You may not realize it, but if you watch any TV at all, you’ve heard Serena Ryder’s “Stompa.” I know I have! I’ve rocked to her infectious beat during airings of Hawaii Five-0, Grey’s Anatomy and a commercial or two as well. Yes, it’s that ubiquitous!
This past week, I was doing some spring cleaning, and I came upon some notes given to me from a few lessons I took from a famous jazz teacher in the late 1980s in NYC. I took only three lessons from this gentleman, mostly due to the fact that during every lesson he was under the influence of certain mind-altering substances, which I found really unprofessional considering the amount he was charging me.
The dreadful “must use provided backline” or “the mysterious amp at the drummer’s house” are circumstances where we hope for the best, yet fear the worst. Backline gear is usually decent, but your biggest setback is time. The band before you swore, the crowd wanted more, and now the stage director is just swearing at everyone for going overtime!
Musicians and capitalism have a very unique relationship. Obviously, everybody needs money to live, but when an artist does anything besides play music for money, they're seen as "selling out" or suddenly losing all built-up credibility. As odd as it seems, most artists are willing to give up a few minutes of their time to shell a product for literally bags of money, much to their fans' chagrin.
Somebody’s got to make sure inventory is in stock, that dealers are ordering guitars regularly, and that the bills are getting paid. Like any company, there are things that need to be done that aren’t fun and aren’t why you got into business. But one of the things they get to do at Reverend Guitars — is check out the latest and greatest bands.
Many guitarists may never know the crunchy overdrive and sweet compression of a vintage 1968 Marshall JMP50 “Plexi” amplifier driven through a 4x12 Marshall cabinet loaded with Celestion Greenback speakers, much less the grinding, high-gain distortion of a Bogner Uberschall Twin Jet. And isn’t that shame?
This week, I wanted to take a break from my lesson-style blog posts and take a moment to review a special release, or rather, re-release, I just received in the mail. Imported from England via Rock Candy records, is the newly remastered debut album from power trio/supergroup Blue murder. The band was by formed by guitarist John Sykes and featured bassist Tony Franklin and drummer Carmine Appice.
I came across von Grey as I was bopping around SXSW last month. I immediately had to stop and find out: A. who their manager was, B. who their publicist was, and C., how could I talk to one of these extremely talented young ladies. Because, yes, they blew me away. Consisting of four sisters (say that 10 times fast!) with the last name von Grey, the band is an Americana masterpiece.
In the following video, our own Jimmy Brown -- aka the Capo Crusader -- shows you a special "unplugged" version of the Guns N' Roses hit "Sweet Child O' Mine," which first appeared on their debut album, Appetite for Destruction.
There have been some big happenings in the CBG (Cigar Box Guitar) world during our writing hibernation. Who didn’t see Paul McCartney play a cigar box guitar with the members of Nirvana for the 12.12.12 concert — and then again, a few days later, on Saturday Night Live? Steven Tyler was also spotted with a cigar box guitar.