Inti-Illimani with John Williams on guitar

Inti Illimani means Sun God in Aymara, a language of the Andean Highlands. Led by Horacio Salinas, Inti Illimani created a blend of Chilean, Classical, Baroque and Flamenco music. The group was exiled by Pinochet's government in 1973 and relocated to Rome. In recent years they have returned to live in Chile.


Around 1986 Paco Pena and John Williams joined the group for a series of recordings and a world tour. I was lucky enough to see them at the Sydney Opera House and it was a feast of exciting guitar rhythms and styles. As well as guitar, the group features harp, flute, piccolo, saxophones and traditional instruments:

  • pandereta ... drums
  • bombo ... a drum made from a tree trunk
  • kena, zampona, randador ... pipes
  • tiple ... Colombian 12 string guitar
  • charango ... a very small guitar with the soundbox made from an armadillo

John Williams with Inti-Illimani in 1986
John Williams with Inti-Illimani in 1986

Drowsy Maggie played by the Chieftains

"Drowsy Maggie" performed by The Chieftains.This popular Irish Folk tune was featured in the movie "Titanic".

Drowsy Maggie
Preview and buy Drowsy Maggie

Who is this book for? Guitarists who play Blues, Country, Rock, Jazz, Classical or Steel String guitar. Anyone who wondered where the idea for "Whole Lotta Love" by Led Zeppelin originated or who wondered how to use the Dorian mode, and actually make it sound good!

What will you get out of it? Firstly you will add a great piece to your repertoire, which can be played in practically any style you like. Secondly you will improve your melody playing, articulation and tone production, which translates to better lead guitar solos.

El McMeen: The Lea Rig

El McMeen - modern acoustic guitar master.
El McMeen - modern acoustic guitar master.

El McMeen is a modern acoustic guitar master. He plays a broad range of music on solo acoustic steel string guitar. He is well known for his Celtic stylings, but his recordings attest to his broad ranging musical abilities.

Read more: El McMeen: The Lea Rig