Guitarist Par Excellence’
TOULOUSE ENGELHARDT, often called the "Segovia of Surf" by his peers is a celebrated guitar virtuoso, composer and humorist who was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, but has lived the majority of his years in Southern California beach culture. Toulouse Engelhardt has earned accolades from serious critics of the guitar and the public alike for his lightning fast guitar stylings and colorful, cinematic melodies. In fact he has reached 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) John Fahey and Leo Kottke were his label mates. It was this group of milestone finger style guitarists that brought about the current renaissance in the acoustic guitar movement. Today, many in the music industry believe that Toulouse Engelhardt deserves to be placed among the elite group of legendary guitar masters!
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” by the Venture and Wes Montgomery; who gave me a few tips in technique at the backstage door of the famous “Lighthouse Café” in Hermosa Beach, California at 1:00 AM” 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, cinematic technique used by only a handful of composers and arrangers. For years music critics have tried in vain to classify the “Toulouse Sound”; as a vibrant collage of musical styling based in traditional Americana: acoustic blues, ragtime, devotion and the wet surf sounds of the early 1960’s
“A bit of a visionary himself, it’s his lyricism and picturesque quality of his solo phantasmagorias that sets Toulouse apart from his erstwhile label mates.” said “Critic’s Choice,” writer Kirk Silsbee in the Los Angeles New Times.
To achieve his distinctive sound he relies on an arsenal of guitars. In concert, he performs with a Taylor 855 Jumbo 12 string, an Art Davis custom built 12 String Guitar and his rosebud of choice...the vintage 1963 Mosrite “Ventures Model“ Surf Guitar!
“Each of these instruments has a personality all it’s own. The challenge for me is to bring out the best in each of their individual personalities to fit my musical expressions” says the famed guitarist.
Toulouse Engelhardt has received many nominations and critical praise for his virtuoso guitar playing. In the period from 1976-1980; he was listed in Guitar Player Magazine’s Readers Poll under “Best Fingerstyle” Category. He has received the endorsements of three of the most respected builders of fine musical instruments including: A. Davis Guitars of San Diego, Taylor Guitars of El Cajon, California; and from the late Semi Moseley himself, the owner and creator of the famous Mosrite “Ventures Model” Electronic Guitar!....
“I have had the privilege to build guitars for some of the most respected artists in the guitar world...Toulouse Engelhardt is no exception! He is one of the most creative guitarists I have ever heard!”...Semi Moseley; @ Mosrite Guitars Inc. 1988’
Toulouse Engelhardt has recorded and toured the with some of the most influential artists in the music world; including: a 1973, 12 city national tour with the Byrds;
Kenny Loggin’s “Celebrate Me Home” tour in the eighties and with some of the best including: Jack Bruce, of “Cream,” George Winston, Ry Cooder, John Sebastian, Ex-Byrds: John York, Clarence White, Chris Hillman and Gene Clark, Bob Weir & Kingfish, Kenny Rankin, Chris Darrow, Remi Kabaka (of Paul McCartney’s Wings, Ginger Baker’s Air Force and Traffic), David Lindley, Dave Mason, John Stewart, Todd Rungren, George Thorogood, Adrian Belew, Hiroshima and even performed twice with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra!
Toulouse Engelhardt is without question one of the most innovative and important finger style guitar virtuosos in the music world today …Toulouse Engelhardt is on the loose again! www.toulousemusic.com