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    What do you get when you combine two bona-fide guitar heroes in their respective genres — and then have them go toe-to-toe with each other? You get Eclectic, a new album by blues/jazz/rocker Eric Johnson and jazz master Mike Stern.

    Recorded at Johnson’s studio in Austin, Texas, Eclectic— which will be released October 27 — is a tasty collection of songs highlighting the strengths of both guitarists. It features an infectious rhythm section consisting of drummer Anton Fig (The Late Show with David Letterman) and Johnson’s regular bassist, Chris Maresh.

    Stern’s body of guitar goodness spans more than four decades. His career includes partnerships with such artists as Blood, Sweat & Tears, Billy Cobham, Miles Davis and Jaco Pastorius.

    Johnson’s playing has often been compared to that of Jimi Hendrix and Jeff Beck. His six-string wizardry earned him a Grammy award in 1992 for his instrumental hit, “Cliffs of Dover,” which came in at Number 17 on Guitar World’s list of the 100 Greatest Guitar Solos of All Time.

    Johnson and Stern will support Eclectic with an Eastern U.S. tour beginning in November. You can check out all the dates below.

    I recently spoke with both guitarists about their new album. Johnson also gives a bit of advice for properly playing “Cliffs of Dover.”

    GUITAR WORLD: How did this collaboration begin?

    STERN: I've known Eric for years and always dug his playing. Every time I saw him, I’d tell him that it would be great for us to do something together. Finally, I was doing this record called Big Neighborhood and had the idea of doing something with him.

    JOHNSON: We had so much fun working on that record that one day the Blue Note Club in New York called and asked us if we’d like to do a joint gig together. So we put together a band, rehearsed and learned music. We ended up doing a two-week tour out of that and got offered to do a record and a few other tours that are now slated to happen.

    How would you describe Eclectic?

    JOHNSON: It’s a pretty honest record. We cut most of the record live and pretty much set everything up in one room.

    STERN: The thing I like about Eric’s playing and the thing I always try to do is to play from the heart. That's the most important thing about music, and there’s certainly a lot of heart and soul on this record.

    Let’s discuss a few tracks from Eclectic. "Benny Man’s Blues" (which you can hear below).

    JOHNSON: Mike was saying we should have an up-tempo blues piece for the record, which I thought was a cool idea. While I was figuring out what to do, I started thinking about some of those old Benny Goodman records where there’s just a couple of chord changes, but it still has that blues vibe.

    STERN: That's a really cool track with a Texas-swing feel to it. I originally didn't know how Eric wanted to do it, but once Anton started playing the back beat, I immediately got where he was coming from.

    "Hulabaloo."

    JOHNSON: It has a crazy rock/swinging Sixties vibe to it. It started off with a “show review”-type of riff and then evolved from there.

    "Tidal."

    JOHNSON: That song is an homage to Wes [Montgomery]. I actually wrote that song earlier and put it on iTunes. I brought it into our rehearsals and we started re-arranging it. I actually like it a lot better the way it is now. It’s a pretty cool thing.

    "Wherever You Go."

    STERN: I had a ballad kind of feeling when I wrote that song. The vibe is usually what starts it and gives it inspiration. Eric got it right away and what he plays on it is so beautiful.

    Eric, I have to ask you about “Cliffs of Dover." When you think about that song, what comes to mind?

    JOHNSON: In a way, I think that song was kind of a gift. It’s one of those songs that just came to me really quickly. I don’t know why, but one day I just sat down and had the whole song finished in five minutes.

    Do you have a bit of advice for someone attempting play it?

    JOHNSON: There are a lot of different ways to approach it. Just to actually play it is not really that hard, but to play it in its best way is a bit of a challenge. It favors certain string positions to sound clean and they’re not the easiest, most readily accessible ways to go to.

    What’s your current setup like?

    STERN: I keep it simple. I've got a Signature Yamaha Tele. I usually run it through two amps set in stereo. I also use a Yamaha SPX-90 to fatten the sound up a little bit more and give it more air. My pedals include a BOSS DD3 and a Super Overdrive that Robert Keely modified to help warm it up.

    JOHNSON: I play Strats mostly, through some manner of Fender amps for a stereo chorus sound. I also use a little 18-watt amp that Bill Webb built. For effects, I use a TC Electronic stereo chorus, fuzz phase and a Belle Epoch echo pedal by Catalinbread. I also use a TunnelWorm flanger by Mr. Black.

    What are you most looking forward to about the release of Eclectic and this new collaboration?

    STERN: There were some new things I did on this record like singing and writing words to my songs and some of the ideas were really spontaneous. Now we get to go play it live and are very excited about it. We’re both so lucky to be able to do what we do.

    JOHNSON: I’m turning my attention to creating more spontaneous, live music and being able to paint a picture with my performance. If you want to go back and overdub to fix a note or two, that’s fine. Just be sure to keep it to a minimum and continue to paint that big picture. That’s where all the vibe is.

    For more about Johnson, visit ericjohnson.com. For more about Stern, visit mikestern.org.

    2014 Eric Johnson/Mike Stern Tour Dates

    06-Nov-14 Birchmere Alexandria VA
    07-Nov-14 Westhampton Beach P.A.C Westhampton Beach NY
    08-Nov-14 Keswick Theatre Glenside PA
    09-Nov-14 Webster Hall New York NY
    11-Nov-14 Wilbur Theatre Boston MA
    12-Nov-14 Boulton Center Bay Shore NY
    13-Nov-14 Infinity Hall Hartford CT
    14-Nov-14 Tupelo Music Hall Londonderry NH
    15-Nov-14 Tupelo Music Hall Londonderry NH
    16-Nov-14 Infinity Hall Norfolk CT
    18-Nov-14 Narrows Center for the Arts Fall River MA
    19-Nov-14 Rams Head On Stage Annapolis MD
    20-Nov-14 Newton Theatre Newton NJ
    21-Nov-14 Beacon Theatre Hopewell VA
    22-Nov-14 Harvester Performance Center Rocky Mount VA
    23-Nov-14 Carolina Theatre Durham NC

    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.

