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    Want to take your music career to the next level? Levy’s can take you there!

    Head HERE and submit a photo of you wearing your Levy’s strap! Six winners will appear on a full page in Guitar World magazine, plus and our Facebook page.

    If you’re having trouble getting noticed, this is the chance you’ve been waiting for!

    For more about Levy's Leathers, visit or Levy's Facebook page.



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    Today, presents the exclusive premiere of a new live video by Santana.

    The clip, "Una noche en Nápoles"— featuring Lilla Downs, Soledad and Niña Pastori — is from Santana's new live Blu-ray/DVD/CD, Corazon, Live From Mexico: Live It To Believe It, which will be released Tuesday, September 9.

    The Corazon, Live From Mexico concert originally aired in early May on HBO Latino. The show features many of the tracks featured on Corazon, Santana's 2014 Spanish-language studio album, but also features English-language hits including "Smooth,""Evil Ways" and "Black Magic Woman."

    In addition to the 23-track live show, the DVD offers a 30-minute documentary detailing the making of the concert, which was filmed in Guadalajara, Mexico, Carlos Santana's birthplace. Santana welcomes several guest stars throughout the evening, including Gloria Estefan, Juanes and Miguel.

    Corazón, which was released in May, spent six weeks at Number 1 on the Latin Billboard charts; it also has reached Number 1 on the iTunes chart in 24 countries and has been certified double-platinum.

    Check out the video below and be sure to tell us what you think in the comments or on Facebook!

    For more about Santana, visit

    Additional Content

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    These videos and audio files are bonus content related to the November 2014 issue of Guitar World. For the full range of interviews, features, tabs and more, pick up the new issue on newsstands now or at the Guitar World Online Store.

    Guitarist Phil Keaggy’s career spans more than four decades, includes 50-plus albums and exhibits acoustic and electric styles that range from new age to rock fusion.

    His influences include classic rock heavyweights George Harrison and Jorma Kaukonen, jazz guitarists Pat Metheny and Allan Holdsworth, and progressive acoustic pioneer Michael Hedges.

    Whether Keaggy is plucking his Olson, Taylor, Martin, McPherson or Charis acoustics, using multiple/partial capos simultaneously, jamming over looping textures (he was an early practitioner of using delay effects to loop and layer his guitar onstage) or generating violin-like textures and sustain using an E-Bow, he demonstrates a virtuoso approach. Amazingly, he does it all despite missing his right-hand middle finger, which he lost at age four in a water pump accident.

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    Scarlet Page’s highly anticipated limited-edition large-format book, Resonators, is available now for pre-order exclusively from Red Giant Publishing.

    The book provides unique insight into some of the world’s most respected guitarists from the Sixties through heavy metal and into punk and Britpop

    Including more than 120 never-before-seen photographs taken over the past two years, Scarlet’s approach and style have produced beautiful and intimate portraits of what she calls rock's "resonators," capturing sides of guitar legends rarely seen by their fans.

    Guitarists included in Resonators are Wilko Johnson, Jimmy Page (Scarlet’s father), Brian May, Paul Stanley, Paul McCartney, Peter Green, Joe Walsh, Slash, Nile Rodgers, Mick Jones, Jeff Beck, Paul Weller, Mark Knopfler, Noel Gallagher, Serge Pizzorno, Wayne Kramer, Albert Lee, Billy Corgan, Johnny Marr, Graham Coxon, Justin Hawkins, Robert Fripp, Steve Jones, John Squire, John Frusciante, Hank Marvin, Kelly Jones, Dick Taylor, John Squire, Phil Manzanera, Hank Marvin, Phil Collen, Vivian Campbell and Jack White.

    "In their hands the instrument becomes a prop," Scarlet says. "With their guitars is when these artists seem to be most at ease."

    The book is limited to 1,480 copies worldwide and is available in deluxe and collector editions. Each book is individually signed and numbered by Scarlet, hand-bound in quarter leather and printed on 200gsm acid-free matte art paper with silver gilt edges. The book has been printed and bound by one of the world’s leading makers of fine limited-edition books. In more than 8,000 words of new text, Scarlet tells us the stories behind more than 120 exclusive photos.

    Continuing on from Scarlet’s successful Resonators photo exhibition and charity auction, 10 percent of the profit from the sale of Resonators will benefit Teenage Cancer Trust. We also are offering the first 300 subscribers the opportunity to have their names printed in the book.

