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    Today, GuitarWorld.com presents the exclusive premiere of "Poor Johnny," a track from Robert Cray's new double live album, 4 Nights of 40 Years Live.

    The set—which also includes a concert film—will be available in a variety of formats as of August 28 via Mascot Label Group.

    "Poor Johnny" is from the albums first disc, which was recorded during the Robert Cray Band's recent tour stop in Los Angeles. It features his current band, longtime bassist, collaborator and friend Richard Cousins, keyboardist Dover Weinberg (who was in Cray's first band) and drummer Les Falconer (O'Jays, Keb 'Mo). Disc Two features live cuts from Cray's archives, including a 1982 performance at the San Francisco Blues Festival. You can check out the complete CD track list below.

    The 4 Nights of 40 Years Live film features a similar confluence of performances from Cray's career, plus interviews with Keith Richards, Eric Clapton and many others, all of whom discuss Cray and his musical legacy.

    The set will be available in the following formats: 2LP with digital download card, 2CD + DVD, Blu-Ray + 2CD and digitally. You can watch a trailer previewing the set below (bottom video).

    4 Nights of 40 Years Live includes (disc one) "Shiver,""I'll Always Remember You,""Poor Johnny,""Won't Be Coming Home,""On the Road Down,""Sittin' On Top of the World,""Wrap It Up,""Love Gone to Waste,""Bad Influence,""These Things,""Right Next Door (Because of Me),""The Forecast (Calls for Pain)" and "Time Makes Two." Disc Two features "I Guess I Showed Her,""Right Next Door (Because of Me),""Smoking Gun,""Still Around,""Too Many Cooks" and "T-Bone Shuffle." For details on the DVD track listing, visit mascotlabelgroup.com.

    The album is available for preorder right here. For more about Cray, visit robertcray.com.

    Robert Cray Band on Tour:

    7/30 Paso Robles, CA California Mid-State Fair
    7/31 Agoura Hills, CA The Canyon
    8/01 Stateline, NV Harrah's Lake Tahoe
    8/02 Mammoth Lakes, CA Mammoth Lake Festival of Beers
    8/04 Roseburg, OR Music on the Half Shell
    8/08 Lebanon, OR Guitar Under The Stars (Cheadle Lake Park)
    8/09 Snoqualmie, WA Snoqualmie Casino Ballroom
    8/11 Boise, ID Egyptian Theatre
    8/13 Breckenridge, CO Riverwalk Center
    8/15 Boulder, CO Chautauqua Auditorium
    8/16 Deadwood, SD Deadwood Mountain Hotel & Casino
    8/18 Apple Valley, MN Weesner Family Amphitheater @ MN Zoo
    9/18 Flint, MI The Whiting
    9/19 Glenellyn, IL McAninch Arts Center
    9/22 Manhattan, KS McCain Auditorium
    9/24 Wichita, KS Orpheum Theater


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    David Gilmour has premiered a new song, "Rattle That Lock," and you can check it out below.

    It's the title track from the Pink Floyd guitarist's upcoming solo album.

    "It's a jingle, a four-note jingle, and every time I heard it, it would make me want to start dancing," Gilmour says in a making-of video for the single (bottom video).

    "It's about a journey, but it's also about that journey of not accepting the status quo," adds Polly Samson, Gilmour's wife (and a novelist). "It's based on two journeys, both inspired by Paradise Lost."

    A formal "Rattle That Lock" music video will premiere in August. In the meantime, take a listen and tell us what you think!

    Additional Content

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    Have you ever dreamed of performing live in front of thousands of fans, or showcasing your skills to music industry legends?

    Well, the Northern Exposure Guitar Contest, presented by pop alternative artist Zameer, gives you a chance to do just that!

    Submit a video of yourself jamming to one of Zameer’s songs and you could win an all-expenses-paid VIP trip to Toronto, Canada, to perform live with Zameer on his upcoming tour!

    Get more details at zameermusic.com or
    enter the contest right here!

    Zameer has sold more than 30,000 records in Canada, licensed a theme song for the 2010 Vancouver Paralympic games, and collected hundreds of thousands of followers through social media. Rizvi's new album, Her, includes 10 all-new songs produced by 13-time Juno winner and Grammy nominee Gavin Brown and Johnny Fay of the Tragically Hip.

    For more about Zameer, follow him on Facebook.


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    IK Multimedia has announced the release of the iRig PowerBridge, a charging system that lets musicians continuously create music and play with their favorite digital IK Multimedia iRig accessories while sending a stream of conditioned power to keep their iPhone, iPad or iPod touch charged.

    You can check out a video of the product in action below.

    iRig PowerBridge works with all of IK's high-quality digital audio and MIDI interfaces, microphones and controllers like iRig HD, iRig PRO, iRig MIC Studio, iRig MIC HD, iRig Keys, iRig Keys PRO, iRig Pads, iRig MIDI 2 and more.

