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October 1, 2020
Live Review: JIMI HENDRIX BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION: FRANK MARINO & MAHOGANY RUSH - Live at BB Kings Blues Club, NYC – 11/28/08 PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 03 December 2008 03:45
By Ken Volpe, GJD
This past Friday I was fortunate enough to witness Frank Marino and his band, Mahogany Rush, at a one-time only Hendrix Tribute Show.  I knew that I needed to be at this show and that it was going to be something special.

I arrived after the warm-up bands’ performances, just in time to see Frank and his band take the stage in a low-key, unassuming way.  Frank started out by telling the audience a bit about himself and why he felt compelled to do this single tribute show.  For anyone who knows Frank, it is no secret that he is not a man of few words.  But believe me after getting to know him a bit, I can say that there are no wasted words, and Mr. Marino draws from a deep pool of knowledge and wisdom. 

Frank talked about the huge influence that Jimi had on his early life.  Actually, he said that the first time that he went to see Hendrix in the late 1960’s, he walked out in the middle of the show because he wasn’t diggin’ what he was hearing.  Soon after, Frank heard one of Jimi’s recordings and came to the realization that Hendrix and his music were beyond special.
CD Review: Judas Priest – Nostradamus PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 27 November 2008 00:17
By Tyler Bothe – GJD Contributor
Judas Priest's latest release “Nostradamus”, their second with returning vocalist Rob Halford, has caused quite a stir with purists and metal junkies alike.  Some praise its adventurous nature, writing a concept album about the 16th century "prophet" and incorporating enough strings to make Metallicas’ S&M sound like a couple of old fiddler's diddling around.  Others curse it out due to the fact that its more likely to be confused for a new 'Spinal Tap' record then the great metal band of the eighties that created its unforgettable classics.

There's no doubt what Priest was going after here: after you've performed and written songs over four decades its time for a change, and “Go big or Go home” is never a bad mantra for metal gods to follow.  Orchestral harmonies, church organs, outrageous guitar synths; I didn't think I’ve heard anyone croonin' away on a Sitar but it wouldn't be surprising here.  What it amounts to more often then not is an album that flourished in the pomp and frills of studio recording instead of the bitter rawness that live heavy metal produces, and for the record, those pomp and frills are mixed and mastered quite well. 
Gear Review: Skreddy Echo Pedal PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 15 November 2008 00:53
By Ken Volpe - GJD
There is nothing like a great EFX pedal to enhance your sound.  Actually, let me restate that: there is nothing like a great EFX pedal to enhance your sound that can do it in both a subtle or drastic way.  The Skreddy Echo Pedal fulfills that requirement.

The Skreddy Echo is a lush, tape-like, saturated delay with adjustable warble.  It features great classic tape delay tones that give you that vintage sound.  It can also be tweaked to sound like a more modern sounding delay. 

It features a Repeat control, a Mix control, a Time control, and two Warble controls.  So let me tell you a little bit about these controls in greater detail.  The Repeat control allows you to pick the number of times the echo is repeated after the first echo.  This is a very useful feature that one should spend time with to dial it in properly.  The Mix control allows you to dial in the perfect amount of wet or dry signal.  This is a simple but amazing feature.  As I alluded to earlier, this pedal has the ability to be very subtle or very drastic.  This control instantly allows you to enter either territory.  The Time control sets the delay time from 50ms to 650ms.  Once again, you will need to dial this in to suit your needs.  The last two controls are the Warble intensity and the Warble rate.  These two controls give you the ability to create some really cool pitch shift effects. 
CD Review: Social Code – He Said, She Said PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 13 November 2008 02:35
By Tyler Bothe – GJD Contributor
Edmonton's own Social Code recently recorded the follow-up to their 2004 small hit 'A Year at the Movies,’ and with tours alongside bands like Rise Against, Fall Out Boy, and Deftones in support of that album, they've cultivated a following that will most likely snatch up their latest release He Said, She Said instantly. 

Nowadays recording is less of a chore for these boys up north as they have, since their last release, gutted the basement of bassist Logan Jacob's home for a studio of their own and not lost a drop of production value in the process.  Now, while the band itself had help on this five track EP by long vetted producer Howard Benson, (Hawthorne Heights, My Chemical Romance) and others, the band has seemed to find its groove by taking the reigns on its latest release. 
CD Review: Vernon Neilly & Friends : A tribute to Stevie Wonder PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 07 November 2008 23:29
By Scott Thomas - GJD Contributor
Smoothie Award winning jazz guitarist Vernon Neilly’s new CD - featuring the Legendary Hit Maker Stevie Wonder’s music - is chocked full of Wonder’s hit songs and has got to be one of the best Tribute CDs I’ve heard in a long while. The album reeks of Pure Class. Vernon has out done himself with the arrangements, recording, and engineering of this sweet music. The record label owner and producer has taken those celebrated hits and has made them flawlessly and collectively all his own.

