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    Metal Allegiance promises Motörboaters the rare opportunity to see a diverse group of metal legends interacting and performing together on the same stage. Singers Philip Anselmo (Down, ex-Pantera), Joey Belladonna (Anthrax), and Chuck Billy (Testament), guitarists Chris Broderick (Megadeth), Jon Donais (Anthrax, Shadows Fall), Scott Ian (Anthrax), Mark Zavon (Kill Devil Hill), bassists Frank Bello (Anthrax), Rex Brown (Kill Devil Hill, ex-Pantera) and David Ellefson (Megadeth), and drummers Charlie Benante (Anthrax) and Mike Portnoy (The Winery Dogs, ex-Dream Theater) will put their spin on a scorching set of heavy metal’s most influential and recognizable songs.

    "I always love getting together with my brothers and throwing down. The Allegiance jam is sure to be the best jam I've been involved with yet," says Philip Anselmo.

    Rex Brown of Kill Devil Hill says, "We have jammed at some big metal events in the past, but Metal Allegiance is gonna blow EVERYONE on the Motörboat cruise right out of the water!!! Let her rip!"

    Megadeth’s David Ellefson comments, "I'm really looking forward to being together with our friends and fans on Motörboat. Metal Allegiance is a great way to continue our brotherhood of all things metal."

    Mike Portnoy agrees: "I've been honored to have been part of some previous metal jams over the years and there's something very special and (Goddamn) electric that happens when you put this group of guys together in a room or on a stage. Myself and my brothers in metal on the Motörboat are metal lovers through and through and we love to get together to jam, have fun and pay tribute to the music that we all love so much."

    The first annual Motörhead’s Motörboat will sail from Miami, visiting the ports of Key West, Florida and Cozumel just off Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula for the September 22-26, 2014 cruise on the Carnival Ecstasy. “The Loudest Boat In The World” will feature Motörhead, Anthrax, Metal Allegiance, Testament, Down, High On Fire, Kill Devil Hill, Zakk Wylde, Jim Breuer Band, Danko Jones, Fireball Ministry, Wilson and Cilver, as well as a spoken word performance by legendary heavy metal musician, author, and television personality Scott Ian. While onboard, guests will have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to interact with band members and will see unforgettable performances on various stages throughout the ship. A limited number of cabins are still available for Motörhead’s Motörboat at www.MotorheadCruise.com.

    For more details on Metal Allegiance, visit: https://www.facebook.com/metalallegiancetour https://twitter.com/metalallegiance, and http://instagram.com/metalallegiance.


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    GuitarWorld.com is proud to present an exclusive guitar playthrough video from New York hardcore band Stray from the Path.

    Below, check out "Landmines," which features guitarist Thomas Williams. As always, tell us what you think in the comments or on Facebook!

    The song is from Anonymous, the band's 2013 Sumerian Records album.


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    Jefferson City, Missouri rockers Shaman's Harvest have just premiered a lyric video for their new cut, "Dangerous." The track appears on their forthcoming full-length Smokin' Hearts & Broken Guns, which is due out on September 16.

    Shaman's Harvest are Matt Fisher (bass), Josh Hamler (rhythm guitar), Nathan Hunt (vocals) and Derrick Shipp (lead guitar).

    Check out "Dangerous," below:

    More about Shaman's Harvest:

    Shaman's Harvest achieved significant success with their independently released Shine album, which featured "Dragonfly." The song rose to number #16 on Billboard's Active Rock chart and #9 at Heritage Rock, selling over 150,000 singles and tens of thousands of albums. To date, the video has been viewed 2.3 million times on YouTube. Additionally, the composition was featured on the soundtrack of the major motion picture Legendary. In 2010, Shaman's Harvest recorded "Broken Dreams" for the WWE as the theme song for wrestler Drew McIntyre, and cut "End of Days" as the entrance track for Wade Barrett and The Corre.

    As they began recording Smokin' Hearts & Broken Guns, singer Hunt was diagnosed with throat cancer. He reveals, "I immersed myself in this record, committed to not missing a day. I didn't know if it was gonna be my last record so it was treatment, then studio, then some days back for more treatment. Everyone deals with cancer differently. There was a period I felt alone and a couple tracks speak to that directly and other times I felt overwhelming love for my mates and people who were there for me. I was lucky enough to be recording during it and it's all there."

