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    Taylor Guitars is known for advancing the design of the acoustic guitar, setting a modern course for playability, tone and style.

    In 2014, the company unveiled a comprehensive redesign of its flagship rosewood/spruce 800 Series to industry and media accolades, adding to its legacy as one of Taylor’s most popular acoustic guitar offerings.

    This year Taylor has applied the same forward-thinking vision to its maple 600 Series, connecting maple’s rich musical history with its stable environmental outlook as an important tonewood of the future.

    The new 600 Series guitars elicit the best of the inherent tonal properties of maple. In 2014, Master Builder Andy Powers began to experiment with how far bracing, thickness, finish, and new seasoning processes like torrefaction, a wood roasting method, could enhance maple’s tone profile.

    “I wanted playing a maple guitar to be a more gratifying all-around experience,” he says.

    “I wanted a tone that was richer, more complex, with longer sustain, without giving up the linearity that I like about maple as a builder.” The result is a warmer, more dynamic, and more responsive instrument with more broadly appealing tonal properties than any maple guitar before it.

    As with the 800 Series, Powers reimagined each component of the maple 600s. Notable design innovations include:

    Customized Wood Thicknesses and Bracing: The top and back thicknesses have been specially gauged for each body shape. Powers also optimized the bracing for each shape. The backs feature new maple-specific bracing profiles and patterns to enhance the responsiveness. As a result, he says, “the backs of these guitars work a lot like an archtop guitar or a violin if you were to delete its soundpost. These braces allow the back to move in a much warmer, stronger way. Players will hear more volume, more projection, and more low-end warmth than a maple guitar they’ve heard in the past.” The back and sides also undergo a special seasoning process to enhance the resonance and stability.

    Torrefaction: This carefully controlled, high-temperature roasting process is applied to the Sitka spruce tops to give a new guitar an aged or played-in sound. By aging the wood on a molecular level, torrefaction makes the top warmer and more responsive.

    “There’s less resistance in the wood,” Powers explains. “As a result, it allows a more efficient energy transfer from the strings. A new piece of wood has quite a bit of resistance to moving. It’s not used to vibrating at a high frequency like that. An aged or played-in top is just waiting to be set in motion. For a player, it feels like the notes are just falling out of the guitar. As soon as you touch the strings, it takes hardly any effort; it doesn’t feel like you have to pry the sound out.”

    Hand-Rubbed Color and Finish: Not only do the new 600s feature the same ultra-thin 3.5-mil clear gloss finish developed for the 800 Series, the maple back and sides boast an additional breakthrough: the inclusion of a proprietary hand-rubbed color application process that adds no additional thickness to the finish. The stain enhances maple’s visual aesthetic without causing any damping in the natural movement of the guitar body, helping to boost the tonal projection and sustain. The new color, “Brown Sugar,” complements the slightly darker color of the spruce tops, a result of the torrefaction process.

    Protein Glue: The same protein glues used in the company’s redesigned 800 Series are used in the 600 Series for the critical tone-producing parts, namely for the “power train” components: the bracing and bridge to top joint.

    Expression System 2 Pickup: The acoustic voicing enhancements designed for the new 600 Series translate into amplified form with Taylor’s new Expression System 2 (ES2) electronics. The ES2 incorporates three uniquely positioned and individually calibrated pickup sensors. These are installed behind the saddle, through the bridge, and effectively capture more of each guitar’s dynamic properties and acoustic energy.

    First World Tonewood: Maple is a tonewood that can be harvested specifically for instruments here in the United States, a project that longtime tonewood partner Steve McMinn of Pacific Rim Tonewoods is undertaking. Given its geographical location, maple grows in politically and economically stable environments and is considered to be “conflict free” and well-managed. This is important to Taylor co- founder, Bob Taylor.

    “Now and in the future, maple forests will be among the healthiest and most sustainable sources of instrument wood,” he says. “This is a species from our own backyard that can be formed into world-class instruments for generations to come. So, it is an important wood for us as a forward-thinking instrument manufacturer. This redesign is our way of showing players how great a maple and spruce instrument can look and sound.”

    The newly redesigned 600 Series is available in the 614ce (Grand Auditorium), 616ce (Grand Symphony), 618ce (Grand Orchestra) and 656ce (12-String Grand Symphony).