    Additional Content

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    Today, GuitarWorld.com presents the exclusive premiere of "Waste My Night," a new song by Brooklyn-based Dreamers.

    The track, the second single from the band's self-titled debut EP, is a nostalgic, feel-good tale about youthful optimism.

    Its infectious guitar riffs and hypnotic bass — staples of the Dreamers sound — urge listeners to embrace their carefree side as singer/guitarist Nick Wold sings, “Let our worries fade, summer moon is here to stay / Suddenly I’m not afraid; darling, forget about your sea of troubles.”

    Drawing inspiration from John Lennon to David Lynch and everything in between, Dreamers are ready to send their kaleidoscopic sound out into the universe.

    For more about Dreamers, visit dreamersuniverse.com and follow them on Facebook.

    Photo: Kirstin Roby


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    Guitarists often prefer the flexibility of having two overdrive pedals in their signal chain: one dialed to increase distortion/gain and another set up strictly as a volume/signal boost.

    In celebration of the Tube Screamer's 35th anniversary, Ibanez engineered both into one pedal and used the reference-quality TS808 as its platform. The 808 gained almost mythic status when players learned that it was Stevie Ray Vaughan's go-to overdrive pedal.

    The new Ibanez TS808DX Tube Screamer Overdrive Pro offers the revered TS808 overdrive circuit, an independent clean boost and a few long-awaited performance-enhancing features, honoring the pedal's history and taking its legendary organic tones to new heights.

    FEATURES

    The TS808DX is really two pedals in one box: the classic TS808 overdrive on one side (using the original’s JRC4558D IC) and a clean booster on the other. Standard controls are provided for the overdrive, including overdrive, tone and level. A single boost knob controls the amount of signal increase, up to 26db, and the post/pre switch places the boost effect after or before the overdrive circuit.

    Overdrive and boost can be used simultaneously or on their own, and thanks to Ibanez’s new relay-based true-bypass switching, there’s no “pop” when turning either effect on/off. Ibanez gives users the option of switching the TS808DX between nine or 18 volts, but it still only requires a single battery or standard nine-volt power adapter to power the unit.

    PERFORMANCE

    The TS808DX has all of the original 808’s tube-like warmth gain, sweet overtones and glorious midrange, and it adds a beautiful grind to clean tones and drives high-gain channels into effortless harmonics, singing sustain and buttery highs. Bass frequencies are not rolled off, as some users of the original TS808 pedal claim; rather, the mids are pushed higher in the mix.

    The 18-volt power setting increases headroom, note separation and low-end definition for a more transparent sound. The boost on its own maintains the tone of your guitar and amp. Combining the boost with overdrive in the “pre” Tube Screamer position adds more compression, while the “post” Tube Screamer boost preserves more of the overdrive section’s natural dynamics.

    LIST PRICE $357.14
    MANUFACTURER Ibanez, ibanez.com

    THE BOTTOM LINE

    Ibanez’s 35th anniversary TS808DX Tube Screamer Overdrive Pro finally gives players all of the legendary 808 tone, a separate boost, silent switching and an 18-volt option in one amazing, amp-kicking box.


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    This feature is from the October 2014 issue of Guitar World, which celebrates 60 years of the Fender Stratocaster.

    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.

    Here's a look at six of the coolest Strat solos — ever.

    The Jimi Hendrix Experience:
    “Voodoo Child (Slight Return)”
    Electric Ladyland (1968)

    One of Jimi Hendrix’s most incendiary studio performances, this solo still delivers some of the most aggressive Strat tones ever heard. In the more than four decades since Hendrix recorded it, few solos have come close to its intensity.




    Deep Purple: “Highway Star”
    Machine Head (1972)

    Ritchie Blackmore composed this solo like a song unto itself that resembled a J.S. Bach prelude, double-tracking a harmony guitar part before unleashing a fierce flurry of ascending triplets and descending open-string pedal-tone pull-offs at the solo’s climax.




    Dire Straits“Sultans of Swing”
    Dire Straits (1978)

    Mark Knopfler wrenches every possible ounce of emotion out of his Strat’s percussive but singing clean tone, performing slinky string bends, snappy plucks and flowing pull-offs that make his deceptively simple melodic lines sound divine.




    Pink Floyd: “Comfortably Numb”
    The Wall (1979)

    Here David Gilmour says more with a few well-placed notes and heart-wrenching bends than most players ever express in their entire careers. This tour de force performance made “Comfortably Numb” the true climax of Pink Floyd’s The Wall album.




    Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble: “Texas Flood”
    Texas Flood (1983)

    While Stevie Ray Vaughan's recording of this song owes debts to Larry Davis, who originally wrote it, and Albert King, whose signature licks Vaughan co-opted as his own, it remains one of the finest showcases of his massive tone, stinging vibrato and unique emotional voice.




    Jeff Beck: “Where Were You”
    Jeff Beck’s Guitar Shop (1989)

    On “Where Were You,” Jeff Beck takes the Strat into entirely new territory that transcends the guitar’s preconceived limitations by manipulating the whammy bar, volume controls and harmonics—sometimes all at once. The result sounds like angels crying.


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    Florida-based band Roadkill Ghost Choir have a new music video for their song "Slow Knife."

