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    It happens. You’re in the middle of playing and need just a little more from your pedal.

    Do you attempt the balancing act? You know, where you balance on one foot and try to gingerly adjust a knob with your free foot? What if you turn it too much or hit another knob? It can all end like the wire-cutting bomb scene in Lethal Weapon 3!

    MC Systems has released the Apollo series of pedals, which includes Chorus, Overdrive, Delay, Phaser, String Reviver and Fuzz pedals. They all offer a unique footswitching system called V-Switch.

    V-Switch can boost or cut certain aspects of the effect, depending on how hard you stomp on the pedal. Set your overdrive pedal to a moderate setting when switched on, or stomp harder for more drive. Below the pedal is a trimpot to adjust depending on how light or heavy of a stomper you are.

    Alternatively, if gauging your foot dynamics is too much, there’s Alternate Mode. Alternate Mode acts as a secondary setting when the pedal is on. Example: On the Hybrid Chorus, the Alternate Mode allows you to set a second Rate setting on the pedal.

    All pedals are based on an analog circuit and feature true-bypass switching. Here’s a brief rundown of three of the pedals from the series.

    Dynamic Drive is an overdrive pedal with three familiar knobs at the top; Drive, Tone and Level. The V-Switch allows you to boost or cut the amount of drive and Alternate Mode allows you to boost or cut the Level. Alternate Mode works great as a boost for solos. In the clip, I gradually boost the Drive and Volume without blowing out your earbuds.

    Hybrid Chorus is a chorus pedal that offers Depth, Level and Rate. V-Switch Mode lets you increase or decrease the Depth. Alternate Mode lets you speed up or slow down the Rate. In the clip, I play the same lick starting with a heavy chorus and mellow it out by the end.

    String Reviver is most unique pedal in the series. It adds more presence and punch to dull strings. I also see it useful as a clean boost or tone shaper to help a darker guitar cut. The three basic knobs are Definition, Slope and Level. Definition is comparable to a Presence knob and Slope is comparable to a Tone knob. The V-Switch alters the Definition, and Alternate mode allows you to cut or boost the Level. In the clip, hear how it brightens up the “vintage” strings I left on my Strat way too long.

    Web: cmcmusic.com
    Street Price: $215

    You can't believe everything you read on the Internet, but Billy Voight is a gear reviewer, bassist and guitarist from Pennsylvania. He has Hartke bass amps and Walden acoustic guitars to thank for supplying some of the finest gear on his musical journey. Need Billy's help in creating noise for your next project? Drop him a line at thisguyonbass@gmail.com.


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    The all-new October 2014 issue of Guitar World is available now!

    In the new issue, we celebrate blues giants Stevie Ray Vaughan with an in-depth examination of his 30 greatest recordings — from “Texas Flood” to “Riviera Paradise,” from “Couldn’t Stand the Weather” to “The Sky is Crying." Read about how Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble (bassist Tommy Shannon and drummer Chris Layton) didn’t walk into Jackson Browne’s Down Town Studio in Los Angeles in late 1982 with highfalutin plans about recording their monster debut album. In fact, their sites were set much lower.

    Also, Metallica’s Kirk Hammett teaches you how to play like the great bluesman SRV. Then blues legend Buddy Guy pays tribute to his late friend. We go up close and personal with Stevie’s favorite Strat, which is now on display at the Grammy Museum in L.A.

    Then, Guitar World features John 5, the prophet of the Telecaster who shows us some rare mint-condition Teles from his collection and talks about his latest album, Careful with That Axe.

    Next, as the prog legends take their classic Fragile and Close to the Edge albums on the road, guitar virtuoso Steve Howe sits down for a talk about the making of those groundbreaking productions.

    Finally, as the curvaceous Fender Stratocaster marks six decades of innovation and influence, Guitar World celebrates its legacy via 60 players, songs, solos and historical moments.

    PLUS: An ode to the late Johnny Winter, a PureSalem guitar review, Satchel's Man of Steel column returns and much more!

    Five Songs with Tabs for Guitar and Bass

    • Stevie Ray Vaughan - "Look at Little Sister"
    • Stevie Ray Vaughan - "Testify"
    • Scorpions - "Rock You Like a Hurricane"
    • Within The Ruins - "Gods Amongst Men"
    • Magic - "Rude"

    Head to the Guitar World Online Store now!

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    We don't know about you, but around here, September brings to mind tours and massive live shows — probably because it's the only month where summer and fall, the two biggest rock touring seasons, collide.

    So, as our thoughts turn to the gigs we've reported on, witnessed and celebrated this year, we thought we'd get our readers — as in, you guys! — involved as we attempt to pinpoint rock's greatest live band or artist!

    Welcome to Guitar World's official readers poll for September (It's the first readers poll we've conducted since November 2013, all you poll haters out there), the Battle of the Greatest Live Bands. It kicks off today, September 3!

    Although we (obviously) had thousands of artists and/or bands to choose from, we decided to narrow things down to a mere 32 names, which is perfect for a month's worth of intense — and fun (it's supposed to be fun, people!) matchups. All the artists were carefully selected by Guitar World's entire editorial staff.

    Most importantly, note that this poll involves ONLY still-existing bands, so you won't get to watch the Doors duke it out with Led Zeppelin! Pantera will not go head to head with Cream. The Jimi Hendrix Experience will not compete with ... you get the idea.

    Here are our 32 artists, in alphabetical order:

    AC/DC, Aerosmith, Alice Cooper, the Allman Brothers Band, Black Sabbath, Dillinger Escape Plan, Eagles, Foo Fighters, Guns N’ Roses, Iron Maiden, Jack White, Kiss, Korn, Metallica, Muse, Nine Inch Nails, Paul McCartney, Pearl Jam, Phish, Queen, Radiohead, Rammstein, Red Hot Chili Peppers, the Rolling Stones, Rush, Slayer, Slipknot, Soundgarden, Tool, U2, Van Halen and ZZ Top.