    For more information, visit taylorguitars.com/news.

    Screen Shot 2015-01-23 at 10.57.34 AM.png


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    Jackson is proud to announce the latest addition to its Artist Signature series instruments, the Misha Mansoor Juggernaut HT6 and HT7 guitars.

    Misha Mansoor is acclaimed for his masterful guitar work in fashioning the progressive metal of Periphery.

    Now, the esteemed Djent-leman himself and Jackson have collaborated closely on the Misha Mansoor Juggernaut HT6 and HT7 guitars, brand-new models like nothing else Jackson has ever seen—or heard—before.

    The instrument is crafted with a distinctive Jackson body shape inspired by the Dinky, with sleekly scalloped horns, a comfortably contoured neck heel and a gorgeous AAA quilt maple top on trans-finish models. The bolt-on quartersawn maple neck is sculpted with Mansoor’s own custom profile, and features graphite reinforcement, ivoroid binding and heel-end thumbwheel truss rod adjustment.

    The 20”-radius ebony fingerboard is crafted with 24 stainless steel jumbo frets, piranha inlays and Luminlay fluorescent side dots. The guitar’s tonally versatile sound comes from Mansoor’s dual direct-mount signature Bare Knuckle “Juggernaut” humbucking pickups with black covers, five-way switching and a push-pull (on/off) master tone knob.

    Other premium features include a Jackson reverse AT1 headstock with three Hipshot open-gear locking tuners on each side, Hipshot hard-tail bridge, single volume control knob, black hardware and more. Available in Amber Tiger Eye, Laguna Burst, Matte Black, Matte Blue Frost and Silverburst Sparkle finishes. Includes custom black Jackson case with blue edges and Mansoor’s “Bulb” logo.

    In addition, Jackson is offering the “Bulb” versions of the HT6 and HT7 models, which feature a special Periphery “P” inlay at the 12th fret, dual direct-mount signature Bare Knuckle “Juggernaut” humbucking pickups with brushed nickel covers and engraved “Bulb” logo, and a black anodized brushed aluminum rear cavity cover with laser-etched “Bulb” logo.

    For more information and to find a dealer near you, go to jacksonguitars.com.

    Jackson Artist Signature Misha Mansoor Juggernaut Bulb HT6.jpg


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    With Viscous Vibe, TC Electronic has created a dead-on 1:1 digital recreation of the legendary Shin-Ei Uni-Vibe, known from countless unforgettable recordings by Jimi Hendrix, Robin Trower and Pink Floyd.

    The Shin-Ei Uni-Vibe is known for its otherworldly lush and syrupy sweet tones, and with Viscous Vibe these sounds are finally available in a modern, high-quality and compact pedal that won't break the bank.

    Features

    • A meticulous 1:1 recreation of the legendary Shin-Ei Uni-Vibe
    • TonePrint enabled - for a world of signature sounds
    • Compact design
    • Stereo I/O
    • True Bypass and Analog-Dry-Through

    “The Viscous Vibe holds a very special place in my heart," says Tore Mogensen, product manager for guitar at TC Electronic.

    "We've spent hours and hours on end dialing this one in, while meticulously A / B testing it with the real deal, and I have to say it sounds absolutely perfect! So it's no wonder that I'm proud of what we've achieved here, and we just know you're going to love it!”

    Viscous Vibe is the perfect mix of vintage and modern with its gloriously gooey old-school sounds mixed with contemporary features like Stereo I/O, True Bypass and Analog-Dry-Through, plus TC Electronic's ingenious TonePrint technology, which lets you create your own personal Vibe tones or beam custom made signature sounds to the pedal via the free TonePrint App and Editor.

    There's no doubt that with Viscous Vibe the world of rock just leveled up!

    Available: May in Europe / June in the U.S.
    Price: $129.99 US / £99 UK / €129 EUR


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    EVH is proud to announce the release of the Wolfgang Special HT hardtail edition, as well as the long-awaited EVH Stripe Series Star guitar.

    The incredible EVH Wolfgang Special is now available in a distinctive new sans-tremolo version-the Wolfgang Special Hardtail.

    This is the high-performance flat-top version of the original EVH USA Wolfgang guitar; this time with the addition of a TonePros hard-tail bridge with stop tailpiece and fine tuners for the ultimate in stable intonation and precise tuning.