    Lead singer Andrew Shepard commented on the filming process and final product: "I sat in a bathtub full of black liquid for 5 hours so you can enjoy this 4 minute video. I do these things because I care about you."

    The video was directed by Justin Hayward and shot in Chicago.

    The band have also announced additional tour dates for the last few months of 2014, including dates added in December on the west coast. For the band's full itinerary, please see below.

    Watch: Roadkill Ghost Choir - "Slow Knife"

    The band are touring in support of their debut album, In Tongues, which was released in August. The album was streamed via Consequence of Sound and Relix hailed the album, saying "In Tongues sounds like the kid brother to MMJ's classic It Still Moves: it's a modern take on Americana flush with pedal steel guitar, spacey keys, churning percussion and Andrew Shepard's vocals...his voice [is] an ethereal gust of wind blowing through these stormy songs."

    Emerging from the desolate heart of Central Florida, Roadkill Ghost Choir make unsettling, powerful American rock-Tom Petty by way of Radiohead and Cormac McCarthy. Set against Kiffy Myer's ghostly pedal steel, singer and main songwriter Andrew Shepard triumphantly conjures an allegorical American landscape of drifters, specters and violent saints. Andrew's brothers Maxx (drums) and Zach (bass) Shepard round out the rhythm section, and Stephen Garza handles lead guitar.

    The band released their debut EP Quiet Light in 2013 in the midst of a touring run that included opening for Band of Horses and festival slots at New York's Governor's Ball, Austin City Limits and Shaky Knees in Atlanta, GA. In January 2014, the band was invited to perform on the David Letterman Show, where they performed "Beggar's Guild."

    Roadkill Ghost Choir On Tour
    THUR 10.2 // Austin, TX // Holy Mountain % TICKETS
    FRI 10.3 // San Antonio, TX // 502 Bar % TICKETS
    SAT 10.4 // Fort Worth, TX // Lola's Saloon % TICKETS
    SUN 10.5 // Houston, TX // House of Blues - Bronze Peacock % TICKETS
    WED 10.8 // Athens, GA // Georgia Theatre TICKETS
    THURS 10.9 // Winston-Salem, NC // The Garage TICKETS
    FRI 10.10 // Greenville, SC // Fall For Greenville Festival TICKETS
    SAT 10.11 // Corolla, NC // Mustang Music Fest TICKETS
    MON 10.13 // Charlottesville, VA // The Southern # TICKETS
    TUES 10.14 // New York, NY // Mercury Lounge TICKETS
    WED 10.15 // Boston, MA // Brighton Music Hall @ TICKETS
    THURS 10.16 // Washington DC // Rock N Roll Hotel & TICKETS
    FRI 10.17 // Philadelphia, PA // MilkBoy & TICKETS
    SAT 10.18 // Annapolis, MD // Metropolitan TICKETS
    MON 10.20 // Columbus, OH // Woodlands Tavern TICKETS
    WED 10.22 // Chicago, IL // Subterranean # TICKETS
    SUN 11.2 // Nashville, TN // 3rd & Lindsley ^ TICKETS
    MON 12.1 // Minneapolis, MN // 7th Street Entry * TICKETS
    WED 12.3 // Denver, CO // Larimer Lounge * TICKETS
    FRI 12.5 // Seattle, WA // Barboza * TICKETS
    TUES 12.9 // Portland, OR // Doug Fir Lounge * TICKETS
    THURS 12.11 // San Francisco, CA // Milk Bar * TICKETS
    FRI 12.12 // Los Angeles, CA // Bootleg Hi-Fi * TICKETS
    *On sale Friday

    More at roadkillghostchoir.com/


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    Philadelphia’s Candice Martello, who writes and records as Hemming has released her very first video for her song “Hard on MySelf."

    The song is currently available on the Linda Perry Project Season One EP on iTunes.

    Hemming, is the newest protégé’ of superstar songwriter and producer Linda Perry and the winner of Perry's VH1 Show, Make or Break : The Linda Perry Project, a show developed by Perry as an antithesis to music competition shows.

    Candice Martello (Hemming), initially joined the show mid-season as one half of Philadelphia based punk band Omar with drummer Nick Fanelli, but caught Perry's attention for her solo work. Candice remained on the show developing her solo work which lead to a recording contract with Perry’s Custard Records.

    “This is one of my most proudest moments. When making any record a producer has a list of things you hope a artist brings to the studio, “ says Perry. “Songs that are strong even without the bells and whistles. They are just good all on their own. Raw honest emotion, the kind of emotion that this industry was once built on. A voice you can believe. Creativity, talent and musicianship, and A Star. When they walk into the room they are a star. When they sing each line you feel it believe it want to embrace it curl up next to it and hold on each breath til the end of time, because they are a Star you want to follow.Hemming is all of it! I know she will prove to be much more.”

    Hemming will be releasing her first full length album on Custard Records in the Spring of 2015 and is currently on tour with Rachel Yamagata. “This album has been years in the making for me.” says Martello, “Linda knew how much these songs meant to me and really brought them to life. I'm very proud of what we have created together and can't wait for the world to hear it.”