    Here's how the bracket was — very unscientifically — compiled:

    We drew the artists' names out of a hat (It was, in fact, a Quebec Nordiques baseball-style cap) to help us create our bracket, which is available for your viewing pleasure below. Obviously, none of these of bands are ranked or come from a previously compiled list, so we chose purely random matchups to have as little impact as possible on the final outcome. We're actually pretty pleased with the way the bracket turned out!

    Remember that, as with any poll, genre might occasionally clash against genre, so you'll just need to decide which artist has (or has had) the most to offer within his/their genre, perhaps which one has or had more natural talent or technical skill, which one had the biggest influence on other live acts, etc.

    Let's get started! As always, you can vote only once per matchup (once per device, that is), and we'll be posting matchups pretty much every day of the month, sometimes more than once per day, just to give you an early warning!

    The first matchup finds Metallica going head to head with Slayer!

    Head HERE to see every matchup so far.

    Behold the Current Bracket!

    GW Battle of the Live Bands

    Vote Now!

    Today, we kick things off with Metallica vs. Slayer. We don't need to tell you about these bands! We'll just let the videos below do the talking! Be sure to vote below. You have one day!

    Additional Content

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    Electro-Harmonix has unveiled its new Nano Looper 360 pedal.

    From the company:

    The NanoLooper 360 is a small, extremely easy-to- use, pedal looper with a total of 360 seconds of loop recording time that can be divided into 11 different loops for maximum flexibility and control.

    With uncompressed audio, 24-bit A/D/A and a44.1kHz sample rate, the 360 Looper delivers high-quality sound and unlimited overdubbing with no degradation in fidelity. The user interface, featuring two knobs, three LEDs and a single footswitch is intuitive and functions such as recording a loop, overdubbing, undo-redo and erasing a loop are quickly mastered.

    The Level knob controls the output level of the loop. The dry signal remains at unity from input to output. The Loop knob is numbered and allows the user to select from 11 different loop locations. To record a loop, simply select an empty bank and press the footswitch once. The REC (recording) LED lights solid and recording starts immediately. When the footswitch is pressed again, the recording stops, and the loop will play indefinitely. Pressing the footswitch two times stops the playback.

    Overdubbing is easy. When a loop is playing, pressing the footswitch once lets the user record on top of the original material and does not change its length. After finishing an overdub, the Undo-Redo function is enabled and allows the user to remove the last take. To undo an overdub during playback, simply press and hold the footswitch for one second.

    To redo the overdubduring playback, i.e. restore the last take, press and hold the footswitch for one second again. To erase a loop, playback must be stopped and the footswitch depressed for two seconds. All recorded audio is stored automatically to the NanoLooper 360’s internal memory and all recorded loops remain in memory until they are erased.

    With the NanoLooper 360, EHX’s goal was to build an affordable looping pedal that would function as an easy to use, song creation and performance tool. The new NanoLooper 360 can use a 9 Volt alkaline battery, but comes standard with an EHX 9.6-Volt/DC200mA AC adapter. It carries a U.S. list price of $179.99.

    For more info, visit ehx.com.


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    Faith No More are recording their first new album in 18 years.

    This new album, which due in April 2015, is being recorded in an Oakland, California, studio with bassist Billy Gould handling production. The release will be the first from Faith No More’s new imprint, Reclamation Recordings, which will be distributed by vocalist Mike Patton's Ipecac Recordings.

    "We’ve always shared a chemistry between ourselves that’s unique to this band, but these past few years of touring together have made us aware that we not only play better as a unit—but we like the new stuff we’re coming up with," Gould said. "So we’ve decided—we’re going to get busy in 2015…make an album we’re proud of, kick things up a notch, get out there and perform it and maybe even dedicate a little more focus to our fans in the States this time."

    A limited-edition (5,000 copies) 7-inch single of “Motherfucker” will be available on Record Store Day’s Black Friday event November 28. The single will be released digitally December 9. Below is a live version of that song Faith No More played earlier this summer in London.

    Photo: Margaret Banda

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    This video, which was posted to YouTube yesterday, September 2, already has 1,000,000 views.

    We figured we'd try to make it 1,000,009.

    It's a clip of someone named Anthony Vincent, who recorded a version of Linkin Park's signature 2000 song, "In The End," in the styles of 20 other artists — everything from Guns N' Roses to Korn, to the Doors, the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Johnny Cash ... and beyond.

    The video is an offshoot of Vincent's "10 Second Songs" series, in which he takes a popular song and delivers it in a variety of musical styles. Go figure. Enjoy!

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    Today, GuitarWorld.com presents an exclusive guitar playthrough video from Born of Osiris.

    Below, check out "Abstract Art," which features guitarist Lee McKinney. As always, tell us what you think in the comments or on Facebook!

    The song is from The New Reign, the band's 2007 EP. Enjoy!


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    Mod Kits DIY has unveiled its new high-gain distortion pedal kit, the Aggressor.

    From the company:

    The Aggressor is high-gain distortion pedal kit that delivers contemporary distortion with plenty of chunk and ear-splitting pitch harmonics. The distortion effect goes from subtle break up to over-the-top molten distortion at maximum gain.

    The Aggressor features true bypass, LED indicator and a versatile tone control with a scoop/bump switch that shifts the mid-frequency response allowing you to craft a tone that fits your style of playing.

    It works well with humbuckers and single coil pickups, so you can turn any guitar into a lethal weapon capable of inflicting serious brain damage and spontaneous combustion!

    Mod kits and assemblies are designed to give novice and experienced musicians the opportunity to build or modify their own amps, effects pedals and guitars. All kits come with easy-to-follow instructions and use point-to-point wiring. All effect pedals and amplifiers come with a pre-drilled enclosure and all necessary parts are included.

    All you need to provide are hand tools, a soldering iron and solder. The effect pedal operates on a 9V battery; for a longer-lasting option, a 9-volt adapter can be purchased separately.