    Original features include basswood body with single-ply Ivoroid binding; oil-finished quartersawn maple neck with dual graphite reinforcement rods; compound radius (12-16) AA birds-eye maple fingerboard with 22 vintage stainless frets, dot inlays and Floyd Rose locking nut; dual EVH Wolfgang humbucking pickups with three-position switching; EVH custom low-friction volume (500k) and high-friction tone (250k) potentiometers; chrome Schaller string retainer; EVH-branded tuners; and EVH molded-stripe case by SKB.

    Available in Black, Vintage White and Tobacco Burst.

    With its distinctive body shape and black-and-white graphic gloss finish, the EVH Stripe Series Star model is without question one of the most eye-catching guitars in the Stripe Series lineup.

    There’s nothing alien about the rest of this high-performance tone machine, either, with its sleek Star basswood body, rock-solid quartersawn maple neck with oiled finish, fast and smooth compound-radius rosewood fingerboard (12”-16”) with comfortably rolled edges and 22 jumbo frets, single ferocious EVH direct-mount pickup with single black plastic control knob (master volume), EVH Floyd Rose bridge and locking nut and EVH tuners.

    For more information, visit evhgear.com.

    EVH Wolfgang Special HT.jpg


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    Members of the Guitar World crew paid a visit to the ESP Guitars booth at the 2015 Winter NAMM Show in Anaheim, California.

    As you can see in the new video below, we got the run down on the company's newly expanded line of Extended Series guitars.

    For more about ESP Guitars, visit espguitars.

    For more NAMM 2015 coverage, visit GuitarWorld.com's official NAMM 2015 Zone, get updates on Facebook and photos and more on Twitter and Instagram. It's like you're at the show!


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    Members of the Guitar World crew paid a visit to the Taylor Guitars booth at the 2015 Winter NAMM Show in Anaheim, California.

    As you can see in the new video below, we got the run down on the company's new 600 Series guitars. That's master guitar designer (and killer guitarist) Andy Powers!

    For more about Taylor Guitars, visit taylorguitars.com.

    For more NAMM 2015 coverage, visit GuitarWorld.com's official NAMM 2015 Zone, get updates on Facebook and photos and more on Twitter and Instagram. It's like you're at the show!


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    Members of the Guitar World crew paid a visit to the Orange Amplification booth at the 2015 Winter NAMM Show in Anaheim, California.

    As you can see in the new video below, we got the run down on the company's Crush guitar amps.

    For more about Orange Amps, visit orangeamps.com.

    For more NAMM 2015 coverage, visit GuitarWorld.com's official NAMM 2015 Zone, get updates on Facebook and photos and more on Twitter and Instagram. It's like you're at the show!


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    Not long before hitting the Grove of Anaheim stage for NAMMJAM2015 this past Friday night, Steel Panther guitarist (and beloved Guitar World columnist) Satchel went on the prowl on the NAMM Show floor.

    Of course, Guitar World's video cameras were there to capture every awesome minute of it!

    You can check out parts one, two and three of Satchel's bizarre NAMM Show stroll below.

    As always, enjoy!

    For more NAMM 2015 coverage, visit GuitarWorld.com's official NAMM 2015 Zone, get updates on Facebook and photos and more on Twitter and Instagram. It's like you're at the show!


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    Hal Leonard Country Guitar Method is a 64-page, softcover book that uses real country songs to teach you the basics of rhythm and lead country guitar in the style of Chet Atkins, James Burton, Albert Lee, Merle Travis and many others.

    Lessons include:

    • Chords
    • Scales and Licks
    • Common Progressions and Riffs
    • Carter Style and Travis Picking
    • Steel Licks, String Bending and Vibrato
    • Standard Notation and Tablature
    • and much more!

    Songs include:

    • "Could I Have This Dance"
    • "Green Green Grass of Home"
    • "I Fall to Pieces"
    • "Satin Sheets"
    • "Yakety Sax"
    • and more ...

    Softcover with CD — by Greg Koch.

    Hal Leonard Country Guitar Method is available now at the Guitar World Online Store for $22.99.


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    Dreamcatcher Events and Steve Vai have announced Vai Academy 2015: "All About the Guitar," a four-day guitar-centric event featuring Vai, Eric Johnson, Sonny Landreth and several other guests.