    Tour Dates w/ Rachel Yamagata
    10.02 | Northhampton, MA | Iron Horse Music Hall
    10.03 | Boston- Allston, MA | Brighton Music Hall
    10.04 | Montreal, Quebec | II Motore
    10.06 | Toronto, ON | Adelaide Hall
    10.07 | Ann Arbor, MI | The Ark
    10.10 | Chicago, IL | Lincoln Hall
    10.11 | Madison, WI | High Noon Saloon
    10.13 | Minneapolis, MN | Varsity Theatre
    10.15 | Lawrence, KS | Granada Theatre
    10.17 | Denver, CO | Bluebird Theatre
    10.18 | Salt Lake City, UT | The State Room
    10.20 | Seattle, WA | The Crocodile
    10.21 | Vancouver, BC | Biltmore Cabaret
    10.24 | Portland, OR | Doug Fir Lounge
    10.25 | San Francisco, CA | The Independent
    10.27 | West Hollywood, CA | Troubadour
    10.29 | San Diego, CA | House of Blues
    11.01 | Dallas, TX | Sons of Hermann Hall
    11.02 | Austin, TX | The Parish
    11.03 | Houston, TX | Fitzgerald’s Upstairs
    11.05 | Nashville, TN | 3rd & Lindsley
    11.07 | Charlotte, NC | Visulite Theatre
    11.08 | Carrboro, NC | Cat’s Cradle Back Room
    11.10 | Annapolis, MD | Rams Head On Stage

    More at www.hemmingmusic.com


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    If you follow the career path of frontman extraordinaire Gary Cherone, you can't avoid bumping into some serious guitar-rock royalty.

    Whether it's his partnership with Nuno Bettencourt in Extreme, fronting the mighty Van Halen or performing with his idols Brian May and Tony Iommi at the Freddie Mercury Tribute concert in the early Nineties, Cherone has performed with true living legends.

    But perhaps no guitarist knows Cherone better than his brother. That's why Hurtsmile — which consists of Gary Cherone, his brother Mark Cherone (guitar), Joe Pessia (bass) and Dana Spellman (drums) — is a reflection of Cherone's personal tastes.

    Inspired by the records they grew up on, Hurtsmile's new album, Retrogrenade, which will be released October 7, is full of swaggering guitars, soaring vocals and Cherone's trademark eclecticism.

    From the fiery opening track, “Rock and Roll Cliché,” to songs like “Hello I Must Be Going” and the politically charged “Big Government," Hurtsmile finds inspiration through a joint collaborative process. It's not “retro” in the sense that they're trying to sound like someone else. It's a sonic nod to some of their early influences.

    I recently spoke with Cherone about Retrogrenade, Extreme and some memorable moments from his career.

    GUITAR WORLD: How did the writing process for Retrogrenade differ from the band's first album?

    On the first record, Mark and I wrote a majority of the songs. For this one, everyone contributed to every song. Joe really stepped up and contributed songs rather than just contributions within another song. Songs like “Walk Away,” “I Still Do” and “Sing a Song” were ones that Joe and I wrote. Mark and I also wrote songs together and then there were collaborations between all of us, including Dana. That to me is the real strength of this record.

    What was the songwriting process like?

    It all starts with a riff. That's how I like to write. Usually, I'll get inspired by a piece of music and will write melodies or have a lyric already written. In the past, I'd sometimes hand Nuno lyrics and he would write music to the words. But as the years have gone by, I've found it better for me to write a melody to the music.

    Let's discuss a few songs from Retrogrenade. "Rock and Roll Cliché."

    That was a classic Mark riff. Then the band joined in and jammed on it and I scatted melodies over it. That's how that song developed.

    "Hello I Must Be Going."

    I wrote that song on an acoustic guitar. It was driven by a melody that I had in my head and then I presented it to the band and we hashed out different ideas for it at rehearsal. Songs that develop in rehearsal are ones the typically come out better rather than studio creations.

    "Big Government."

    Musically, it started with a Mark riff. Then Joe came in with the middle section. I had that chorus "Big Government" in my head. It's a critique on how the bigger the government gets, the smaller the individual gets. It was inspired by a quote from talk show host Dennis Prager.

    You've worked with a few great guitarists like Nuno and Eddie, but what's it like working with your brother, Mark?

    Mark knows me better than anyone. I remember him as my little brother who used to follow me along to band practice when I was in garage bands. He was the little kid who stood in the corner watching his older brother during those days. Then I watched him kind of go his own way and develop in the local scene. I'm lucky to be able to do this with my brother.

    What are some of your best memories from your tenure with Van Halen?

    The fondest memory was that tour. The actual making of the record was a little awkward because they were going through some stuff when I joined them. But Eddie, Alex and Michael were always great to me and were very supportive. Eddie was happy and played his ass of on that '98 tour. As far as being in the band, it was all good.

    Can you tell me the origin of Extreme's “More Than Words”?

    It really was one of many that Nuno and I wrote. During those years, Nuno was living at my house and were constantly writing. Out of all the songs we had written up to that point, we knew it was a good, but we had no idea that it would become bigger than the band. To us, it was just another song that we were writing.

    Can you give me an update on Extreme?

    We'll soon be going to LA to write and record a new record. Nuno and I have already written some songs together and separately. With every Extreme record, we really have no idea what it's going to be like until we get in there. Then the album sort of writes itself. We're excited about it.

    I have to ask you about the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert in 1992. What was that experience like?

    My mind goes crazy whenever anyone brings up that day. It was the best day of Extreme's career. We were so excited and embraced the whole day. Meeting all of our heroes: Roger Daltrey, Robert Plant, the guys in Queen, Elton John and David Bowie. I remember Nuno standing before I went out and said "Don't scream!" And what was the first thing I did when I got out there to do "Hammer To Fall"? I screamed [laughs].

    It was a special moment for us. To be asked to be one of the few people to go up and sing was incredible. I couldn't believe I was actually singing with my favorite band of all time. What a day!

    Are there any other memorable moments of your career that stand out?

