11 June 2011

Guitar Luv: KT Tunstall

KT Tunstall is an amazing artist. Coming up the hard way, busking and touring small clubs, she worked her butt off even after signing a record contract before they'd let her record.

The result is a live act that leaves people with their jaws dropped. This was best seen in her stunning performance on "Later... With Jools Holldand" in 2004. Her last minute replacement of Nas left her with only 24 hours to prepare for a live UK national debut that left other acts speechless. (Check out the members of Embrace at 3:24)

I've always loved this live version even better than the album version, just for the sheer surprise of it. The recorded show version had the second verse sliced out, but it's still great.

This performance introduced the non-musical world to the Akai E2 Headrush loop pedal, which she has dubbed the "Wee Bastard," as a tool that does more than just echoes the chorus. Here is a vid KT did for Akai showing how easily she can use the loop pedal.

And my favourite song from her debut album, Eye to the Telescope, is not Black Horse and the Cherry Tree, but Suddenly I See. There are two official releases for this, and in my house we're split over which is better. My sweetie loves the "Standard Version," a more traditional "band plays in a darkly-lit warehouse" vid with the twist that KT joins herself mid-song and sings harmonies... with herself. I'm torn but I give the edge to the "Larger Than Life" version, a trippy vid that shows KT as a normal-sized person and a giant moving through a trainset diorama. It fits the jumpy rhythm of the song and it's charming.

Pick one for yourself!

After four million album sales, KT has stayed true to herself and hasn't let her success go to her head. She's political and she has no delusions of grandeur. My kind of artist!