Take off your good hat before searching for Guitar Shorty on YouTube, because your brain’s about to be blown. Crudely shot amateur footage (of which there is plenty) reveals Shorty to be a sort of Cris Angel of guitar, popping out in everyday situations like a guerilla assassin, freaking innocent minds beyond repair with his superhuman skills.
Check out brave field reporter flyinsquirrel48’s submission, in which Shorty ambushes some unsuspecting crowd of suckers in camp chairs at a barbecue. They might’ve been safe if he’d remained onstage, but the dude takes his guitar out into the audience, wielding it not 2 feet away from civilian observers, and riffs mercilessly — soloing with his teeth, finger tapping with his left hand while searching a pocket with his right, and playing a concluding note with his goshdamn ass. Presumably, the camera cuts out moments before the resonating waves of awesome liquify the crowd like Nazis at the climax of Raiders of the Lost Ark.
But the show will be worth the risk to your fragile sense of reality because, unlike many Telecaster tricksters, Guitar Shorty actually produces listenable music. Shorty’s a musician first and a nimble-fingered freak second, so his soulful electric blues and faithful Hendrix covers outclass Yngwie Malmsteen’s speed-wanking any day. To be safe, though, you should probably only watch Guitar Shorty’s show indirectly, perhaps through a pinhole poked in a piece of cardboard.
8pm Saturday, Aug 23, Sam’s Burger Joint, 330 E Grayson St., (210) 223-2830. $15,
— Jeremy Martin