Although this story isn't about me—in fact, it has nothing to do with me—I will share one of my own mottos: "If you can't do justice to a Stevie Ray Vaughan song, don't even bother." (This is pretty much why I stopped playing Stevie Ray Vaughan songs a few years ago.) That said, here are five live covers that enter the realm of doing justice to the late, great SRV.
To put it bluntly, even though it appears on a groundbreaking, legendary guitar album—Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton—"What'd I Say" is not a "standout track" by any means. It just sort of sits there, and its lengthy drum solo (played by Hughie Flint) isn't exactly "Moby Dick." Who knows, maybe it was a crowd favorite at the Bluesbreakers' live shows.
Although I "discovered" Roy Buchanan when I was a blues-loving kid in the mid-'80s, the guitarist's first brush with something resembling fame came in 1971, when a documentary, The Best Unknown Guitarist in the World, aired on public TV. The documentary was about Buchanan, a blues-rock virtuoso whose gritty, distinctive technique inspired scores of guitarists, including Jeff Beck.
Did you know "the electronic guitar is often dismissed as nothing but a jangling noise machine incapable of subtlety or delicacy"? Neither did I—until I saw this video of Eric Clapton sitting on stage prior to a Cream show. Of course, Clapton doesn't utter these awesomely corny words. That job is left to the square-sounding narrator of the classic clip, who introduces Clapton's "How to Use a Gibson SG to Get the Classic Clapton Tone" lesson.
The recent passing of the great B.B. King has inspired a host of casual blues fans to dig deep into their record collection—or into the depths of their iTunes libraries—to get a refresher course on exactly what made King so special. Oddly enough, I had actually started revisited his expansive catalog the week before he became ill back in April.
Folks, meet the B-Blender, an aftermarket B-bender unit that can be attached to any guitar with a U.S.-made or imported Bigsby vibrato. The B-Blender is special—and very intriguing to a lot of guitarists—because it allows you to use your Bigsby the traditional way, as a normal vibrato unit, changing the pitch of whatever strings you happen to be playing as you employ the vibrato. Yet—and here's the cool part—it's also a B-bender.
This time around, I decided to grab my rapidly aging black Levi's shirt, my awesome new Levy's guitar strap and my Gibson Music City Jr. with B-Bender and show you three essential rockabilly licks. Bear in mind, I could've chosen three other essential rockabilly licks, but these seemed like nice ones to start out with. There's always next month.
"I remember hearing 'Hey Jude' by Wilson Pickett and calling either Ahmet Ertegun or Tom Dowd and saying, 'Who's that guitar player?'" says Eric Clapton in the top video below. It turns out the guitar player was a 22-year-old Duane Allman, aka "Skydog."
Today, GuitarWorld.com presents the exclusive premiere of "Loving Arms," a new song by the Austin-based Bellfuries. The song is from the band's new album, Workingman's Bellfuries, which will be released August 21 via Hi-Style Records.
The Cowcaster is guaranteed to turn heads. That’s because it is one. The one-of-a-kind guitar, designed and built by artist Brent Gandy of Amarillo, Texas, brims with custom features—from Von Dutch–style pin striping on the back of the neck to a hand-carved bull’s head headstock—all of which are connected to an authentic bull skull.