    For a complete listing of kits available from Mod Kits DIY, visit modkitsdiy.com.


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    Robert Johnson and J.J. Cale represent the yin and yang of Eric Clapton’s musical influences.

    On one side is Johnson, the famously troubled Thirties-era Mississippi bluesman who moaned about hellhounds on his trail, spooks around his bed and those lowdown, shakin’ chills. On the other side is Cale, the famously laidback singer-songwriter from Tulsa who penned laconic odes to singin’ whippoorwills, “chugalugging” and shakin’ tambourines.

    Clapton has covered the music of both men on several occasions throughout his career, taking Johnson’s “Crossroads” to the heights of blues-rock jam-outs with Cream in 1968 and earning massive commercial success as a solo artist with his versions of Cale’s insanely catchy “After Midnight” in 1970 and breezy “Cocaine” in 1977.

    Yet, when looking back at Clapton’s work as a whole, one can’t help but notice that the Cale-influenced side of the equation takes up a much larger chunk of the pie, which was probably the result of the fact that Clapton actually got to meet and hang with Cale. Their bond lasted from the Seventies until Cale’s death in 2013 at age 74.

    Clapton even had Cale’s phone number, something he’s still tickled about.

    “Nobody had his phone number. You had to be in the inner circle to have that,” Clapton says with a laugh. “I’d call him, and sometimes I’d get his voice mail. Other times, I’d get him on the line and we’d talk for hours. I felt I had some kind of inside track, and that was a wonderful thing.”

    That inside track led to The Road to Escondido, the duo’s Grammy-winning 2006 album, appearances on each other’s most recent solo albums (Cale’s Roll On from 2009 and Clapton’s Old Sock from 2013) and a joint performance at the first Crossroads Guitar Festival, in 2004.

    Over the years, Clapton assimilated and mastered Cale’s approach to songwriting (“Lay Down Sally,” “I Can’t Stand It”). His mid-Seventies and early Eighties albums, from 461 Ocean Boulevard (1974) to Money and Cigarettes (1983), come off as loose acknowledgements of Cale’s influence.

    On July 29, however, Clapton released a bona-fide tribute to his friend and former collaborator: Eric Clapton & Friends: The Breeze, An Appreciation of J.J. Cale. The album features 16 Cale songs—from “Call Me the Breeze,” “Starbound” and “Lies” to “Magnolia” “Songbird” and “Crying Eyes”—performed by Clapton and a host of guests, including Mark Knopfler, John Mayer, Willie Nelson, Tom Petty and Don White. Other friends include Albert Lee, Derek Trucks, David Lindley, Doyle Bramhall II and Don Preston, all of whom split up the six-string duties.

    In the interview below, Clapton discusses Cale and the new album—which happens to be his only tribute album besides Me and Mr. Johnson, his 2004 homage to Robert Johnson.

    It’s 1969. You’ve left behind Cream’s heavy blues-rock, extended guitar solos, freeform improvisation, high intensity and volume. Then you discover J.J. Cale’s music, courtesy of Delaney Bramlett of Delaney & Bonnie. Before you know it, you immerse yourself in Cale’s “relaxed” Tulsa style, and the Clapton of Cream becomes a thing of the past. Did you see Cale’s music as the embodiment of something you had been seeking? Or were you not even looking for something new?

    I think I was looking for someone to identify with. A lot of my musical growth and education came from players who weren’t around anymore. The Best of Muddy Waters [1958] was one of my primary sources of education, as well as a lot of the country blues guys who had been gone a long time. But even the Muddy album, which was an electric album—that band, by the time I got to hear that album, was long gone.

    What I’m trying to say is, if I was looking for something current, there it was. He had the root and the understanding—the knowledge about all the music I loved—in the same way Delaney and Leon Russell did. These guys understood the history of this thing I was attracted to, so it was logical to me that I should keep an eye on them and follow what they were doing.

    Sometimes you immerse yourself in your influences to the point that you ignore your own ego and delve into the artist’s style, even including the way he sings and plays. When that’s the case, do you consider it a learning experience or some type of comfort zone?

    A bit of both, I think. With J.J., for instance, and trying to learn to play some of the Robert Johnson songs…when you put those two things side by side, my intention is always to try and leave my ego at the door and go in and learn everything I can about how they did it. That’s the starting point. That will be the aspiration. And what happens inevitably is that my ego gets back in and I adapt what I’m learning to suit what I want to do. So my will is always present.

    Robert Johnson was the hardest thing to tackle because, in order to play any of the songs he put on tape exactly as he did it, that’s a life’s work in itself. Any one of his songs, they’re so strategically different in terms of technique and how to sing and play those things at the same time. It’s like master-class stuff. My approach is to get as far as I can and allow my will to come in and take over and make it so that I can play it now and not in five years’ time, because I’m too impatient to have to follow that through to its logical conclusion. And with J.J., it’s the same thing. So what I end up with, even if I’m trying to imitate and emulate, is a version, because my will has twisted me to make it easier for me.

    What was it about Cale’s music or approach that appealed to you the most?

    He had it all, and I mean everything. He was the epitome of a rock writer. He could do the whole thing. When I found out he produced and mixed and made all these records himself, well, that’s as good as it gets.

    He also employed what can be called a minimalist approach, something that’s long been associated with the blues. Did you see a connection between Cale and the blues in terms of doing a lot with a little?

    Yes, but having said that, I think that might have been an illusion. The more I delve into how he did what he did, the more complex and sophisticated it becomes. The initial impression of J.J.’s music is that it’s simple, laidback and quite plaintive in a way. But in truth, if you put a microscope on it, it’s really quite ornate.

