most popular original pieces into the acoustic limelight once again.
- Under the Influence, Chris’s 2001 release from Sugarhouse Records, showcased his unique talent for arranging, with new spins on familiar pieces from Chris’s musical background in folk, classical, jazz, and pop traditions.
- Taylor Guitars of El Cajon, CA, produced the “Chris Proctor Signature Model” guitar, a custom instrument with a unique package of structural features and electronics, all designed to his specifications. This guitar was in honor of Chris’s 20+ years as senior clinician for Taylor.
- Mel Bay published three collections of Chris’s compositions, Fingerstyle Magic, a selection of favorite earlier works, the complete folio for Travelogue, and the popular Only Now book/CD set, as well as including additional Proctor compositions in recent fingerstyle anthologies and compilations.
- Windham Hill Records included Chris’s music on two of their prestigious releases, The Windham Hill Guitar Sampler, which contains Chris’s classic, “The Emperor’s Choice,” and Sounds of Wood and Steel III. has featured his “Ozymandias.”
- Acoustic Guitar released two “Best of Year” book/CD volumes, Fingerstyle Guitar Masterpieces, which contains Chris’s stellar arrangements of “California Dreamin’” and “Painted Black,” and Southbound, which included his amazing “Tap Room.”
- Homespun Videos produced two instructional DVD/videos, Contemporary Fingerstyle Workshop with Chris Proctor, and Techniques for Contemporary 12-String Guitar, to strong critical and popular response.
As critical commentary (go to the critiques page for details) demonstrates, Chris’s live and recorded work attracts high praise from music critics and reviewers. More to the point, he’s a favorite of guitar and music lovers, who know that all you really have to do is listen- and enjoy.