Instrument Interview #13: Nels Cline
Nels Cline is a virtuoso guitarist, a modern master of the instrument. We are thrilled to present to you our latest Instrument Interview with one of the most productive and hard-working musicians out there. Cline may be best known as the guitarist for Wilco, but his solo work speaks for itself. Comfortable in any genre, as a solo musician or an integrated part of a band, his playing is still distinctive and memorable. You can get lost in one of his own albums, or revel in his solos for that little band out of Chicago.
We met up with Nels Cline at the Narrows Center for the Arts in Fall River awhile back as the guitarist toured through New England with Julian Lage. The gallery space at the venue was filled with the actor Anthony Quinn’s artwork; The Narrows was in the final days of the first-ever exhibition of his artwork. Looming in the center of the room was a massive self-portrait. We set up in front of the canvas, Quinn’s face staring down at us. When we got to the performance part of the interview, Cline said that he’d just play an improvisation he’d been toying with. “What should I call it?” he asked. “We have to call it Quinn.” I replied. “How about Quinn’s Groove?” he said. You can’t argue with that.
You can see Nels Cline in a few band incarnations this weekend at The Solid Sound Festival at MASS MoCA in North Adams, MA.