    It'll take place August 2 to 6 at the Arrabelle at Vail Square in Vail, Colorado.

    As a bonus, we happen to have an exclusive message from Vai. You can check it out below, plus a video!

    "If you were with us during the inaugural run in 2014, glad to see you again! If this is going to be your first year, I wanted to take this opportunity to give you the rundown.

    “There were a few things we all loved about 2014. Every day offered an open forum and atmosphere for questions and answers during clinics and classes, and then at night we all jammed together.

    "One of the wonderful things about Vai Academy is I get the opportunity to jam on stage with literally every camper. If you’re there, you’re jamming with me at some point! Once again, it’s all ages and skill levels. Whether you just picked up your first guitar for your 10th birthday or you’ve been playing for 40 years (since your 10th birthday), we want you here, plugged in and ready to play.

    “This year, our master classes will be taught by two guitar giants—Eric Johnson and Sonny Landreth. You’ll have the opportunity to receive special attention from them. Those are the similar elements to last year.

    “One of the main goals of Vai Academy is to do something different each year. Last year, our theme was Song Evolution. This year, it’s 'All About the Guitar'—literally.

    “So besides all of the jamming, we’re going to focus on the actual instrument. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, but it’s even eluded me. We’ll be highlighting aspects of the guitar that even seasoned players are relatively unaware of. However, we all should be aware of them.

    "This includes everything from how guitars are built, how different body shapes create tones, how different woods sound, how neck dimensions affect sound, how fretboards are built, how to properly string a guitar, how to set intonation and so much more.

    “This was my train of thought: You have an attraction to the instrument. You pick it up. You start playing it. You can find your groove and your notes, but you might not really understand the tiny nuances and idiosyncrasies of the guitar itself. That’s what we’re going to show you.

    “In keeping with this theme, we’ll have some of the world’s best luthiers and foremost experts teaching classes about every nuance of our favorite instrument. Ibanez is filming a video of a guitar built from scratch, and you’ll get to see that axe up close and personal.

    “So, in between all of that riffing on stage, learning your instrument inside and out, and basking in the glory that is summer in Vail (or VAI-L), you’ll leave with some lifelong new friends. That’s what I love about this.

    “I’m here to have a good time, share some knowledge, and learn a few things. I hope you’re there too—with your guitar of course!"

    For more information, check out the video below and visit aiacademy.com. Registration begins January 27.

    Additional Content

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    The plaintive and solitary introduction for this song from John Statz upcoming album, Tulsa gives way to laid back beat with an unsettled feel.

    Here Statz uses the spaces in between the lyrics to cast his haunting spell of longing and lost ways. Tulsa will release March 10.

    Statz shares, “Quite a few years back and early on in my career, I played a show at a coffee shop on the outskirts of Tulsa on a Monday night. These days I’m apt to take a Monday off, but I hadn’t quite yet learned the pointlessness of playing road gigs on that particular weeknight. Anyways, I think there was one nice old couple there listening, that was it, and they left me $20 in the tip jar, which was super sweet of them. I was camping at a KOA outside of Tulsa, across from a casino, and the thought of retiring to my tent after an early gig seemed utterly depressing. I walked into that casino and lost the twenty bucks in about fifteen minutes. I’ve hated gambling ever since, and drew on the experience when imagining the story behind ‘Tulsa.’”

    Listen now:

    John Statz recorded his new album with an all-star band in the middle of a Vermont ice storm. “We had to keep the stove burning the whole day, and then the electricity went out for ten minutes,” concedes Statz. “Luckily, we were just rehearsing.” John Statz will release Tulsa on March 10, 2015.

    After years of DIY touring everywhere from Eastern Europe to Mexico, the Wisconsinite who now resides in Colorado fell in with fellow Midwesterner Jeffrey Foucault, a critically acclaimed songwriter and veteran of the americana circuit. A fan of Statz’s last album (2012’s Old Fashioned, produced by Bo Ramsey), Foucault offered to produce his next record while the two were on tour together in Colorado.

    The resulting Tulsa is beautiful blend of soft americana and smooth folk with echoes of The Jayhawks and Whiskeytown. “John writes songs you can’t shake,” says Foucault. “They follow you around all day and run through your head at 3 a.m. Open hearted, horizon-line songs.”