    However, one problem still remained unsolved. With only one Lightning (or 30-pin) port available, it was not possible to connect a music creation accessory like an interface, mic or controller and keep mobile devices such as iPads and iPhones charged for long extended playing sessions without running the risk of exhausting battery power.

    iRig PowerBridge is a solution to the problem musicians face when using their music apps on their iPhones and iPads for extended periods of time by allowing them to use their IK Multimedia mobile interfaces and MIDI controllers while supplying a continuous stream of conditioned charging power to their device.

    Players simply plug their IK Multimedia digital accessory into the iRig PowerBridge via the included Mini-DIN cable, then plug the iRig PowerBridge into their device via the Lightning or 30-pin connector. Once plugged into a power source, iRig PowerBridge provides a continuous supply of conditioned power for charging and non-stop operation plus a pristine digital audio signal path and MIDI control data.

    iRig PowerBridge delivers by combining a power supply with a medical-grade ultra-low noise power conditioner that virtually eliminates the noise traditionally introduced from regular power supplies. PowerBridge connects to a power outlet on one end, a Lightning or 30-pin for iPhone, iPad or iPod touch and a female Mini-DIN connector to connect the IK Multimedia digital iRig accessory.

    Through this connection, iRig PowerBridge allows continuous charging while also passing along audio and MIDI information between the digital iRig accessory and the iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.

    Players can also use iRig PowerBridge and iRig MIDI 2 to hook any outboard MIDI gear to their iPhone or iPad and play all night without running out of juice.


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    Critically acclaimed alt-rockers Wilco released a new studio album, Star Wars, for free on their website last night.

    You can download it here—like we said—for free.

    "Why release an album this way and why make it free? Well, the biggest reason, and I'm not sure we even need any others, is that it felt like it would be fun," Jeff Tweedy wrote on the band's Instagram.

    "What's more fun than a surprise?"

    You can hear the entire album for free below.

    Star Wars Track List:

    1. EKG
    2. More...
    3. Random Name Generator
    4. The Joke Explained
    5. You Satellite
    6. Taste the Ceiling
    7. Pickled Ginger
    8. Where Do I Begin
    9. Cold Slope
    10. King Of You
    11. Magnetized


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    We've already glanced back at the albums that defined 1985 and 1975.

    So let's turn back the clocks another decade!

    Nineteen hundred and sixty-five was when many of rock's titans began to take off creatively, transitioning from brilliant hit makers into true artists who changed the rulebook as they went along.

    This was still in the era when major artists were expected to release an album every 10 months or so, meaning that many artists took not one but two enormous creative leaps in 1965.

    First and foremost, of course, was the Fab Four. They began the year with the soundtrack to their whimsical classic, Help!. On Help!, you could hear the first seeds of John Lennon and Paul McCartney staking out their own, equally brilliant musical grounds, with Paul's timeless ballad "Yesterday" and John's world-weary "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away."

    On Rubber Soul, they took their taste for boundary-pushing to a new level, dipping into Eastern music for the first time on Lennon's astounding "Norwegian Wood" and psychedelia on the spellbinding "Nowhere Man."

    Making giant leaps with them was Bob Dylan, who abandoned acoustic protest songs for an unprecedented hybrid of folk, rock and roots music adorned with his extraordinary lyricism. In the span of five months, he released Bringing It All Back Home and Highway 61 Revisited, two records that, even 50 years later, sound like they don't belong on this planet.

    Blues-rockers the Yardbirds also released two albums that year, both of which held clues to the future of guitar rock. The first, For Your Love, was mainstream music's first taste of a young guitarist by the name of Eric Clapton (plus a few with his replacement, Jeff Beck), while the second, Having a Rave Up with the Yardbirds, was mostly Beck (with a touch of Clapton).

    A brash young quartet by the name of the Who burst into the music world's consciousness with a searing indictment called "My Generation" and an equally powerful album by the same name.

    The Rolling Stones and the Beach Boys were beginning to move away from their roots. The Beach Boys' Brian Wilson was leading his West Coast pop group away from the shallow surf anthems of their early days and into uncharted waters of sophisticated pop production, while the Stones' Mick Jagger and Keith Richards honed their own songwriting chemistry.

    The blues had a great year too, with the release of B.B. King's masterwork, Live at the Regal and Freddie King's Bonanza of Instrumentals.

    Though it was dominated by a handful of titanic talents, 1965 was a year of major change that forever altered the face of rock music. Enjoy the photo gallery below. Remember you can click on each photo to take a closer look!

    NOTE: This list is presented purely in alphabetical order, not an order of worst to best or best to worst. So there's no order of preference. Enjoy!


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    Guitar World Recommends shines the spotlight on new and noteworthy gear for guitarists. This week, Guitar World recommends the MXR Smart Gate Noise Gate pedal.

    Tame your hissing high-gain amp or silence your string of stompboxes with this ingenious pedal.

    The Smart Gate is equipped with three selectable types of noise reduction to handle virtually any type of signal. It bites down on sizzle and hum but lets the smallest detail of your playing through.

