The Left-Handed Guitar Players That Changed Music

Left-handed guitarist, John Engel produces 2-volume book examining the role of historic guitarists In popular and rock music. His book
"Uncommon Sound: The Left-Handed Guitar Players That Changed Music" explores popular music through the lives and works of these "wrong-sided" musicians, providing a unique yet surprisingly coherent perspective.

Seven years in the making, John Engel's 920-page opus is an exhaustively researched and richly illustrated collection of 150 in-depth portraits of left-handed mavericks and legendary artists from all over the world, covering such genres as folk, blues, jazz, rock music, reggae, pop, punk, metal, R&B, country, samba, ki ho'alu, rai, and gnawa.

Uncommon Sound is both an authoritative and entertaining work. It is the first book to look at rock music and other genres from this angle, and does so with enough insight and detail to captivate diehard fans, and enough entertaining storytelling to make it a page-turner for the most casual music buff. In addition to many stars, John Engel also talked to lesser-known artists, who contributed to the fabric of music as a whole, and have had a sometimes-profound impact on its evolution.

"This book is a celebration of music. It's about pain and triumph, struggle and beauty, individuality and solidarity, " says Engel. "It illustrates the complexity of the creative process. By stepping away from the norm and fashioning a unique relationship to their instrument, and to music as a whole, left-handed guitar players symbolize the unique music maker in all of us."

The featured artists include Jimi Hendrix, Paul McCartney, Kurt Cobain, Jimmy Cliff, Tony Iommi, Seal, John Flansburgh (They Might Be Giants), Beeb Birtles (Little River Band), Jules Shear, Elliot Easton (The Cars), Elizabeth Cotten, Albert King, Otis Rush, Babyface, Bobby Womack, Al McKay (Earth, Wind & Fire), Cesar Rosas (Los Lobos), Bill Jennings, Billy Mackel, Jonathan Butler, Dan Seals, Sylvia Tyson and many more. Mark Knopfler and Danny Gatton, two remarkable lefties who play right-handed, are also featured.

Uncommon Sound is a luxurious two-volume set totaling 920 pages, housed in a striking full-color slipcase and accompanied by an exclusive 20-track CD full of rock music, jazz and other popular music. Boasting more than 2, 000 photographs, Uncommon Sound also contains 150 pages (a whole book's worth) displaying rare left-handed guitars hundreds of exquisite instruments photographed especially for the book in nine countries on four continents.

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