    “Jeff kicked my ass. He pushed me to crank out well-written songs,” continues Statz. “He’s such a great songwriter himself and I felt like I had to step up my game. And then there is the absolutely amazing band...” The band John speaks of features Billy Conway (Morphine) on drums, Mark Spencer (Son Volt) on electric guitars and pedal steel, Jeremy Moses Curtis (Booker T) on bass, Jeffrey Foucault on guitars and vocals, Caitlin Canty singing harmonies and Matt Lorenz on fiddle.

    “Tulsa feels like how I was always supposed to make a record. Hunkered down for three days, living and eating with the band, tracking live, all during the raging 'Polar Vortex'.”

    Statz will be touring in support of Tulsa and a list of confirmed tour dates can be found below with more to be added.

    John Statz Tour Dates:
    Jan 28 – Bellingham, WA – Green Frog Café
    Jan 29 – Portland, OR – Hawthorne Theatre Lounge
    Jan 30 – Willamina, OR – Wildwood Hotel
    Jan 31 – Seattle, WA – The Triple Door
    Mar 05 – Dubuque, IA – Eronel
    Mar 06 – Neenah, WI – Cranky Pats
    Mar 14 – Madison, WI – Crystal Corner Bar

    Find out more at http://www.johnstatz.com


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    Members of the Guitar World crew paid a visit to the Carvin Guitars/Kiesel Guitars booth at the 2015 Winter NAMM Show in Anaheim, California.

    As you can see in the new video below, we got the run down on the company's Jason Becker Numbers Tribute Guitar.

    For more about Carvin Guitars, visit carvinguitars.com.

    For more NAMM 2015 coverage, visit GuitarWorld.com's official NAMM 2015 Zone, get updates on Facebook and photos and more on Twitter and Instagram. It's like you're at the show!

    Additional Content

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    Members of the Guitar World crew paid a visit to the DigiTech booth at the 2015 Winter NAMM Show in Anaheim, California.

    As you can see in the new video below, we got the run down on the company's new DOD Boneshaker distortion pedal.

    For more about DigiTech, visit digitech.com.

    For more NAMM 2015 coverage, visit GuitarWorld.com's official NAMM 2015 Zone, get updates on Facebook and photos and more on Twitter and Instagram. It's like you're at the show!


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    Loud & Proud Records is proud to announce the release of Stripped Down, a new CD/DVD set from Grammy® Award winning artist Rick Springfield on February 24, 2015 (track listing below).

    For the last two years, Springfield has been treating fans to a special ongoing series of intimate solo performances of his vast repertoire, telling stories, explaining lyrics and generally connecting with his always-loyal fan base.

    This CD/DVD set features highlights from those performances with compelling video on the DVD as well as a new song, the clever "If Wishes Were Fishes”, plus 14 Springfield songs recorded live, including dynamic covers of the classics "Oh Well,""Rollin'& Tumblin'" and "Baby Blue.”

    Springfield says, “I am pretty excited for Loud & Proud Records’ CD/DVD release of Stripped Down. The conception and execution of my solo storytellers show is something I basically worked on my whole life and it's awesome to bring the finished product to the fans who embraced it with the sold out shows across America in 2014. Now, if you can't make it to one of my 2015 Stripped Down dates live, you can enjoy it in the comfort of your own living room…naked, if you want.”

    Tom Lipsky, President of Loud & Proud Records adds, “The songs are memorable, the performances are compelling and the interaction between Rick and his fans throughout Stripped Down is truly genuine. This is why Rick Springfield continues to be as relevant today as ever. We are excited to be his label partner.”

    Watch a teaser of "Jessie's Girl" here:

    Also in February, Springfield brings his highly successful solo tour back to over 25 cities beginning on February 5th in Dallas at the Majestic Theatre. With 25 million records sold, a Grammy Award for his #1 smash-hit “Jessie’s Girl,” and whopping 17 Top 40 hits including “Don’t Talk to Strangers,” “ Affair of the Heart,” “I've Done Everything for You,” “Love Somebody” and “Human Touch,” Springfield has no intention of taking his foot off the accelerator. “I put everything I've got into making records,” he says. “Sometimes people think they have you pegged but I trust my music show them
    otherwise.”

