In some circles, "Do you know El Twanguero?" is a secret handshake. Answering yes reveals you as a member of the small but growing club of followers of this underappreciated guitar master, born Diego Garcia.
To those who have heard Garcia play, his stage alias is the most appropriate nom de guitare ever. It's proven by records like The Brooklyn Session (2011), Argentina Songbook (2013), Pachuco (2015) and, his latest album, Electric Sunset(Cosmica Records), where Garcia uses his Bigsby-equipped Gibson ES-295 to inject dictionary-definition twang into an astonishing range of genres, including boogie, country, blues, jazz, rock, Argentinian, Mexican, Spanish and Gypsy.
The Spanish-born picker's prodigious technical ability comes from learning classical guitar in Valencia between the ages of six and 10. "I'm proud of that time, because studying at the conservatory shows you there is a discipline in music," Garcia says. That training and commitment proved useful when he put on a thumb pick to absorb the techniques of Chet Atkins and Jerry Reed, and simultaneously adopted a flat pick to mimic the Shadows and the Ventures.