Friday, April 28, 2006
David Gilmour's black Fender Statocaster is up for auction. The slightly "used - good conditon with some scuff marks" strat is signed by Gilmore and the "Save The Earth, David Gilmour" was scrawled on the guitar backstage at the Paramount Theatre in Oakland on April 17th this year, while David was on his recent North American tour. Proceeds will go to the Save The Earth Foundation, and the bidding has already reached over the $2,650.00 mark. If you have the wallet, you can still place a bid on either this guitar, or guitars signed by Carlos Santana, Fleetwood Mac or BB King up to this Sunday evening; savetheearth.net
Thursday, April 27, 2006
Built To Spill has released a new album, and the guitar is alive and well in the band. The new album, titled; You In Reverse, features a band which still believes the guitar is capable of creating interesting, fresh sounds. For 13 years BTS has been a group, and have cranked out 8 albums. It's good to see a band still playing guitar after so many years, and still injecting some new life into the instrument.
Wednesday, April 26, 2006
Guitar Synthesizer? Seems almost an oximoron; aren't most guitarists trying hard to get back to the guitarist-basicist sound right now? Witness Jack White of The White Stripes et al. Or maybe that was last year, maybe EH has the word that a polyphonic guitar synthesizer, with capbilities up to 10 interval pitches, dedicated filtering and envelope control - and it works with any pick-up and EH even claims it doesn't glitch - is the new old thing. Hmmm; I've heard similiar claims before (minus the "any pick up") from other companies in decades past; Roland comes to mind. In the seventies and eighties it was cool to not sound like a guitar, is it time again?
Tuesday, April 25, 2006
Paul Reed Smith has released an updated version of the PRS C6, which was released in 2005; the Corvette Standard 22. Carved mahogony body with a 25" scale length mahogany neck with a rosewood fingerboard. Comes loaded with two Dragon II pickups, and volume and tone controls and a 5 way switch. The color selection is right out of a new performance car show room; Le Mans Blue, Daytona Sunset Orange, Machine Silver, and Velocity Yellow (this one).
PRS's website shows this graphic to describe the Dragon II Treble Pick Up, and here's a link to thier website to hear a sample of the Pick Up at work.
Friday, April 21, 2006
Mark Knopfler has always been a favorite guitarist of mine. His sense of space, and his unique fingerstyle lead guitar style have always captured my ear. His style is outstanding; when you hear even a note or two, he achieves what all great guitarists do and all other guitarists strive to do - you instantly know it's Mark playing. His attack, via his finger plucked style, is truly in a class by itself. After the success of Dire Straits, Knopfler has been busy developing a song based style, with leanings toward barer bones and stripped down arrangements, and it's opened doors to different roads for him.
Mark has been working on the concept of an album with Emmylou Harris for ten years now. and it's release has now been confirmed for 24 April, 2006. The album, named All The Roadrunning, is an interesting pairing, but it does make a lot of sense. Both Harris and Knopfler are in their late 50's (Emmylou is 59, and Mark is 56), both have weathered marriages and divorces and have children. This, then will be a marked mature album. Plenty of guitar and the lilting melodies of Harris. This will be good.
From a guitarists point of view; Mark has taken delivery on a new Pensa Suhr; a Pensa Custom MK11. Dated 3rd of June, 05, serial number 0260. Single coils, strat shape. If any body has any further info, I'd be interested; comment below.
Thursday, April 20, 2006
Since leaving Marilyn Manson, guitarist John 5 has found a new creative partner in Rob Zombie, and he played on Zombie's latest offering; Educated Horses. John 5; the name alone conjures up a lot of debate - and the musician is definitely not without controversy - but, could K.D. Lang, Avril Lavigne and Fefe Dobson all be simply drawn to 5's image? Maybe, but first and foremost, the man can play, and he takes a unique tack on the usual heavy grind of drop tuning pentatonic musers out there. Love him or hate him, you can't dismiss him as all form - he reaks of function.
