"Every time we sit down and play, it sounds like a song:" The contender for instrumental guitar album of the year is arriving on 1 May

Tom Bukovac / Guthrie Trapp In Stereo cover art
(Image credit: Tom Bukovac / Guthrie Trapp)

We've mentioned the guitar wisdom of Tom Bukovac (aka Uncle Larry) and Guthrie Trapp a lot here – they're two of Nashville's top players, which means they're at the top of the tree anywhere. The sheer musicality and tonal riches between these two players are difficult to quantify, and they've been great at sharing that knowledge with the rest of us on their YouTube channels too. But they've never recorded together… until now.

In Stereo is available digital download and CD and vinyl preorder on 1 May and will mark the first album from Trapp and Bukovac as a collaborative duo. If what we've heard from Bukovac's previous recorded collaboration with Stone Temple Pilots' Dean DeLeo on Trip The Witch is anything to go by, it promises to be the album of the year for guitar players.

Emotive, inventive and rich in nuance, Trapp and Bukovac play instrumental guitar music for those of us who feel alienated by shred finger athletics. They've sat in and contributed with some of the greatest songwriters around, contributing their creativity as melodic and song-serving guitarists.  In Stereo will channel their mutual appreciation and individual styles together in original compositions for the first time.

While Bukovac is a busy studio session player with recent recordings including Gwen Stefani, Chris Shiflett, Keith Urban and Morgan Wallen. Trapp plays show with his own trio and is the regular sideman for John Oates for his live acoustic shows. 

Sessions were captured for the record in East Nashville's Cabin Studios, alongside a team including fellow guitarist and tutor extraordinaire Brett Papa (who also hosted the incredible lesson and performance session with the duo you can see above). In Stereo all started with a single song the duo collaborated on, that went so well the ball kept rolling.

"When Tom expressed his interest in taking that one track we recorded and doing an entire record project, I always feel like I do when I get asked to do those kinds of things or be a part of it, I feel like I've graduated from college," explains Trapp in the video below. 

"I've always been fascinated with your playing," Bukovac tells Trapp, who he describes as a guitar natural. "I remember when you used to come into my music store and you would pick up a guitar and I'd sit and watch you play.

I didn't want it to be a jam record and I didn't want it to be too stiff

Tom Bukovac

"I just remember thinking it would be so easy and fun to make a record with you," he adds later. "Because every time we sit down and play, it sounds like a song. I don't remember the first thing we wrote was… but man when we made this record it was so easy. I don't even remember it, it happened so fast.

"I didn't want it to be a jam record and I didn't want it to be too stiff. And we kept a lot of first takes, which I'm very happy about. We punched a couple of things but most of those are live recordings and that's what I wanted because we could have sat there for months and tweaked and tweak this stuff but I didn't want to do that."

We're looking forward to hearing what the creative freedom from their musical chemistry together sounds like. 

"We are so excited," says Trapp. "We've been going back and listening to tracks here and there for various reasons and when we hear this music again that we recorded, I think you're really gonna love it."

For more info on preorders for In Stereo, visit Baked Alaska Records

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.