    With its uncanny ability to sense precisely when—and how fast—to engage, this little genius will never get in your way, so you can wring every last bit of sustain out of that chord without being cut off. The M135 features a hardwire bypass, precise threshold trigger, and amazingly clean circuitry.

    For more about this pedal, visit jimdunlop.com.


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    "Sorry, my head takes a little while to get into gear,” says Brian May with a little laugh as he begins to mull over the history of Queen. The 63-year-old guitarist speaks gently, endeavoring to answer questions as fully as he can.

    May’s academic air is understandable. As a younger man he attended London’s illustrious Imperial College until he abandoned his studies and a promising future in astrophysics to fully dedicate himself to Queen. The band’s estimated worldwide album sales vary anywhere from 150 to 300 million.

    Whatever the exact figure, it was certainly a smart career move for the budding cosmologist.

    In 1971, bassist John Deacon joined Queen, completing the lineup of May, drummer Roger Taylor and singer Freddie Mercury. Over the next two decades they would become the complete stadium rock act. Mercury expertly worked massive crowds backed by a concrete rhythm section that mixed flamboyance (Taylor) and willful anonymity (Deacon).

    May, instantly recognizable either by the sight of his trademark tower of curly hair or the unique tone of his homemade Red Special guitar, would mutter quietly to himself as he strove to perfectly deliver some of rock’s most memorable riffs.

    Grandiosity in all things applied very much to Queen’s parties. These notoriously depraved celebrations were typically staffed by half-naked girls, though disappointingly a well-worn anecdote involving dwarves with bowls of cocaine on their heads is entirely apocryphal. “I loved the social side of it and there was a lot of fun in doing things that no one had done before,” May says.

    “But there was a side of me that kept to myself, I suppose, and was much more private. Looking back on it, I think perhaps I was a little too much of an island, but on the other hand perhaps it kept me sane.”

    In 1991, at the age of 45, Freddie Mercury passed away due to AIDS-related bronchial pneumonia. Six years later John Deacon withdrew from public life, leaving May and Taylor—musical comrades since 1968, when they first played together in a group called Smile—to curate Queen’s legacy.

    This year marks the group’s 40th anniversary, and in celebration, Queen’s 15 studio albums are being released in remastered deluxe editions. “I’m quite excited, actually,” says May. “They’re a really lovely bit of work, I think. There are lots of little bits of rescue that have been done to bring these albums closer to the original vinyl experience. You know, when you first opened your LP and it had that particular smell. Unfortunately we can’t quite do the smell yet, but we’re trying to get as close as possible to that sound and that feel. It’s a fascinating project.”

    What were your impressions of Freddie Mercury before he joined Queen?

    An interesting and flamboyant character who seemed to be very confident, but it was soon apparent that he was very shy underneath all that stuff. Yeah, he was an unknown. Full of enthusiasm, full of energy and ideas. We had no idea if he could sing or not, really. When we actually did see him sing with his old band, I don’t think we felt that good about it because he was very over the top. Of course, that all changed very quickly when Freddie got into the studio and started to hear himself and fashion himself according to his desires. He was very astute at finding the best in himself.

    Who did you have most in common with when Queen first got together?

    MAY That’s complicated. Once we were all together we had quite a complex, sort of multiway interaction. That’s why it worked, really. I was very close to Roger in some ways because we’d already been in a band together. We are—and we were—kind of brothers. We were so close in our aspirations and the way we looked at music, but of course so distant in so many other ways. So like any pair of brothers we sort of loved and hated each other all along the line.

    What was your relationship with Freddie like once he became a band member?

    In a way, I was very close to Freddie, particularly in the songwriting area. In the beginning, it was only he and I that were writing the material, pretty much. We learned to interact in a very productive way without treading on each other’s toes. At its best it was a wonderful relationship, I must say.

    Some of my best times were producing a vocal out of Freddie, sort of coaxing him in various directions. A lot of the other best moments were Freddie doing the same for me the other way round, him saying, “Brian, why don’t you try this?” while I was doing the guitar solo. He loved what I did, which was very encouraging for me. He kind of saw me as his Jimi Hendrix, I think, which was very flattering for me. Most of my best guitar work was done on Freddie’s material because it was so inspiring. When it came to my own material, I was more concerned with the song.

    When you learned that Freddie was dying did you want to continue recording?

    Yeah. He loved recording, he loved being in the studio environment, and I think right up to the end that was his greatest escape. So it was his wish that we recorded right up to the very, very last moment. He was singing vocals when he couldn’t even stand. He’d prop himself up against the desk, knock a couple of vodkas down and go for it.

    The very last time we ever did that, me and him, was singing “Mother Love,” which is one of my favorite tracks on Made in Heaven. He never actually finished that. He said, “Oh, Brian, I can’t do any more. I’m dying here.” [laughs] It’s incredible, he never seemed to let it get him down. He was always full of humor and enthusiasm. He would make jokes about it, really.

    Were those final sessions upsetting?

