Pierre Bensusan playing Merrily Kissed the Quaker(’s Wife) & Cunla. Bensusan is a French-Algerian acoustic guitarist, and became famous for his extensive use of DADGAD (or Dsus4) tuning for his Celtic arrangements and jazz compositions.
Skip James playing Devil Got My Woman. The performance is from the 1966 Newport Blues Festival, in which Skip James, Booker “Bukka” White, Son House, Howlin’ Wolf, and Reverend Pearly Brown met, played for each other, and got into fights over what “The Blues” was.
Quintette du Hot Club de France playing J’attendrai Swing. Django Reinhardt was a Belgium-Gypsy Jazz guitarist who pioneered the genre of Gypsy jazz along with French Jazz violinist Stephane Grappelli and the Hot Club of Paris. django was left crippled at the age of eighteen when his caravan caught fire, and he was left with third-degree burns all along the left side of his body. But he relearned how to play guitar, using his two paralysed fingers to make chords and using his index and middle finger for soloing.
Mississippi John Hurt playing Spike Driver Blues. Mississippi John Hurt was a Delta Blues guitarist who was known for his softly spoken vocals and syncopated, Ragtime fingerpicking style. Spike Driver Blues is an adaption of the Mississippi folklore tale of John Henry, a spike driver working the railroad who beats a steam-powered hammer (the Nine Pound Hammer of the eponymous Bluegrass song) only to die, hammer in hand.
John Fahey playing The Red Pony. John Fahey was an acoustic guitarist who gained fame in the Sixties due to a series of iconoclastic records in which he posed as a fictional Delta Blues guitarist named Blind Joe Death and created a fictional mythology for him. Fahey’s playing was transgressive, he combined the Delta Blues fingerpicking style with the dissonant and minimalistic compositions of Classical composers such as Bela Bartok and Charles Ives. Fahey was repsonible for the rediscovery of Skip James, and his style of what would come to be called American Primitivism would go on to influence guitaritsts such as Pete Townsend and Leo Kottke
Lead Belly playing Goodnight Irene. Huddie William Ledbetter, better known as Lead Belly, was a Folk singer and songwriter. He was discovered by the musicologist John Lomax and was recorded by him for the Library of Congress in the 1930s.