I remember it was still winter in Upstate New York and we had just had a late winter snow storm (March ‘77). The snow was 4 foot deep everywhere... no kiddin’! After ol’ man winter hit again, the only way to get around for a few days was with a snow mobile. And talk about freakin’ cold!!! However, as soon as the roads were drivable, my uncle (who was only a few years older than me) drove up from Norfolk, Virginia Naval Base for the weekend to take care of family business (he was a young sailor in the navy at the time).. While he was there on furlough, he asked me if I wanted to go to back with him to Norfolk for a couple of weeks and it was just in time for my two week spring break from school. I was 15 at the time and he was 18... You betcha. To my amazement, my mother said GO! He had to come back to New York to finish his family business in a couple of weeks anyway.
Live Review: Yngwie Malmsteen at Blender Theater, NYC, October 26, 2008 PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 31 October 2008 20:19
By Tim McCall, Contributing Writer – Guitar Jam Daily
WOW! How in the world could I pass up the opportunity to see Yngwie Malmsteen on tour, promoting his new album? When I was asked to do this review, I jumped at the opportunity. You have to understand, I have been a huge Yngwie fan from the moment I first heard “Anguish and Fear” on his 1985 Album “Marching Out.” I was instantly hooked. I had never heard anyone rip up and down the fret board the way Yngwie did. I think to some extent I am still waiting to hear anyone come even close and frame it into a listenable song that actually works.
I am one of those people who has ADHD, with a heavy emphasis on the “Hyperactivity” part. All those screaming guitar notes and riffs ripping through my head are like the fireworks going off to Handel’s “Music for the Royal Fireworks!” Brain Neuron INSANITY! It’s better than being named Beavis and drinking massive quantities of coffee!!!  
CD Review: The Status - “So This is Progress” PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 24 October 2008 02:17
By Tyler Bothe - GJD
The Status, making their debut with “So This is Progress,” have already surrounded themselves with the right people. Whether it be their manager, Bayside lead singer Anthony Raneri, the backup vocals they get from Adam Lazzara lead singer of Taking Back Sunday on their track: "Where the Heart Is,” or the production from Kenny Gioia, best known for his commercial success with Marcy Playground's 1998 hit "Sex and Candy,” things are looking up for this determined four piece from Atlanta, GA.
The overall production on this project is top notch. To my ears, none of the 12 tracks are over produced or packed with fluff. The drums are fat and punchy and blend nicely with the cutting guitar parts and the heavy bass lines.

The Status say themselves that they're not looking to save music, and it's true; there are no boundaries being pushed, and no artistic doors being thrown open here, which down the road will be a turning point for a band whose genre is plagued with a billion sound-a-likes everyday.  For now though the band separates themselves from every other cookie cutter pop/rock act with their abilities to not only crank out a decent riff here and there, but to lyrically push out of the seemingly inescapable desire to write about girls and the “would have,” “could have,” “should haves” in high school that their genre has come into great association with over the years.  
CD Review: Scene 29 – JaR PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 10 October 2008 01:44
By Ken Volpe - GJD
I’ve been looking forward to this CD for a long time. It’s the latest offering from JaR, which is Jay Graydon and Randy Goodrum.

Jay’s credits include two Grammy awards and twelve Grammy nominations, among them "Producer of the Year" and "Best Engineered Recording". He is an extremely versatile artist who is a master of many different styles and genres. From the late ‘60s through the late ‘70s, he was an "A list" session musician in Los Angeles, where he acquired a reputation as an ace studio guitarist/solo specialist. A partial listing of artists Jay’s worked with includes Barbra Streisand, Dolly Parton, Diana Ross, The Jackson Five, Cheap Trick, Christopher Cross, Ray Charles, Cher, Joe Cocker, Marvin Gaye, Hall & Oates, Olivia Newton-John and Albert King. Among rock music fans, he is perhaps best known for his now-legendary guitar solo for Steely Dan's "Peg".
GJD at The Shows: ACL Day 3: 9.28.08 PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 02 October 2008 02:45
By Nick Friese - GJD
The dust and music filled the air in Austin, Texas on Sunday at ACL. The crowds were huge and colorful, and ready for another two full days and nights of music.

