"I like your version better than ours!": Acoustic fingerstyle guitarist covers Toto's Rosanna and wows Steve Lukather

Casper Esmann
(Image credit: Casper Esmann / YouTube)

If you recognise the name Casper Esmann, he's the talented Danish fingerstyle acoustic guitar player who was a 2018 finalist when we ran our Guitarist Of The Year. competition. He's continued to go from strength to strength since and his latest acoustic reworking of a hit rock song has floored the iconic guitarist who helped make it famous in the first place– and just happens to be a guitar icon too. 

Rosanna by Toto features one of the most celebrated guitar solos in rock from the band's co-founder and session ace Steve Lukather and when he was recommended Casper's version by none other than Zakk Wylde, the Toto guitarist dropped a comment on Instagram expressing his admiration in no uncertain terms. 

"Wow man that is so killer!" posted Lukather. "Like your version better than ours! Zak Wylde sent me this. Glad he did. Hope I see ya live sometime! Very touched you would bother. Thanks."

How's that for high praise? And Casper's version is undoubtedly sublime – and features a G7th capo sliding transition while he plays the verse part that has to be seen to be believed. Check out the clip above and the full version below.

This isn't the first time Lukather has posted supportive comments to young players online either. YouTuber Joey Jones was shocked to receive compliments from Luke on a Telecaster guitar solo he posted to illustrate how they sound when tuned down.

Jones himself described it as a "bad" solo in the video below but that's absolutely not true as you'll hear. 

"I wrote this riff and solo for one of my last YouTube videos," Jones reflected. "It was about how good a Telecaster sound when you play it in C# standard… I listened back to the song that was in there and for me it was OK, it wasn't really a great song or a great riff. It was, yeah this kind of serves the purpose of demonstrating how a Tele sounds when you tune it down."

Steve Lukather disagreed when he heard it via an Instagram reel (clearly a good way to be spotted by a guitar hero online). His response was succinct but said it all: "Killer".

And this is from a guy who knows about great, musical guitar parts. 

Check out the YouTube channels for Joey Jones and Casper Esmann for more of their playing. You can see Capser's 2018 Acoustic Guitarist Of The Year final performance below. 

Rob Laing
Guitars Editor, MusicRadar

I'm the Guitars Editor for MusicRadar, handling news, reviews, features, tuition, advice for the strings side of the site and everything in between. Before MusicRadar I worked on guitar magazines for 15 years, including Editor of Total Guitar in the UK. When I'm not rejigging pedalboards I'm usually thinking about rejigging pedalboards.