    With Extreme there were so many. The first time we sold out a club, getting signed, putting out our first record. I remember in the summer of 1991 when Pornografitti went platinum. We did a hometown show with Cinderella and David Lee Roth. We were the hometown kids coming home, and “More Than Words” was blowing up on the radio when they brought out those plaques. It was a very memorable moment. Ironically, we were backing up Roth and little did I know that a few years later I'd be joining Van Halen. It's been a crazy career!

    For more about Hurtsmile, visit hurtsmile.com.

    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.

    Additional Content

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    Here’s a clip of the Stones playing one of their best slower numbers, “Wild Horses.”

    The video was shot live (in appropriately moody black and white) at Toshiba/EMI Studios in Tokyo back in 1995.

    “Wild Horses” originally appeared on the Stones’ 1971 album Sticky Fingers, and was written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards.

    This version appears on the album Stripped, which is a collection of live recordings from smaller venues and studio recordings.

    Mick Taylor is said to have used the Nashville tuning on the original recording, where the E, A, D and G strings are tuned one octave higher than standard tuning.

    Check it out right here, and tell us your thoughts on Facebook or in the comments below!

    For more on the Rolling Stones, visit rollingstones.com.


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    The Radiohead Guitar Tab Anthology is available now at the Guitar World Online Store.

    The book, which is published by Hal Leonard, features nearly 20 top tunes from Radiohead, transcribed note for note with tab.

    Songs include:

    • Airbag
    • Bodysnatchers
    • Creep
    • Go to Sleep
    • I Might Be Wrong
    • In Limbo
    • Just
    • Knives Out
    • Let Down
    • Little by Little
    • My Iron Lung
    • Optimistic
    • Paranoid Android
    • Street Spirit (Fade Out)
    • Subterranean Homesick Alien
    • There There
    • 2 + 2 = 5
    • Weird Fishes/Arpeggi

    For more information, head to the Guitar World Online Store.

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    The idea of Stevie Ray Vaughan covering a funky song by the great R&B band the Isley Brothers might seem bizarre until you consider that rhythm and blues was a big part of the Double Trouble playbook.

    Besides, his choice of “Testify” makes perfect sense when you realize the guitarist on the Isleys' original 1964 version was none other than his hero, Jimi Hendrix.

    More a tip of the hat than a cover, Vaughan pays respects to Hendrix’s original opening riff before ditching the rest of the song and heading into parts unknown. It’s just as well. “Testify” wasn’t very good in the first place, and Vaughan carves a much more exciting path while ripping a total of seven—count ’em, seven—electrifying solos, each more intense than the one before it.

    But what really makes this one of Vaughan’s very best performances is the variety of sounds he gets by using his wah pedal to subtly color his sound, as it gradually shifts from silky smooth to full-on banshee wail.

    Below, check out the original 1964 Isley Brothers version of "Testify," featuring Hendrix on guitar, followed by Vaughan's fully instrumental version recorded live in Japan in the mid-Eighties.

    This is an excerpt from the October 2014 issue of Guitar World. For the rest of our Stevie Ray Vaughan "Top 30 Recordings of All Time" feature, plus Steve Howe/Yes, the 60th anniversary of the Strat, lessons, tabs and reviews of new gear from TC Electronic, Seymour Duncan, Prestige Guitars and more, check out the October 2014 issue at the Guitar World Online Store.

    Additional Content

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    Stevie Ray Vaughan’s distinctive playing style is earmarked by equal parts pure power, intensity of focus, razor-sharp precision and deeply emotional conviction. And then there’s his tone—probably the best Stratocaster-derived sound ever evoked from the instrument.

    Stevie tuned his guitar down one half step (low to high, Eb Ab Db Gb Bb Eb), a move inspired by one of his biggest influences, Jimi Hendrix. He also preferred heavy gauge strings: high to low, .013, .015, .019, .028, .038, .058, occasionally switching the high E string to either a .012 or .011. To facilitate the use of such heavy strings, Stevie’s guitars were re-fretted with large Dunlop 6100 or Stewart-MacDonald 150 fretwire.

    Let’s begin this lesson with a look at the title track from Stevie’s second album, Couldn’t Stand the Weather, transcribed in this issue (see page 110). The song begins in “free time” (no strict tempo).

    While brother Jimmie Vaughan tremolo-strums the opening chords—Bm-A7-G7-F#7—Stevie adds improvised solo lines (see transcription bars 1-8): over Bm, Stevie sticks with the B blues scale (B D E F F# A), over A7 he utilizes the A blues scale (A C D Eb E G) and over G7 he uses G blues (G Bb C Db D F). Strive to recreate Stevie’s precision when it comes to his articulation. Over Jimmie’s F#7 chord, Stevie plays a first inversion F#7#9, which places the third of the chord, A#, in the bass (as the lowest note). (Stevie employed this same unusual voicing for E7#9 in “Cold Shot.”)

    A four-bar, R&B/soul-style single-note riff follows, doubled in octaves by guitar and bass (see bars 9-17). Played four times, two extra beats of rest are added the third time through. This is shown as a bar of 6/4 in bar 13 of the transcription.

    In bars 18-23, Stevie adds a very Hendrix-y rhythm guitar part, played in 10th position and beginning on beat two with an F octave fretted on the G and high E strings, strummed in 16th notes. Stevie maintains the rhythmic push of steady 16ths through most of the riff by consistently strumming in a down-up-down-up “one-ee-and-a” pattern.

    At the end of bar 18, barre your middle finger across the top three strings at the 12th fret, and then bend and release the G and B strings one half step. As the notes are held into the next bar, add subtle finger vibrato. Keep your fret-hand thumb wrapped over the top of the fretboard throughout the riff, using it to fret the D root note on the low E string’s 10th fret. Stevie intersperses this low root note into the lick in a few essential spots, akin to Hendrix on his songs “Freedom” and “Izabella.”