Wednesday, April 19, 2006
The IPOD revolution has definitely changed music for the masses. It is, quite simply, everywhere! So MAC PRO has released a cool little gadget that plugs directly into the headphone output of an IPOD and adds a 1/4 inch guitar/bass input which simulates an amped sound, along with the ability to mix the levels between the recorded output of the IPOD and the guitar amped sound of your axe. A cool guitar gadget addition to the growing lines of IPOD add-on gadgets.
Tuesday, April 18, 2006
One of the real banes of all Guitar Players is the fact that all Guitars require constant tuning. Pick up a guitar; you gotta tune it - strum a guitar for longer than the first half minute; you gotta fine tune it - run from the freezing cold backstage into the heat of even a small stage and wait another half minute; you gotta totally tune up! Now, wouldn't it be nice if you're guitar would just tune itself? It would sure save time and be incredibly convenient. So, inventor Neil Skinn came up with a self tuning module for solid body electrics; and now, he's just releasing an acoustic version. The tuner - named the Performer automatic tuning system - is mounted at the bridge, and features small electric motors and a mechanical system controlled by sensors and a small onboard computer to adjust string tensions. Wow.
Monday, April 17, 2006
Krank amps have a pretty high profile lately, and this new distortion pedal is for everyone out there who is wondering what the hub bub is all about, but don't have the considerable coin to drop to try out a Revolution One or Krankenstein amp. This pedal captures the tone well, and you probably won't put out your back lifting it up to the 3rd floor practice room. The usual specs; 9VDC, true-bypass, three band EQ; but the real plus of this pedal is the sound.
Sunday, April 16, 2006
Friday, April 14, 2006
Gibson's Memphis Guitar production plant is closing down the production line and opening their doors to supply a venue for the usually based New Orleans music festival The Ponderosa Stomp to be held on May 8-10. The plant is located in downtown Memphis, and usually offers 45 minute guided tours which include a look at binding, neck fitting, painting, buffing, and tuning of the fine Gibson guitars that they produce there. The Gibson BB King Lucille model and the Chet Atkins Country Gentleman models are produced here. On hand at the event will be Scotty Moore, Memphis based Travis Wammack, Sleepy LaBeef, Lil Buck Sinegal, and James Blood Ulmer, amoung others.
It's great to see Gibson stepping up to the plate for the Hurricane Katrina displaced festival and offering to host 'em. It's small gestures like these that remind me that good companies do exist, and they can make a difference if they act socially responsible. Good on Gibson.
Thursday, April 13, 2006
Wow; here's a unique product release. SoundTech has just announced, this past Tuesday, the release of their new MP3 AMP3 Guitar Amplifier and computer music center. It's a Guitar Amp with the usual tone shaping parameters; tone expander, built in tuner, and a slew of digital signal effects, but what's really different about this "gadget" is that via the line-out you can hook it up directly to your home PC and record in MP3 format. Add to that the line-in which accepts output from your MP3 player, CD player, etc, and you have a very cool all in one jamming/recording center. This is one neat product. It also comes with headphone outputs and an extension speaker for filling the room with sound. Carry it with you with a 9 volt battery and you're on the go (or plug in the AC). Now here's the thing; sometimes looking at a picture doesn't really help with getting a feel for how big/small/awkward a thing physically is - the AMP3 dimensions are 3inches by 6inches by 5inches. Weird. I'm looking forward to actually seeing it in person.
Wednesday, April 12, 2006
According to Black Sabbath Online, this guitar listed on ebay's UK site is not as it claims. Seems Iommi's management cared enough to contact BS Online and clarify that the guitar is not the one it purports to be. This info has just been posted on the site.
Tuesday, April 11, 2006
An airbrushed "distressed" rebel flag is emplazoned on the Rebel Razorback, playing homage to Dimebag Darrell's roots, in this new Dean Guitar. Mahogany body and neck, Floyd Rose trem, Grover tuners, a Dimebucker in the neck pick up slot, and a Dimarzio in the bridge slot. "The Razorback is a shape Dime envisioned and wanted us to create" says Dean B Zelinksy, Dean Guitar's co-founder. The guitar is finished with an ebony fingerboard and Dean V position markers and a pearl razorblade at the 12th fret.