    The Deluxe Edition

    Strictly limited to 300 copies worldwide and is presented within a beautiful and stylish Resonators presentation box and accompanied with a signed Resonators collage print. In addition the Deluxe Edition also comes with a hand crafted portfolio box containing 32 beautifully printed 8’ x 10’ images, one for each of the guitarists featured in Resonators.

    The Collectors’ Edition

    Limited to 1,180 copies worldwide and is presented within a beautiful and stylish Resonators presentation box and accompanied with a signed Resonators collage print.

    "Ultimately though they are just instruments; a guitar is always a guitar but the human face is constantly changing and it is people that I’m ultimately interested in."— Scarlet Page

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    These videos and audio files are bonus content related to the October 2014 issue of Guitar World. For the full range of interviews, features, tabs and more, pick up the new issue on newsstands now or at the Guitar World Online Store.

    Today’s assortment of acoustic guitar flavors is almost as varied and vivid as that of electric guitars—from the baritone bellow of a jumbo dreadnought to the polite parlance of a petite parlor instrument.

    Prestige’s Eclipse Series falls squarely in the middle of the pack, where it adheres to the traditional ideal of an acoustic guitar as vocal accompaniment.

    The latest addition to the series is the auditorium-sized Cedar/Rosewood, a stunning piece of craftsmanship that creates its high-energy response with a select cedar top and exotic tonewoods.

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    These videos and audio files are bonus content related to the November 2014 issue of Guitar World. For the full range of interviews, features, tabs and more, pick up the new issue on newsstands now or at the Guitar World Online Store.

    I’ve spent piles of cash and countless hours chasing down various stomp boxes over the years.

    So when I got my hands on Zoom’s G1Xon Guitar Multi-Effects Processor, I was tempted to moan, “Oh, I’ve wasted my life,” like the Comic Book Guy in a certain “Treehouse of Horror” episode of The Simpsons.

    For probably less than what I paid on batteries to power one vintage fuzz box, the G1Xon provides a lifetime’s worth of effects and amp models (105, to be exact) plus built-in rhythm patterns, a looper and a tuner. All this power is packaged in a compact foot controller that’s about the same width and length as an iPad and features an expression pedal.

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    These videos and audio files are bonus content related to the November 2014 issue of Guitar World. For the full range of interviews, features, tabs and more, pick up the new issue on newsstands now or at the Guitar World Online Store.

    Heard on numerous classic recordings by players like Jimi Hendrix, David Gilmour and Robin Trower, the Uni-Vibe is essentially a four-stage phase shifter.

    However, without going into a full-blown technical explanation, the components and circuit have certain quirks that distinguish it from a run-of-the-mill phase shifter.

    For decades, the only viable choices for guitarists seeking authentic classic Uni-Vibe effects were to hunt for an original vintage unit or buy a boutique version, but both options were expensive. The new MXR M68 Uni-Vibe Chorus/Vibrato solves this dilemma once and for all by providing genuine Uni-Vibe effects with thick, rich swirling textures in a pedal that costs less than half of the price of most acclaimed boutique versions.

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    These videos and audio files are bonus content related to the November 2014 issue of Guitar World. For the full range of interviews, features, tabs and more, pick up the new issue on newsstands now or at the Guitar World Online Store.

    Whether you grunt like Tom Waits with strep throat or sing like the love child of Luciano Pavarotti and Freddie Mercury, every vocal performance can sound a hell of a lot better with the right processing.

    This is no problem if you play with a national touring act that has its own sound system, racks of outboard gear, and team of professional live-sound engineers, but the majority of bands that slug it out at smaller gigs usually can’t afford such luxuries.

    Several companies offer affordable foot-controlled multi-effect units for vocalists, and while these offer good solutions, they can add to stage clutter for singing guitarists who may already have numerous pedals at their feet. The TC-Helicon VoiceLive 3 is the ideal solution for singing guitarists as it combines TC’s acclaimed guitar effects and vocal effects in a single foot-controlled unit.

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    These videos and audio files are bonus content related to the November 2014 issue of Guitar World. For the full range of interviews, features, tabs and more, pick up the new issue on newsstands now or at the Guitar World Online Store.

    Gretsch has built a solid reputation with its impressive line of popular archtop hollowbody guitars, like the Country Gentleman and the White Falcon. But what’s often overlooked is the company’s superb line of solidbody guitars, such as the Duo Jet.

