If I had one bit of musical talent, I wouldn't want to ride in a van with four other people or argue about songwriting credits; I would want to do all the work by myself. Having been in a touring van myself, I imagine that it's an important part of why some musicians go solo.
If you’re curious, Flavorwire recently posted a list of fifteen one-man bands. There are a few additions I’d like to make. Please feel free to add any to the comments section.
1. King Louie
I've already called Louie the “Kevin Bacon of the American garage scene,” his six degrees earned by playing in half a dozen iconic bands including The Exploding Hearts and The Persuaders. With such an impressive resume, it isn't a surprise to know that he spends his free time simultaneously playing a guitar and kick drum.
2. Abner Jay
How do you explain Abner Jay to somebody who has never heard him? Saying that Jay called himself “the last great Southern black minstrel show” is an understatement.
If anyone else decided to hang out in their Minnesota basement and record a bunch of bluesy throwaway songs, I would say “Have a good time, dork-o.” Fortunately we're talking about Paul Westerberg here. Listen to Dead Man Shake on Spotify.
4. Livefastdie/Nice Face
Both projects rose from the ashes of the underrated New York garage punk band, Some Action. While each performed live with a full band, recordings of Livefastdie and Nice Face were all done by one man. Well, two guys: ex-Some Action singer Ian Magee did Nice Face, and guitarist Ethan Campbell created LFD while sitting behind his computer with a guitar.
5. Roy Wood
Jeff Lynne is usually mentioned alongside bands like The Move or Electric Light Orchestra, but if you give one listen to Roy Wood's 1973 solo album, Boulders, you realize who was really the true genius (and founder) of those groups. Wood plays every instrument on the album, save for the harmonium on the first track.