Bill Frisell Goes Back to the Future

Bill Frisell
Courtesy Photo

Mention Bill Frisell’s name to any guitar player, and you’re likely to get an earful. The seminal guitarist, composer, and arranger has lent his chops to more recording sessions than we can even begin to name, ranging from Bonnie Raitt’s Slipstream to John Scofield’s Grace Under Pressure to Loudon Wainwright III’s Here Come the Choppers. That’s just for starters. Other one-offs include collabs with Elvis Costello, Rickie Lee Jones, Lucinda Williams, and Buddy Miller. Then there’s his ongoing work with John Zorn, Naked City, Paul Motian, and Joe Lovano. And the list just keeps growing.

This Monday, January 26, Frisell returns to the Lobero Theatre with fellow guitar master Greg Leisz by his side. The show comes in support of Guitar in the Space Age!, Frisell’s recently released ode to the music that initially inspired him to pick up guitar. The evening will include Frisell’s reliably avant-garde riffs on ’60s surf and rock classics from the Kinks, the Byrds, Duane Eddy, and Link Wray, among others. On record, these reinterpretations are both reverential and undeniably fun loving — a testament to their importance to Frisell and to the guitarist’s long-held approach to music.

Guitar in the Space Age! isn’t really an exercise in nostalgia but about a recommitment to keep learning, to firm up the foundation and showcase one of the best bands I ever had,” Frisell says of the album.

Whether you’re a fan of jazz, rock, proto-prog, or alt-country, this is one show you don’t want to miss. Don’t believe us? Just ask your neighborhood guitarist.

Bill Frisell plays the Lobero Theatre (33 E. Canon Perdido St.) on Monday, January 26, at 8 p.m. For tickets and info, call (805) 963-0761 or visit


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