Cute? One could certainly find better adjectives to describe Shut Up & Jam!, Ted Nugent’s first studio album in seven years. But that’s exactly how the Motor City Madman himself would describe this new collection of blues-inspired songs. Say what you will about his choice of words; it’s safe to say Nugent and his insatiable appetite for honky-tonk bastardization has never sounded better.
Introduced 30 years ago, the Jackson Soloist is one of the archetypal modern metal guitars—a sharp-edged, high-performance machine loaded with all the heavy-duty, precision-calibrated hardware needed to execute today’s extreme-metal moves. Much of the style, and many of the features, we associate with contemporary metal guitar craft originated with the Soloist. For master guitar builder Mike Shannon, working on the Soloist with company founder Grover Jackson back in the early Eighties was a career-defining moment.
Mason’s new album, Future’s Past, pays homage to those early years by featuring new versions of songs from his Traffic days and solo career, including new interpretations of “As Sad and Deep As You” and “World In Changes." Rounding out the nine-track album is a new song, “That’s Freedom."
There was no dearth of great guitar music in 1984. From Van Halen and Judas Priest to Yngwie Malmsteen and Stevie Ray Vaughan, the world had caught the guitar bug and there were plenty of landmark albums to feed the fever.