    Introduced in 1953 with a single-cutaway body, the elegantly styled Duo Jet was a competitive response to the Fender Telecaster and the Gibson Les Paul. Its unique-sounding DeArmond Dynasonic pickups offered the raucous twang needed for rockabilly and just enough jangle for rock, making it the choice of guitarists like George Harrison and, in his early Nineties rockabilly phase, Jeff Beck.

    Over the years, the Duo Jet has evolved into many different models, including a double-cutaway version, introduced in 1961, frequently used by AC/DC guitarist Malcolm Young.

    The new Gretsch G6128T-1962 Duo Jet is an inspired reworking of that version, complete with modern updates, vintage cool looks and authoritative tones that will help set you apart from the rest.

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    These videos and audio files are bonus content related to the November 2014 issue of Guitar World. For the full range of interviews, features, tabs and more, pick up the new issue on newsstands now or at the Guitar World Online Store.

    In the last few columns, we looked at ways to build chord shapes, or “grips,” from the Dorian and Aeolian modes (Aeolian is also known as the natural minor scale), which are two of the most widely used minor modes for soloing in rock, blues, and jazz.

    Last month, we turned our attention to the equally popular and useful Mixolydian mode, which is intervallically spelled 1(root) 2 3 4 5 6 f7. This is the mode that includes the dominant-seven chord tones 1, 3, 5 and f7 and gives us chords like E7, A7 and D7, as well as chords that include “upper-structure tension tones,” or “tensions,” namely the ninth, 11th and 13th.

    I encourage all guitarists to attain as complete an understanding of the Mixolydian mode as possible, as this will help in broadening one’s understanding of music theory and the fretboard, as well as reap countless options that can be applied to both soloing and rhythm guitar playing.

    Additional Content

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    These videos and audio files are bonus content related to the November 2014 issue of Guitar World. For the full range of interviews, features, tabs and more, pick up the new issue on newsstands now or at the Guitar World Online Store.

    Playing guitar is supposed to be fun. That’s why it’s called “playing” guitar and not “working.”

    However, there are times when playing guitar isn’t as much fun or as easy as it could be. Epiphone has addressed a few of these instances with a pair of new guitar models: the PRO-1 acoustic and the Les Paul Classic-T solidbody electric.

    Epiphone’s line of PRO-1 guitars is designed primarily for beginners, with the goal of providing them with instruments that are comfortable and easy to play as well as affordable. The Epiphone Les Paul Classic-T, on the other hand, is the world’s most affordable self-tuning guitar, featuring the motorized Min-ETune system that physically adjusts and corrects tuning quickly and accurately.

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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

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    A number of years ago, I was teaching at a guitar workshop in Pittsburgh.

    I had taught at this annual workshop a number of times and always looked forward to my week there, not only because I was able to teach a class of students who really wanted to learn guitar, but also for more selfish reasons. I liked meeting and learning from some of the other instructors and clinicians.

    So during this week, jazz guitarist Henry Johnson and I were jamming on each other's guitars, and I took the opportunity to ask him, "Hey, how can I, as a rock guitarist, get that 'outside' jazzy/Alan Holdsworth-y sound?"

    His answer was so simple and astonishing. I will share it with you here.

    He said, "Simply flatten the root of the minor pentatonic scale. Use this whenever you would use the normal minor pentatonic scale."

    The concept was simple but profound. I spent a few days getting the new shape under my fingers, and before I knew it, I was slipping this into every solo I could!

    The example below shows the new altered A-minor pentatonic scale. In this A-minor example, this "flattened root scale" sounds outside over Am or an A7 chord, but inside over the dominant V chord (E7).


    Guitarist Adrian Galysh is a solo artist and education coordinator for Guitar Center Studios. He's the author of the book Progressive Guitar Warmups and Exercises. For more information, visit him at

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    These videos and audio files are bonus content related to the November 2014 issue of Guitar World. For the full range of interviews, features, tabs and more, pick up the new issue on newsstands now or at the Guitar World Online Store.

    Hey kids, Satchel here and I’m back (did I leave?) to teach you more great rock riffs from the latest Steel Panther mega-multi-ultra-Platinum release, All You Can Eat. This month, I’d like to focus on the rhythm and lead guitar parts to a tender love song I wrote called “Glory Hole.”

    This song is played in drop-D tuning down one half step (low to high, Db Ab Db Gb Bb Eb). Another twist is that the transcribed examples in this column, while written in 4/4, are meant to be played with a triplet feel, which is akin to a 12/8 shuffle-type feel.