The day featured artists Foo Fighters, The Raconteurs, Blues Traveler, Joe Bonamassa, Shooter Jennings, and many more.

On Sunday, at least for us at GJD, it was time to get deep into the guitar driven sounds of Joe Bonamassa. Joe all decked out in Texas duds, cranked out a blistering set of guitar hero quality playing. The guy is not your run of the mill blues-rock guitarists out copping lick after lick from the masters like Page, Vaughn, and Beck. Joe Bonamassa has a sound and style of his own that is liquid and deep as any player I've heard. I was not expecting the raw power and incendiary guitar work from this 31-year guitar hero. Bonamassa played tunes from his Sloe Gin and You and Me albums that had people throwing the rock salutes. Towards the end of his set Bonamassa pulled out his acoustic guitar as his band members took a break and Joe stood alone with just his axe. He furiously blasted out what sounded like the start of a chunky blues version of Rude Mood and then took off into flamenco runs and more melodic playing before leaving everyone breathless by his guitar mastery and versatility. Bonamassa is one of those players that can play well beyond what is recorded in the studio and what you normally hear through your ear buds.

Next it was off to catch Blues Traveler, one of the original jam bands dating back to the late 80's. The crowds were enormous and stretched all the way back and mixed in with the masses waiting for Gnarles Barkley on the AT&T stage. It was impossible to get close to the band. Quite frankly I was surprised at how young the crowds were waiting to hear the band and was unaware that the bands songs have passed through the generations of music fans. The band came out and started off with a high paced jam and son went into a speedy version and a bit rough might add of Blondies "I Want You to Want Me". After shaking off a poorly played cover tune, Popper led the group into a much more comfortable and well played version of the radio friendly hit "Run Around". Popper blasted into some mind blowing harp solos throughout the set as they played some tunes off of their latest studio album North Hollywood Shootout.

Overlapping Blues Traveler during the late afternoon time slot was Shooter Jennings. The son of the late Waylon Jennings, Shooter is not your chip-off-the-ole-block country singer-songwriter-guitar playing progeny. He is a more a true rebel than anything else. His outlaw country, southern rock, music that will kick you in the teeth, is a departure from what Nashville normally churns out. His love for great songwriting and hard driving music is infectious. The hard life lyrics and screaming guitars will knock your hat off.

The band also looks the part as well with all members will shoulder length hair and all outfitted with Gibson SG's, Firebirds, and Flying V's. This band is 110% badass. When Shooters keyboard wasn't giving him the sounds he wanted, and after failed attempts by his tech to fix it, Shooter punched the keyboard a few times (crowd loved it) and then picked it up and then slammed it down on the stage. The place went crazy and Shooter just took the mic and said "well I fixed that". It was one of the coolest moments of the weekend. Afterwards, outfitted with a black Gibson SG guitar, Shooter and his band ripped out smoking southern rock that had the flags waving and crowd cheering. The music is a throwback to the days of Skynyrd, Blackfoot, and Outlaws but with a bit more mood, dimension, and weight. Shooter was definitely my sleeper pick of the ACL festival.

To close things up for the GJD crew we headed over to catch the Raconteurs, Jack White's project outside of the White Stripes. White cranked out some fuzzy, bluesy rock from the AMD stage with a fiery energy. Although, White was recently injured and was sporting a ruptured disc in his neck - which kept him a bit more stationary than he would have liked. He even went so far as to apologize for the ailment to the fans telling them he would do his best to play but was sorry if it wasn't as good this time around. White's neck had no effect on the vibrant rock sounds coming from him and his band.

That's a wrap for this year's ACL festival. We'll definitely be back next year for more fun in the sun, dust, and wonderful sounds in Zilker Park.

Notes From ACL: Saturday Soul Explosion 9.27.08 PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 01 October 2008 02:20
By Sarah Schoenfelder - GJD
The one act I vowed I wouldn’t miss on this year’s Austin City Limits lineup was Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings. But after waiting half an hour in the hot sun, a haze of dust and smoke burning my eyes, I began to wonder if I’d made a mistake selecting this midday show. But as soon as the Dap Kings assembled on stage, the horn section and retro guitar riffs rounding the edges, I knew I was in the right place.  

