Whether it was Jimi Hendrix ripping through a solo with his strat behind his head, or Michael Hedges creating soundscapes on his acoustic with both hands on the neck, somewhere down the line somebody inspired you to pick up a guitar. As much as you wanted to, however, you likely weren’t able to immediately bust out […]
Most things in this world have gone through various changes or “evolutions” to get to how we know them today. When the wheel was invented, it’s not like Rolls-Royce launched their product line the next day – we just weren’t present during the time it took to move from “spinny stone circle” to “Phantom Coupé”. […]
There’s been buzz on the Web and an actual broo-ha-ha this week in anticipation of the announcement of Gibson’s “Jimi Hendrix Guitar” package. As even the most casual Hendrix fans know, his main axe was a Fender Stratocaster. Especially devoted followers are likely aware that Jimi occasionally played a Gibson Flying V. Gibson’s Custom Shop already offered a high-end tribute model Flying V of just 300 copies with a list of $12,300 in 2007, so this new model would surely be some variation on that, right?
Although I’m very passionate about my music, my guitar playing and blues, I don’t in any way consider myself an expert on any of these topics. I’m always open to new artists and a lot of artists that have received high praise from other musicians I simply haven’t had the chance to listen to yet. This will explain to some why I had never listened to Roy Buchanan till recently.
When you talk about great authentic white blues guitar players, you are surely talking about some rarified company. The key word being authentic, and in my estimation authentic white blues guitar player means that when you listen to this person playing you think it’s a black man playing. Stevie Ray Vaughn a great blues guitar player always tried to get that real blues sound. When I saw Stevie Ray for the last time a few months before his death we spoke backstage at one of his shows and I told him “man you sounded like Albert King”, Stevie smiled and said that was the biggest compliment I could have ever given him. That is what we who strum the strings in the blues strive for, to sound like our idols, the great bluesmen. Johnny Winter did this as well as anyone, and proof of this is that he was accepted amongst the great bluesman as an equal, and shared the stage with many of them with great dignity and restraint.
Hello to all out there in guitar dominion, this month’s column will I hope reveal some of the great secrets of some of our favorite guitar players as well as dispel some common misunderstandings. One of the greatest musicians of the 20th century was also a damn good guitar player, he stands alone as a composer, instrumentalist and satirist beyond compare. His name was Frank Zappa. Frank is still IMHO the most underrated musician in the rock and roll era.
Eddie Cochran was only 21 years old when he died in an auto accident while on tour in England on April 17th 1960. In his brief but illustrious career Eddie recorded some of the most influential early rock and roll, tunes like, Twenty Flight Rock, C’mon Everybody, Too Much Monkey Business, and Something Else, but Eddie’s Summertime Blues was a monster hit. Summertime Blues was also covered by Blue Cheer (a Billboard Top 40 hit) and the Who (Live at Leeds) but neither version could match the magic and originality of Eddie’s version.
This is the story of a personal journey through the world of music that begins humbly and ends just as humbly as it started. The fact that your reporter (should I say “moi”?) has experienced it at all is amazing enough, for under any other circumstances I might not have found myself in circumstances that presented so ripe an opportunity to learn and understand that most sensuous, invigorating, physically challenging and just plain righteous of musical instruments: the guitar.
This past month or so I found myself having the same conversation several different times with several different people. That conversation centered around the question, “what were the greatest guitar solos on record”? I tend to go for the usual ones, but there are some great guitar sounds, not necessarily just solos, that are also worth mentioning. So folks here are my thoughts on the ten “Greatest guitar songs”. My list is a list not in any particular order, so here we go.
One thing I have noticed over the thirty years I have been playing guitar is that guitars have their own sound no doubt, but amplifiers do “reproduce” the sound of the electric guitars differently. Case in point, the Les Paul guitar coming out of a vintage Marshall an amp with plenty of treble, sounds fat yet cuts through nicely. I believe the same thing for a Les Paul running through a blackface Super Reverb, it cuts beautifully. Put that same Paul through say a Tweed Pro or a first run Ampeg Reverberocket and it sounds muddy and has trouble cutting through especially using the neck pickup. IMHO a sure test of a good Paul is does the neck pickup have some bite to it.
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