    Stevie displays his true brilliance as an improviser when playing over a slow blues. All of the following examples are played in the key of G, utilizing the G blues scale (G Bb C Db D F) as a basis. Across the first two bars of FIGURE 1, I play two- and three-note chord figures against the low G and C root notes, fretted with the thumb. On beat three of both bars, I play a trill by barring the index finger across the D and G strings and then quickly hammering on and pulling off with the middle finger one fret higher on the G string.

    When playing bar 3, keep your index finger barred across the top two strings at the third fret while bending notes on the G and B strings. On beat two, quickly hammer on and pull off to the fourth fret on the high E string. This G-Ab-G hammer/pull is a staple for Stevie, used in myriad different and creative ways.

    Another essential element of Stevie’s slow-blues lead playing approach is the use of Albert King–style multiple-string bends. As shown in FIGURE 2a, I bend the high E string up one whole step at the eighth fret using the ring finger (supported by the middle) and simultaneously catch the B string under the fingertip and bend it up a whole step as well so that it “goes along for the ride.” In FIGURE 2b, I catch the top three strings under the fingertip. It will take practice to build up the strength and “finger traction” to execute these bends properly.

    FIGURES 3a and 3b illustrate another way to add pull-offs on the high E string, this time fretting A and then pulling back from Ab to G. This is followed by repeated pull-offs on the B string, illustrated more clearly in FIGURE 3c. FIGURES 4a and 4b offer two more permutations of this idea.

    Another nod to Albert is the use of fingerpicking to accent notes on the high E string. I use my middle finger to pick and snap the string back against the fretboard, as illustrated in FIGURES 5a–5f. Notice in FIGURES 5b, 5c and 5e the use of a half-step bend at the seventh fret on the high E string. Albert was a master of microtonal bending, a technique learned well by Stevie.

    Stevie devised some unique position shifts, utilizing bends and slides on the G string. FIGURES 6a–c present three examples.

    The use of the notes A, Ab and G on the high E string allude to the V (five) chord, D, and the D blues scale (D F G Gb A C). FIGURE 8a illustrates the scale, and FIGURES 7 and 8b–d offer examples played over the V chord. Another staple of Stevie’s style is the use of slides on the G string, exemplified in FIGURES 9a–c.

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    First things first: We don’t want you to stop playing guitar. After all, Guitar World is a magazine for (and by) guitarists, so playing guitar is something we promote (understatement of the year).

    Pursuing a special interest, however, has its hazards!

    For one, approached with the wrong outlook, your hobby/vocation could lead to pathological behavior. Indeed, much like "The Force," the guitar, once mastered, can be used either for good or for evil.

    Consider yourself warned.

    10. Guitar Lingo Cramps Your Game: Convinced that strapping on a guitar is akin to bathing in Spanish fly, you get the idea that mentioning you are a guitarist is a tremendous pick-up line. See how her interest wanes as you wax eloquently about the Spanish Phrygian scale, the scale of love. Keep this up and you will spend the rest of your life alone.

    09. You Can Make More Money Selling Lemonade: What, playing the guitar isn’t making you rich? But those rock magazines made it look so easy — as though any dunce with a savant-like talent for plagiarizing Zeppelin riffs could make a down payment on a new Jag. Yeah, right. Unless you can diversify your talents, you’re better off busking by slapping beef tongues together. At least that way you might actually catch the attention of passersby.

    08. To Curb Your Flagrant Ego: Caught up in the fiercely competitive (yet small) world of guitar hotshots — where the main objective is to play faster than the dude sitting next to you at Guitar Center — you have forgotten one thing: in the big scheme of things, relatively few people on the planet care if you are the alpha dog of the Strat. And yet, operating with an inflated sense of self-importance, you have broken up good bands and destroyed friendships. What’s worse, the old-time guitar teacher with a love for folk, who can no longer compete with you, has gone out of business and is living on the street. Thanks, arsehole. Widdly, widdly, widdly …

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    07. You’re Worshiping False Gods: Clapton is not God. In fact, it’s possible the pressure put on him by the mere suggestion that he was God drove him to booze and drugs — well, that and the endless line of stalkers looking for parables about string bending. Have you been tempted into this sort of zealotry by your favorite soloist? If so, you are a fanatic. Please stop before your lust for guitar playing destroys the world, as predicted in Revelations.

    06. You’re Running Out of Floor Space: Apparently, the latest trend in home decorating is clutter. Yeah — some long-winded yuppy showed it to me in one of those glossy lifestyle magazines. I’m kidding. Hey, pack rat, try selling some of that gear—the various stompboxes, 14 wah pedals and busted A.D.A. — you’ve been collecting since high school, and you just might have enough room to invite some people over. As a bonus, you may be left with enough cash to pay rent for another month.

    05. Because You’re Bumming Us Out: Hey, guitar is great therapy. No doubt about it. But keep in mind that personal sessions are subject to instrument-patient confidentiality. Setting your personality disorder to Am–C–G–D and inflicting the depressing results on a captive audience is not only embarrassing — it’s downright cruel. Either refine your craft or invest in a sense of humor.

    04. A Professional Injury: In your pursuit to be the ultimate string-stretching guitar hero, you have now damaged the tendons in your wrist. Technical term: carpal tunnel syndrome. You’ve tried awkward wrist braces. That didn’t work. Now your thumbs have curled in on themselves. You are less than human. If this hasn’t happened to you yet, don’t sue us or the guitar shop when it does. Oh yeah, and be careful with those pointy heavy metal guitars.