    This means that each pair of eighth notes is to be played as a quarter note and an eighth note within a triplet bracket. If an eighth-note triplet were to sound “DA-da-da,” or “ONE-trip-let,” the idea is to combine the first two notes to sound a quarter note that sustains through the first two eighth notes of the eighth-note triplet (ONE-trip), followed by the remaining eighth note of the triplet (-let), resulting in a rhythm of “DAAA-da-DAAA-da-DAAA-da-DAAA-da.”

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    Teaser Content: 

    Gear Up For Fall! Get ready for winter's frosty bite and enter for chance to win this HUGE prize package! Just fill out the entry form way at the bottom of this story! Check out the details on this incredible prize package!

    Gear Up For Fall! Get ready for Fall with a chance to win this HUGE prize package! Just fill out the entry form way at the bottom of this story by November 10, 2014!

    Check out the details on this incredible prize package:


    Caparison C2 Series HRG-QD, Trans. Blue Burst: Built to shred! The Caparison C2 Series HRG-QD has a compact solid mahogany body with a quilted maple veneer top, matching headstock, and a slim super- fast 27 fret bolt on maple neck with rosewood Fretboard. DiMarzio pickups give the guitar a wide dynamic range. Responsive, fast and expressive, the HRG-QD is an exceptional soloing machine. The Caparison Guitars C2 series are designed and made in Japan.

    MAP: $1479
    More Info:


    V3 Series 3-channel tube amp & V3M micro head Gold Edition: Carvin is very excited to announce the newest V3 Series 3-channel tube amp, the V3M micro head Gold Edition. Despite its small size, the V3M is a powerful 50w all-tube 3 channel amp. Channels 1&2 are identical gain channels with a 3-position gain character switch. Both can be set to completely different overdrive settings ideal for any style of music. Channel 3 is the clean channel that also sports a 3-position gain character switch. The V3M also offers assignable reverb and a footswitchable boost for soloing. This rig comes with a Carvin 112V closed back speaker cab that easily converts to an open back cab.

    MAP: $749
    More Info:


    Fishman Fluence pickups: Original and totally re-imagined, Fishman Fluence pickups are free from the hum, noise and frustrating inductance issues that plague even the most coveted wire-wound pickups — revealing pure, uncorrupted and musical tone.

    MSRP: $311
    More Info:


    The Palisades pedal: The Palisades is an overdrive based on the legendary TS808! With 6 different clipping voices, 5 bandwidth settings and 2 gain channels you will be hard-pressed to not find a setting that will wipe every mid-boosting overdrive off your board. The clipping voices determine how transparent and open or tight and crunchy the distortion is. They will vary drastically depending on where the gain is set, what channel is active and how much bandwidth is being used. The bandwidth sets the frequency response of the distortion and goes from thin, light and clean through fat heavy and crunchy. It may very well be the single most important control the palisades has and what really sets it apart.

    The Palisades is a versatile dude that will give you years of loving companionship. Each Palisades is hand made one at a time in the tiny tree house community of Akron, Ohio.

    MSRP: $249
    More Info:


    Dirt Clod Overdrive Distortion Pedal: The Decibel Eleven Dirt Clod guitar effects pedal is a fully analog overdrive distortion pedal featuring 10 memory presets. Whatever music you play, the Dirt Clod provides a wide range of distortion sounds with two styles of clipping in addition to variable mid and high controls. You may easily save presets and recall as needed by accessing two different presets side by side – or use the Dirt Clod bank mode to scroll and select your preferred presets.

    Full MIDI capabilities allow the Dirt Clod pedal to be used with the simplest MIDI controller for automatically recalling presets or bypassing the pedal. MIDI expression pedal data can control any of the Dirt Clod parameters in real-time, allowing you to adjust your distortion while playing and giving you ultimate control.

    Street Price: $189
    More Info:


    Maxon OD808X Overdrive Extreme: Based on the classic OD808 circuit that Maxon invented over 30 years ago, the OD808X offers a wider frequency response with an extended hi-frequency range. This added tonal range has been carefully tuned to provide additional clarity without becoming harsh, and will also accentuate high-gain settings.

    The Overdrive Extreme also offers more gain and harder clipping than the standard OD808, creating amp-like distortion with excellent note definition and clarity. An increased output level allows the OD808X to be used as a semi-dirty booster or to drive a tube amp.

