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).
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.”
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."
Sony Music/Essential Records recording artists PawnShop kings have premiered their new video for “Fall Apart.” The video was filmed in Memphis, Dallas and Southern California during the brothers' trip across the country tracing their musical roots. "Fall Apart" is from their current PSk EP. Brothers Scott and Joel Owen, native Californians with deep family roots in the south, formed PawnShop kings after years of playing music together.
Calling all Pink Floyd fans: here's a video for you! Below, check out fingerstyle guitarist Thomas Leeb deliver a gorgeous fingerstyle rendition of the Floyd classic, “Comfortably Numb.” Leeb makes great use of a GoPro camera, with shots not only on the outside of his guitar, but inside as well. It’s no wonder Leeb has a commanding ability on the guitar. According to his bio, he studied West African traditional music for three years, which has clearly given him an advanced sense of timing and groove.
In this episode, I focus on basic dynamics (or volume) of strumming. This is something most musicians can pick up naturally. However, by honing in on this one skill, you can dramatically improve your playing. Dynamics are so important, and should be practiced just like any other technique.