In this video series, Acoustic Natino editor Laura B. Whitmore discusses the new Expression System 2 pickup design with Taylor Guitars' David Hosler. As the successor to Taylor’s Expression System 1 which was introduced in 2003, the ES2 is a brand new innovation that faithfully conveys the voice of Taylor instruments. For decades, piezo-electric transducers have been positioned under the saddle of a guitar, based on the long-held belief that the string and top vibration cause the saddle to “bounce” up and down.
For anyone unfamiliar with the late Michael Hedges and his groundbreaking, innovative guitar techniques, "Aerial Boundaries" was considered to be one of the most skilled six string acoustic guitar performances of all time. Now imagine this performed with a beautifully handcrafted Lowden twelve string that releases graceful tones and harmonies from the likes of which you've never heard, and then, maybe then, you'll get a glimmer of the rare precision and potent originality that is Jason Kessler.
Currently building a devoted fanbase in the US, alternative rocker Jesse Clegg is a full-fledged star in his home country of South Africa. As the son of iconic Afro-pop musician Johnny Clegg, he was primed to live the life of a career musician, and has already toured much of the world. After the widespread acclaim of his first album, 2008’s When I Wake Up, his music caught the attention of three-time Grammy-winning producer David Bottrill (Muse, Tool, Placebo).
If there’s one new album you should listen to this year, LP’s Forever For Now is it. I’m not just saying that because several of its amazingly well-written, hooky songs are forever stuck in head. It’s so much more. The gorgeous production with just enough quirky bits left into the polished perfection. The fabulous musicianship, including most especially the dazzlingly talented LP herself. We’re talking powerful vocals, super solid ukulele riffs, plus whistling, yodelly do-dos, big drums, hand claps and about a million other things.
Classic Albums is a DVD series telling the stories behind some of rock’s most historic records. Below, watch an excerpt from their feature on Black Sabbath’s Paranoid LP. As the second studio album from Sabbath, the album contains some of the band’s most beloved tracks, including “Iron Man,” “War Pigs,” and “Paranoid.”
When I began writing, I gave myself two years to make it happen. I was thinking to myself that if I couldn't succeed in two years, I needed to try something else. Two years came and went like lightning. And, no success. None. Not one independent cut, even. I don't think I even had one HOLD after having written for two years full time.
South African alt-rocker Jesse Clegg recently hit the US for a 32-date trek. We caught up with him in Berkeley, CA, where he treated us to exclusive performances of his tracks “Clarity” and “Today.” A star in his home country and one of S.A.’s elite rock musicians, the 25 year old is distinguished as one of few to achieve Platinum success there. If the name sounds familiar, it’s because Clegg is the son of iconic Afro-pop musician Johnny Clegg, whom he spent the first six years of his life on tour with.
Taylor Guitars master builder Andy Powers is not only a revolutionary guitar designer, but a skilled player as well. Below, he demonstrate the unique sounds and textures six new 800 Series models are capable of. According to Taylor, "While all share fundamental tonal qualities, each body style features unique design nuances that accentuate the guitar's sonic strengths."
Most bands rarely make it to five years, let alone 25. Formed in 1989, reunited progressive bluegrass trio Nickel Creek are celebrating their 25th anniversary in 2014 with a new album and tour. And lucky for me, I got to witness one of the band’s comeback shows. Nickel Creek are a double threat in that they possess Grammy-level songwriting ability, and they deliver with unearthly, A-list studio player chops. This is a deadly combo.