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Billy McLaughlin - Guitar virtuoso

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 0 0

Billy McLaughlin is by all accounts one of the greatest guitar players of our time.  He is also an accomplished composer and producer.  His special guitar playing style, described as fingerstyling, tapping and new age acoustic guitar with altered tuning has won him awards and fans throughout the world.  The Pittsburgh Post Gazette has said “…you may swear Billy McLaughlin is two of the greatest acoustic guitarists you’ve ever heard.” 


Early History

Billy McLaughlin knew from an early age that all he wanted to do was to play the guitar.  He first started playing when he was 12 years old.  By the time he was 15, he was in a recording studio.  He went to University of Southern California where he studied music, and the guitar in particular.  He graduated Magna Cum Laude. 

 Billy McLaughlin, who is 48 this year has been performing since the 80’s.  He claims that he started playing the guitar after failing at the piano, trumpet and drums. 


Album releases

Billy McLaughlin has released numerous records over the years.  He started off recording under the Proton Discs recording company.  His first album was Inhale Pink, released in 1989.  In 1993, The Archery of Guitar came out.  1994 saw the launch of Wintersongs and Traditionals, followed by Stormseeker – The Best of Billy McLaughlin in 1995. 


In 1995 he signed a multi-record deal with Virgin Records label company Narada.  His first album release under this new label was Fingerdance in 1996.  Fingerdance went on to hit at # 7 on the Billboard top charts.  Out of Hand came out in 1999, and Acoustic Original: The Best of Billy McLaughlin in 2001.


Focal Dystonia

In 2001, he started experiencing problems with his left hand.  The diagnosis was Focal Dystonia, a neuromuscular disorder.


While still stuggling with Focal Dystonia, he released Guitar Meditations – with Soulfood in 2001 under Soulfood Music.


His other releases are;

  • A Simple Gift (2002) Proton Discs
  • Guitar Meditations II – with Soulfood (2005) Soulfood Music
  • Into the Light (2007) Proton Discs
  • Shepherds & Angels – with Simple Gifts (2007) Proton Discs
  • A Small Town Christmas – with Simple Gifts (2009) Proton Discs
  • The Star Carol – with Simple Gifts (2010) Proton Discs

With his rock band

  • Exhale Blue (1989)
  • The Bow and the Arrow (1995)
  • Finally! – Live (2002) Proton Discs

Focal Dystonia rendered him unable to play music with his right hand.  He went on to learn how to play with his left hand. 


The return of Billy McLaughlin

In 2007, he released Into The Light, a concert recording of compositions for acoustic guitar with string orchestra.


Come see him live!

Billy McLaughlin will be performing his unique acoustic guitar style left handed this April 15th from 7:30 to 9:00pm at the Billy McLaughlin Concert in Albert Lea, Minnesota, USA, in the Lighthouse Event Center.  The address is; 621 MARSHALL STREET, Albert Lea, MN, United States, 56007.


This is one concert you don’t want to miss!





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