    At the time, strangely enough, we developed such a great closeness as a band that they were quite joyful times. There was this cloud hanging over, but the cloud was outside the studio, it wasn’t inside. I have really great memories of those times. I think that we opened up to each other in a way that we hadn’t been able to before. For the first time we were actually writing songs absolutely as partnerships so, no…you know, the thing is there’s always a big element of disbelief. Y

    es, we knew the prognosis and we’d seen what happened to people with this horrible disease, but I don’t think we quite believed that it could happen to Freddie. We thought, No, something will happen, you know, somebody’s going to find a cure. He’s Freddie, after all. He’s invincible. So when the news finally came it was like a bolt from the blue.

    Did you get a chance to say goodbye?

    [sighs] That’s a hard question to answer. We were with him a lot in the final days, but it wasn’t a question of saying goodbye; it was a question of just sharing a moment. I remember a particular occasion when we were talking about his garden, because he was lying in bed and he couldn’t see out into his garden very well from where he was. We were talking about his plants, which he loved.

    Actually, Anita [May’s wife] and I were there. He said, “Guys, don’t feel like you have to talk to me. Just you being here is what’s important, and I’m enjoying that. So don’t feel like you have to entertain me.” So I think, in a way, that was him—amazingly—finding acceptance of the way things were. So, no, the word “goodbye” didn’t happen but we definitely reached a very peaceful place.

    Did you have any idea that your 1986 Knebworth show would be the last time that Queen played live together?

    No. Freddie said something like, “Oh, I can’t fucking do this anymore, my whole body’s wracked with pain!” But he normally said things like that at the end of a tour, so I don’t think we took it seriously, really.

    Did “Bohemian Rhapsody” strike you as a peculiar song when Freddie first suggested it to you?

    No, I don’t think so. You’ve got to bear in mind that we’d already made “My Fairy King” on the first album and we’d done “The March of the Black Queen” on the second album, so we were well in tune with Freddie’s excursions into strange areas, and that was something that we really enjoyed.

    I personally loved it when he’d come in with something off the wall, because there would always be something interesting for me to do on it. He’d be playing in Eb, which is always difficult for a guitar player, or F# or whatever, and I would enjoy the challenge of finding things that sounded good on the guitar that went with his piano playing. So I was intrigued. I thought, This is going to be a great thing to work on.

    What’s your favorite riff to play?

    Probably “Tie Your Mother Down.” People jump up when they hear it, which is a good feeling.

    Being so highly educated, did you find that being in a band provided you with adequate intellectual stimulation?

    That’s an interesting question. I suppose we were quite an intellectual group, so we would always have lots of discussions about things that weren’t music. The music itself is very challenging, so I’ve never really felt the lack of stimulation. I love to be creating, I love to be making things and solving problems, I suppose, and when I’m not, then I’m not an incredibly good person to be around. If I’m not busy then I think I would be disaster. That’s just the way things are.

    Innuendo, the last album that you recorded with Freddie, was released the same year as Nirvana’s Nevermind [1991]. Do you think that, had Freddie lived, Queen could have continued on the same level given the way that rock was heading in the Nineties?

    It’s hard to say really. I’m sure we would have continued as a band. The fact that it continued without us being a band is incredible, so I suppose the answer would be yes. I mean, we seem to be as big as we ever were in much of the world. We revisited South America with Paul Rodgers a while ago and it was almost as big as it was in the old days. We were playing stadiums again. So yes, I think we would have still been doing what we did.

    Do you ever think about retiring?

    No. I’m not a person for sitting on beaches. What would I do?

    Additional Content

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    “Freddie [Mercury] had the whole piece pretty well mapped out, as I remember, but he didn’t have a guitar solo planned," Queen's Brian May said.

    "So I guess I steamed in and said, ‘This is the point where you need your solo, and these are the chords I’d like to use.’ The chord progression for the solo is based on the verse, but with a slight foray into some different chords at the end, to make a transition into the next part of the song.

    "I’d heard the track so many times while we were working on it that I knew in my head what I wanted to play for a solo. I wanted the guitar melody to be something extra, not just an echo of the vocal melody. I had a little tune in my head to play. It didn’t take very long to record.

    “The next section of the song, the heavy bit, was really part of Freddie’s plan. I didn’t change what he had very much. Those guitar riffs that everybody bangs their heads to are really more Freddie’s than mine. And at the end of that section, I sort of took over. I wanted to do some guitar orchestrations—little violin lines—coming out of that. And it blended in very well with what Freddie was doing with the outro.

    “We were stretching the limits of technology in those days. Since ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ was entirely done on 16-track, we had to do a lot of bouncing as we went along; the tape got very thin.

    "This ‘legendary’ story, which people think we made up, is true: we held the tape up to the light one day—we’d been wondering where all the top end was going—and what we discovered was virtually a transparent piece of tape. All the oxide had been rubbed off. It was time to hurriedly make a copy and get on with it.”