    Although music is Springfield’s first love, he still continues to act. He recently finished filming Ricki and the Flash with co-star Meryl Streep and director Jonathan Demme. The film is expected to be released in the summer of 2015. Springfield is currently working on Season 2 of HBO’s critically acclaimed True Detective, which will return to TV later this year. Along with his notorious role as Dr. Drake on General Hospital, Springfield’s guest-starred on an episode of Drop Dead Diva in 2014, and can be seen on other notable TV roles including a 4-episode arc on Californication and Hawaii Five-O.

    Springfield is not only gifted musician and actor he is also a talented writer. He released his first fiction novel Magnificent Vibration on May 6th, 2014. The book received rave reviews from literary publications Kirkus and Booklist and became Springfield’s second book (First book, Late, Late at Night) to make the NY Times Best Sellers List.

    Springfield’s autobiography, Late, Late at Night, published by Simon & Schuster’s Touchstone imprint in 2010, entered The New York Times best-seller list at No. 13 and hit the Los Angeles Times and Publishers Weekly lists as well. Rolling Stone named it one of the top-25 rock autobiographies of all time.

    CD Tracklisting:
    1. Affair Of The Heart (4:23)
    2. Love Is Alright Tonite (3:47)
    3. I’ve Done Everything For You (2:47)
    4. Painted Girl (2:14)
    5. Oh Well (1:57)
    6. Love Somebody (2:43)
    7. Baby Blue (3:39)
    8. Rollin’ & Tumblin’ (3:21)
    9. If Wishes Were Fishes (4:55)
    10. Don’t Talk To Strangers (2:46)
    11. April 24th, 1981/My Father’s Chair (6:36)
    12. Me & Johnny (4:09)
    13. Human Touch (2:26)
    14. Jessie’s Girl (3:10)

    DVD Tracklisting:
    1. Affair of the Heart
    2. Me & Johnny
    3. Oh Well
    4. Love is Alright Tonite
    5. Rollin’ & Tumblin'
    6. Baby Blue
    7. Painted Girl
    8. April 24, 1981 / My Father’s Chair
    9. If Wishes Were Fishes
    10. Love Somebody
    11. Our Ships Sinking
    12. Jessie’s Girl
    13. Human Touch
    14. My Depression (credits only)

    Rick Springfield Tour Dates (More Dates To Be Added Soon):
    23-Jan- Biloxi, MS @ Beau Rivage^
    24-Jan- Wabash, IN @ Honeywell Center^
    25-Jan- Bloomington, IL @ U.S. Cellular Coliseum^
    29-31-Jan-Niagara Falls, ON @ Fallsview Casino Resort^
    5-Feb - Dallas, TX @ Majestic Theatre**
    6-Feb - Houston, TX @ Zilkha Hall at Hobby Center**
    7-Feb - San Antonio, TX @ Empire Theatre**
    13-14- Feb- Nashville, TN @ Wildhorse Saloon^
    15-Feb- Detroit, MI @ Motor City Casino Hotel^
    21-Feb - New York, NY @ The Concert Hall**
    22-Feb - Manchester, NH @ Palace Theatre**
    25-Feb - Boston, MA @ House Of Blues Boston**
    26-Feb - Ridgefield, CT @ Ridgefield Playhouse**
    27-Feb - Newton, NJ @ The Newton Theatre**
    28-Feb - Peekskill, NY @ Paramount Theatre**
    5-Mar – Corpus Christ, TX @ Selena Auditorium**
    6-Mar – El Paso, TX @ Plaza Theatre**
    7-Mar- Sun Tan Valley, AZ @ Encanterra^
    13-Mar - Boca Raton, FL @ JAZZIZ Nightlife**
    14-Mar- Orlando, FL @ Trilogy Orlando^
    15-Mar – Clearwater, FL @ Capitol Theatre**
    18-Mar – Seattle, WA @ The Neptune**
    20-Mar – Napa, CA @ Uptown Theatre**
    9-Apr - Tucson, AZ @ Fox Tucson Theatre**
    11-Apr - Branson, MO @ Andy Williams Moon River Theatre**
    18-Apr - Mt. Pocono, PA @ Mt. Airy Casino Resort**
    10-May - Kansas City, MO @ Arvest Bank Theatre at The Midland**
    14-May - Deadwood, SD @ Deadwood Mountain Grand**
    15-May- Dekalb, IL @ NIU Convocation Center^
    16-May- Sioux City, IA @ Anthem at Hard Rock Sioux City**

    ^Full Band Show
    **Stripped Down Performance-Solo

    More at http://rickspringfield.com


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    Here’s “I’m A Sinner” from Austin-based foursome Starlings, TN’s Preachin’ to the Choir out today on Chicken Ranch Records.