    Also, J.J. would play solos in the back of the track that were fuzzy and distorted. He was happy to do all of that stuff—wah-wahs, effects. He was Mr. Effect. He was in front of the curve with all that stuff. He and Roger Linn kind of invented the drum machine [Linn was the first to use digital audio samples in a drum machine, the LM-1 Drum Computer]. I think J.J. was the field guy, the development guy, for a lot of those people. I don’t think he gets enough credit for being at the front end of all that technological stuff.

    How, when and where did The Breeze, An Appreciation of J.J. Cale come together?

    Right after his funeral service, I flew from California back to Columbus, Ohio, where I have a house, and my wife’s family is there. At some point over the last couple of years, I started putting in a primitive little studio, and we started tracking there. I’d put rhythm tracks together and then I’d overlay guitars, and Walt Richmond came to play keyboards.

    Then, when we’d built enough with the artificial sounds, we went to L.A. I asked [drummer] Jim Keltner and [bassist] Nathan East to start putting down a proper rhythm section. Then we got some other players, including [drummers] Jamie Oldaker, David Teegarden, Jim Karstein and James Cruce. Then came [guitarists] Don White, Don Preston, David Lindley, Doyle Bramhall II, all to kind of build the sound.

    Jamie Oldaker was in your Seventies band. Does this mark the first time you’ve worked with him in, I’m guessing, three decades plus?

    In a long, long time, yeah. He was one of the first people I met who truly understood what J.J. was trying to do. Being another Tulsa boy, he spoke the language.

    What would you say is the commonality between you, Mark Knopfler, John Mayer and some of the other guests who appear on the album?

    Well, I don’t know about their taste, but I can make an assumption that J.J. would be high on their list of favorite people. I didn’t want to get just famous people or people who are commercially attractive or who were skillful or whatever. They had to be people who had a certain affection for J.J. and vice versa, and that J.J. would’ve approved of doing the songs. There were some criteria there, but the most important thing was that J.J. had had an effect on them.

    How did you choose which songs to cover on the album?

    When I got the news of [J.J.’s] passing, I booked a flight to L.A. and they told me the date of the service. I flew from London to L.A., and during that flight everything happened. I listened to everything I had of his on my phone. I had most of his catalog in a playlist and thought this would be good opportunity to do some of his songs.

    In terms of individual choices, “Cajun Moon” was very daunting to me. I didn’t think anyone could do that one, but I thought I could give it a try. I made up a short list of about 30 songs. Then I went back to Columbus and we just started putting down tracks. Then I realized, having met Don White at the funeral, that I needed to open this up to other people. He was the first person I asked. Then I asked John Mayer. Then I asked Tom Petty. Then I asked Will [Nelson] and Mark [Knopfler]. And I left a little room for myself.

    What amps and guitars did you use?

    I used a Dumble Fender amp, which is a Fender Bandmaster that [custom amp builder] Alexander Dumble had done some work on. I also used a vintage Fender Vibrolux and a vintage Fender Champ. Then there was my Martin signature guitar, a Sixties Gibson ES-325 and a Signature Fender Strat. I also have a beautiful Gibson L-5 that J.J. gave me, which I used as a rhythm guitar.

    Do you try to tweak your sound so that it’s slightly different from project to project?

    I don’t think I would do that deliberately. I kind of do the opposite. My experience is, no matter what you do to try and remain consistent, it’ll always change. There’s something in the air. Further on down the road, there will be something different, and my intention would be to pick up where we left off. For that reason, I always try to work with people I trust and love, like my partner [and album co-producer] Simon Climie, and Aaron Douglas will be our engineer. We know one another, and we try to get some consistency from that point of view. But you can’t account for everything. Even the weather might have an effect on what you’re trying to do. [laughs] So I go the other way. I try to follow a thread.

    Along the lines of learning, say, finger vibrato from B.B. King, what was the main thing you picked up from Cale as a guitarist, or even as a producer?

    I think it’s a philosophy that becomes much more of an overall way of approaching how to play music, starting with a much lighter touch and a more open ear, being much more attentive to the peripheral sound of everything rather than just jumping onto a moving train, as it were, and playing away. J.J.’s thing was creating a really interesting picture, whatever kind of track he was working on. That was attractive to me, and I tried to learn about and embody that., even in stuff that doesn’t particularly sound like that kind of music. I could be working on something else, but I’ll still apply that philosophy.

    How would you describe your relationship with Cale?

    We came into one another’s lives too late to be close friends. We were good friends, but his close friends are the guys who grew up with him and knew him from the school yard.

    When you recorded The Road to Escondido together, why did you want him to write the bulk of the songs?

    I was too intimidated to come up with any. I couldn’t write. I was kind of nervous going into that project, so I stalled, I froze with the writing, and he sent me his songs that he thought would be okay. I went to Escondido [in southern California] to learn them. We sat in his house and routined everything as much as we could, so that we didn’t go into the studio too raw. And it was great. We watched TV, we hung, we ate together. I got to know him then as well as I ever would.

    You recently said you’d like people to tap in to what Cale did. If readers are intrigued by the new album and want to check out Cale’s music, what gets your vote for the best Cale album to start with?

    Whoa, that’s a tough one. It’d be tempting to say the early stuff, like Naturally [1971] or Okie [1974]. But then you can come right up to date and get To Tulsa and Back [2004] too. I don’t think it matters, because it seems, in his middle period, anyway, that the songs on his albums didn’t necessarily come from the same time period.

    I knew he had boxes of tapes, and when he wanted to put an album out he’d pick them at random, depending on what he wanted to get rid of. [laughs] But I’d say Naturally, and then whatever was close to the last. Guitar Man [1996] is great too.

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    The Om symbol means so much to Shawn Bowen that he has four tattooed on his body.

    When he decided to design a custom guitar to play with his bands Didges Christ SuperDrum and Stones of Madness, it was pretty much predetermined that he would make it shaped like the Om symbol as well.

    “One day the idea just came to me,” Bowen says. “I thought it would be a cool guitar design, so I drew it on paper. Even my crude pencil drawing of it looked awesome.”