    Price: $209


    Vexter Fat Fuzz Factory: The Fat Fuzz Factory is a take on the original company flag ship Fuzz Factory. It features a sub switch that opens the pedal up to an astounding new bottom end. This means the pedal can oscillate at much lower registers, giving it some very interesting thunder broom synth qualities. Based on our field reports, this new fatness lends itself particularly well to the bass guitar, and rips equally well on guitar.

    Solo Lite: $199
    More Info:


    GigBlade: The GigBlade is the world's first side-carry hybrid gig bag. It offers the quickest, most practical, and user-friendly way to carry your guitar or bass: It keeps a low center of gravity so it feels more stable and natural, while the top stays well below your head to avoid hitting low doorways. Offers both top-load and full clamshell access for ultimate versatility. Simple, intuitive, genius!

    Price: $249
    More Info:


    Resomax Bridge: Resomax Bridges are designed to maximize harmonic content and richness in every note, by utilizing Graph Techs proprietary Resomax alloy, very light, yet strong, that will leave each note dripping in tone and harmonics.

    Price: $94 - $169

    TUSQ Picks: The World’s First Picks with built-in tone. Since introduced in 2012, TUSQ Picks have been killing it on the stage and in the studio. TUSQ picks are a whole new class of picks with three distinctive tones. Original TUSQ Bright, Warm and Deep. Now you can choose you pick shape, gauge and TONE. One years supply of TUSQ picks, any model, 72 picks.

    Price: Six-pack, $5.95 (bulk packs available)

    Ratio Tuned Machine Heads: Every string has its own, precise gear ratio, from 12:1 to 39:1. One turn equals one tone - all strings. Faster, more precise tuning on every string. Available for acoustic and electric with lots of options. Love them or your money back!

    Price: $99 - $119

    PrePlay: PrePlay cleans your hands and neutralizes the acids in your hand to increase string life, and save your hardware from rust and corrosion. A quick shot of PrePlay before your play and you're ready to tear it up.

    Price: $20

    More Info:


    MV17 2.5 Inch Leather Strap with Stitching: From their beginnings in Nova Scotia in 1973, Levy's has grown to become one of the leading guitar strap makers in the world. With premium leather straps as well as models made of vinyl, fabric, faux fur and polyester, Levy's has attracted an all-star roster of fans and endorsers. Users such as Nickelback's Chad Kroeger, John Sebastian, Rob Zombie bassist Blasko, members of George Strait's band and Tony Levin all attest to the appeal and durability of Levy's straps!

    Price: $47
    More Info:


    Guitar World One Year Subscription: Professionals and beginners alike turn to Guitar World for top-flight coverage of their favorite artists, from rock titans like Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page and Metallica's Kirk Hammett to contemporary stars like the White Stripes' Jack White and Tool's Adam Jones. Every issue of Guitar World magazine offers broad-ranging interviews that cover technique, instruments and lifestyles as well as famously thorough transcriptions.

    Price: $14.95
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    By opting into the Guitar World newsletter below, you are opting into receive news and updates from all of NewBay Music Groups brands, including Guitar World, Guitar Player, Bass Player, Guitar Aficionado, Revolver, Electronic Musician and Keyboard.

    All entries must be submitted by November 10, 2014.<p><a href="/official_contest_rules">Official Rules and Regulations</a>
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    This is an excerpt from the all-new November 2014 issue of Guitar World. For the rest of this story, plus new Gibbons/Beck photos by Ross Halfin, not to mention features on Weezer, George Thorogood, MXR & Eddie Van Halen, the guitar pick revolution, Nita Strauss and Black Veil Brides, plus gear reviews (Epiphone, Zoom, Gretsch, TC-Helicon, Mesa and more) and lessons by Marty Friedman and Steel Panther's Satchel, check out the November 2014 issue of Guitar World!

    The Surreal Thing: As they prepare to hit the road together for a summer tour, Jeff Beck and ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons wax philosophical on the rock and roll relationship between guitars, cars and everything in between.

    It’s a hot, sunny California day as Jeff Beck and ZZ Top’s Billy F. Gibbons stroll through the lush courtyard of Hollywood’s swanky Sunset Marquis Hotel.

    Ripe for caricature, they are perhaps two of the most distinctive-looking performers in rock history. Beck, with his much-imitated rooster shag haircut, and Gibbons, dressed in full hipster Wild West drag, look almost disconcertingly the same as they have for the past three or four decades.

    If we hadn’t invited them ourselves on the eve of their first tour together, it would be easy to mistake them for a mirage from one of those surreal ZZ Top videos that dominated MTV in the Eighties.