Monday, April 10, 2006
Martin has come up with some unique marketing ideas as of yet - for me it all began with the release of the Backpacker - and this Martin Limited Edition FeLiX Guitar is another attempt on Martin's part to bring something different to the market.
Martin has always been steeped in the traditional Guitar market and in fact; the name Martin conjures up a certain gravity and tradition to the mind of most guitarists, but many of their releases have been departures. The FeLiX is certainly a departure. I guess the real question will be; fifty years from now, will guitarists be salivating at the thought of owning one of these? We'll see.
Modified 0-14 Fret/Jett Black HPL back and sides/Natural Statabond (?!!) neck/Black Micarta fingerboard
Sunday, April 09, 2006
Dunlop's ZW-45 Zakk Wylde Signature Wah has been designed with Zakk's input, and the result is a great sounding, heavy Wah in the classic tradition, but with a bit more meat on the tone bone. The sound is just a bit heavier and is voiced to cut throught the heaviest wall of sound. Housed in a raw-metal casing, it's built to withstand the heavy steel toed footing of heavy guitarists night after night.
Saturday, April 08, 2006
Yamaha's Magicstomp Acoustic effects processor is a cool addition to an acoustic guitar's aresenal; 198 sound programs, automatic feedback eliminator, built in tuner, mic/amp/speaker sims, and deep editing capabilities via an interactive software. 32 bit DSP processing, 24 bit/96 kHz audio under the chassis, and a good user friendly layout on the effects box. The software will operate on either PC of Mac via USB.
Friday, April 07, 2006
Playstation's new game, Guitar Hero utilizes this "SG" styled controller in order for players to interact with an on screen rock band; different levels require different proficencies and, after a while, the guitar is smokin'. The controller even senses neck tilting, and is rewarded by on screen pyro displays. Rock on.
Wednesday, April 05, 2006
Eric Clapton's current tour will end with a triumphant date in Moscow's Red Square. The concert - which is the last stop in his current European Tour - is scheduled for August 3, 2006, and follows in the deep footsteps of other Moscow concerts held by Paul McCartney, Luciano Pavarotti, and Placido Domingo. The Robert Cray Band is the opener, and Clapton's band contains some pretty amazing musicians in their own right; Doyle Bramhall II and Derek Trucks support the Eric on guitar.
Tuesday, April 04, 2006
Sunday, April 02, 2006
Behringer Germany has designed a unique "plug and play" USB guitar; the IAXE393. Grab your Mac or PC and plug the supplied USB cable directly between the solid body, 3 single coil, 22 fret maple necked IAXE393 and your computer, and you have a fully equipped guitar set up, including virtual pedals, amps, and (via the included multi track recording and editing software) recording system.
Cool idea; I really like the concept, now let's see if Behringer knows how to make a guitar
Saturday, April 01, 2006
Buck Owens was a guitarist, first and foremost; with his passing recently on March 25, 2006 (born August 12, 1929), there have been many fine tributes to the man, but not enough light has been shone on his formidable guitar talents. In the 1960's, Buck - who took his monicker from the family's Mule while growing up in Texas - made an indelible mark on the music coming out of Nashville, Tennessee. His guitar talents, along with the great guitarist Don Rich, were the fuel and drive for his group; the Buckaroos, and featured a unique, ground breaking sound that melded country guitar and the new, fledgling sounds of rock and roll guitar. As Owens said; "If I'd wanted to sleep, I'd have taken a nap."
I came to know Buck Owens by unearthing an old vinyl Beatles record one day, and found myself instantly drawn to a Ringo sung "Act Naturally", which I discovered was a covered Owens hit (1963).
A tribute to Owen's popularity was the production of a Buck Owen's All American Guitar, which was sold through the Sear's catalogue in the 60's.
Fast forward to 1994; Nirvana's MTV Unplugged, and in the background of Cobain and co. is 2nd guitarist Pat Smear, playing a familiar looking guitar.
The musical lineage of great music is closer than we believe, if Pat Smear picked this guitar for other reasons, that's cool. To me, it shows that we are all closer than we realize.
good night, Buck.