    The finished guitar, which Bowen calls the OmCaster, is a collective effort between him, Bezl Labonte, who carved the initial body shape and assembled the guitar, and Lada Barta of SPC Guitars, who did the decorative carving, finishing and inlay work. “Bezl made a few cool guitars, so I knew he would do a good job,” says Bowen. “I was really impressed by Lada’s custom finish work. He does amazing distressed finishes.”

    The OmCaster is a seven-string guitar with a pecan wood body, a maple neck with a bubinga center strip, DiMarzio Blaze humbuckers and a kill switch. Custom decorations include a maze near the controls and a Sanskrit inscription that reads Om Mani Padme Hum (a Tibetan mantra), both of which are inlaid in Luminlay material that illuminates under a black light.

    “My band Didges Christ SuperDrum does a highly theatrical show with lots of UV light and costumes,” Bowen says. “With all the black lights we use, the fret markers appear to be electric and light up really good! All of the symbols on the guitar as well as the Om shape of the guitar serves to deepen my connection with the instrument.”

    For more information, visit facebook.com/didgeschristsuperdrum.

    The OmCaster 2.jpg


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    Today we are happy to share a little sway and swagger from Johnny Lewis with the exclusive premiere of the song “Little” from his upcoming self-titled, debut album releasing September 23.

    Steeped in Americana with a country backbone, this song takes an unexpected folky turn when the vocal enters. Its sing-songy vibe is a bit off-kilter, but not in a bad way.

    Lewis shares, "This was the first song I wrote of the songs on this new album. I can't remember who it was about anymore, though I do remember the feeling I got when I wrote it. I can kinda get lost in this thing when I'm playing it live."

    Listen here:

    A producer turned songwriter, Lewis releases his self-titled, debut album on vinyl and digitally on Sept 23, 2014. Leading to the release, Johnny Lewis will perform with his six piece ensemble at Mercury Lounge in New York City on Monday, September 8 at 7pm.

    Lewis' musical background is not that of the ordinary Folk Artist. Stemming from Minneapolis, MN, Johnny moved to Colorado in 2008 to pursue electronic production for a number of touring acts including The Larva Ink, Lizzo, Bokonon and many more.

    He became accepted into the festival community and opened extensively for national acts such as The Flaming Lips and EOTO, but after tirelessly working in the electronic world, Lewis came to terms with his obsession for acoustic music. This in turn, drove him away from production and into his passion - writing songs.

    After his stints in Colorado and Minneapolis, Johnny began slowly moving away from the electronically oriented acts he had formed and the scene he had engrained himself in and moved to New York City to start his music career over. He wrote dozens of songs and decided it was time to release his first solo record.

    The rest of Johnny Lewis is a fusion of dream-folk, Americana and meticulously layered production, combining all spectrums of Lewis’ affections.

    Find out more at http://johnnyvlewis.com/


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    Sixx:A.M., the supergroup featuring singer James Michael, guitarist DJ Ashba (Guns N’ Roses) and bassist Nikki Sixx (Motley Crue), have premiered a new song, “Let's Go.”

    Check it out below and let us know what you think in the comments or on Facebook!

    "That’s a great, heavy song," Ashba recently told Revolver. "It's just balls-out. It's got this cool riff where I play this harmonic part and it comes in with the vibe of a song like Marilyn Manson's 'The Beautiful People.' The guitars sound like an army. It's super high-energy and the solo is really neat. And right when the solo kicks in, the whole entire band breaks down and does this classical-influenced part."

    The band’s third album, Modern Vintage, will be released October 7.


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    Below, check out this recently posted clip of the AK47 guitar, aka the Gattar.

    The well-shot video is particularly cool because it shows exactly how the guitar was made, from start to finish, including closeups of the tools, wood and construction methods involved in the process.

    The guitar was built by Jimmy DiResta, who adds, "I made this AK47 guitar for Wyclef Jean. Enjoy!"

    While you're at it, check out this clip of Wyclef Jean — the Haitian/American rapper, singer/songwriter and producer — playing and discussing the DiResta guitar.

    For more about DiResta and his guitars, visit jimmy-diresta.squarespace.com.


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    Whether he's performing as part of the Broadway musical Rock of Ages, touring with Trans-Siberian Orchestra every fall or jetting around the country for sessions and shows, Joel Hoekstra is one of the hardest-working guitarists you're ever likely to meet.

    And now he’s taken on another challenge.

    It was recently announced that Hoekstra would be leaving his gig with Night Ranger to become the new guitarist in Whitesnake, replacing departing guitarist Doug Aldrich.

    Hoekstra’s seven-year tenure with Night Ranger included three critically acclaimed albums and tours, not to mention being part of a killer one-two punch with guitar great Brad Gillis.

    With Whitesnake, Hoesktra finds himself in a band whose ranks over the years also were filled by guitar royalty: John Sykes, Adrian Vandenberg, Vivian Campbell, Steve Vai, Doug Aldrich and Reb Beach. Hoekstra will join a Whitesnake lineup that includes David Coverdale (vocals), Reb Beach (guitar), Michael Devin (bass) and Tommy Aldridge (drums).

    I recently caught up with Hoekstra and asked him about the new Whitesnake gig and also got a sneak peak into the band’s next album. I also asked him what he’ll miss most about his time with Night Ranger.

    GUITAR WORLD: How did you first hear about the Whitesnake opportunity?

    Oddly enough, Doug [Aldrich] and I are friends and were texting the night before the news came online. He didn’t mention anything about it to me at the time. All he said was there was some news coming. The next day, I woke up to hear Doug would be leaving Whitesnake.

    How did you wind up getting the gig with the band?

    I think it was a combination of me putting out some feelers and some people recommending me for it that led to me going out to meet with David at the end of May to hang/audition. That went well, so the next step was to go back in August to play on material for the upcoming Whitesnake album and to make sure it was going to be a good fit for both sides. At that point, I started to realize this was really happening.

