“Guitarist Par Excellence!”
The celebrated guitar virtuoso, composer and humorist was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, but has lived the majority of his years in Southern California beach culture. Penned the “Segovia of Surf”, Toulouse Engelhardt has earned accolades from serious critics of the guitar and the public alike for his “free-form” lightning fast guitar stylings and colorful, cinematic melodies. He has achieved a level of cult status reserved for only a handful of the finest guitarists in the world! He was the last original member of the “Takoma Seven” the highly celebrated innovators of finger-style steel string guitar that recorded for Takoma Records from (1959-1976). Both the late John Fahey and Leo Kottke were his labelmates!
For fans of Fahey, Kottke and Robbie Basho Toulouse Engelhardt is the next link in the chain… Mind-blowing fingerstyle romps!” …Acoustic Guitar Magazine 12/14’
He began playing the guitar at an early age of six. His earliest influences were the wet driving instrumental sounds of surf music, but he soon found this limiting his musical scope and vision so he proceeded to search out more sophisticated musical stylings.
“I grew up with a Mosrite “Ventures Model” guitar in my hands” offers the guitar wiz, who chose to purchase Dick Dale’s “The Wedge” over the Beatles “She Loves You”. The only two guitar lessons I’ve had in my life were from two jazz guitar greats Larry Carlton; who taught me how to play “Walk Don’t Run” and Wes Montgomery; who gave me a few tips in technique at the backstage door of the famous “Lighthouse Café” in Hermosa Beach, California” remembers Toulouse.
Compositions by Toulouse Engelhardt are hard to classify! Each toon is arranged for six and twelve-string acoustic guitar, Mosrite electric guitar and/or ensemble. Every song penned and arranged by Toulouse is composed in his signature writing style; the tone poem; an impressionistic, almost cinematic technique using music as a palette to place visual imagery on a canvas. For years music critics have tried in vain to classify the “Toulouse Sound”; as a vibrant collage of musical stylings based in traditional Americana, Devotion, 20th Century classical idioms and the “wet” surf sounds of the early 1960’s!
“A bit of a visionary himself, it’s his brilliant sense of lyricism and picturesque quality of his solo phantasmagorias that sets Toulouse apart from his erstwhile label mates.” said “Critic’s Choice,” Kirk Silsbee; Los Angeles New Times.
Denny Bruce; former Producer and Manager of John Fahey and Leo Kottke and Co-Owner of Takoma Records says…“Toulouse is a master of his craft. His inventions are timeless, kaleidoscopic and spatial as Oceania and Interstellar Space. He knows how to create visual imagery through the idiom of music. His music sounds or maybe I should say looks, like constant Northern Lights, as the listener descends through stained glass, falling from the sky through a prism. To paraphrase author Tom Wolfe, “Toulouse Engelhardt has The Right Stuff!”
To achieve his distinctive sound he relies on an arsenal of guitars. In concert, he performs with a Taylor 855 Jumbo 12 string, a Martin D-12-28 12 string, a Art Davis 846 12 String Guitar and his rosebud of choice…his vintage 1963 Mosrite “Ventures Model“ Surf Guitar!
“The guitar is a universe onto itself. The longer I play the more I realize that I really don’t know anything at all.” says the famed guitarist.
“Anyone drawn to Fahey and Kottke will immediately gravitate to Toulouse Engelhardt, an especially gifted guitarist!.”…Robert Hilburn; L.A. Times
Toulouse Engelhardt has received many nominations and critical praise for his virtuoso guitar playing. Most recently he has been featured in articles in Vintage Guitar Magazine (10/10) Guitar Player Magazine (11/11). Also he received the prestigious nomination of “Best Jazz Artist” @ the Orange County Music Awards in 2011. He was nominated for “Best Fingerstyle Guitarist” in Guitar Player Magazine’s Readers Polls for decades and was the “Silver Medal” Award Winner @ the Virgin Islands Film Festival for his contributions to the musical score to “Winter Equinox” (1978).
“A living legend, equally as talented as his peers Leo Kottke and Michael Hedges”…Alan Fark; Minor 7th.com
Toulouse Engelhardt has toured and recorded with some of the most influential artists in the music world including: A twelve city national tour with the Byrds; Jack Bruce, Ry Cooder, Chris Hillman, Gene Clark, John York, Clarence White, Bob Weir & Kingfish, Leon Russell, The Dillards, Kenny Rankin, Chris Darrow, Kenny Loggins, David Lindley, Dave Mason, John Stewart, Todd Rungren, George Thorogood & the Destroyers, John Sebastian, Adrian Belew, Hiroshima and performed twice with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Zubin Mehta!
“Guitar genius Toulouse Engelhardt is on the loose again!”…www.latimes.com
“Toulouse Engelhardt plays the guitar with such dexterity that it sounds like the man has at least 15 fingers! He is a showcase of technical brilliance and a master in both composition and performance!”…Richard Foss; All Music Guide