    Next: 19) "Floods"

    Queen (studio):




    Queen (live, 1986)




    Judas Priest guitarist Richie Faulkner (before Judas Priest):




    Daryl Kellie:




    Kelly Valleau:




    SktechShe:

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    In honor of Lana Del Rey’s new single “Honeymoon” dropping last week, I’ve rounded up 5 quality covers of Del Rey’s past work from Born to Die and Ultraviolence.

    Her next album, titled Honeymoon as well, is set to be released September of this year.

    These five covers stood out in a sea of contrived covers, so here’s to these talented musicians for making their own spin on the forever-mysterious chanteuse’s work.

    “Summertime Sadness” cover by Megan Davies and Keelan Donovan

    “Video Games” cover by Michael Schulte

    “West Coast” cover by George Ogilvie

    “Ride” cover by Mishavonna and Chris Hellmann

    “Cruel World” cover by Drew Tabor


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    Lamb of God have premiered a new song, "Embers."

    The song, which is taken from the band's latest album VII: Sturm Und Drang, features Chino Moreno of metal legends Deftones. You can check it out below.

    VII: Sturm Und Drang is available for pre-order via iTunes and Amazon. It includes “Still Echoes” and “512” as instant-grat tracks.

    Catch Lamb of God on tour this summer:

    NORTH AMERICAN TOUR:
    LAMB OF GOD W/ Slipknot, Bullet For My Valentine & Motionless In White

    7/24 - West Palm Beach, FL @ Cruzan Amphitheatre
    7/25 - Tampa, FL @ MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre
    7/26 - Atlanta, GA @ Aaron’s Amphitheatre at Lakewood
    7/28 - Detroit, MI @ DTE Energy MusicTheatre
    7/29 - Darien Center, NY @ Darien Lake Performing Arts Center
    7/31 - Saratoga Springs, NY @ Saratoga Performing Arts Center
    8/1 - Wantagh, NY @ Nikon at Jones Beach Theater
    8/2 - Hartford, CT @ XFINITY Theatre
    8/4 - Boston, MA @ XFINITY Center
    8/5 - Holmdel, NJ @ PNC Bank Arts Center
    8/6 - Pittsburgh, PA @ First Niagara Pavilion
    8/8 - Toronto, ON @ Molson Canadian Amphitheatre
    8/9 - Montreal, QC @ Parc Jean-Drapeau - Heavy Montreal
    8/11 - Washington, DC @ Jiffy Lube Live
    8/12 - Virginia Beach, VA @ Farm Bureau Live at Virginia Beach
    8/14 - Indianapolis, IN @ Klipsch Music Center
    8/15 - Chicago, IL @ First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre
    8/16 - St. Louis, MO @ Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre
    8/19 - Denver, CO @ Red Rocks Amphitheatre
    8/21 - Salt Lake City, UT @ USANA Amphitheatre
    8/23 - Auburn, WA @ White River Amphitheater
    8/24 - Vancouver, BC @ Rogers Arena
    8/26 - Concord, CA @ Concord Pavilion
    8/28 - Las Vegas, NV @ MGM Resort Festival Grounds
    8/29 - Phoenix, AZ @ AK-Chin Pavilion
    8/30 - Albuquerque, NM @ Isleta Amphitheater
    9/2 - Austin, TX @ Austin360 Amphitheater
    9/4 - Houston, TX @ The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
    9/5 - Dallas, TX @ Gexa Energy Pavilion

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    Legendary L.A. rockers Los Lobos have announced their first new studio album in five years, Gates of Gold.

    The 11-track collection will be released September 25 by 429 Records.

    You can check out the title track here and see the album's full track list below. Stay tuned for more details as they are released.

    Gates of Gold Track Listing:

    01. Made to Break Your Heart
    02. When We Were Free
    03. Mis-Treater Boogie Blues
    04. There I Go
    05. Too Small Heart
    06. Poquito Para Aqui
    07. Gates of Gold
    08. La Tumba Sera El Final
    09. Song of the Sun
    10. I Believed You So
    11. Magdalena


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    Don Henley has announced Cass County, his first new solo album in 15 years.

    The country music album is set for a September 25 release via Capitol Records and can be pre-ordered via iTunes.

    Pre-orders come with instant digital downloads of “That Old Flame” and “Take a Picture of This,” both of which you can hear below. You also can watch a trailer for the album.

    The album, which is named for the county in northeastern Texas where Henley grew up, marks a return to his roots. It also features an all-star list of collaborators, including Merle Haggard, Alison Krauss, Vince Gill, Dolly Parton and Mick Jagger.

    “I was born and raised in Texas. I'm a Southerner and a Texan. So this is a natural progression for me," Henley said. "It's who I am and where I come from."

    Henley also has announced a a solo tour in October that will include shows in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Durham (NC), Los Angeles, Nashville, New York City, Philadelphia, Port Chester (NY), San Francisco, Santa Barbara, Toronto and Washington, D.C. Singer-songwriter Shawn Colvin will open on all the dates.

    For more about Henley and the new album, visit donhenley.com.

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    Luckily, Stevie Ray Vaughan got around in the Eighties, jamming with pretty much everyone from Jeff Beck to Eric Clapton to B.B. King to Albert King to ...