    The record is comprised of covers of gospel songs that Stubblefield grew up with, along with a handful of like-minded originals written from his unique perspective.

    This particular rollicking down home tune is a foot-tapping testimony to the band’s solid songwriting and performance chops.

    "I tried to come at 'I'm A Sinner' in the same way that John Lennon approached ‘Nowhere Man’ when he proposed the question, ‘Isn't he a bit like you and me?’ instead of assigning blame and pointing fingers. When singing gospel songs, it's important to me to not sound preachy. I don't judge others, I want to provoke thought,” says Steven Stubblefield of Starlings, TN

    Listen here:

    “I didn’t realize until recently just how close ‘The Andy Griffith Show’ was to my real life,” Stubblefield says, recounting his upbringing. Born in a tobacco farming community outside of Louisville, at three-years-old the family moved to Magnolia, Arkansas, the town where his mother grew up. Stubblefield’s father became the pastor at the Southern Baptist church in Magnolia, and his grandparents on his mother’s side lived down the street, after having spent time residing in the local jail.

    “My mother actually lived in a jail cell for about a year while she was in high school,” Stubblefield explains. “Papaw was the sheriff of Columbia County at the time, and part of his compensation was housing, which happened to be a ground floor of the two-story jail. So, they sold their house and moved in.”

    With close ties to these two seemingly dissimilar worlds, it’s no wonder that Stubblefield would find a life in music through his relationship with the church.

    “It was because of the gospel that I heard growing up that I first found my passion for music,” he recalls. “I sang in the choir as far back as I can remember, and that continued all the way through high school.”

    While the traditional songs on Preachin’ To The Choir have their roots in musical history, Stubblefield’s approach to the recordings was inspired by his distaste for modern “praise music,” as he refers to it. “I find it soulless and repetitious,” he says of modern gospel songs. So Stubblefield set out to do the music justice in his own way.

    “In 1999, I purchased my first dulcimer and started taking lessons from David Schnaufer,” the band’s leader Steven Stubblefield remembers. The late Schnaufer, famed dulcimer player and instructor (Cyndi Lauper was a student), was widely credited with restoring the cultural popularity of the instrument. “Some of those earliest songs we learned were the old time gospel songs,” Stubblefield says.

    Preachin’ To The Choir by Starlings, TN arrives on January 27th, 2015. “I’m A Sinner,” a Steven Stubblefield original that serves as the album’s first single, is streaming now.

    Find out more at http://www.starlingstn.info


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    New York-based singer and songwriter Greg Holden will release his debut album for Warner Bros. Records, titled Chase The Sun, on April 14, 2015.

    Produced by Greg Wells (Adele, OneRepublic), Chase The Sun is filled with Holden's passionate, purpose-driven rock songs, which brim with tough, vibrant energy and showcase his lean, literate songwriting.

    Much of Chase The Sun was inspired by a life-changing, seven-week trip that the Scotland-born, England-bred artist took to India and Nepal in February 2013.

    "I saw a lot of poverty in India," Holden says. "I travelled through the northern State of Bihar, which is the poorest region in the country. It was devastating, but incredibly inspiring. I came back home with such a different view on life and a reminder that the fact that I can make music for a living is a miracle."

    Upon his return, Holden began to write the songs that appear on Chase The Sun, including the first single, "Hold On Tight," which he says was the driving force for the album. "It was the first song where I felt like I finally knew where the record was going. It's about looking at life as something we should feel grateful for, not be complaining about.""Hold on Tight" will be available from all digital retailers on January 27th.

    Watch the Chase The Sun - Album Trailer here

    Holden has earned a name for himself as an independent artist for the last several years, releasing two albums, 2009's A Word in Edgeways and 2011's I Don't Believe You. His song "The Lost Boy" - a poetic rumination inspired by a Dave Eggers' novel about a Sudanese refugee - hit No. 1 on iTunes in Holland and raised over $50,000for the Red Cross. Within two weeks of being featured on Sons of Anarchy, "The Lost Boy" sold 30,000 downloads in the U.S. and debuted at No. 36 on Billboard's Rock chart.