    Surreal is actually a word that pops up quite often in conversations with both musicians over the next few days. It’s certainly a fitting adjective to describe aspects of their music.

    Since Beck’s stunning 1965 debut with the Yardbirds, he has thrilled and confounded guitarists with his exciting and often avant-garde approach to the instrument. His playful and imaginative take on Willie Dixon’s “Ain’t Superstitious” from Truth, his 1968 album with Rod Stewart on vocals and Ronnie Wood on bass, certainly rivaled anything Jimi Hendrix was creating at the time.

    And his consistently innovative work on tracks like “Going Down” (1972), “Blue Wind” (1976),” “Where Were You” (1989) and “Hammerhead” (2010), which won a Grammy Award for Best Rock Instrumental Performance, continues to push the limits of what can be done on a Fender Stratocaster without getting arrested.

    And anyone with even a passing knowledge of ZZ Top knows how strange they can be. Comprised of Gibbons, bassist Dusty Hill and drummer Frank Beard, the Little Ol’ Band from Texas has defied any civilized notion of what traditional rock musicians should look and sound like. Yet, their wonderfully skewed take on the blues has helped them sell somewhere in the neighborhood of 50 million albums, and they continue to play the world’s biggest concert halls.

    Gibbons, in his inimitable deep Texas drawl, concurs that surreal is indeed the word of the day. “One of the highest compliments that ever came my way was sent from [guitarist] Jimmie Vaughan,” he says, chuckling. “He said, ‘Oh yeah, Gibbons is out there.’ But if there’s actually an ‘out there,’ guess what? We’ll go out there and find Jeff Beck!”

    Enjoy this excerpt from our interview with Gibbons and Beck. For the entire story, pick up the November 2014 issue of Guitar World.

    GUITAR WORLD: Billy, what does Jeff Beck mean to you? What is his importance as an artist?

    BILLY GIBBONS Before Jeff and ZZ Top embarked on this tour, I received a phone call from the production office asking about design preferences for our backstage passes. The reply was simple: “Well, there’s a juicy guitar image fitting to go on the ZZ side of the pass, and there awaits a superb geetar view for Jeff’s side as well.”

    On one side, we chose a view of the infamous, Pearly Gates, my fine ’59 Les Paul ’Burst, and on the other side, we landed an image of Jeff’s magnificently battle-scarred 1954 Fender Esquire used with the Yardbirds. When you’re using the word importance, one can easily find it in the guitars that Jeff Beck and I pounded the sides off long ago. Jeff’s guitar certainly stands as a pivotal piece, marking the point where bravery stepped in with a willingness to experiment, moving the six-string expression far outside any previously proven lines. The visual impact of that beat-up war club is still meaningful and forceful to the extreme.

    Jeff, what do you find cool about Billy and ZZ Top?

    JEFF BECK Just think about how people went for Billy’s sound and the band’s image. ZZ Top went completely against the grain of all one would expect iconic rock to be. That’s what I love about them—they are this wonderful quirky backfire. Billy’s tone is great, and so are his songs. You wouldn’t really expect these bearded guys to write all these great tunes about cars and girls.

    Both you and Jeff introduced a surrealistic element into the blues. In Jeff’s case, his versions of “I Ain’t Superstitious” and “Going Down” wink at traditionalism. ZZ Top often references the blues, but they also have a little irreverent fun with the genre. How important is it for you to let your audience know that you are self-aware? You know: “I’m not from the Delta, but I still love this music and there’s a way to modernize it.”

    BECK When you are taken with any music with inner gusto, you don’t think too much about it—you just have to have it!

    For example, I was playing in a blues band before I joined the Yardbirds, and I was really into Bo Diddley, who made the best use imaginable out of playing one chord. His outrageous jungle rhythms were so powerful and hypnotic, he didn’t have to change keys. We basically took his idea of the one-chord vamp, and while the band played, I would just slack all my strings and then really pull on them to make the most ridiculous and surreal sounds with slap echo so that people would just look up.
    It wasn’t premeditated.

    I just wanted the audience to look at me and listen! I did all kinds of outrageous things like that at the time, like taking two guitars and have them feedback against each other, and it was that kind of attitude that eventually got me the job with the Yardbirds. They didn’t want someone to play a beautiful slide guitar solo, or someone that sounded like Earl Hooker.

