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Best Guitarist

Photo by Todd Cooper
Photo by Todd Cooper

If Jake Pavlak didn’t exist it would be necessary for Eugene’s music scene to invent him. As a guitarist with classic local bands like Buckhorn, Yeltsin and Ferns, Pavlak has proven himself a world-class stylist with unique chord voicings, a highly personal ear for melody and impeccable taste level. Guitar wizardry à la Eddie Van Halen isn’t normally Pavlak’s game (he can shred with the best of them, as anyone who’s seen him in the house band for Sam Bond’s Garage’s popular Guilty Pleasures Night can attest). But Eugene’s favorite red-bearded musician with a trucker cap is just as good as Johnny Marr, Tommy Iommi or Peter Buck — formidable guitarists who are also amazing songwriters.