Just a reminder that I’m still posting on Twitter. I’ve been posting over there since last May, and it’s been a lot of fun. There’s a lot of other guitarists and musicians on Twitter, so there’s always some interesting discussion going on. If you’re already on Twitter, follow me and I’ll likely follow you back. If you’re not yet on Twitter, give it a shot. I think you’ll enjoy it.
Archive for the "Guitar Heroes" Category
I was browsing YouTube over the weekend looking at guitar-related videos and noticed some videos by a blues artist named Sean Costello. Costello had a classic voice, and was a great guitar player.
Unfortunately, Costello passed away this past April, just shy of his 29th birthday. This interview was completed hours before his death.
Before his death, Costello recorded several albums, which highlight what a talent Costello was. His most recent album, We Can Get Together, was released in February of this year.
Here’s a video of Costello performing a song called “Love is Amazing,” which has a great groove to it:
Amazon.com publishes a daily deal each day featuring MP3 albums that are on sale for $2.99. Today’s MP3 Daily Deal is Sonny Landreth’s From the Reach, which features Eric Clapton, Mark Knopfler, Robben Ford, Vince Gill, and others.
For various reasons, I don’t typically buy anything from Amazon, but this is a great deal on a great album. If you haven’t yet purchased From the Reach, do so today at Amazon.com for only $2.99. (This is a one-day deal; tomorrow the price will be raised back up to $8.99, which is still a good deal on a great album.)
Joe Bonamassa discussing why he chose the Les Paul as his instrument of choice:
“One night, I was doing this classical thing I do using the volume control, and I was playing it on a Strat,” Bonamassa said. “When I finished the show someone came up to me and told that I sounded like Stevie Ray [Vaughan] playing a violin. Well, bless his heart, and God bless Stevie Ray, but it sounded nothing like Stevie Ray. And please don’t get me wrong, I was heavily influenced by Stevie, but what it showed me is that if you waltz up there with a Stratocaster and play anything remotely resembling the blues you’re going to be compared to someone else.”
Unfortunately, I think he’s right. If you strap on a Strat and play a blues lick, you’re going to be compared to Stevie Ray. I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing, but I imagine it can get frustrating if you’re trying to make a name for yourself as a guitarist and songwriter.
I had the pleasure of seeing Tommy Emmanuel perform live at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center (TPAC) this past Friday, June 27. Although I’ve heard many great things about Tommy Emmanuel as a guitarist and performer, I wasn’t all that familiar with his music. So, before the show, I listened to the samples on Amazon’s page for Emmanuel’s recently released Center Stage album. One of the reviewers for the album stated:
…if you ever get to see Tommy in a live performance, your life will be forever changed for the better.
After seeing the show, I can say that this is only a slight overstatement. This was one of the best shows I have seen in a long time. And, for the most part, it was just Emmanuel on stage with his guitars. More than a show, this was an intimate experience with Tommy telling stories using his guitar. As you would expect with one of the best acoustic guitarists in the world, there was plenty of excellent guitar playing. But, the guitar playing never seemed superfluous. It always seemed to fit in with the feel of the song.
Not only is Emmanuel a great guitarist, he is a great performer. He engaged the audience and was quite funny and fun to watch. He played for over 2 hours and I could have sat for 2 more if he would have kept playing.
It may sound like I’m gushing, but that’s because I am. I was barely a casual Tommy Emmanuel fan before this show, but now I’m a believer. If you ever get a chance, do yourself a favor and go see Tommy Emmanuel in concert. Here’s a clip of Emmanuel playing a Beatles Medley:
I first heard about Philip Sayce on JP’s blog, where he linked to a video of Sayce burning up his Strat. The playing in that video blew me away, so I did a little research and found out that Sayce has had a pretty interesting career. As a teenager, he played along side Jeff Healey. Then, Sayce moved to LA where he started playing guitar for Uncle Kracker. In 2003, he joined Melissa Etheridge’s band and has toured and played with her band since then. In addition, Sayce has fronted his own blues-rock band and has released several albums, most notably Peace Machine in 2005. He’s currently writing and recording an album with Richard Marx.