    Holden also earned recognition for writing the massive hit "Home" - the debut single for American Idol winner Phillip Phillips that sold five million tracks in the U.S. and earned Holden an ASCAP Pop Award.

    Holden, who was born in Aberdeen, Scotland, and spent his teenage years in Lancashire, England, has made New York City his home since 2009 and its grittiness and urgency bleed into Chase The Sun. "I want people to listen to this album and think, 'Where the hell did this come from?'" Holden says. "I would love them to really pay attention to the words in these songs. I'm hoping that if they do, they will have some kind of meaningful reaction. That's what I would love."

    Catch Greg Holden on tour with Ingrid Michaelson (all shows except NY):

    01/31 Richmond, VA The National
    02/03 Charlottesville, VA Jefferson Theatre
    02/04 Durham, NC Carolina Theatre
    02/06 Charlotte, NC The Fillmore
    02/07 Atlanta, GA Center Stage
    02/09 Charleston, SC Charleston Music Hall
    02/10 Jacksonville, FL Ponte Vedra Concert Hall
    02/11 Clearwater, FL Capitol Theatre
    02/12 Ft. Lauderdale, FL Culture Room
    02/18 New York, NY Le Poisson Rouge (Showcase)

    Find out more at http://www.gregholdenonline.com/


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    In this new video, Paul Gilbert demos and discusses his latest signature Ibanez guitar, the PGM80P.

    This guitar is based on his 1996 PGM800 but with Gilbert's updated preferences, including 22 frets, DiMarzio PAF Master humbuckers and a vintage Wilkinson tremolo bar.

    Check out the video below. For more about the guitar, visit ibanez.com.

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    Today, José González premiered the video for his new single, "Leaf Off/The Cave."

    The clip was directed by Mikel Cee Karlsson (Junip) shot in Gothenburg, Sweden.

    It was inspired by the "Godless Church" of the Sunday Assembly movement, where people come to gather to sing, talk and build community based on "wonder and good."

    In this joyful yet subtly dark and strangely discomforting video, slow motion family photo shoots build into footage of González and his band leading the congregation in a massive sing-along that culminates in a choir emerging on stage, inspiring everyone to clap and sing the chorus together.

    "Leaf Off/The Cave" is from González's soon-to-be-released album Vestiges & Claws, due out on Mute on February 17. The single was released last week and is now available at Amazon and iTunes.

    Watch here:

    Vestiges & Claws is González's first album in seven years and was produced by him in his home as well as Svenska Grammofonstudion, both in Gothenburg. It consists of years' worth of musical sketches that in other hands might naturally sprawl wildly in sound and style, but on Vestiges & Claws, he has created a collection of songs that cohere just about perfectly, ensuring his position as one of the most important artists of his generation.

    González will begin his North American tour in support of the new album on April 6 in Philadelphia, PA. This will be his first solo tour on these shores since 2008. After Philadelphia, the tour will have him performing in most major cities including New York, Toronto, Chicago, and Los Angeles. Iceland's singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Ólöf Arnalds, will be the support act for the entire tour. Tickets, album and merch bundles are on sale now at www.jose-gonzalez.com. (Check your local show listings for more info.)

    José González 2015 North American Tour

    April
    6 - Philadelphia - Union Transfer
    7 - Washington, DC - 9:30 Club
    10 - New York - Webster Hall
    11 - Boston - Paradise - SOLD OUT
    12 - Montreal - Corona Theatre
    13 - Toronto - Phoenix Concert Theatre
    14 - Chicago - Lincoln Hall - SOLD OUT
    15 - Chicago - Lincoln Hall - SOLD OUT
    16 - Minneapolis - Cedar Cultural Center
    18 - Madison - Majestic Theatre
    20 - Englewood - Gothic Theatre
    22 - Salt Lake City - The Depot
    24 - Portland - Wonder Ballroom
    25 - Vancouver - Imperial - SOLD OUT
    27 - San Francisco - Bimbo's 365 Club - SOLD OUT
    28 - San Francisco - Bimbo's 365 Club - SOLD OUT
    29 - Los Angeles - The Regent - SOLD OUT
    30 - Los Angeles - The Regent


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