The Coen Brothers’ 2000 movie O, Brother Where Art Thou featured a fantastic bluegrass soundtrack, highlighted by George Clooney’s lip-syncing to Dan Tyminski’s version of Man of Constant Sorrow. Nearly two decades later, Tyminski stopped by the Paste Magazine offices for this flawless performance of the tune.
Musician Jamie Dupuis gets out his harp guitar for another great rock cover. This time he performed a warm and expressive acoustic arrangement of Green Day’s Boulevard of Broken Dreams. The peaceful and idyllic location stands in stark contrast to the song’s bleak urban imagery.
Never gonna stop, give it up. The Knack’s track My Sharona was one of the biggest earworms of the late ’70s and early ’80s. Guitarist Luca Stricagnoli gives the song his own groovy style with an energetic acoustic guitar cover. We thought we might miss the drumbeat, but Luca gives us plenty of rhythm from the guitar’s wooden body.
We couldn’t pick just one song from musician Adam Barrett’s YouTube channel, so we’re recommending that you listen to all of them. The talented guitarist and vocalist will fill your ears with warm and soulful sounds through his acoustic covers of tunes by The Beach Boys, The Cure, The Smiths, The Jam, The Beatles, and more.
Musician Jamie Dupuis turns in a smooth and enveloping cover version of the Pixies track Where Is My Mind, performed on his harp guitar, an instrument that combines an acoustic guitar with bass strings on its top neck. We also recommend checking out Jamie’s harp guitar cover of The Turtles’ Happy Together.
Guitarist Lucas Imbiriba brings his warm and soulful style to the Eagles classic Hotel California. His fingerstyle skills are truly impressive, and the track sounds fantastic in this stripped-down acoustic version. Check out his covers of Stairway to Heaven and Sultans of Swing for more delightful ear candy.
Guitars have been an important part of popular music for hundreds of years. Musician Mark Sagum looks back from 1960 to 2020 for a taste of some of the most recognizable guitar intros. If you want to get the emotions going, this is the way to kick off a tune.
Luca Stricagnoli performs an emotive cover of Simon and Garfunkel’s The Sound of Silence using a custom guitar add-on called a Reverse Slide Neck. The upgrade allows Luca to play an acoustic guitar and a slide guitar with a single instrument. His reverse slide cover of While My Guitar Gently Weeps is also amazing.
Musician Luca Stricagnoli wows us with another flawless acoustic guitar performance, this time taking on Michael Jackson’s 1987 hit Smooth Criminal. The only thing cooler than playing it on a a triple-necked guitar would be if Luca could moonwalk at the same time.
When he was 14, musician Mike Dawes heard Eddie Van Halen play guitar and says it rocked his world. Now, put on your headphones and let the sound envelop you as Mike pays tribute to Eddie’s namesake with an acoustic cover of the 1984 hit Jump. Perhaps Mike will inspire some young musicians with his impeccable playing too.
Pink Floyd’s Time is one of the all-time great concept rock tracks. Crank up the volume and let the musical waves wash over you as Kent Nishimura performs an awesome cover arrangement of the Dark Side of the Moon track on his acoustic guitar, using the guitar’s hollow body to create the clock ticking effect.
Danish guitarist Soren Madsen turns in an exceptional performance of Ennio Morricone’s theme from The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. You can find tabs for the arrangement on Soren’s website, and be sure to check out more of his performance videos, including a great version of Metallica’s Nothing Else Matters.
This unique acoustic guitar doesn’t just look amazing, it sounds just as good. It features a body molded from a carbon fiber composite, so heat and humidity won’t affect its sound. Plus, it has a built-in preamp with reverb, chorus, and delay effects, and tech that lets you hear those effects without an external amp.
During a Foo Fighters set on Oates Song Fest, Dave Grohl turned in a live acoustic version of the band’s classic Everlong. Before the performance kicked off, Dave dug into how the song came together, his sources of inspiration for the track, and a few thoughts that might inspire other musicians.
Italo Vegliante is an actor and musician who starred in Italian B-movies back in the 1980s. More recently, he’s used his talents to a create unique style that incorporates whistling, mouth sounds, and acoustic guitar. Here’s his fun tribute to the master of Wild West soundtracks, Ennio Morricone. He also created this piece of Internet gold.
Back in 2015, Faroe Islands doom metal band Hamferð performed a moody, acoustic version of their track Deyðir varðar while a solar eclipse played out behind their backs. They timed the live performance perfectly and managed to resist the urge to turn around as day turned to night and back. (Thanks Kartin!)
João Fuss’ YouTube channel is loaded with great classical guitar performances. Among our favorites is this cover of the Muse track Uprising which not only shows off João’s talents but the musicality of the original’s composition. His covers of Radiohead’s Karma Police and Dire Straits Your Latest Trick are also fantastic.
Musician Kent Nishimura shows off his impressive acoustic guitar chops once more, with a couple of great fingerstyle covers of two very different Michael Jackson tunes, Human Nature, Thriller, Rock with You, and the Justin Timberlake collab Love Never Felt So Good.
Singer-songwriter M. Ward sits down on his couch for a truly intimate acoustic guitar set that will transport you a kinder and gentler time and place. Along the way, you’ll enjoy classic tracks like Chinese Translation, and new ones like Coyote Mary’s Traveling Show from his 2020 album Migration Stories.