    Quote from the front man Nathan Hunt on Missouri:
    “Living in Missouri is awesome. There's a beauty in the grit of us Midwesterners. We work hard, make babies, drink too damn much, and we're not afraid to rebuild and start over when we get God-smacked. We have an art community all our own, inspired by wind in the wheat fields, and summer morning haze off the rivers and streams. If shit is broke we either fix it ourselves, or put it up on blocks for yard art."

    Quote from Hunt on the repertoire:
    "Whether they're driving down the highway, at work, or doin' the nasty, these songs should be the soundtrack. I think people will accept the diversity from song to song whether it's a riff rock vibe like 'Here It Comes' or it's a darker, emotional anthem such as 'Ten Million Voices' without categorizing Shaman's."

    Quote from Mascot Label Group North America President Ron Burman - "Nathan Hunt is an amazing, powerful vocalist and the band write universally appealing songs that rock! I’ve been a fan of Shaman’s Harvest for a few years now and I'm very excited to be working with them."

    Tour Dates:
    9/12/14 – Omaha, NE – Shamrocks Pub & Grill (outdoors)
    9/20/14 – Dallas, TX – House of Blues (w/ Theory of a Deadman)
    9/21/14 – Houston, TX – House of Blues (w/ Theory of a Deadman)
    10/18/14 – Springfield, MO – Ramada Oasis Convention Center (Q 102)


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    The thousands of stomp boxes, effects pedal devices and processors created for electric guitars across all musical genres all have one thing in common, the need for an equally impressive power supply source. Enter, the new Hot Stone Deluxe and Hot Stone SMD. Decibel Eleven power supplies have been described by diehard fans as “built like a tank giving clean power for days.”

    The Hot Stone Deluxe features 8 isolated and 2 split outputs for a total of 10 that can be used simultaneously. Two of the outputs are high powered 400mA sections at 9V and 12VDC. This gives the user the capacity to feed high-current pedals like Eventide, Strymon, TC Electronic Nova, 4-button Line 6 modelers and many others.

    The Hot Stone SMD features 6 isolated outputs with a total of 8 available outputs that can be used at the same time. The Hot Stone SMD also has two high powered outputs, 400mA sections at 9V and 12VDC, to satisfy the high current power demands of the latest digital guitar pedals.

    Both the Hot Stone Deluxe and Hot Stone SMD include super-efficient Toroidal Transformers with additional magnetic shielding that provide no hum or interaction between pedals. Chris Hern, VP of Product Development at Decibel Eleven says, “The number one compliment we’ve received on our Hot Stone power supplies is how quiet they are in close proximity to other pedals.” Customer reviews echo Hern’s thoughts stating that the Hot Stone products “run smoothly and quietly” while efficiently providing devices with correct power voltage.

    Commenting on the personalized functionality of the new power supply sources for guitar pedals is the president of Decibel Eleven, Tony Garcia. He adds, “Since the release of the original Hot Stone power supply products, many professional touring musicians requested the added flexibility of setting the appropriate voltage based on the country they’re performing in. We were happy to give them that convenience with our new series Hot Stone power supplies”.

    Decibel Eleven is a company founded by engineers and professional musicians devoted to innovative electronics design. A division of the Southern California electronics design and manufacturing company MYE Entertainment Inc., Decibel Eleven has a long list of successfully developed products.

    For more information, visit decibel11 or call (661) 964-3675.


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    Today, GuitarWorld.com presents the first of five exclusive videos featuring Bay Area thrash legends Exodus.

    Each weekly clip will showcase material from Blood Upon the Goat, the bonus “making of” DVD included with the digipak and imported box set of Blood In, Blood Out, the band's highly anticipated new album.

    The album, which will be released October 14 via Nuclear Blast, is the band's 10th studio release. It was produced by Andy Sneap (Accept, Megadeth) and features ultra-cool cover art (you can check it out below) by Swedish artist Par Olofsson (Revocation).