Sharon Jones soon joined her band on stage, and her warm voice took the crowd to a place far from the dusty festival grounds: born in Brooklyn but raised in the south, Jones has a voice that oozes classic 60s soul, with a little Muscle Shoals thrown in for good measure. Hard to believe Jones once worked as a prison guard on Rikers Island and only found her place in music recently; she sounds like she’s been doing this her whole life.  
GJD at The Shows: ACL Day 1: 9.26.08 PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 29 September 2008 22:00
By Nick Friese - GJD
The line-up at ACL this year is a diverse as the crowds and people of Austin, Texas. The bands range from Beck, Alison Krauss & Robert Plant, Patty Griffin, Mars Volta, Freddy Jones Band, G Love and Special Sauce, Blues Traveler, Joe Bonamassa, Raconteurs, Foo Fighters, Galatic, and many more. The festival takes place in Austin's Zilker Park in a big open field that has a backdrop of the city that hosts it. Stages are sprinkled from corner to corner of the wide-open park where the music fills the air for 3 full days and nights.
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Daily Video Lesson

Daily Video Lesson
  • 02:41 - 01.10.2008 Spotlight >> Spotlight
    A five week long, cross-country tour featuring some of the best known and most respected figures in rock and blues has been set to celebrate the legacy and music of Jimi Hendrix. Presented by Experience Hendrix, L.L.C., the Hendrix family-owned company founded by James A. “Al” Hendrix, Jimi’s father, entrusted with preserving and protecting the legacy of Jimi Hendrix together with musical instrument giant Gibson Guitar, this year’s Experience Hendrix Tour represents a dramatic expansion beyond last year’s seven sold out performances.

    Featured artists who will be performing music written by and associated with Jimi Hendrix include blues giant Buddy Guy, contemporary guitar greats Jonny Lang, Kenny Wayne Shepherd and Eric Johnson, Cesar Rojas and David Hidalgo of Los Lobos as well as Aerosmith’s Brad Whitford.
  • 01:53 - 26.09.2008 Spotlight >> Spotlight
    Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC) and Italian distributor M.Casale Bauer proudly announce the grand opening of the Fender Custom Shop Showcase Italy. It is the third such international exclusive Fender guitar destination, joining the elite Fender Custom Shop Lounge (Düsseldorf, Germany) and Fender Showcase Tokyo (Japan).

    The Fender Custom Shop Showcase Italy is in Bologna, Italy, and is housed in a building by California-born Italian designer Gretchen Alexander. The showroom is located near the offices of M. Casale Bauer, Fender’s Italian distributor since 1962, and was created to provide Fender dealers, their special guests and artists with a comfortable place to find, try and buy some of the most beautiful guitars in today’s market. The showcase features an impressive array of high-end guitars crafted by the master builders of the Fender Custom Shop and provides artists and dealers (and their VIP clients) with access to some of the most unique high-end Fender instruments ever made available in one place. The showroom houses an unparalleled selection of Fender Custom Shop instruments, as well as Bauer’s personal collection, one of the largest and most valuable in the world.
  • 03:41 - 23.09.2008 Spotlight >> Spotlight
    Los Angeles, CA – World-renowned Australian guitarist Tommy Emmanuel will  release Center Stage, a live concert DVD on October 14th via Favored Nations Acoustic.  
    The full-length concert DVD follows the recent release of the Center Stage  double CD, both having been recorded live for the PBS television series “Sierra Center Stage.” Filmed in eye-catching high definition, every element of modern technology was used in production, creating a stunning package, both aurally
    and visually. 
  • 00:09 - 19.09.2008 Spotlight >> Spotlight
    Montreal, Canada- September 16th, 2008: Renowned guitarist Daryl Stuermer will be giving Godin Performance Clinics in and around Quebec and Eastern Ontario from September 29th to October 3rd 2008.

    Having performed in studio and toured the world with both Phil Collins and supergroup Genesis for years, Daryl is a player who is on top of his game and has the chops to prove it. Performing as the Daryl Stuermer Duo, he will be accompanied by keyboardist Konstantin Efimov during the clinics and will also be giving attendees his perspective on playing live, recording, technique, and his gear, by fielding a Q&A session after each performance.
  • 09:29 - 03.06.2008 Spotlight >> Spotlight
    SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (June 2, 2008) -- Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC) announced today that it has acquired certain assets of Groove Tubes LLC. Among other assets, FMIC purchased the Groove Tubes brand. Groove Tubes company founder Aspen Pittman will continue in a consulting role.