Archive for the "Artist News" Category

Erratic B.B. King Performance

B.B. King is one of my all-time guitar heroes. That’s what makes news like this really sad to me:

Slowed by age and infirmity, including diabetes, King continues to tour — with sometimes painful results. In St. Louis, some fans are singing the blues after an erratic weekend performance led to a stream of audience catcalls and early departures.

Concertgoers said King’s rambling Friday night set at the Peabody Opera House featured just a handful of complete songs amid meandering musical snippets, long-winded soliloquies, an 8-piece backup band that missed its cues and a 15-minute sing-along of “You Are My Sunshine.”

I had heard reports of his concerts becoming more like this over the past few years, which has led me to pass on going to see him the last few times he’s traveled through Nashville. I am fortunate to have seen him several times a number of years ago and each time he put on a great performance.

If you do end up going to a B.B. King concert in the future, go to pay respect to his past great work, but don’t expect to hear the B.B. King of the past.

Posted in: Artist News


This is Your Life – Ronnie James Dio Tribute Album

On April 1, Rhino Records will release This is Your Life, which is a tribute album for Ronnie James Dio and will benefit Dio’s Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund. The album features a host of artists covering tracks spanning Dio’s career. The track listing for the album is:

1. “Neon Knights” – Anthrax
2. “The Last In Line” – Tenacious D
3. “The Mob Rules” – Adrenaline Mob
4. “Rainbow In The Dark” – Corey Taylor, Roy Mayorga, Satchel, Christian Martucci, Jason Christopher
5. “Straight Through The Heart” – Hailstorm
6. “Starstruck” – Motörhead with Biff Byford
7. “The Temple Of The King” – Scorpions
8. “Egypt (The Chains Are On)” – Doro
9. “Holy Diver” – Killswitch Engage
10. “Catch The Rainbow” – Glenn Hughes, Simon Wright, Craig Goldy, Rudy Sarzo, Scott Warren
11. “I” – Oni Logan, Jimmy Bain, Rowan Robertson, Brian Tichy
12. “Man On The Silver Mountain” – Rob Halford, Vinny Appice, Doug Aldrich, Jeff Pilson, Scott Warren
13. “Ronnie Rising Medley (Featuring A Light In The Black, Tarot Woman, Stargazer, Kill The King)” – Metallica
14. “This Is Your Life” – Dio


Posted in: Artist News

Ask Eddie

EVH, Eddie Van Halen’s guitar gear brand, have revamped their website. One of the new features is an “Ask Eddie” section where you can submit your question directly to Eddie Van Halen himself. Each month, Eddie will select a few questions and answer them on the website.

Posted in: Artist News


Jack Pearson Guitar Academy

Nashville guitarist Jack Pearson is not nearly as well known as he should be. He was a member of the Allman Brothers Band from 1997-1999 and has played with a host of legends, including Vince Gill, Tommy Emmanuel, Earl Scruggs, Lee Roy Parnell, Jimmy Buffett, Keb Mo’, and many more. I had the pleasure of seeing Pearson perform with Double Trouble a few years and really enjoyed it. He really seems to be able to play just about anything.

You can now learn guitar directly from Pearson, as he has just announced the Jack Pearson Guitar Academy:

I love teaching and I’m very excited about this instructional site. Inside you’ll find hundreds of videos that show how I play, how I practice and how I work on all the different techniques it takes to play the variety of styles that I do. For me, music is a never ending learning experience.

As mentioned above, there are hundreds of videos already available, covering many of the styles that Pearson plays, which is considerable. Furthermore, he covers both acoustic and electric playing. Pricing of the Academy is $25/month with a 10% discount ($135) for a six-month subscription and a 15% discount ($255) for an annual subscription.

You can watch Pearson introduce the academy below:

Posted in: Artist News, Education, Lessons, Videos

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Les Claypool’s Duo De Twang – Four Foot Shack

Last week, bassist extraordinaire Les Claypool released a new album titled Four Foot Shack with a new band he’s calling Les Claypool’s Duo De Twang. I was intrigued when I saw that the album features some interesting covers, including some from Claypool’s own past albums as well as the Bee Gees’ “Stayin’ Alive,” Alice in Chain’s “Man in the Box,” and Jerry Reed’s “Amos Moses.”

An interesting choice of covers for sure, but even more interesting is the fact that Duo De Twang is truly a duo of Claypool and guitarist Bryan Kehoe, with occasional accompaniment from Claypool’s son on banjo. Like all of his albums, Claypool’s quirkiness is front and center on this album, and I wondered how that would work in a stripped down setup like this. However, I find the album has many high points, although it can get repetitive in some places.

There’s no denying Claypool’s talent on the bass. His quirkiness can turn some people off, but if you’ve enjoyed anything he’s done in the past, I think you will enjoy this new project. I happen to dig it.

Check out some fan footage of Les Claypool’s Duo De Twang performing “Stayin’ Alive”:

Posted in: Artist News, Basses

Michael Bloomfield – From His Head to His Heart to His Hands Box Set


This looks like an excellent release for fans of Michael Bloomfield: From His Head to His Heart to His Hands. The release includes 3 CDs and a DVD. From Amazon’s description of the new release:

From His Head to His Heart to His Hands, the 3 CD/1 DVD anthology features released and unreleased gems from solo sessions to live performances from The Fillmore East and Fillmore West, The Bottom Line and other historic venues. This compilation also will feature a fascinating new mini-documentary combining vintage audio interviews with Bloomfield and live performances with new reflections from his friends, collaborators and admirers.