    "[It's] aggressive and in-your-face and the fastest album we've ever done," says Exodus guitarist and songwriter Gary Holt. "I was able to concentrate on leads and I played some of the best stuff I ever have. I'm ripping off Michael Schenker left and right; I should probably be paying him money. I owe him some royalties or something."

    He added, "It sounds a little more like classic Exodus but in no way is it a retro album. I wrote most of the stuff but I gave a lot of control away — for the first time."

    Blood In, Blood Out can be pre-ordered from the Nuclear Blast USA webshop in CD, digipak, 2LP yellow vinyl and imported limited-edition box set formats. Bundles include a T-shirt with exclusive artwork for North America and a poster (while supplies last).

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

    Track listing for the deluxe digipak version of Blood In, Blood Out:

    01 – Black 13 (featuring Dan the Automator)
    02 – Blood In, Blood Out
    03 – Collateral Damage
    04 – Salt The Wound (featuring Kirk Hammett)
    05 – Body Harvest
    06 – BTK (featuring Chuck Billy)
    07 – Wrapped In The Arms Of Rage
    08 – My Last Nerve
    09 – Numb
    10 – Honor Killings
    11 – Food For The Worms

    BONUS DVD includes:

    • “Blood Upon The Goat” making-of footage
    • Behind-the-scenes tour footage
    • Footage from Kirk Hammett’s Fear FestEVIL After Party at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con.

    The digital version of Blood In, Blood Out will include the digital bonus track “Angel Of Death” (ANGEL WITCH cover).

    Additional Content

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    Motionless in White will release their new album, Reincarnate, on September 16 via Fearless Records. In anticipation, the band is streaming the record in its entirety right now. Check it out below and let us know what you think in the comments.

    Reincarnate is now available for pre-order on Merchnow and digitally on iTunes.


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    Oh, Cassius! plays beautiful and haunting songs that are simultaneously classic and modern.

    The Connecticut duo is where Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris meets Of Monsters and Men and they release their debut EP, On Such a Full Sea Are We Now Afloat on October 14 via INgrooves.

    On Such a Full Sea Are We Now Afloat is the producing debut of Grammy-nominated engineer, Brendan Muldowney and features an impressive roster of top musicians including bass player Michael Libramento (Grace Potter and the Nocturnals), drummer Chuck Palmer (RJD2), cellist Dave Eggar (Coldplay, Frank Ocean), drummer Zachary Alford (David Bowie, B52s) and a duet with Barsuk Records’ artists, Mates of State.

    Oh, Cassius! is John Torres & Meredith DiMenna. It’s possible that Meredith saved John’s life on a backwoods-hiking trip by just being at the right place at the right time. It’s possible that John saved Meredith’s life by writing a song that switched from major to minor in the right place at the right time.

    It’s impossible to know for sure, but what is for certain is that the members of Oh, Cassius! are the beneficiaries of a hyperactive and strange muse who began appearing to them in the spring of 2012, and who caused them to collaborate on material so odd and fresh that, even though they thought they were making a singer/songwriter record, they were awarded a 2013 Connecticut Music Award in the category of “Best Other.”

    The “Other” is indeed the “other” as each member must filter his ideas through the other’s viewpoint until a truly unified sound emerges. After making some waves online with their guerrilla style acoustic pop-hit-covers of everyone from One Direction and MGMT to Macklemore and Rihanna, Oh, Cassius! is ready to present their debut.

    Their collaboration has resulted in a sound that travels the emotional spectrum, neither wholly masculine nor feminine. Listen to lead single “Carpenter” here:

    Next weekend, Oh, Cassius! will be supporting Deer Tick at Infinity Music Hall in Hartford on Saturday, September 20. More Northeast dates will be announced shortly.

    More at http://www.ohcassius.com/


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    Best of The Who, a book with note-for-note transcriptions with tab for 25 classic hits from the Who, is available now at the Guitar World Online Store for $24.95.

