Artist Spotlight: R.J. Ronquillo

Your going to want to bookmark this post – lots of fun info in this one!

From time to time I’m going to highlight an artist that has relevance to the projects I’m working on. Or – just because I like them!

I ran into a Top 10 list this week that covered up and coming resonator players. The article was written by Mark Kemp and published by Acoustic Guitar Magazine in May of 2016.

This is a great article with insights on different playing styles, guitars, guitar tuning options, guitar playing tips, and also highlights a few of the featured artists song examples.

Hijinx Alert! Clicking the links below will cause hours of distraction and a ton of fun. It is likely your iTunes account will need to be funded and new travel destinations planned…

The article by Acoustic Guitar Magazine “Down and Dirty 10 Next Gen Resonator Players” covers a list of artists considered to be some of the top resonator guitar players out there that are working their way up the ranks. Certainly not an all-inclusive list but it is an interesting mix none-the-less. These artists ranged from the USA, Canada, UK, and The Land Down Under with an equally vast array of styles and personalities. Check out Reverend J. Peyton’s Big Damn Band and Fredrick Joseph Evans IV with Left Lane Cruiser for example. WOW. Then shift over to John Fairhurst from the UK who according to his bio “…truly epitomizes the modern day wandering blues man”. Resonator guitarist John Fairhurst certainly put on some miles with his wood bodied resonator guitars notably a maple National Resophonic Estralita and a mahogany-body National M1 Tricone.

There is even representation from my home state of Minnesota: Molly Maher & Charlie Parr. I’ll certainly be looking for an opportunity to catch these two local acts!

R.J. Ronquillo

RJ Ronquillo

From the selection of resonator guitar players in the article R.J. Ronquillo is a real a standout favorite of mine. I’m a blues fan and his playing style with slide and fingerpicking struck a note with me (yep – pun intended). RJ covers a broad range of music in the blues genre which as a player I find inspiring and humbling at the same time. Surf around R.J. Ronquillo’s YouTube channel and you’ll quickly see what I mean.

R.J. Ronquillo is equally skilled with acoustic and electric guitars. I really enjoyed the few out there using wood bodied resonator guitars but man he can make the steel bodied resonators sound sweet as well! A couple of classics to check out include well known covers done originally by blues greats Robert Johnson and Son House: “Sweet Home Chicago” by Robert Johnson, and “Death Letter Blues” by Son House.

“Sweet Home Chicago” (Robert Johnson) playing a National Resophonic Triolian Resonator.

“Death Letter Blues” (Son House) – National Resophonic Triolian Polychrome Resonator Guitar.

I have to admit that it’s odd to see R.J. Ronquillo listed as a “Top 10 Next Gen player”. If you look over his portfolio he’s been there, and then some. Check his website for the extensive listing. Or search just about any social media channel – he’s out there. (Although there isn’t much to be found on him after the article was published in May of 2016. Wonder what RJ’s up to?)

R.J Ronquillo also has done a lot of product reviews, videos on slide blues guitar playing lessons, and much more. His blog that warehouses some of this content can be found at Guitarama!

Appears that he may also have some sort of sponsorship with Eastwood Guitars?

BONUS: Be sure to look up Lonesome Joseph for R.J Ronquillo’s great solo work too! Performing as a “1-man band”.

AND if your still thirsty… check out RJ And The Del Guapos.

Catch him if you can – at time of this post there weren’t any engagements published that I could find. If you listening RJ – where are you?!

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