    OK, maybe not everyone. But he certainly played with a host of blues and classic-rock legends, including Carlos Santana.

    Below, check out some pro-shot—and just plain enjoyable—footage of Santana—who was born on this date in 1947—jamming with Stevie Ray Vaughan; Stevie's big brother, Jimmie Vaughan of the Fabulous Thunderbirds; and lefty guitarist Cesar Rosas of Los Lobos in October 1988.

    The show, which is available on a bootleg DVD (or so I'm told), took place at the Pacific Amphitheater in Costa Mesa, California.

    You'll want to jump ahead to the 14:23 mark in the top video, which is when Santana's guests take the stage. They kick things off with "Everybody's Everything," a rollicking track with blues changes from Santana's 1971 self-titled album, during which SRV goes to town on a doubleneck Danelectro (the bottom neck sounds like a baritone).

    But it only gets better from there. We see Santana exchange solos with Stevie, Jimmie and Cesar, all of whom were in great form that night. The medley of songs continues into the second video, where there are more closeups of SRV and his (or someone's) doubleneck guitar in action. This is also some of the best late-Eighties playing by Jimmie that I've ever seen.

    Enjoy!

    Damian Fanelli is the online managing editor at Guitar World and Guitar Aficionado. His New York-based band, the Blue Meanies, has toured the world and elsewhere. Fanelli, a former member of Brooklyn jump-blues/swing/rockabilly band the Gas House Gorillas and New York City instrumental surf-rock band Mister Neutron, also composes and records film soundtracks. He writes GuitarWorld.com's The Next Bend column, which is dedicated to B-bender guitars and guitarists. His latest liner notes can be found in Sony/Legacy's Stevie Ray Vaughan: The Complete Epic Recordings Collection. Follow him on Facebook,Twitter and/or Instagram.

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    Originally published in Guitar World, July 2004.

    Check out these practice tips from super-shredder Joe Satriani!

    01. Don’t spend more than an hour on any one thing.

    The brain can only hold so much new information before it says “enough.” Scientists have studied the changes that occur to the brain when a person learns something new. They’ve found it takes a while for the brain to recover before it can process new information. So limit yourself to one hour a day on anything that is new or especially challenging.

    02. Keep it fun.

    This ties in with tip No. 1. Practicing isn’t always fun, but there are ways to lessen the boredom. When I was a kid, I’d get up and practice guitar for an hour before school, and during that hour I’d do all the boring stuff just to get it over with. That way I could come home, do my homework and then jam with my friends.

    03. Find the note everywhere.

    As an exercise, learn how to locate the note E everywhere, on every string. Once you’ve mastered that, go on to B, and then the other notes. Once you’ve demystified the placement of notes, you’ll be amazed at how freely you’ll be able to move about the neck.

    04. Stay in tune.

    When you practice, you’re sending musical messages to your ears and your brain. Even if you don’t realize you’re out of tune, the brain does, and it sends a little message back; “This doesn’t sound good. Stop practicing.” So buy a tuner, use it and stay in tune. You’ll practice longer.

    05. Run through every chord you know.

    It seems silly, but if your fingers don’t go to a certain place it’s because you haven’t challenged them. One day, when I was a teenager, I decided that I was going to learn every chord in a Joe Pass chord book I had. I worked on it every day; there’s no substitute for bonehead repetition. The great thing is, once you get used to this exercise, you’ll literally force your fingers to go from chord to chord to chord—chords that have no relation to each other—and great things can come from that.

    Recommended DVD:Tommy Emmanuel—Live at the Sheldon Concert Hall

    Tommy Emmanuel is an Australian virtuoso acoustic guitarist, and he’s beyond amazing. He leans on the positive side—it’s all very “up” sounding—but he’s well worth checking out.

    Recommended Book:Guitar Secrets (Cherry Lane Music)

    At the risk of appearing self-serving, I’m recommending my own book. I cover lots of ground here, from warm-up exercises to the mind-boggling stuff.

    Recommended School: The National Guitar Workshop in Los Angeles

    For years I avoided playing guitar clinics; I’m more of a one-on-one instructor. Once, however, we were trying to get into China to play some shows, and Ibanez thought we could break down a few doors by playing clinics. Lo and behold, I enjoyed them. I agreed to do a few more in the states, and my favorite one was at the National Guitar Workshop. Kids who attend it get to spend a week meeting with industry professionals. It was very loose and informal. I brought with me 10 CDs that I could play along to, and the kids were real close so they could see everything I was doing. We were able to talk and joke, and it was great.

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    Guitarist Troy Grady hosts a web series called "Cracking the Code."

    In each episode, he breaks down a phrase—or something awesome that he has learned or figured out—and then explains it in a detail-packed way that includes an information- and graphics-packed video.

    In the recent past, we've shared two "Cracking the Code" videos dedicated to Yngwie Malmsteen's picking:

    Yngwie Malmsteen Lesson: Cracking the Code, Season 2, Episode 1: "Get Down for the Upstroke"

    Yngwie Malmsteen Lesson: Cracking the Code, Season 2, Episode 2: "Inside the Volcano."