    03. The Malmsteen Effect: You’ve hit an existential crisis. You’ve seen Yngwie … and Van Halen, and Buckethead, and Paul Gilbert, and Michael Freakin’ Angelo. You’ve tried to play like them. But no matter how you train your fingers and study your theory, you never get it right. As your eyes become voids of despair, you ponder whether it’s worth continuing with this guitar, this … monstrosity. Despite that, your chops are in fine form.

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    02. There’s Nowhere Left to Go: Hell-bent on taking yourself to the top of the guitar heap, you’ve secretly developed techniques and products that are sure to get you noticed: things like using six amps on stage (one for each string), playing a five-neck, putting alligator clips on your strings, and swallowing a pack of D’Addarios and playing them internally. In short, your fixation has driven you mad.

    01. Thou Shalt Not Covet: Remember the scene from This Is Spinal Tap where Nigel Tufnel shows off his guitar collection, including the one that has never been played? Is this you? Do you keep your guitars in plastic and sleep with the Blue Book of Guitars under your pillow? Guitars are meant to make music, not to be bought and stored. Have a heart: Some Third World countries are experiencing guitar shortages.

    In addition, your obsessive habit has driven up the price of common used guitars. Quit now before you single-handedly collapse the economy.

    Awesome iPhone photo (top): Damian Fanelli


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    Sure, there are scores of stellar live versions of Stevie Ray Vaughan's "Texas Flood" online, but there's simply something magical about this raw performance of the Larry Davis tune from July 17, 1982, at the Montreux Jazz and International Music Festival in Switzerland.

    The extended, dynamics-filled rollercoaster ride finds Vaughan reaching into his bag of Albert-King-meets-Jim-Hendrix licks — not to mention behind his back, where his Fender Strat rests for the final quarter of the 10-minute-long performance.

    Vaughan floored everyone that night, except for a handful of blues purists who can be heard (and clearly seen in the video below) booing loud and clear.

    "We weren't sure how we'd be accepted," Vaughan told Guitar World in the early Eighties. But he must've known it went well when David Bowie appeared backstage ... and important alliance was born.

    In the video below, Vaughan puts his guitar behind his back at 8:22, and it stays there for the rest of the song. As for the booing, it starts right away, then picks up during the quiet part of the song (around 6:50 in the clip). You can actually see a group of knuckleheads booing at 10:14.

    Although I'm not defending the knuckleheads, I should mention that a good portion of the crowd was expecting the type of music they'd been hearing for most of the day: quiet, acoustic blues guitar (For instance, John Hammond played solo acoustic guitar at the event). When Vaughan and bassist Tommy Shannon turned up the amps and went to work, well, it was a bit of a shock.

    By the way, this entire performance is available on DVD right here. As the DVD's title suggests, Live at Montreux 1982 & 1985 also features the band's 1985 performance at the Montreux Jazz Fest. No one booed him in '85.

    Most of this story is from the October 2014 issue of Guitar World. For the rest of our Stevie Ray Vaughan "Top 30 Recordings of All Time" feature, plus Steve Howe/Yes, the 60th anniversary of the Strat, lessons, tabs and reviews of new gear from TC Electronic, Seymour Duncan, Prestige Guitars and more, check out the October 2014 issue at the Guitar World Online Store.

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    Steel Panther have premiered the music video for "Pussywhipped," a track from their latest album, All You Can Eat.

    You can check it out below. As always, be sure to let us know what you think of it in the comments or on Facebook!

    The clip was directed by Dean Cameron, who worked with the band on their "Fat Girl" music video.

    Steel Panther are supporting Judas Priest on a North American tour. The trek kicked off October 1 in Rochester, New York, and will run through mid-November, wrapping up in Tacoma, Washington.

    All You Can Eat sold around 13,000 copies in the U.S. in its first week of release. It came out April 1 via Open E/KLS.


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    Today, GuitarWorld.com presents the exclusive premiere of "Texas Flood" as performed by an all-star band — gathered for a special occasion.

    The clip, which you can check out below, features Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Buddy Guy, Willie Nelson, Doyle Bramhall II, Lukas Nelson (WIllie's son), Robert Randolph and Lyle Lovett — all backed by Stevie Ray Vaughan's band, Double Trouble (bassist Tommy Shannon, keyboardist Reese Wynans and drummer Chris "Whipper" Layton, who introduces the song).

    The performance of the Larry Davis-penned tune, which was made popular (and downright essential) by Vaughan in the Eighties, is from tonight's broadcast of Austin City Limits Celebrates 40 Years, a special honoring the program’s 40th anniversary.

    The show will air 9 to 11 p.m. EST on PBS Arts Fall Festival.

    Besides the artists named above, the show features performances by Jimmie Vaughan, Gary Clark Jr., Foo Fighters, Bonnie Raitt, Jeff Bridges, Emmylou Harris, Sheryl Crow and more. For more information about Austin City Limits Celebrates 40 Years and its complete lineup of artists (plus several photos by Scott Newton), head here.

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    Sevendust has announced the third and final leg of their acoustic U.S. tour in support of their critically acclaimed acoustic album, Time Travelers & Bonfires.

    The tour kicks off November 4 in Knoxville, TN at The International.

    It’s the first time the band will play these cities this year, including the band’s hometown of Atlanta.

    Tickets go on sale Saturday, October 4 at 10:00am EST. They’ll be joined by the Alabama rock band A.Z., who’ll also be performing acoustic.

    Released April 15 on the band’s 7Bros. Records, in conjunction with ADA Label Services, Time Travelers & Bonfires debuted at #1 on Billboard’s “Top Hard Music Albums” chart (their second consecutive #1 album).

