Billy McLaughlin
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Billy McLaughlin

Band Folk Acoustic


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The best kept secret in music


The way he plays, you may swear Billy McLaughlin is two of the greatest acoustic guitarists you've ever heard. There is only one of him, though. It just sounds like the music of four hands. - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Besides being a brilliant finger-picker, Billy McLaughlin stretches the sonic possibilities of the acoustic guitar.... - Guitar World Acoustic

The acoustic-guitar landscape is over-grown with fleet finger-pickers, but Billy McLaughlin bursts through the weeds.... - Billboard Magazine

It's amazing that such an extensive sound comes from one instrument! - Chicago Sun Times


Major label releases
Fingerdance, Narada/Virgin 1996
Out of Hand, Narada/Virgin 1999
Acoustic Original, Narada/Virgin 2000
Masters of Acoustic Guitar, Narada/Virgin 1996
Guitar Fingerstyle, Narada/Virgin 1998

Independent label release
Finally! Live, Proton Discs 2002
A Simple Gift, Proton Discs 2002
Stormseeker, Proton Discs 1995
Wintersongs & Traditionals, Proton Discs 1994
The Bow and the Arrow, Proton Discs 1994
The Archery of Guitar, Proton Discs 1993
Inhale Pink, Proton Discs 1991
Exhale Blue, Proton Discs 1991



Between 1996 and 2000, Billy McLaughlin lost his record deal, his publishing deal, his distribution deal, his agent, his business, his marriage, his family and his home.

Shortly after that, he started having problems.

After ten years of national touring, six independent releases, three major label releases, and a trip to the Billboard Top Ten chart, the internationally recognized acoustic guitarist began having unexplainable muscle spasms in his left arm and hand.

The symptoms got so bad that it became humiliating to take the stage to perform his complex and rhythmic acoustic guitar style.

In 2001 Billy was diagnosed at the Mayo Clinic with an incurable neuro-muscular disease called Focal Dystonia.

By 2002, the disease forced McLaughlin to give up his career just when he needed his music the most, sending him into an emotional and creative tailspin.

In early 2005, word leaked that McLaughlin was attempting a comeback, an unlikely attempt to relearn his instrument left-handed and reclaim his music, his career and his life. Independent film-makers Suzanne Jurva and David Taylor recently finished a documentary that followed McLaughlin from endless hours of frustrating rehearsing through various medical treatments and finally back to the concert stage in 2006.