Sayce has taken full advantage of the Internet and posted many videos of his live shows on YouTube. There’s some real gems in there. I’m currently enjoying the funky blues of Scars, which you can watch below.
Influences like Stevie Ray Vaughan, Eric Clapton, and Jimi Hendrix can be heard in Sayce’s music, but it doesn’t sound like he’s trying to copy them. He brings his own style to the blues-rock genre, and I’m really enjoying it. I highly recommend you check him out.
Posted in: Guitar Heroes
Recently, I linked to a video of a Steve Vai satire video. I thought the video was pretty funny, and a few people agreed. Well, the person who created the video has been at it again. Now you can watch Eric Clapton shred, Santana shred, Eddie Van Halen shred, as well as other guitarists.
Eddie Van Halen:
My friend and fellow guitarist David has recently introduced me to some new music:
I’m a little late to noticing Rodrigo y Gabriela, as the CD was originally released in early 2006, but I’m glad to finally have heard them. The Amazon.com review starts off by asking the intriguing question “How did two Mexican-born heavy-metal enthusiasts end up at the top of the Irish charts?”. I would describe the music on this CD as acoustic heavy-metal, and both Rodrigo and Gabriela play nylon string guitars. And, they play them well. On their album, they cover Led Zep’s Stairway to Heaven (and manage to create an interesting version of the song) and Metallica’s Orion. The original songs on the album are very good, as well.
The Travis Larson Band is a rock fusion group featuring Travis Larson on guitar, Jennifer Young on bass and Dale Moon on drums. TLB play a brand of instrumental guitar music not unlike Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, and Steve Morse with a little bit of Rush thrown in. I’ve been greatly enjoying their Rate of Change and Burn Season CDs.
Could Martin Taylor have been anything other than a guitar player? Not with a name like that, I say. Martin Taylor is an excellent solo jazz guitarist, and has also performed with Stephane Grappelli, Chet Atkins, and many others. You can hear some of his music and watch some of his videos on Taylor’s MySpace page.
Twenty-one-year old Virginia-based blues guitarist Eli Cook is interviewed in the September 2007 issue of Guitar Player magazine. Cook plays both acoustic and electric blues. He manages to channel influences Alice In Chains and Son House, oftentimes within the same song, to create a unique, and modern, blend of the blues.
In 2005, Cook released a solo acoustic album titled Miss Blues’es Child that was recorded live and unedited in the studio. The CD features four original tunes and several classic blues compositions, including Terraplane Blues and Going Down South. Previously, in 2004, Cook released another acoustic blues album titled Moonshine Mojo, which featured covers of Little Wing, Mannish Boy, and Crosscut Saw, among others.
More recently, Cook has released an electric-based album titled ElectricHolyFireWater. He calls his brand of electric blues blues-metal, and for good reason. The music is rooted in the blues, but features modern, heavy riff arrangements. As the CD Baby page for the CD says: “Imagine Alice in Chains with Muddy Waters singing.”
* Photo © EliCook.com
Andy McKee is an amazing fingerstyle acoustic guitarist who is not only a great peformer, but a very good songwriter, as well. I’d never heard of Andy before, but I was browsing through some YouTube videos, and one of his videos popped up. I started watching the video and quickly started watching the rest of his videos that are posted on YouTube.
Andy has won many awards, including 1st place the 2004 Kansas Fingerstyle Guitar Championships, 2nd place in the 2004 Canadian Fingerstyle Guitar Championships, and 3rd place in the 2005 Canadian Fingerstyle Guitar Championships. Andy has released several albums on CandyRat Records: Art of Motion and Dreamcatcher.
Perhaps his most popular song and video is Drifting, which includes a lot of percussive tapping on the guitar and very little traditional finger picking. There’s also of video of Andy covering Toto’s song Africa. His video for The Friend I Never Met features him playing a very unique instrument called a Harpguitar, which, as its name implies, is a cross between a harp and a guitar.
If you have some free time, I highly recommend checking out some of Andy McKee’s videos on YouTube. He has a great flair for songwriting, as well as performing. CandyRat Records has created a channel on YouTube that not only includes Andy’s videos, but videos by Don Ross, Nicholas Barron, Craig D’Andrea, and more.
Posted in: Guitar Heroes