    It includes:

    • Athena
    • Baba O'Riley
    • Behind Blue Eyes
    • Dogs
    • Eminence Front
    • Going Mobile
    • I Can See for Miles
    • I'm Free
    • The Kids Are Alright
    • Long Live Rock
    • The Magic Bus
    • My Generation
    • Pinball Wizard
    • The Seeker
    • Squeeze Box
    • Who Are You
    • Won't Get Fooled Again
    • You Better You Bet

    ... and more!

    Head to the Guitar World Online Store now!

    Additional Content

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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.

    How the Bracket Was Compiled

    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!l

    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 U2 going head to head with BLACK SABBATH!

    Behold the Latest Bracket!

    Bracket 9 11

    Today's Matchup: Voting Closed!

    Black Sabbath (70.15 percent) defeated U2 (29.85 percent). Thanks for voting!

    Yesterday's Winner

    PHISH (80.97 percent) defeated TOOL (19.03 percent). Thanks for voting! Head HERE to see every matchup so far. Tell your friends so that they, too, can see every matchup so far! You know they want to!

    Let's Go to the Video!

    Additional Content

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    Better Than Ezra premiere the official music video for “Crazy Lucky." The track is off the band’s new album All Together Now (The End Records) now available on iTunes here.

    Better Than Ezra asked their loyal fans, dubbed “Ezralites,” to submit their craziest and/or luckiest moment in their lives. In the end, the video serves as a visual scrapbook of both the band and the fans’ journey throughout the years.

    “Our fans have been with us for over 20 years,” says Tom Drummond bass player and founding member of Better Than Ezra. “This was our chance to say thank you and to have Ezralites be a part of the new album. Without them, we wouldn’t be here.”

    View the video here:

    All Together Now is the band’s eighth studio album that was produced by Grammy nominated mixer/producer Tony Hoffer (Fitz and the Tantrums, M83, Beck, Silversun Pickups). The album is a collection of crisp, electro-pop inspired songs.

    Themed around chance, the album spins out from the serendipity-marveling “Crazy Lucky” into reflective, if relatable, fare such as the vibratory, folk-inflected “Insane,” the falsetto-kissed “One Heart Beating,” and the more sprawling “The Great Unknown.”

    “We made an album that was poppier and more concise songwriting,” says lead singer / songwriter Kevin Griffin. “We wanted to give our old fans something familiar, but we wanted to attract new fans.

    This is evident in the band’s first single “Crazy Lucky” hit No. #37 on the Top 40 Hot AC Charts.

    Later this month, the band will partner up with Live Nation and Yahoo to live-stream their September 21, 2014 concert live from House of Blues, Anaheim. They are one of the bands scheduled to perform on the Live Nation Channel on Yahoo Screen - streaming 365 concerts over a 12-month period - including acts such as OneRepublic, Justin Timberlake, Panic! At The Disco, and more.

    Better Than Ezra quickly became a staple in the ‘90s pop/rock scene following their debut album Deluxe in 1995 via Elektra and immediately releasing two new albums within three years of being signed. Friction, Baby, released in 1996, and How Does Your Garden Grow? In 2001, Better Than Ezra released the critically acclaimed Closer, followed by Before the Robots in 2005. The latter featured the hit “Juicy,” licensed by several commercials and brands, was also featured in the promotional advertisements for the popular ABC television series Desperate Housewives.

    The band is currently on tour in support of the upcoming release. For updated tour dates or to purchase tickets, please visit www.betterthanezra.com.


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    Jackson has just announced a new addition to its Pro Series, the Pro DK2M Dinky Limited Run guitar featured in Slime Green Swirl.

    The DK2M Pro Series Dinky features an alder body, flat-sawn graphite-reinforced bolt-on maple neck with wrap-around heel, 24-fret compound radius (12"-16") maple fingerboard with offset black dot inlays, black neck and headstock binding, direct mount Seymour Duncan JB Zebra (bridge) and '59 Zebra (neck) humbucking pickups with five-way blade switching, Floyd Rose bridge, black hardware and Dunlop strap locks.

    Would you rock this ax?


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    Here’s a rare acoustic gem from Queen’s now legendary Queen at Wembley video release.