    What appealed to you about becoming a member of Whitesnake?

    There were a lot of factors that went into the decision. Obviously, David [Coverdale] is rock royalty, so any chance you get to work with him, you take seriously. Not to mention that the material in Whitesnake is also a guitarist’s dream! Then there’s the fact that Whitesnake have a worldwide following and we’ll be touring it in 2015. That also made it very appealing. But it wasn’t like I was looking to leave Night Ranger. I love those guys and I love that band. This opportunity just seemed to be a move that made sense.

    What do you think you’ll miss the most about Night Ranger?

    The camaraderie. We spent seven years together and the relationship has just gotten stronger over the course of those years. I’m very proud of everything I’ve achieved with Night Ranger. The albums we recorded, including Somewhere in California, 24 Strings & A Drummer and High Road, were all well received and were a blast to make. Playing in a guitar team with Brad Gillis was also a dream come true. I had such a great time playing with those guys, and we’ll all continue to be good friends.

    Whitesnake have a history of guitar greats in its ranks. As a guitarist, how does it feel for you to be in such good company?

    It’s great. But it really always comes down to how much work you’re willing to put in. Most people that know me know I work extremely hard to get the job done. It’s going to be a great challenge, but I’m totally looking forward to it and I’m very excited to work with Reb Beach.

    How will joining Whitesnake affect your current gigs with Trans-Siberian Orchestra and Rock of Ages?

    Everything remains the same. I’ll still be participating in the TSO tours in November and December and whenever I’m not on tour with Whitesnake or TSO, I’ll be here in New York playing Rock of Ages on Broadway eight shows a week.

    Can you give me a little insight into the new Whitesnake album?

    I think everyone’s going to be very excited when they hear it. It’s kick-ass, straightforward rock and roll. Reb and I have some really great guitar stuff down on this record and we’re psyched for everyone to hear it. Tommy Aldridge also sounds great on this album as well! We’re all really looking forward to getting it out there and showing everyone what we can do.

    Are there any other projects you’re working on?

    I have a side project I’m finishing up that has Vinny Appice on drums, Tony Franklin on bass and Russell Allen (Adrenaline Mob, Symphony-X) singing. We have seven songs we’ve tracked that are ready to go. Our hope is to release it by the end of the year or get a deal to make it a full-length album.

    What else are you looking forward to about the next chapter of your career?

    I’m looking forward to watching the philosophy of hard work turn into good results. I’m also excited about meeting new people and putting myself forward in a positive way. To date, Reb and I have had such a good time working out some cool guitar parts for this record. We're going to make a great team, and I’m ready to get down to business.

    James Wood is a writer, musician and self-proclaimed metalhead who maintains his own website, GoJimmyGo.net. His articles and interviews are written on a variety of topics with passion and humor. You can follow him on Twitter @JimEWood.


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    Today, GuitarWorld.com presents the premiere of "Angel"—the song and the music video—by guitarist and frequent Guitar World contributor Glenn Proudfoot.

    The song is from his new album, Ineffable, which is available for pre-order through glennproudfoot.com and iTunes.

    "I always love to write solo pieces for the electric guitar," Proudfoot says about "Angel," which you can check out below. "It has the ability to sound so sweet and angelic but then, with the flick of a switch, can go to the other end of that spectrum and be totally brutal.

    "This is why, every day, I can ground myself with this amazing instrument. You really have the world at your fingertips. It allows you to convey every possible feeling you could have.

    "This piece is based around the use of harp harmonics. I've always been fascinated with the harp, the long rolling effortless arpeggios and the beautiful way harp players shape chords.

    "The sound is created by using the harp harmonics then finger picking and legato to create the free-flowing sound. I also use wide interval chordal shapes more like a pianist to give it that spacious feeling.

    "This is a very special piece of music for me. I feel incredibly blessed to be sharing it with you."

    You can follow Proudfoot on YouTube or Facebook.


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    Christine is the latest addition to our Girls of Guitar World Gallery.

    Photography by Giana Herb at Cold Shot Photography LLC.

    Scroll down to see the complete photo gallery!

    If you think you have what it takes to be a Guitar World Girl, simply email photos of yourself with a guitar to modelsearch@guitarworld.com!


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    Guitarist, composer and session musician Adrian Galysh has released a new album, Stripped, which includes 15 play-along tracks pulled from his last three solo releases.

    Taking the best parts of King Friday, Earth Tones and Tone Poet, this album strips away Galysh’s lead guitar parts, leaving guitarists room to play their own leads over some of the most exciting tracks available.

    “Being a guitar teacher for more than 20 years, I know the benefit of wood shedding over play-along tracks," Galysh says. "While jamming with other musicians is the best way to develop your musical vocabulary, sometimes that isn't always possible, and play-along tracks are a great substitute.

    “Luckily with every album I've done, I’ve asked the engineer to mix a play-along track version of select songs for me. These mixes would usually be used for solo performances and clinic situations, and are now available to everyone.”

    Stripped gives guitarists the opportunity to improve their lead playing by letting the player practice and experiment with new techniques, scales, and arpeggios, wherever and when ever they want, making the most out of their practice time.

    Track List:

    Black Coffee | Green Eyed Lady | Lady Alaine | Just For Today | Earth Tones | Terrestrial Races | True Happiness | Defiance, Ohio | Ave Maria No Morro | Interstellar Cafe | La Dolce Vita | Tone Poet | Echoes of El Greco | Ur of the Chaldees | Spring (The Return)

    Stripped is available via AdrianGalysh.com and iTunes.


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    George Harrison's first six solo albums, which were released between 1968 and 1975 on the Beatles' Apple Records label, have been digitally remastered and will be released September 23 via Capitol/UMe.

    They will be available individually and as a new box set, The Apple Years 1968-75

    Wonderwall Music, Electronic Sound, All Things Must Pass, Living in the Material World, Dark Horse and Extra Texture (Read All About It) are available for pre-order individually and in the deluxe, eight-disc boxed edition.