    They wanted someone that would hold an audience. I had something no one else had, and however crude or outrageous it was at the time, it worked. It wasn’t all that calculated. It was just my way of saying, Here I am. Ultimately, I had to tone some of it down when I joined the Yardbirds, because we were going on television playing pop singles.

    Billy, how important is it for you to add a little touch of the “untraditional” to your traditional blues?

    GIBBONS This position was being prodded in a discussion in Memphis, Tennessee, with a dear friend, Waltaire Baldwin. We came up together in Houston and kept our friendship for a long time. Waltaire is a poet. Gave me a John Lee Hooker disc when we were 12 and then showed me how to draw blues harmonica.

    Waltaire and I were in deep contemplation at 89 Union Street Saloon, sitting atop a table right near the corner window, overlooking the Mississippi. We both agreed that although we never picked cotton, didn’t grow up on plantation, it did not necessarily prevent creating an honest attempt making the truth of the blues a backbone of interpretation. The one ZZ tune that really captures this thought is, “My Head’s in Mississippi.”

    Although it ain’t the Thirties, all that hard-rhythm shuffle boogie coupled with a surrealistic Howlin’ Wolf’s delivery creates a subdued assembly of visual pictures. The great Memphis guitarist and producer Jim Dickinson once remarked, “Oh yeah, you guys are doing what I like. You’ve become a Salvador Dali—the Dali of the Delta.” Once you get that far along, the point’s made!

    What is the cosmic connection between the appreciation of an automobile and a guitar?

    GIBBONS It’s a big question, but a good one! What’s really the wicked connection is that they can be loud and fast; yet, they can also be quite elegant. While I was in Spain visiting Nacho Baños, the noted authority on early Fifties blackguard Fenders, we spent more than a day and a night—make it days and nights—talking about automotive elegance and the connection with the unchanged beauty of that original Fender. Call it the Telecaster, the Esquire, the Broadcaster or call it the No-caster—it’s become one of those timeless things.

    BECK Guitars and cars offer experiences that are both quite amazing. The other day I was thinking, Why are there so many people in cars? It’s because it’s such a pleasure to have that experience, regardless of where you are going. It’s almost habit forming. You want to control your movement, but at the same time your brain is going at an unnatural speed and you’re putting yourself in danger.

    There’s that element of excitement every time you turn the ignition. It’s not that you’re just driving from point A to B—you’re enjoying every second of being in control of your life…or avoiding death! Listening to great rock and roll music also gives you this exhilarating sense of awareness similar to what you have when you are driving.

    There are other more obvious connections. Hot rods are cool looking and rock and roll is cool looking, and they both came of age at the same time in the Fifties. If America never created anything else, thank you very much for the hot rods and rock and roll!

    This is an excerpt from the all-new November 2014 issue of Guitar World. For the rest of this story, plus new Gibbons/Beck photos by Ross Halfin, not to mention features on Weezer, George Thorogood, MXR & Eddie Van Halen, the guitar pick revolution, Nita Strauss and Black Veil Brides, plus gear reviews (Epiphone, Zoom, Gretsch, TC-Helicon, Mesa and more) and lessons by Marty Friedman and Steel Panther's Satchel, check out the November 2014 issue of Guitar World!

    Photo: Ross Halfin


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    Ben Howard is pleased to announce the details of his eagerly anticipated second album.

    I Forget Where We Were will release on October 21, 2014 through Republic Records. It was produced by drummer Chris Bond at Deep Litter Studios in Devon.

    Fans can preorder the physical album & the vinyl (which includes one extra song) via Ben's website:

    Here's an epic eight minute taster, "End Of The Affair," from the new album:

    I Forget Where We Were follows the release of Ben's hugely successful debut album, Every Kingdom. Every Kingdom, released in October 2011 sold in excess of 1 million copies globally, received a Mercury Music Prize nomination, and was the catalyst for Ben picking up two Brit Awards in 2012 for British Breakthrough and British Solo Male Artist.

    In support of the album's release, Ben will head to the US in October for shows in Los Angeles and New York City.

    Ben Howard Live:
    October 27 - Los Angeles, CA @ The El Rey Theatre TICKETS
    October 29 - New York, NY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg TICKETS

    More at

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    This interview is from the all-new November 2014 issue of Guitar World:

    As the newest guitarist in Alice Cooper’s touring band, Nita Strauss has some large shoes to fill.

    The 27-year-old Los Angeles native, who assumed the post this past spring following the departure of virtuoso Orianthi, is the most recent in a line of esteemed six-stringers that have played alongside the rock legend.

