Probably the best guitarist in the world: Pierre Bensusan

La femme cambrée (The Arched Back Woman)

If you lived in the United States, and were a fan of acoustic guitar music, folk, celtic, contemporary or jazz, you would surely know who Pierre Bensusan is. In fact, he appears regularly of the covers of guitar magazines and is often voted ‘best fingerstyle guitarist in the world’. He is the guitarists’ guitarist, if you can play, you’ll understand more fully just how brilliant Pierre Bensusan is. But it’s not just about technique, like some metal guitarists who don’t know how to put feeling and emotion into their music. Pierre Bensusan makes his guitar come alive, as if he and his instrument are one.

I discovered Pierre Bensusan through my guitar teacher, Bill Brennan (I owe you one, Billy!). I was already fascinated by the possibilities of tuning my guitar differently, especially the tuning DADGAD used by John Renbourn in his song ‘Sandwood down to kyle’ which remains my favourite song to play myself to this day.

What I find incredible though, is the fact that very few people have heard of Pierre Bensusan in France, although he is of French nationality and still lives in France. Wake up you people!! You have the greatest living guitarist, a genius like no other, and you don’t care! This man has more talent than Johnny Halliday, Claude François, Serge Gainsbourg rolled together, so stop living in the past and start appreciating the fine things you have today.

If groups like Revolver spent some time listening to people like Pierre Bensusan, perhaps they would actually learn something about music, instead of writing three-chord pop songs with stupid, meaningless English lyrics.

Do yourself a favour and buy a Pierre Bensusan album today. Give this incredible talent the recognition it deserves.