    Designed to complement Harrison's 2004 collection, The Dark Horse Years 1976-92, the new box features an exclusive DVD with several video pieces, including a new seven-minute film with previously unreleased footage.

    The Apple Years box also includes an exclusive bound book with an introduction by Harrision's son, Dhani Harrison, new essays by radio producer and author Kevin Howlett and rare and previously unpublished images.

    "I am so happy what we started a decade ago by releasing The Dark Horse Years is now complete with the release of his first six albums as The Apple Years," Dhani says. "Some of these records have long been out of print, and so I cannot wait for music lovers to get their hands on these newly remastered versions. It's a very proud moment for us, and I would like to thank everyone who has helped us in any way to achieve this."

    The albums were digitally restored and remastered at Lurssen Mastering in Los Angeles by a team of engineers including Paul Hicks, Gavin Lurssen and Reuben Cohen.

    Wonderwall Music, Living in the Material World, Dark Horse and Extra Texture (Read All About It) are all expanded with previously unreleased or rare additional tracks. All Things Must Pass includes the five extra tracks first released in 2001.

    Here's a rundown of each album.


    Wonderwall Music

    Released in November 1968, Wonderwall Music was the first solo album released by a member of the Beatles and the first LP to be released by Apple Records. The soundtrack music for director Joe Massot's debut feature-length film, Wonderwall, the predominantly instrumental album is an intricate, vibrant tapestry of Western rock music and compositions in an Indian classical style.

    In 1992, Harrison recalled, "I decided to do it as a mini-anthology of Indian music, because I wanted to help turn the public on to Indian music."

    Three bonus tracks have been added to the remastered album: "In The First Place" by Liverpool group the Remo Four, who played the rock elements of the recording sessions, a previously unreleased alternate take of "The Inner Light," and the previously unreleased "Almost Shankara," a raga that was not used in the film or for the soundtrack LP. The booklet also includes a new essay of appreciation by the acclaimed musician, producer and composer Nitin Sawney and newly written historical notes by Kevin Howlett.


    Electronic Sound

    As a direct result of the Beatles' keen curiosity about experimental music and other avant-garde artistic expression, Apple Records launched its short-lived Zapple subsidiary in February 1969 as a forum for unfettered sonic exploration, or, as announced at the time, "more freaky sounds."

    George's Electronic Sound and John Lennon and Yoko Ono's Unfinished Music No. 2: Life With The Lions, both released in May 1969, were Zapple's only releases before it was closed down. Electronic Sound's cover art, painted by George, depicts his Moog IIIP (which was later used on four tracks by the Beatles on Abbey Road) with the four modules from which the sound was synthesized.

    Each side of the Electronic Sound LP featured one exploratory long-form work. However, the American version of the album placed the pieces on opposite sides to the UK record, but with the same titles retained on the labels. Consequently, there has been confusion about which track is which.

    Research for the out-of-print album's new release revealed that the UK LP was correct with "Under The Mersey Wall" on Side 1 and "No Time Or Space" on Side 2. The CD booklet includes new essays by The Chemical Brothers' Tom Rowlands and Dhani Harrison, as well as newly written historical notes by Kevin Howlett.


    All Things Must Pass

    All Things Must Pass was released by Apple Records in November 1970. Co-produced by Harrison and Phil Spector, many musicians contributed to the album, including Eric Clapton, Ringo Starr, Billy Preston, Pete Drake, Gary Wright, Klaus Voormann, members of Badfinger, players from Delaney and Bonnie band and John Barham. The triple-LP topped charts around the world and earned universal acclaim as a rock masterpiece.

    George became the first Beatle to have a solo number one single in both the UK and America with the album's lead single, "My Sweet Lord," which introduced his signature slide guitar playing.

    George co-wrote the album's opening track, "I'd Have You Anytime" with his friend Bob Dylan, who also wrote another song on the landmark album, "If Not For You." The new package includes the five additional tracks added to the album's 2001 reissue: "I Live For You" (outtake), "Beware Of Darkness" (demo), "Let It Down" (alternative version), "What Is Life" (backing track) and "My Sweet Lord (2000)."


    Living In The Material World

    In May 1973 came the release of George's second studio album of new songs, Living in the Material World.

    He was joined in the studio by several musician friends who had also played on All Things Must Pass and others like Jim Keltner, with whom he had worked during the Concert for Bangladesh concerts in 1971. The album and its lead single, "Give Me Love (Give Me Peace On Earth)" both reached number one in America and on charts around the world.

    The spiritual nature of Living In The Material World, described by Rolling Stone as "miraculous in its radiance," is also reflected in the inclusion of an illustration from the Bhagavad-Gita in the artwork. The new release adds a remix of the single version of "Bangla Desh," which has previously been available only on The Best Of George Harrison (1976), as well as two B-sides included on the album's 2006 reissue, "Deep Blue" and "Miss O'Dell."


    Dark Horse

    Released in December 1974, Dark Horse capped a prolific year for George, during which he had established his own Dark Horse record label, built a recording studio in his Friar Park home in England, and completed an ambitious tour of North America. Throughout the year, Harrison produced albums for several artists while also recording his own.

    The songs on the LP document both George's fallibility, in "Simply Shady," and his spirituality, in "It Is 'He' (Jai Sri Krishna)." Dark Horse reached the top five in America, sounding a high note at the end of Harrison's rather frenetic year. The new release adds "I Don't Care Anymore," a sought after B-side making its CD debut, and a previously unreleased early, acoustic take of "Dark Horse." The CD booklet includes newly written historical notes by Kevin Howlett.


    Extra Texture (Read All About It)

    In late 1974, George returned to California to record his next album, the soul-tinged Extra Texture (Read All About It), his final album to be released through Apple Records.