    “Alice has had this ridiculous lineup of guitar players,” Strauss says. “Guys like Al Pitrelli, Reb Beach, Steve Hunter, Dick Wagner. To get to be one of the names on that list of players, I still can’t believe it.”

    Strauss, however, can more than hold her own in this lineage. A self-taught player, she picked up the guitar at 13 after watching the “head-cutting” finale scene in the 1986 movie Crossroads, in which Ralph Macchio’s character battles Steve Vai in an epic guitar duel.

    “As soon as I saw that, it was like a switch went off in my head,” Strauss says. “After that, it was Vai, Vai, Vai, all the time.”

    Today, her approach, which mixes arena-rock flash with technique-heavy fretboard acrobatics and searing speed, has made her an in-demand player within guitar circles.

    And her résumé is incredibly diverse: Strauss has, among other endeavors, logged time with Los Angeles deathcore act As Blood Runs Black, performed with Jermaine Jackson on a run of stadium shows in South Africa, tackled video-game music with the band Critical Hit, played with rejuvenated Eighties hair metalers Femme Fatale and acted as the in-house guitarist for the Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons–owned LA Kiss arena football team.

    Prior to landing the Cooper gig, Strauss was best known for her work in the Iron Maidens, an all-female tribute act to the British metal masters. Strauss, who handled the rhythm and lead parts originally played by Maiden guitarist Dave Murray (her stage name in the group: Mega Murray), says her three years with the Maidens “has been so much fun. They’re pros, and they give the music the respect it deserves.”

    The Iron Maidens, in a roundabout way, also helped prepare her for a summer with shock-master Cooper. Says Strauss, “Before the first show with Alice, the guys in his band were giving me all these warnings, like, ‘Be careful, because this is the part where the Frankenstein monster comes out…’ But I just said, ‘Yeah, I know how that is. With the Maidens we have an ‘Eddie’ onstage!’ ” She laughs. “Granted, the Eddie is person-size and the Frankenstein is 20-feet tall. But, you know, other than that it wasn’t such a huge adjustment.”

    Photo: Chris Casella

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    Following the success and acclaim surrounding their 2012 self-titled debut and world tour, The Lumineers have inked the paper on LP2 and resigned with Dualtone Records (North America) and Decca/Universal (ROW).

    The band has returned to their home studio in Denver, CO to begin writing their sophomore album.

    Lead singer and guitar player Wesley Schultz took to the band's Instagram account to announce they were back in the studio. "Well folks, we are back in the studio...It's been one hell of a ride so far, and we are excited to be writing again. Thanks, and stay tuned..."

    About re-signing the band, GM of Dualtone Records Paul Roper said, "We consider The Lumineers and their team as family and we are thrilled to be continuing our partnership forward with their sophomore album. The early songs we have heard are proof that they are writing material every bit as compelling as the tracks from their debut. This record will be well worth the wait."

    The band has new material that will be contributed to both the upcoming soundtrack to the hit television show The Walking Dead, and the Lorde-curated soundtrack to the blockbuster movie franchise The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1.

    About their contribution to the soundtrack for The Walking Dead, titled "Visions of China," SPIN noted that the track was, "... a meditative piece that recalls Radiohead's OK Computer to some degree, perhaps channeled through Fleet Foxes folksier paradigm."

    Listen: The Lumineers''Walking Dead' song "Visions of China"

    The last part of 2014 finds the Denver group finishing the world tour on their recently announced and largely sold out South American and South African tour. Stops include Buenos Aires, Rio, Sao Paolo and 2 shows in Cape Town.

    The Lumineers On Tour
    Nov 18 - Mexico City, Mexico @ Jose Cuervo Salon
    Nov 20 - Bogota, Colombia @ Soma Festival
    Nov 22 - Santiago, Chile @ Primavera Fauna Festival
    Nov 25 - Buenos Aires, Argentina @ Niceto Club (SOLD OUT)
    Nov 26 - Buenos Aires, Argentina @ Niceto Club (SOLD OUT)
    Nov 28 - Rio De Janiero, Brazil @ Queremos! At Vivo Rio
    Nov 29 - Sao Paulo, Brazil @ Popload Festival
    Dec 04 - Cape Town, South Africa @ Kirstenbosch Gardens (SOLD OUT)
    Dec 05 - Cape Town, South Africa @ Kirstenbosch Gardens (SOLD OUT)
    Dec 06 - Johannesburg, South Africa @ Emmarentia Dam

    More at

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