    Freddie Mercury and Brian May take the stage for a moving performance of “Love of My Life,” while rain pours down on the Wembley crowd.

    The clip was filmed on July 11, 1986.

    The studio version of the track appears on Queen’s classic LP, A Night at the Opera.

    Here, May plays some excellent fingerstyle guitar on a 12-string acoustic and tells the crowd, “Hope you’re not getting to wet out there! You OK?’ Mercury follows, inviting the crowd to sing along.

    Watch it below and enjoy!

    Find out more at www.queenonline.com.


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    Now in paperback, Randy Poe's Skydog: The Duane Allman Story (Backbeat Books) is revised and expanded, with a new afterword by the author, plus a foreword by Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top. It's the definitive biography of Duane Allman, one of the most revered guitarists of his generation.

    Skydog reveals the complete story of the legendary guitarist: his childhood and musical awakening; his struggling first bands; his hard-won mastery of the slide guitar; his emergence as a successful session musician; his creation of the Allman Brothers Band; his tragic death at age 24; and his thriving musical legacy.

    The book is available now at the Guitar World Online Store for $18.99.

    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.

    The key to getting great guitar tones in the studio and onstage is control, but nothing is more out of control than a big guitar amp cranked up to its sweet spot.

    The excess volume levels coming from a speaker cabinet can easily overload most microphones, and placing the mic in the perfect location can be an art unto itself that’s often difficult to duplicate.

    While a few modern amps have built-in cabinet simulators or DI outputs that provide a reliable solution to this problem, the new Mesa CabClone is a sophisticated and versatile cabinet simulator that lets guitarists plug directly into a mixing board or console and enjoy great sound every time. It can even serve as a headphone amplifier with any amp rated at 100 watts or less.


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    Periphery guitarist Mark Holcomb demos his signature delay pedal, the Haunted Delay by ProTone Pedals. Look for a new Periphery album in late January 2015!


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    Platinum-selling singer-songwriter Phillip Phillips has announced dates for his North American headline tour, kicking off Sept. 12 at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

    Phillips’ national tour will include stops in Dallas, Boston, Nashville, New Orleans, Washington D.C., Phoenix and Orlando. Visit phillipphillips.com/tour for more on sale info.

    The comprehensive tour comes after Phillips’ Behind the Light (19 Entertainment/Interscope) was released to critical acclaim. His new single, “Unpack Your Heart,” is the second track released from the album, following the hit song “Raging Fire.”

    Behind The Light is the follow-up to Phillips’ hugely successful debut album, The World from the Side of the Moon, which spawned the single “Home” -- one of the biggest tracks of 2012 with more than 5 million copies sold.

    The World from the Side of the Moon sold more than 1 million copies and debuted at #4 on the Billboard Top 200 Album chart and #1 on the Billboard Rock Album chart; successful tours both as a headliner and with Matchbox 20 and John Mayer followed. The World from the Side of the Moon also featured the platinum single “Gone, Gone, Gone.” Since winning season 11 of “American Idol,” Phillips has sold more than 2 million albums and more than 9 million singles.

    Phillips recently co-headlined a 25-city summer tour with O.A.R.

    Tour dates are as follows:

