Friday, November 30, 2012

OPINION: The 3 Best Classic Southern Rock Songs of All Time

by Joe T Wiseman

The proof of the greatness of Southern rock music can be found in any music store where re-releases of albums from the past with the label "digital re-master" drives the collector to purchase this great music - one more time!

I have often been involved in discussions about what songs were the greatest. The question is: which are the 3 best Southern classic rock songs of all time? Here is my list. I suggest that the top 3 are:

Free Bird

Lynyrd Skynyrd is arguably the best of the Southern rock bands of the seventies. Had not Ronnie Van Zandt and two other members perished in a plane crash, one can only hazard a guess as to how many more songs would have endured as long as this one.

It is not only a great song but it contains one of the greatest extended guitar solos of any genre. It starts as a ballad and is the only guy-girl love song written by front man Johnnie Van Zandt and guitarist Allen Collins.

It is one of few songs where the title is mentioned only one time but is forever etched in the memory of guitar enthusiasts. Guitar World magazine, in 2008, listed the guitar solo as one of the three greatest of all time in any genre. Sweet Alabama, another Lynyrd Skynyrd song, could easily make this list as well

Can't You See

Released in 1973 by the Marshall Tucker Band and written by band member Toy Caldwell, this song was also the band's first single and peaked at number 75 on the Billboard Hot 100. The Waylon Jennings version of the song peaked at number 4 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles Chart in 1976. It reached number 1 on the RPM Country charts in Canada.

It is one of the few rock songs, other than Jethro Tull, which feature a flute solo as an intro. It is instantly recognizable because of this solo. It is also virtually impossible to listen to the song in any large gathering without singing along to the solo and rocking your body in time to the beat.

La Grange

"La Grange" was released in 1973 by ZZ Top and is easily one of their most recognized songs. The subject of the song was a brothel in Texas which was later the subject of the movie "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas."

It is unfortunate that ZZ Top never got to play in "Miss Edna's boarding house" in La Grange Texas, nor that their song wasn't in one of the opening scenes in the movie about that illustrious establishment. It certainly stands as a standard of Southern rock and the Gibson Les Paul as the centerpiece of the sound of ZZ Top.

Whether or not you agree with my picks, there can be no argument that these are some of the best Southern Classic rock songs of all time. If you like rock and folk songs you might also like to check out Smokin' Joe Wiseman at He has covered traditional folk and rock songs and writes his own. Click here to download a copy of his latest single for free.

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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

OPINION: Who? Three Great Stratocaster Players That Will Surprise You

Bonnie Raitt
Cover of Bonnie Raitt
by James L. Flynn

If you know anything about rock and roll guitar, you've heard of the Fender Stratocaster, and you've probably got a pretty good idea as to the identities of the great stratocaster players.

Eric Clapton, David Gilmour, and, of course, Jimi Hendrix usually top the list.

But, as great as these guys are, they've been discussed a lot over the last several decades, and sometimes it can be more fun to look a little off the beaten path and check out some cool players you might not immediately associate with the Strat.

1) Mark Knopfler

What's Mark Knopfler doing on this list? Wasn't he practically known for his iconic Strat tone in the late '70s? Well, yes. One listen to "Sultans of Swing" or "Southbound Again" will instantly tell you exactly what Leo Fender had in mind when he built his first Strat in 1954.

However, I'd argue that Mark Knopfler and Dire Straits had such a monster success in 1984 with "Money for Nothing", which was famously played on a Gibson Les Paul - the anti-Stratocaster - that it obliterated his original tonal identity. Ask most guitarists today and they'll tell you that Knopfler's a Gibson guy.

2) Bonnie Raitt

Unlike Knopfler, Bonnie Raitt has been faithful to her Fender Strat (whether her newer blue signature model or her paint-stripped Old Faithful) for her entire career. However, she's such an incredible singer and song interpreter that I'd wager 75% of her audience doesn't even know she can play guitar.

Too bad for them. Bonnie is one of the two wickedest slide guitarists on the planet, with a sultry, buzzy tone and enough taste to always play only the perfect lick in the perfect spot.

3) Ry Cooder

If Bonnie Raitt is one of the two wickedest slide guitarists on the planet, Ry Cooder is definitely the other one. Ry matches Bonnie's levels of tone and taste, but probably one-ups her in terms of pure technique and assassin's flair: check his intro to "All Shook Up" on Get Rhythm for a clinic on greasy bottleneck aggression.

Ry's main axe is a Frankenstein guitar with a custom neck and the pickup from a WWII-era Oahu lap steel guitar, which he chopped out of its original location and crammed into a sunburst Strat body. Run through a completely tricked-out rig that's reputed to include a reverb spring floating in used motor oil, Ry's Oahu Strat sounds like no other.

Obviously, there are a ton of other great Stratocaster players out there, and you're probably ready to argue with me over the ones I've left out! However, I'm still going to say that if you take the time to check these three out, you won't be disappointed.

If you're a guitar fan who likes to hear solid Stratocaster playing in the context of great songs, you might dig singer/songwriter Radio Nowhere, who's been described as "the missing link between Mark Knopfler and Counting Crows".

Click here to download a free three-pack of Radio Nowhere's best songs.

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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

SPECIAL NOTICE: Rolling Stones Turn Back Clock With Hit-Filled Comeback Show

by Mike Collett-White, Reuters, NBC News:

LONDON - The Rolling Stones turned back the clock in style on Sunday with their first concert in five years, strutting and swaggering their way through hit after familiar hit to celebrate 50 years in business.

