Archive for the "Artist News" Category

Joe Bonamassa “Different Shades of Blue”

Joe Bonamassa has released details about his upcoming album, which is titled Different Shades of Blue, and he has also released the first video for the album:

The album will be released on September 23 and will feature all original material:

“It’s been a while since I’ve been involved in the writing on an entire album. So I decided I wanted to make a completely original blues album,” said Bonamassa.

“I’ve really had to push myself to make everything I do better than the last project. I know the fans expect it. And I feel like I owe it to the fans to give them an original record after all these years.”

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Oz Noy – Twisted Blues Vol. 2

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Guitarist Oz Noy has released Twisted Blues Vol. 2, which is, as the name implies, a follow up to his last album, Twisted Blues Vol. 1. Like that album, Vol. 2 features Noy’s unique blend of jazz, blues, funk, and rock with the help of a few special guests.

If you’re into instrumental guitar music, I think you’ll like this album. Laying the foundation for the album is Noy’s excellent groove and tasteful playing. While he’s a great guitarist, he never lets the song be overridden by superfluous guitar playing. Which isn’t to say that there isn’t tons of great guitar work on this album. There is, not only from Noy, but from guests Eric Johnson and Warren Haynes as well.

Additional guests include Allen Toussaint, John Medeski, Chick Corea, Greg Leisz, Dave Weckl, and Gregroire Maret. Bassists Will Lee and Roscoe Beck and drummers Keith Carlock and Chris Layton also appear on the album.

Here’s Noy talking about the album:

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Gibson Custom Shop Joe Bonamassa Skinnerburst 1959 Les Paul

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If you’ve been following Joe Bonamassa’s career for the past few years, you probably know that he has amassed a number of original Les Paul bursts in his collection. One of those is a 1959 Les Paul called Skinnerburst (#9-1951). Gibson and Bonamassa have teamed up to create a Custom Shop model based on the Skinnerburst:

Of all of today’s Les Paul-wielding artists Joe Bonamassa is among the most revered, and the astounding 1959 model that he affectionately calls “Principal Skinner” is the most beloved guitar in his extensive collection. Now, following a long-coming collaboration between Joe and Gibson Custom, we are delighted to present “Skinnerburst,” a detail-perfect recreation of what is possibly the hardest working 1959 Les Paul in the world today. Through unrestricted access to the original and Joe’s generous cooperation, Gibson Custom has scanned, studied and measured every spec, curve and parameter of this guitar to bring you an instrument that reproduces this prized ‘burst in every possible way, exactly as it looks, feels, and sounds today.

From its delectably faded Dirty Lemon finish, to its custom-wound humbucking pickups, to its precise top carve and neck profile, the Joe Bonamassa “Skinnerburst” 1959 Les Paul gets you as close as is humanly possible to a priceless artist’s guitar. Historically accurate binding colors, aged cellulose trapezoid inlays, hot-hide glue neck construction, and period-correct hardware all complement a breathtaking rendition of Joe’s constant stage and studio companion. Of 150 guitars hand-aged by unparalleled ageing artist Tom Murphy, 50 will be played and signed by Joe himself; a further 150 will be treated to Gibson Custom’s VOS process, making a Limited Edition of 300 guitars in total.

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Billy F. Gibbons Goldtop

gibbons-goldtop

Gibson and Billy Gibbons have teamed up to create the Billy F. Gibbons Goldtop:

Billy F. Gibbons doesn’t pull any stylistic or tonal punches, so you’d expect his take on the seminal Les Paul Goldtop to be a knockout—and it is.

The first ground-up revision of Gibson’s stunning original solidbody electric in over 60 years is a masterpiece of style. In addition to its luscious goldtop finish, it features a unique pinstripe design created by Billy himself, which is hand-recreated one at a time by respected hotrod-pinstripe artist Rick Harris and a Gibson artist trained personally by Rick. Sonically and visually, the guitar blows the doors off the venue with a neck profile measured precisely from the Rev’s own Les Paul, ultra-light construction, custom electronics, and a pair of Seymour Duncan Pearly Gates pickups.

150 Billy F. Gibbons Goldtops will be carefully hand-aged, with 50 of them played and hand-signed by Billy himself; each of these will have the added kitsch of a Texas-shaped “buckle rash” wear pattern adorning its back. A further 150 VOS models round out the Limited Run of 300 guitars.