    Today we bring you Grady's new Paul Gilbert-themed lesson, "The Truth About Inside & Outside Picking."

    "Chapter 24 of the Antigravity seminar explores the amazing Paul Gilbert and the often-misunderstood concepts of inside and outside picking," Grady says. You can learn more about Grady's Antigravity series right here.

    For more about Grady and his instructional videos, visit troygrady.com and gumroad.com. Enjoy!

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    PLATINUM AWARD WINNER

    There are times when nothing less than a half stack will do when playing certain styles of music live.

    However, a half stack is overkill for the venues where most guitarists play ninety percent or more of their gigs, and hauling around a heavy 4x12 cabinet can prematurely cause one’s posture to twist into a permanent Angus Young duck walk stance.

    Combo amps are the obvious solution, but the problem is that most combos are either too low powered, not versatile enough, or outrageously expensive.

    While Eddie Van Halen has performed on arena and stadium stages for the last 38 years, he never forgot the challenges he experienced when playing at clubs. With the new EVH 5150III 1x12 50-watt combo, Eddie and the engineers at EVH have designed a compact, portable combo that doesn’t sacrifice the sound and versatility of the 5150III heads that Eddie Van Halen uses on stage and in the studio.

    The EVH 5150III 1x12 50-watt is much more than just a shrunken-down combo version of a 5150III half stack, offering several exclusive features that make it the ideal all-in-one alternative for club gigs, studio recording, and practice at home.

    FEATURES: Consistent with the other EVH 5150III amps, this 50-watt 1x12 combo offers three channels (clean, crunch, lead), a single 1/4-inch input jack, and mono 1/4-inch effect send and return jacks and is driven by 6L6 power tubes (a pair) and 12AX7 preamp tubes (seven of them).

    Like the EVH 5150III 50-watt head and 2x12 combo, the front panel provides a set of low, mid, and high EQ, gain, and volume controls that are shared by channels 1 and 2, a second set of low, mid, high, gain, and volumes controls for channel 3 only, and a master presence control. Other front panel controls include a reverb knob to adjust the level of the built-in digital reverb and a power level knob that adjusts the power output continuously from 50 watts to just one watt.

    The rear panel is packed with a variety of professional features, including a MIDI input jack (for selecting channels and engaging reverb with an optional MIDI controller), 1/4-inch preamp output, and a pair of 1/4-inch parallel speaker output jacks with a 4/8/16-ohm output selector switch.

    There’s also a master resonance knob that adjusts the tightness of the overall bass response, a 1/4-inch headphone output jack, and a 1/4-inch jack for the included four-button footswitch controller that engages individual channels and the reverb effect.

    A single 12-inch Celestion G12M speaker is housed in a birch cabinet with a closed-back design and custom internal baffling. The 1x12 version of the EVH 5150III 50-watt combo is 19 pounds lighter than its 2x12 counterpart, but its overall dimensions are only three inches narrower and shorter yet 1/2-inch deeper. The combo is available either with traditional black covering or in ivory at no additional cost.

    PERFORMANCE: The sound of the clean, crunch, and lead channels is almost identical to that of the original 5150III 100-watt head, although the latter two channels seem to have a touch more gain that delivers a slightly more aggressive overall edge.

    The clean channel has ample clean headroom that makes this channel ideal for use with a pedal-based rig, and it produces satisfying crisp-but-fat overdrive crunch when the gain control is between three to five o’clock. The crunch channel provides Eddie’s modern “brown” sound with sweet treble and slightly saturated sustain, while the lead channel is full-on high-gain distortion that’s perfect for solos or modern metal rhythms.

    Thanks to the closed-back cabinet design and ample dimensions, which give the 12-inch speaker more room to resonate and bloom, the amp delivers similar low-end thump and focused midrange to a full-sized 4x12 cabinet. This combo is impressively loud, but the power level control allows players to tame the dBs to more sane levels for smaller clubs and studio recording. Weighing 65 pounds, it’s also a more sane option for players who don’t have road crews.

    Everything about the EVH 5150III 1x12 50-watt combo is professional, from its first-class sounds to its rock-solid construction. This is a combo without compromise, and best of all it’s the most affordable pathway to Eddie Van Halen’s current tone zone.

    LIST PRICE: $1,818.17
    MANUFACTURER: EVH, evhgear.com

    CHEAT SHEET: The closed-back design and custom internal baffling allows the single 12-inch Celestion G12M speaker to deliver huge bass and focused midrange similar to a 4x12 cabinet.

    Tubes include a pair of JJ 6L6 power tubes and seven JJ ECC83 (12AX7) preamp tubes that provide 50 watts of output and impressive gain.

    Output is continuously variable between 50 watts to one watt via the power level control located on the combo’s front panel.

    Clean, crunch, and lead channels provide the full range of tones ideal for any style of music from classic country to modern metal.

