Shawn Lane: One of My All-Time Favorite Guitarists

Shawn Lane: One of My All-Time Favorite Guitarists

If I would have to narrow my list of 10 favorite guitar players down to only 3, Shawn Lane would definitely make the top 3.

He’s been one of my favorite guitar players since the day I was lucky to see him perform live in the Frankfurter Messe in Germany.

I’ve seen Shawn perform 3 times.
Every single time I was completely blown away.

Probably one of the most impressive things about Shawn’s musicianship is that he matched his crazy guitar skills with an equally crazy impressive piano playing .

When I saw Shawn live, he was sitting behind a keyboard and switched back and forth playing crazy intricate, fast lines on guitar, then on piano. (or on both simultaneously).
To this day, seeing Shawn perform live is probably still the most impressive display of musicianship I have ever witnessed live.

It’s only years later, that I learned that he was battling painful arthritis.
It was his medications that caused the weight gain.

It’s already hard enough to imagine how anyone could possibly play THAT well, let alone with arthritis.
Hard to imagine how he managed to play that impressively, WHILE at the same also having the painful stiff joints and all the huge discomfort that comes with the illness.

Shawn sadly passed away in September 2003, only 40 years old, due to complications caused by his illness.

I didn’t find out till a couple of years later that he had passed. It hit me hard when I found out.

A must-have album for everyone who loves guitar, is “Powers of Ten”.
It’s Shawn’s first album, released in 1992.

I had listened to the album a million times, when I read in an album review, that Shawn had sequenced all the drums. That struck me by surprise.
I then realized upon listening to the album again, that indeed the drums on the album were not “real drums”.
Shawn sequenced and mixed the drum parts so well, I had never noticed they were sequenced drums.

Here are some of the songs of “Powers of Ten”, and more Shawn Lane goodies.

“Not Again” from his album “Powers of Ten”

“Get You Back” from “Powers of Ten”

Shawn playing “Purple Haze”

“Time Is The Enemy”

“Once Upon a Time In The West”


Shawn plays some breathtakingly beautiful guitar in his performances with Indian musicians.

Shawn on Keyboard

Here can you see Shawn play some Bach on piano.

Playing cool jazz-fusion stuff

Excerpts from Shawn’s must-have guitar instruction video

Various Shawn Moments

The following video is one of my favorite Shawn Lane videos. It’s a video showing snippets of various of Shawn’s performances.

To top it all off: not only was Shawn one of the best musicians the world has ever known, but he was also known as an incredibly humble, easy-going , down-to-earth human being.

I’ve heard quite a number of highly-accomplished musician friends through the years, call Shawn “the reincarnation of Mozart”.
I think Shawn would have loved to know that many other musicians consider his musicianship and compositions at the same level as Mozart.


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