    Leon Russell played piano on "Tired Of Midnight Blue," and for some of the sessions, Harrison was joined by guitarist Jesse Ed Davis, plus Jim Keltner, Paul Stallworth and David Foster from new band Attitudes, who were later signed by George's newly formed Dark Horse label.

    Two of the LP's songs date from 1974 sessions for Dark Horse at George's home studio: the soulful love song "Can't Stop Thinking About You" and the backing track of "His Name Is 'Legs' (Ladies & Gentlemen)."

    The new release adds "This Guitar (Can't Keep From Crying)," a song Harrison rerecorded in 1992 as a demo for Dave Stewart, who plays electric guitar on it. More than 10 years later, the track received overdubs by Ringo Starr on drums, Dhani Harrison on guitar, and vocalist Kara DioGuardi. The CD booklet includes newly written historical notes by Kevin Howlett.

    Additional Content

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    Guitar World has released a new DVD we think you'll enjoy: Rock Guitar 101

    The DVD, which is available now at the Guitar World Online Store for $14.99, is an incredible one-stop DVD providing more than 70 minutes of instruction on ALL the basic skills you need to play rock guitar.

    Your Instructor is Andy Aledort, a longtime contributor to Guitar World and the author and producer of hundreds of artist transcriptions, books and instructional DVDs, Aledort has influenced and inspired guitarists around the world for decades.

    Check out the complete chapter listing — and a video sample of the new DVD, featuring Aledort and his Gibson Les Paul in action.

    Chapter Listing:

    Chapter 1 – The open strings; tuning up: fretting method; tuning up: harmonic method; chord frames; E major chord; open-position cowboy chords; the "caged" system; F chord.

    Chapter 2 – Rhythmic slashes; whole note; half note; quarter note; eighth note; rhythm exercises.

    Chapter 3 – Open-position minor chords; combining first-position minor and major chords.

    Chapter 4 – Other chord types; dominant seventh and minor seventh; suspended chords; suspended fourths; suspended seconds.

    Chapter 5 - Using a capo.

    Chapter 6 – Barre chords; sixth-string root barre chords; fifth-string root barre chords; fourth-string root barre chords; sixth-string root barre chord types; firfth-string root barre chord types; four-string root barre chord types; combining barre chord types.

    Chapter 7 – Power chords.

    Chapter 8 – Combining power chords with single-note riffs; combining power chords and pedal tones; "galloping" rhythms;

    Chapter 9 – Reading single not phrases; scale studies; E minor pentatonic; E major scale; E minor pentatonic scale studies; articulation: hammer-ons and pull-offs; C major scale studies; alternate picking; A minor pentatonic; A major pentatonic, sixth-string root; D major pentatonic, fifth-string root.

    Chapter 10 - String bending; vibrato.

    Chapter 11 – How to play the blues; the "shuffle" rhythm; blues soloing styles; key of E; key of A.

    'Rock Guitar 101' is available now at the Guitar World Online Store for $14.99.

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    We don't know about you, but around here, September brings to mind tours and massive live shows — probably because it's the only month where summer and fall, the two biggest rock touring seasons, collide.

    So, as our thoughts turn to the gigs we've reported on, witnessed and celebrated this year, we thought we'd get our readers — as in, you guys! — involved as we attempt to pinpoint rock's greatest live band or artist!

    Welcome to Guitar World's official readers poll for September (It's the first readers poll we've conducted since November 2013, all you poll haters out there), the Battle of the Greatest Live Bands. It kicked off Wednesday, September 3.

    Although we (obviously) had thousands of artists and/or bands to choose from, we decided to narrow things down to a mere 32 names, which is perfect for a month's worth of intense — and fun (it's supposed to be fun, people!) matchups. All the artists were carefully selected by Guitar World's entire editorial staff.

    Most importantly, note that this poll involves ONLY still-existing bands, so you won't get to watch the Doors duke it out with Led Zeppelin! Pantera will not go head to head with Cream. The Jimi Hendrix Experience will not compete with ... you get the idea.

    Here are our 32 artists, in alphabetical order:

    AC/DC, Aerosmith, Alice Cooper, the Allman Brothers Band, Black Sabbath, Dillinger Escape Plan, Eagles, Foo Fighters, Guns N’ Roses, Iron Maiden, Jack White, Kiss, Korn, Metallica, Muse, Nine Inch Nails, Paul McCartney, Pearl Jam, Phish, Queen, Radiohead, Rammstein, Red Hot Chili Peppers, the Rolling Stones, Rush, Slayer, Slipknot, Soundgarden, Tool, U2, Van Halen and ZZ Top.


    Here's how the bracket was — very unscientifically — compiled:

    We drew the artists' names out of a hat (It was, in fact, a Quebec Nordiques baseball-style cap) to help us create our bracket, which is available for your viewing pleasure below. Obviously, none of these of bands are ranked or come from a previously compiled list, so we chose purely random matchups to have as little impact as possible on the final outcome. We're actually pretty pleased with the way the bracket turned out!

    Remember that, as with any poll, genre might occasionally clash against genre, so you'll just need to decide which artist has (or has had) the most to offer within his/their genre, perhaps which one has or had more natural talent or technical skill, which one had the biggest influence on other live acts, etc.

    Let's get started! As always, you can vote only once per matchup (once per device, that is), and we'll be posting matchups pretty much every day of the month, sometimes more than once per day, just to give you an early warning!

    This matchup finds Van Halen going head to head with Nine Inch Nails!

    Head HERE to see every matchup so far.

    Behold the Current Bracket!

    Battle of the Live Bands

    Yesterday's Winner

    Yesterday, AC/DC (67.63 percent) defeated the Rolling Stones (32.37 percent). Thanks for voting!

    Today's Poll: Vote Now!

    Today, Van Halen go head to head with Nine Inch Nails. We don't need to tell you about these bands! We'll just let the videos below do the talking! Be sure to vote below. You have one day to vote!

    Additional Content

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