One interesting feature of the Billy F. Gibbons Goldtop not mentioned in the description above is the lack of a pickup selector switch. There is a volume control for each pickup and a master tone control. At $5,665 and up and only 300 being made, it’s not a guitar for the masses, but it looks like a pretty cool guitar for those that can afford it.

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B.B. King: The Life of Riley

B.B. King: The Life of Riley, a documentary about the life of B.B. King, is set to hit select theaters later this month:

Narrated by Morgan Freeman, B.B. King: The Life of Riley is the untold true American story of an orphan boy from the heart of the Mississippi Delta who rose to music stardom around the world and inspired a generation of fans against all odds. The documentary includes never-before-seen interviews with rock legends including U2’s Bono, Eric Clapton, Carlos Santana, Ringo Starr and many others.  Experience the inspirational journey of survival for the very first time with Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and 15-time GRAMMY winning artist Riley ‘BB’ King.

The documentary will also be released on Blu-Ray and DVD in June. If the movie isn’t going to be playing in theaters in your area, you can pre-order the documentary from Amazon.

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David Grissom TrueFire Course and A1 Blues Interview

TrueFire has released a new course featuring one of my favorite guitarists, David Grissom. The course is titled Open Road Guitar and features 60 videos and 222 minutes of content. From the description:

David organized Open Road Guitar into two sections. In the first section, he presents the 25 key concepts and techniques that comprise his signature style: Hand Position, Picking Technique, Hybrid Picking, Hybrid Hammers & Pulls, Double Stops, Soloing with Triads, Vibrato, String Bending, Pedal Steel Style Bends, Pedal Steel Licks in Other Styles, Using the Thumb, Texas Shuffle Feel, Pedal Tones, Using Sus Chords, Rakes, Chord Voicings For Rhythm, Soloing Within Chords, Major Scale Fingerings, Mixolydian Mode, Dorian Mode, Pentatonic Scale Fingerings, Adding Chromatics, Incorporating Open Strings, What Makes A Great Solo and Gear Talk.

In the second section, David guides you through 10 soloing studies where he demonstrates and breaks down solos, which apply all of the key concepts and techniques from the first section: A Funky Vamp, Rolling E Train, Minor Pedal, Texas Shuffle, Taking the A7 Train, The Milk Truck, Slow B Groove, Slow E Groove, Wide Open E and Major All Over. As a special bonus for Grissom fans, David also shows you the “correct” way to play What Passes For Love (worth the price of admission alone!).

In other Grissom news, he was recently interviewed by Mark Wade on his A1 Blues podcast. I’ve followed Grissom’s career for a number of years now, and Mark was able to get a lot of information I hadn’t heard before from Grissom. Most of the interviews I’ve read and heard have focused on his guitar playing, but Mark’s interview focuses more on his music. Very interesting interview, despite a few audio issues.

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Eric Johnson: Europe Live

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On June 23, 2014 Provogue will release Eric Johnson – Live in Europe on CD and 180 gram vinyl.

Europe Live was recorded in venues across Johnson’s tour of the continent, with the majority of the album capturing his appearance at Amsterdam’s Melkweg along with selections from two dates in Germany at Die Kantine in Köln and Bochum Zeche and the Paris show at New Morning. Each appearance featured a unique set list, offering Johnson the opportunity to cull this track listing from a wealth of repertoire captured.

Tracklisting:
1. Intro
2. Zenland
3. Austin
4. Forty Mile Town
5. Mr. P.C.
6. Manhattan
7. Zap
8. Song For Life
9. Fatdaddy
10. Last House On The Block
11. Interlude
12. Cliffs Of Dover
13. Evinrude Fever
14. Sun Reprise

I’m looking forward to hearing this one.

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Keeping the Blues Alive at Sea

I’m not really a cruise type of guy, but I know that a lot of people really enjoy them. If I were a cruise guy, I’d take a look at going on the Keeping the Blues Alive at Sea cruise next February 17th-21st. The cruise features Joe Bonamassa, Robben Ford, John Hiatt, Ana Popovic, Robert Randolph, and Joanne Shaw Taylor, with more artists to be announced soon. The cruise departs from Miami and sails to Key West and the Bahamas. Sounds like a fun way to spend five days!

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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.

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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

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