    After taking a break once the tour concludes to spend the holidays with their families, the Atlanta band will go return to the studio in early 2015 to get back to basics and record the follow-up to their last plugged-in album, Black Out The Sun.

    Even though Sevendust will be playing acoustic guitars instead of electric on this run, they won’t be turning down the intensity of their notoriously explosive live performances. As New Noise Magazine raved:

    “Sevendust’s acoustic show at the always cool Highline Ballroom in New York City’s lower West Side was hands down one of the best shows I’ve ever been to in my life... At times vocalist Lajon Witherspoon, one of the most talented men in rock, was even moved to tears while thanking the crowd repeatedly... while drummer Morgan Rose kicked ass and seemed to play as intensely as he does in an electric mode...7D showed everyone the range and impact they are capable of... The band, Vince, John, Morgan, Clint and Lajon, have more groove, harmony and talent in their pinkies than most band’s ever reach.”

    Last month, Sevendust gave television viewers a glimpse into their acoustic show with their first-ever concert special on AXS TV, which aired as part of the network’s “Headliner Club Series.” Check out “Come Down” from the show here:

    Check out Sevendust at any of the following stops:

    Tue 11/4 Knoxville, TN The International
    Wed 11/5 Winston-Salem, NC Ziggy’s
    Fri 11/7 Wilmington, NC Ziggy’s By The Sea
    Sun 11/9 Orlando, FL House of Blues
    Tue 11/11 Ft. Lauderdale, FL Culture Room
    Wed 11/12 Jacksonville, FL Underbelly
    Thu 11/13 St. Petersburg, FL State Theatre
    Sun 11/16 Cape Coral, FL Dixie Roadhouse
    Tue 11/18 Mobile, AL Soul Kitchen
    Wed 11/19 New Orleans, LA The Howlin’ Wolf
    Fri 11/21 Shreveport, LA Riverside Warehouse
    Sat 11/22 Little Rock, AR Revolution Music Room
    Sun 11/23 Fayetteville, AR George’s Majestic Lounge
    Tue 11/25 Atlanta, GA Terminal West
    Wed 11/26 Birmingham, AL Iron City

    More at www.sevendust.com.


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    As we announced Friday afternoon, PBS' live-music TV show Austin City Limits is celebrating its 40th season this year.

    The episode that ran this past Friday night featured Foo Fighters, who performed a wild cover of Roky Erickson's "Two Headed Dog." You can check it out below. As always, be sure to tell us what you think of it in the comments or on Facebook.

    For those of you who don't know the song (You know who you are!), we've included the original version below. Enjoy!

    Dave Grohl's Sonic Highways TV show will debut October 17; the album of the same name will be released November 10.

    Even though it has nothing to do with this story, be sure to click on these words: Jeff Beck Performs "Big Block" from New DVD, 'Live In Tokyo'— Video. You might like it!

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    Black Veil Brides have announced the pre-orders for their new self-titled album, which will be released October 27 via Lava Records/Repubic Records.

    You can get Black Veil Brides via iTunes or the band’s own webstore.

    The band has also announced headlining tour dates for their “The Black Mass 2014″ tour.

    Check out Black Veil Brides’ new music video for the single "Heart of Fire" below.


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    Two of the most essential techniques for all aspiring guitarists to master are string bending and vibrato.

    The electric guitar affords us the opportunity to express musical statements that can evoke and rival the sound and qualities of the human voice, with string-bending and vibrato techniques as the primary elements necessary to achieve vocal-like sounds and phrasing.

    In this column, I’d like to detail a few of the string-bending and vibrato techniques I use and the applications that appeal to me the most.

    You can bend a string in many ways, and I like to employ just about every method imaginable. Drawing from a variety of string-bending techniques provides me with more options for how to interpret whatever I’m playing.

    Let’s begin with a simple melody, and I’ll then demonstrate a handful of ways I might interpret it. FIGURE 1 illustrates a very simple three-note phrase in A minor, comprising the notes E (the fifth) and G (the flatted seventh) and ending with a bend from G up one whole step, to the A root note. A common approach many guitarists take is to employ a unison bend for each note, as demonstrated in FIGURE 2.

    While one note is fretted with the index finger on the B string, another is fretted with the ring finger two frets higher, on the G string, and that note is then bent up a whole step to match the pitch of the B-string note.

    If you ever hear me play this unison bend lick, please shoot me. We just don’t need another guitar player playing that way anymore. But if you like it, you should play that way; just don’t let me play that way. FIGURE 3 shows one of the many “Marty-style” options available when playing these three notes. Instead of simply fretting the first note, I place the index finger one fret lower and bend up to it from a half step below, from D# to E, then apply vibrato to the note. I then slide up to the G and execute half-step bends (and releases) between G# and A. It’s a nice alternative to simply fretting the note.

    I then move up to B and bending up a half step, to C, and then I release the bend and perform a series of quick hammer-pulls between A and G# on the B string.

    There are so many variations one could apply from here, and I’ve detailed a handful in FIGURES 4–8. I encourage you to use your musical ear and listen for variations and options that you find interesting.

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    NYC Guitar Rockers Fräulein have premiered a new music video, "Bam! Bam!," and you can check it out below.

    The song is from the band's second studio album, Fräulein II, which is available now from MegaPlatinum Records/Cockroach Media.

    Fräulein is the creation of frontman Nick Vivid. Vivid recorded Fräulein II in early 2014 with bassist/co-engineer Jimmy Corriveau at Vivid's Lower East Side recording studio.

    "Fräulein combines everything I love about rock and roll," Vivid says. "And that's danger, high intensity, and doing everything over the top."

    The new album is available on iTunes and Amazon. A FLAC version is available on Bandcamp.

    Check out the video below:


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