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Subway Songcatcher: Ghsts n Guitars

In Music on April 7, 2012 at 3:43 pm

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Everything can change in a New York minute. The subway door opens: in saunters a sound from another world, one that somehow slows down the City as notes drip and slide from the neck of a six-string guitar. He’s haunted the underground and captivated train cars full of caught-up commuters throughout New York’s subway system.

Check out “Waiting for Love.”

Meet GhstsnGuitars, a one-man wonder-world of sounds that soothe those sores of your soul. His music may melt your harried mind as the G-train’s jostle morphs into a gentle sway. Ghsts n Guitars took a moment from his mobile music march to carry on with City Circus in the following interview.

CC How did you get into playing guitar? How long have you been playing? How much do you practice?

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GnG I started out playing the Trombone for a few years but quit because I was frustrated that my teacher kept telling me not to improvise, That was about 10yrs of age, and I didn’t pick up the guitar till around 17 or 18. I play the guitar pretty much everyday for my living, so that is most of my practice time. I love to watch videos on you tube of great performers weather it be on guitar of piano or singing.

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CCWhat sort of technology do you use as you play through the subways?
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GnG When I play solo Doing the ambient music show I use a Pignose guitar amp, that I have customized with a Roland pandora for reverb and a little delay, with a 1980 Gibson Firebrand Electric guitar, In the summer I like to use a Silvertone Guitar because it is very light weight Rechargeable batteries. I also use a Regal Parlor guitar when I work with a singer or Rapper.
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CC What’s the funniest/wildest/weirdest thing that’s happened as you’ve serenaded straphangers on the subways?
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GnG There have been so many crazy off the wall moment’s that is a hard one, But one day a man was following me around and after about 20 minutes he walked over and gave me 10.00 dollars and said Keep doing what your doing with a very serious look on his face and I told him I would, then i asked him if the music sounded alright to him? and he replied that he had seen me on the F train to Coney Island a few nights before and he was really depressed and was thinking about killing himself and I walked in and Played and the music connected with him and made him feel like living… That is one of most positive event’s ever in my life!
 On the funny darkside type of stuff, the train was pulling into Broadway Lafyette and the door open and a homeless guy is taking a giant shit on a village voice in front of a couple hundred people During rush hour! that was sick…
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CC How has the subterrean train-and-tunnel landscape influenced your sound?
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GnG The tunnel and trains have help me to develop a more cinematic and spacious sound…
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CC What inspired you to get out and play out in the subways? do you play in clubs as well?
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GnG I had always seen people Playing in the subways and streets and enjoyed it, But in the year 2000 I was arrested on  drug charges and while I was sitting in the Tombs in Manhattan, I had this epiphany that I needed to change my Life patterns and the way i was thinking. I had played in Bar bands and original bands that were able to earn enough to survive so I said to myself that I was going to make art and feed myself doing art. So I started going into the subways to practice and met a rapper named Big City who later introduced me to Legendary street performer Ziggie who really showed me how to get my music hustle on. After that partership ended, I just started playing my original stuff that made my soul feel at peace and people started responding and something that was buried inside of me was awakened, and I have been running with that feeling ever since… For the last year I have been living between Amsterdam,Berlin and Brooklyn,Performing on the streets and subways, and I play in clubs as gHSTS n gUITARS and as one half of gENERATIONS with Jadon Woodard.
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CC Who are some artists you most admire?
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GnG I really love Curtis Mayfied and Jimi Hendrix, Bob Marley and Pink Floyd. Clint Eastwood Movies have really Inspired me!
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CC What’s up with your mta Generations collaborative project?
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GnG I met Jadon Woodard who is a freestyle rapper / poet after the roots show at Prospect Park in 2010 and we had good vibes together, we made a E.P. in 2011 called Rap n Roll vol. 1 and are currently doing a 4 month subway tour promoting the project and we are about to Finish our First full Length Album.
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CC What’s the best train line to ride to catch some notes from Ghsts n Guitars?
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GnG You can see gHSTS n gUITARS on all lines if I’m out grinding for the paper but for fun, you can see me riding out to Coney Island or Playing on the J train over the Wille B Bridge.
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CC Cool, thanks a million.
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