Originally released in 1979, "Art of the Acoustic Steel String Guitar 6 & 12" was Robbie Basho's 15th record, and his magnum opus of solo guitar. It is the culmination of his life's effort to usher guitar music into a new artistic paradigm, and to "establish the steel string as a concert instrument indigenous to America."

This album represents Basho’s most technically fine guitar work. In both composition and performance, the album is enormously complex and yet conveys an effortlessness unique to Basho. As he famously espoused, “My philosophy is quite simple: soul first, technique later.” The richness of Basho's soul emanates from this record as distinctly as each note ringing from his steel strings.

Only one song on the record (“Pasha II”) features Basho’s enigmatic voice, but it may be his most extraordinary vocal performance – his voice calling out through a shimmer of strings, singing ancient syllables with timeless emotion. The remaining ten instrumental songs roam through Eastern and Western modalities, dark and light meditations, wild and restrained expression.

With "Art of the Acoustic Steel String Guitar 6 & 12", Basho summons rich allusions, hallucinations and delicately numinous passages. As he said, "It's not about going far out, it's about going far in. It's about a deeper feeling." These are deep waters indeed, as substantial and enriching today as they were 35 years ago.

This is the second Robbie Basho record that Gnome Life has had the honor of reissuing. In 2013 we reissued "Visions of the Country", Basho's trail-blazing folk masterwork from 1978. This LP is still available for purchase and can be bought seperately or in a package deal with "Art of the Acousitc...", follow this LINK for more information on "Visions of the Country".



We've created deluxe poster (pictured here) to celebrate this release. Limited to only 500 copies this 12" X 18" poster features silver-foil, letter pressed text; and a classic photo of the great man himself. Only available on this site, ships seperately and securely in a poster-tube.



Remastered from the original tapes. Artwork is presented in very much the same fashion as the original release with a few minimal changes made to include new information. Paper stock (heavy reverse-board) and pressing weight (140 gram) have been upgraded. New vinyl masters were cut by the excellent John Golden. A download for high quality Mp3's and FLAC is included.

A CD version of this album has been released by Grass-Tops Productions, orders for the CD can be placed on their site LINK


"All the highlights of Basho’s work are found here: eccentric tunings, modal playing and a keen ear for Eastern music (which he studied and incorporated into his music), and a spirituality that could neither be outshined by the technical flashiness nor the (unavoidable?) exotic undertones." – TINY MIX TAPES
1. The Grail and The Lotus 2. Cathedrals Et Fleur de Lis 3. Pasha II 4. A Study for Steel String 5. Ackerman Special 6. Apres Midi American 7. Variations on Grieg 8. Scottish Rites 9. Pavan India 10. Variations on Ezumi 11. Variations on Clair de Lune
MP3 (samples)

$19.00 (LP+Mp3/FLAC - shipping now)

$9.00 – Limited Edition Poster, ships seperately in a poster-tube (shipping now)