    THE BOTTOM LINE: Incredibly versatile, packed with professional features, and affordably priced, the EVH 5150III 1x12 50-watt combo offers gigging and recording guitarists unbeatable value without compromise.


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    One of the big questions we get over and over is whether writing commercial music requires you to sell your soul, abandon creativity, and forsake all that is good in this world.

    The answer is an emphatic “NO.” Any time this debate arises, there are those that say “Well, Jackson Browne did it his own way. He was poetic AND commercial” or “Bob Dylan didn’t sell out, he wrote whatever he wanted.”

    It’s curious to me that every example that is ever thrown out to “prove” that you shouldn’t try to be commercial is a person that was commercially successful.

    No one ever says, “I want to be like my neighbor Bob Smith. He writes crazy stuff that no one understands and plays it alone in his garage.”

    The people from the past that we try to model our work after were, almost without exception, successful commercial writers. They wrote what worked in their time. Those that are successful today are doing the same. Is it different from what worked in the past? For sure! Is it better or worse? That’s a matter of opinion.

    Our goal here at Songtown is to help you write better songs. By better songs, we mean songs that connect to your audience. Not necessarily anyone else’s audience. Yours. Whatever that might be. Whether you want to write songs that your family enjoys hearing at family reunions, or you want to write songs that millions of people hear on the radio, it’s all about communication.

    Unless you plan to be like “Neighbor Bob” and only play your songs for yourself, you need to communicate well. Otherwise, you are just throwing gibberish on paper.

    So, the posts we write are not encouraging you to be someone you are not. We are not trying to get you to give up YOUR thing and chase something else. We just want to help you write better songs.

    If your goal is to get songs on the radio, that’s great. We’ll try to help with that. If it’s just to write songs you are happy with, we’ll help you do that to the best of your ability.

    Our musical heroes were commercially successful in some way, or we wouldn’t have discovered their music. Don’t buy into the idea that commercial music is selling out unless you are willing to accuse your musical idols of the same.

    Write on!

    Marty Dodson

    Marty Dodson blogs daily on Facebook at www.facebook/songtownusa and on www.songtown.com. You can check out his music at www.martydodson.com. Marty plays Taylor Guitars and Batson Guitars.


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    What's it like to sit around with Chris Broderick and Gus G?

    It's probably a lot like this!

    Check out this new video featuring Guitar World's latest cover stars, Chris Broderick and Gus G. It's fun (and a little intimidating) to see these two insanely talented guitarists trade licks, talk inspiration, influences and more.

    A few things while we have your attention:

    Check out the new issue of Guitar World (with Chris and Gus on the cover) right here.
    Enjoy our premiere of "The Quest" from Gus G's new solo album, Brand New Revolution.
    Check outone of the most insane "Betcha Can't Play This" videos, ever, featuring Chris Broderick.
    Read this random story about Stevie Ray Vaughan jamming with Carlos Santana in 1988.

    For more about Chris Broderick, head here. For more about Gus G, head in this general direction. Stay tuned for the next exclusive GW video featuring these two shredders!

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    Sisters Folk Fest is a fun festival that has become an annual tradition since 1995.

    SSF is a non-profit organization that has a clear vision to bring the finest acoustic music to the warmhearted town of Sisters, OR.

    Sisters Folk Fest has developed into a year round cultural arts organization that supports local schools with extensive community engagement.

    Not only does SFF put together an awesome festival, the non-profit also is responsible for the successful educational outreach program, the Americana project, My Own Two Hands, and the Sisters Folk Arts Circle.

    The 2015 Breedlove sponsored artist for the festival is Luke Wade & No Civilians. Luke, a Texas native turned traveling musician, is the band’s primary songwriter. Wade released a brilliant album this past spring titled The River. Luke’s music is lyrically thoughtful and full of soul. “Why wouldn’t I be excited?! I get to do what I love more than anything else in one of the most beautiful places in the world!” Wade says about playing in Sisters Folk Fest.

    Breedlove partnered with the festival in 2001 and began building custom SSF guitars to raffle off and also artist sponsorships. “The artist sponsorship program for Sister Folk Fest has shown success not only for Breedlove and the SFF, but also for the artists themselves,” Sami Mulhern, head of media marketing and artist relations, explains. Mulhern also states, “Breedlove is a well known and respected guitar brand that has a loyal following from musicians, music executives, to the instrument dealers. The sponsored artist leaves the festival feeling the joy and passion that the festivalgoers experience. The musicians always become a close network that look forward to the next year to play with and see their folk family.”

    The custom guitar Breedlove will be auctioning off will be on display at Paulina Springs Books in Sisters, OR. Raffle tickets are 1 for $20.00 and 3 for $50.00 and can be purchased in advance here at Breedlove Stringed Instruments (61573 American Loop Bend, OR 97702) and also at the Folk Festival website. Breedlove looks forward to the sponsorship each year and can’t wait to meet you at the 2015 Sisters Folk Festival!

    Click here for the Sisters Folk Fest 2015 Lineup.

    Find out more about Luke Wade here.

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