Posted in: Artist News

David Grissom – How It Feels To Fly


David Grissom, one of my favorite current guitarists, has released a new album today titled How It Feels To Fly:

The 4th solo release from renowned Austin, TX guitarist and songwriter David Grissom. The CD includes eight new studio tracks and four extended live tracks, with blistering covers of the Allman Brother’s “Jessica” and ZZ Top’s “Nasty Dogs And Funky Kings”. The rest are all original tunes by Grissom, including two songs written with Chris Stapleton (The Steeldrivers), and another with Austin singer songwriter Kacy Crowley. The entire CD showcases the deep interplay and chemistry developed over the last two years with Grissom’s badass Austin band members. After touring and recording with artists such as Joe Ely, John Mellencamp, Storyville, Buddy Guy, and The Allman Brothers, “How It Feels To Fly” finds David confidently settling into the role of bandleader and solo artist.

If you haven’t seen Grissom playing ZZ Top’s “Nasty Dogs and Funky Kings,” check out the following video:

Purchase How It Feels To Fly from Amazon using this link and help support Guitar Lifestyle.

UPDATE: I embedded a different video thanks to Guitar Lifestyle reader Michael N.

Posted in: Artist News


Gibson Les Paul Recording


This is an interesting reissue that I missed a few weeks ago. Gibson is bringing back a limited edition version of the Les Paul Recording guitar:

A major part of Les Paul’s original vision for the solidbody electric guitar was to incorporate features crucial to studio musicians, and that dream was realized in the famed Les Paul Recording Model of the 1970s. The new Les Paul Recording guitar from Gibson USA—hand-crafted, American-made, and impressively affordable—pays tribute to Les’s original concept while adding key updates for superior sound and performance.

The Les Paul Recording couples Gibson’s legendary tone and playability with the very best of today’s electronics to create a dream instrument for studio guitarists. Two versatile new pickups route through a premium, industry-standard Jensen audio transformer for a balanced low-impedance output that can go direct into pro mixers or computer audio interfaces. Or, select the High-Z out for traditional guitar amps. “Fat Tap” coil splitting on each pickup, a phase-reverse switch, and ground lift switch for the Low-Z output dramatically extend the Les Paul Recording’s versatility.

Select Grade-A mahogany and a Grade-A rosewood fingerboard, with frets over binding for extended playing surface, form an unbeatable foundation; Grover™ kidney-button tuners, a Tune-o-matic bridge, and a classic Bigsby™ B-7 vibrato tailpiece provide accurate tuning with serious sustain. The high-gloss natural nitrocellulose lacquer finish lets the wood’s natural beauty shine through, while a multi-ply bound body and headstock, “Custom” style split-diamond headstock inlay, and small pearloid block fingerboard inlays complete this first-class musical instrument.

Posted in: Artist News, Guitars

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Rock Candy Funk Party Takes New York: Live at the Iridium

You may have heard that Joe Bonamassa has a funk-based side group called Rock Candy Funk Party, which also includes Tal Bergman, Ron DeJesus, Mike Merritt, and Renato Neto. The group released a debut album last year and are set to release a live set next month, on February 25.

The new live set is titled Rock Candy Funk Party Takes New York: Live at the Iridium and includes one DVD and two CDs:

DVD Tracklist:

1. Octopus-e
2. Work
3. We Want Groove
4. Heart Beat
5. New York Song
6. Spaztastic
7. Ode To Gee
8. Dope On A Rope
9. Best Ten Minutes Of Your Life
10. Steppin’ In It
11. Mr. Clean
12. One Phone Call

CD Tracklist:

1. Heart Beat
2. New York Song
3. Octopus-e
4. Spaztastic
5. We Want Groove
6. Work

1. Dope On A Rope
2. Mr. Clean
3. Ode To Gee
4. One Phone Call
5. Steppin’ In It
6. The Best Ten Minutes Of Your Life

Check out a preview of the DVD below:

Posted in: Artist News


NAMM 2014: Private Stock Alex Lifeson Thinline Signature Acoustic

For fans of Rush, PRS and Alex Lifeson have teamed up to create the Private Stock Alex Lifeson Thinline Signature acoustic guitar:

“During the 2013 Rush Clockwork Angels Tour, I had the opportunity to spend some time with a PRS Angelus Cutaway. It quickly became my pre-show warm up guitar, and I spent many hours in many hotel rooms lost in the gorgeous sound and tone of that beautiful instrument. I’m very happy to announce that I have collaborated with PRS to develop an Alex Lifeson Signature model based on this superlative platform. If you’re like me, you won’t be able to put it down,” Alex Lifeson.

While the craftsmanship and attention to detail are very consistent with other PRS Private Stock acoustics, this instrument embodies some new design elements that take the instrument in a unique direction. The Alex Lifeson signature PRS acoustic is slightly thinner than the company’s Angelus Cutaway and Tonare Grand and is constructed in such a way that it lends itself to louder stage volumes and the rigors of the road. The Alex Lifeson signature acoustic features a bearclaw spruce top and koa back and sides with a mahogany neck and ebony bridge, fretboard, and headstock veneer. It is adorned with Mother of Pearl and Paua “Birds in Flight” inlays and Paua purfling along the top, fretboard, and headstock veneer.


Posted in: Artist News, Guitars, NAMM