Unplugged

Shawn Lane

The man who played with Ringo Starr, Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson, turned down an Alice Cooper tour, and reportedly ‘blew away’ Ted Nugent on an onstage guitar riff duel – Shawn Lane - is not well-known outside guitar circles.    And, even ‘among those in the know’, it is his shredding that predominantly captures the...

Heart - Dreamboat Annie (1975)

It is difficult to imagine now just how revolutionary Heart’s debut album, Dreamboat Annie, was at the time.   Apart from Janis Joplin, Suzy Quatro, and perhaps Stevie Nicks and Christine McVie of Fleetwood Mac, it is difficult to think of many women who were really rocking out at the time. Branded the “female Led Zeppelin,”...

T-Bone Walker

Perhaps T-Bone Walker is remembered more for his famous disciples than his own music, but anyone who plays an electric guitar is indebted to him, as he was the first one to plug the instrument in to play and sing the blues, thus creating, electric blues. His Stormy Monday pushed B.B.King into getting an electric guitar but, besides that, the show...

Keith Richards - Talk Is Cheap (1988)

As the 1980s wore on, relations between Mick Jagger and Keith Richards were wearing perilously thin.   Jagger wanted the Rolling Stones to move in new and more contemporary musical directions, while Richards wanted to keep mining the band’s blues roots. Something had to give and when Jagger decided not to tour to support...

Wilko Johnson

Wilko Johnson (12 July 1947) is an enormously loved and respected guitarist and singer. He was a founder member of Dr Feelgood in the 1970s and played rhythm for Ian Dury and the Blockheads in the early 80s, before forming The Wilko Johnson Band around 1984.     In 2013, when he was diagnosed with terminal cancer, he responded...

Emily Wolfe

American guitarist Emily Wolfe (11 May 1990), who has just released her eponymous debut album, is light, warm, and open in conversation; but there is also a darker side to her personality. And these two extremes are strongly expressed in her music, to powerful effect.   If you haven’t heard her yet, take a moment now to listen to...

Boston - Boston (1976)

In September 1976 the airwaves were filled with disco and punk rock, as rock and roll was in decline, then came the eponymous debut album from Tom Scholz’s Boston and everything changed in the blink of an eye. With it, Boston sold more copies than any other debut album in history, with over 17 million cha-chings! (the record was broken by Guns...

Wes Montgomery

When The Incredible Jazz Guitar of Wes Montgomery was released in the early 1960, the jazz world, specifically the jazz guitar, experienced a seizure that it had been expecting for a long time. Since the tragic disappearance on March 2, 1942, at only 25 years of age, of the great Charlie Christian, the jazz guitar was orphaned by a...

Tedeschi Trucks Band - Signs (2019)

The Tedeschi Trucks Band is back with a new, 4th studio album of their career, (Feb. 15) Signs, (Fantasy Records), in a collection of some of their most diverse material, ranging from their signature mash of blues, soul, rock, gospel, and traditional rock jams, but this time the scores are markedly more sophisticated while remaining big, brassy,...

Caroline Jones

Participating in the NAMM Show (Anaheim, California) is always an emotional occasion. And for a European it is even more so. To the fascination of the innovative musical instruments, is added an almost uncontrollable curiosity to discover new sounds and voices, which do not always reach the other side of the ocean.    In fact,...

Soundgarden - Superunknown (1994)

A 25th anniversary is a time for reflection but, in contrast to the celebration of the 20th year of Superunknown’s 1994 release, we cannot this time ignore the tragic loss of Soundgarden’s co-founder, lyricist, guitarist and lead singer, Chris Cornell.  When Cornell walked into his hotel room after closing another successful concert...

Rory Gallagher - His marvelous acoustic styles

Rory Gallagher left this world in 1995 and the world gasped at the sudden absence of this truly gifted musician, a man whose career visited the many styles of not only his music, but also for his impact on legions of guitarists and fellow artists who admired the spectrum of genres he covered, from his high-energy electric blues/rock to his acoustic...

Dream Theater - Distance Over Time (2019)

The progressive metal band Dream Theater has released their 14th studio album this month, Distance Over Time, (Feb. 22) and will certainly please fans with a shorter, scaled down collection of songs but the material isn’t scaled back at all. Unlike their previous record, The Astonishing, which was a 34-song, 2 hour and 10-minute opus, this...

George Harrison - Brainwashed (2002)

The twelfth and last album by George Harrison, Brainwashed, was released in November 2002, nearly a year after his death. Despite having begun to record it more than a decade before its release was finalised by his son Dhani and his mate (and Travelling Wilbury) Jeff Lynne after his death. What could have been a washed-out record and without much...

Randy California

This is the marvelous yet sad story of Randy California, an extraordinary guitarist whose fame was elusive despite hobnobbing with some of the heavyweights in rock history. If anyone has heard anything about him it’s perhaps about the controversy over how his Taurus served as an inspiration to Jimmy Page to compose Stairway to Heaven, but...

Eve Monsees

Eve Monsees was born in Houston on 12 October 1983, but moved to the ‘Blues Mecca’ of Austin, Texas, aged eight.   Monsees got her first guitar at 12 and soon began hooking up with her schoolmate, Gary Clark Jr., to regularly practise playing the blues. At 15 they began sitting in on jams at Austin clubs, and within a year they...

AC/DC - Let There Be Rock (1977)

In early 1977 AC/DC already had 3 albums under their belts but it would be their 4th where they would find their winning formula, their own hard sound, one  that they would etch in stone and be faithful to the rest of their career. Malcolm Young had taken a step back to focus on the rhythm and left the spotlight to his brother Angus, as you...

Gary Clark Jr. Portrait

Despite a hugely promising start as a guitarist at the centre of the blues world, when Gary Clark Jr was 26 years old there was a moment when he wondered whether it was all worth it.   “In 2010 I was thinking about doing something else,” he says, “bills weren’t being paid, my electricity got cut off and I’m sitting there...

Metallica - Helping Hands...Live & Acoustic at the Masonic (2019)

American heavy metal giants Metallica have released their first official acoustic set in a 2 LP package of a live performance they played on November 3, 2018 at The Masonic in San Francisco. Helping Hands...Live & Acoustic at the Masonic was a benefit concert for the band’s All Within My Hands Foundation which raises funds for charities who...