It was scorching all around. Hundreds of guitarists gathered in Union Square in New York City last week for Mass Appeal Guitars.
This event, part of MakeMusic NY day, was a mass play-along that many braved despite the brutally blistering weather. And it was probably one of the most fun guitar-related events I’ve ever been a part of. Such guitar camaraderie!
The afternoon kicked off with a set by local band, The Spanish Channel. Then Guitar World's fearless editor-in-chief, Brad Tolinski, introduced the event with a rousing few words, and we were off.
Six play-alongs were each let by guitarists from a variety of different organizations. Highlights included yours truly leading “What’s Up?” by 4 Non Blondes (OK, that was a highlight for me, anyway!), our own Jimmy Brown leading “Hey Joe” with some kicking lead work, and the WOW lead vocals of Clara Lofaro for “Rolling in the Deep.”
But truly the cherry on the top of the steamy sundae was Alex Skolnick’s premier of his new project, Planetary Coalition. Not only was the music fabulous, the instrumentation was extraordinary with Skolnick on guitar, the amazing Moto Fukushima on bass, Rachel Golub on violin, Max ZT on hammer dulcimer and Luke Notary on percussion. Check ‘em out at planetarycoalition.com.
The final play-along of Deep Purple's "Smoke on the Water" led by Skolnick and his band was a once-in-a-lifetime moment. Totally cool and totally hot!
The event was sponsored by the NYC Guitar School, Lagunitas Brewery, Guitar World, Agile Partners (AmpKit, GuitarToolkit), Marshall Headphones and Guitar Center.
Check out some videos below!
Laura B. Whitmore leads "What’s Up?":
Jimmy Brown leads "Hey Joe":
Alex Skolnick leads "Smoke on the Water":
Laura B. Whitmore is a singer/songwriter based in the San Francisco bay area. A veteran music industry marketer, she has spent over two decades doing marketing, PR and artist relations for several guitar-related brands including Marshall and VOX. Her company, Mad Sun Marketing, represents 65amps, Dean Markley, Agile Partners, Guitar World and many more. Laura was instrumental in the launch of the Guitar World Lick of the Day app. She is the co-producer of the Women's Music Summit and the lead singer for the rock band, Summer Music Project. More at mad-sun.com.