    9/12/14 West Point, NY US Military Academy at West Point
    9/13/14 Boston, MA MDC Hatch Memorial Shell - Festival
    9/14/14 Washington, DC Lincoln Theatre
    9/16/14 New York, NY Best Buy Theater
    9/18/14 Shippensburg, PA Luhrs Performing Arts Center
    9/19/14 Cleveland, OH Playhouse Square Theater
    9/20/14 Highland Park, IL Food Network in Concert
    9/23/14 Austin, TX Stubb's Waller Creek Amphitheatre
    9/24/14 Dallas, TX South Side Ballroom - KVIL Radio Show
    9/26/14 Norman, OK University of Oklahoma – Meacham Auditorium
    9/27/14 Houston, TX Houston Arena Theatre
    9/28/14 New Orleans, LA Mahalia Jackson Theatre
    10/1/14 Denver, CO Paramount Theatre
    10/3/14 Sioux City, IA Morningside College - Tyson Center
    10/4/14 Kansas City, MO Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland
    10/5/14 Park City, KS Hartman Arena
    10/7/14 San Antonio, TX Majestic Theatre
    10/18/14 Ellensburg, WA Central Washington University
    10/19/14 Pasco, WA Trac Center
    10/21/14 Everett, WA Comcast Arena
    10/23/14 Missoula, MT University of Montana – Adams Center
    10/24/14 Bozeman, MT Theater at The Brick
    10/25/14 Boise, ID Taco Bell Arena
    10/28/14 St. George, UT Burns Arena
    11/1/14 Atlantic City, NJ Harrah's Atlantic City
    11/2/14 Durham, NC Durham Performing Arts Center
    11/3/14 Huntington, WV Marshall University
    11/8/14 Savannah, GA Forsyth Park - Rock 'n' Roll Savannah Marathon
    11/9/14 St. Augustine, FL Saint Augustine Amphitheatre
    11/12/14 Sarasota, FL Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall
    11/14/14 Orlando, FL Hard Rock Live
    11/15/14 Hollywood, FL Seminole Hard Rock
    11/18/14 Louisville, KY Louisville Palace Theatre
    11/19/14 Nashville, TN Ryman Auditorium
    11/22/14 Milwaukee, WI The Riverside Theater
    11/23/14 Duluth, MN DECC Auditorium
    12/3/14 Reno, NV Grand Sierra Resort
    12/7/14 Phoenix, AZ Celebrity Theatre

    More info at phillipphillips.com


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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

    1114_Gib&Beck.jpg

    Additional Content

    0 0

    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, and you can check also out the entire bracket of matchups at the end of this page.

    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.

    Today's matchup finds DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN going head to head with ALICE COOPER!

    Today's Matchup: Voting Closed!

    Alice Cooper (89.53 percent) defeated Dillinger Escape Plan (10.47 percent). Thanks for voting!

    Let's Go to the Videos!

    Yesterday's Winner

    Black Sabbath (70.15 percent) defeated U2 (29.85 percent). Thanks for voting! Head HERE to see every matchup so far. Tell your friends so that they, too, can see every matchup so far! Tell your friends to tell their friends so that they, too, can see every matchup so far!

    Behold the Latest Bracket

    Bracket 9-12



    How the Bracket Was Compiled

    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 match-ups pretty much every day of the month, sometimes more than once per day, just to give you an early warning!


    0 0

    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, and you can check also out the entire bracket of matchups at the end of this page.

    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.

    Today's matchup finds RAMMSTEIN going head to head with RADIOHEAD!

    Today's Matchup: Vote Now!

    RAMMSTEIN go head to head with RADIOHEAD. We don't need to tell you about these bands. We'll let the recently shot videos below do the talking! Vote now; you have one full day!

    Let's Go to the Videos!

    Yesterday's Winners

    Alice Cooper (89.53 percent) defeated Dillinger Escape Plan (10.47 percent). Thanks for voting! Head HERE to see every matchup so far. Tell your friends so that they, too, can see every matchup so far! Tell your friends to tell their friends so that they, too, can see every matchup so far!

    Behold the Latest Bracket

    Bracket 9-12



    How the Bracket Was Compiled

    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 match-ups pretty much every day of the month, sometimes more than once per day, just to give you an early warning!


    0 0

    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, and you can check also out the entire bracket of matchups at the end of this page.

    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.

    Today's matchup finds QUEEN going head to head with RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS!

    Today's Matchup: Vote Now!

    QUEEN go head to head with RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS. We don't need to tell you about these bands. We'll let the recently shot videos below do the talking! Vote now; you have one full day!

    Let's Go to the Videos!

    Yesterday's Winners

    RAMMSTEIN (67.88 percent) defeated RADIOHEAD (32.22 percent). Thanks for voting! Head HERE to see every matchup so far. Tell your friends so that they, too, can see every matchup so far! Tell your friends to tell their friends so that they, too, can see every matchup so far!

    Behold the Latest Bracket

    Bracket 9-13



    How the Bracket Was Compiled

    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 match-ups pretty much every day of the month, sometimes more than once per day, just to give you an early warning!


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