The Rolling Stones at O2 Arena, London, Nov. 25 (Toby Melville/Reuters)
Before a packed crowd of 20,000 at London's O2 Arena, they banished doubts that age may have slowed down one of the world's greatest rock and roll bands, as lead singer Mick Jagger launched into "I Wanna Be Your Man."

More than two hours of high-octane, blues-infused rock later, and they were still going strong with an impressive encore comprising "You Can't Always Get What You Want" and "Jumpin' Jack Flash."

In between there were guest appearances from American R&B singer-songwriter Mary J. Blige, who delivered a rousing duet with Jagger on "Gimme Shelter" and guitarist Jeff Beck who provided the power chords for "I'm Going Down."

Former Rolling Stones Bill Wyman and Mick Taylor were also back in the fold, performing with the regular quartet of Jagger, Ronnie Wood and Keith Richards on guitar and Charlie Watts on drums for the first time in 20 years.

"It took us 50 years to get from Dartford to Greenwich!" said Jagger, referring to their roots just a few miles from the venue in southeast London. "But you know, we made it. What's even more amazing is that you're still coming to see us ... we can't thank you enough."

The Sunday night gig was the first of two at the O2 Arena before the band crosses the Atlantic to play three dates in the United States. The mini-tour is the culmination of a busy few months of events, rehearsals and recordings to mark 50 years since the rockers first took to the stage at the Marquee Club on London's Oxford Street in July, 1962.

There has been a photo album, two new songs, a music video, a documentary film, a blitz of media appearances and a handful of warm-up gigs in Paris.

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Monday, November 26, 2012

SPECIAL NOTICE: New Jimi Hendrix Album for 2013!


Hulton Archive

It hardly seems possible, given how aggressively his vaults have been mined for material over the years, but we can expect yet another album from Jimi Hendrix next year.

Rolling Stone reports that the new set, dubbed ‘People, Hell and Angels,’ consists of 12 previously unreleased songs that were recorded during 1968-69 while Hendrix worked as a solo artist apart from the Experience.

Describing the tracks as going in “new, experimental directions,” RS says the sessions were planned for inclusion in Hendrix’s never-released ‘First Rays of the New Rising Sun,’ the record he was working on at the time of his death in 1970.

It sounds like Hendrix was moving in a more layered direction, incorporating a second guitar into the mix, along with horns, keyboards, and percussion.


Saturday, November 24, 2012

Pondering the Mystery of Cat Stevens Moonshadow

The Very Best of Cat Stevens
The Very Best of Cat Stevens (Wikipedia)
by Kevin O' Connell

One of the biggest hits on the charts back in the day of its release was Cat Stevens Moonshadow. I loved the song as I did all of Cat Stevens' songs.

Yet, I remember thinking even back then in my high school days that this particular lyric was a bit odd; I would say even hauntingly weird.

First of all, what the heck is a "moonshadow"? Well, I think I got that. That's the shadow cast from oneself at night if the moon is shining bright. O.K. That was easy!

But then he goes on about losing his hands, his legs, his eyes, his mouth and everybody I knew could sing this lyric of dismemberment like they were singing "Happy Birthday."

It was a lyric slightly reminiscent of "Three Blind Mice." You remember that one! "She cut off their tails with a carving knife"? No Problem. A woman is mutilating handicapped mice and we teach children to sing about it.

But Cat Stevens is a poet and one must always listen intently to the words of a great poet for the deeper meaning. There is a philosophical and theological message embedded in these mystical lyrics.

"And if I ever lose my hands ... I won't have to work ... if I ever lose my eyes ... I won't have to cry ... if I ever lose my legs ... I won't have to walk ... if I ever lose my mouth ... I won't have to talk." O.K. Still weird, but is this poet speaking about life on a deeper level?

I hear a vague connection to the words in The Bible that life is more than raiment and more than riches and the true worth of a man is not something physically perceived. We are who we are from within. No one can take away the true worth of a man. The unexplainable essence is spiritual, not physical.

Perhaps Cat Stevens Moonshadow is a reference to his true self. Like an alter ego that is always there even through the darkness of night. The shadow of a man is like his soul. The real you is intangible, like a moonshadow. The physicality of man exists in a three dimensional world, but the shadow of a man is in a sense outside of those dimensions.

I might be way off base here. This is only my personal attempt to understanding one of the oddest lyrics of any song that Cat Stevens has ever written.

If you like Cat Stevens, then you might also check out Ian Kalev Michaels. His music reminds me of that same dynamic style we hear from the earlier albums by Cat Stevens. Just go to where he is offering a free download of some of his music. Kevin O'Connell.

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Friday, November 23, 2012

OPINION: The 5 Best Bob Dylan Songs Of All Time

EspaƱol: Bob Dylan, en una actuaciĆ³n en Vitori...
Dylan at Azkena Rock Festival (Wikipedia)
by Johnny Clark

Bob Dylan is possibly the greatest singer-songwriter ever, considering the number of the songs he has written and their quality, the mark he has left in music history or the legend he has built around his persona.

It seems that today no journalist would think of challenging his supremacy, and all of his last productions seem to leave them all in awe.

But which are the man's best songs? Let's give this tricky exercise a try, and select what in our opinion are the best Bob Dylan songs.

  • "Like A Rolling Stone". You can't get around this one. The lyrics, the flow... Here, Bob Dylan invents "modern rock" with the help of his thin, wild mercury sound. The chaotic instrumentation of the track underlines this story of the decline of a model. Just listen to that incredible organ that ponders through the choruses.

  • "Mr. Tambourine Man". In this one, Bob Dylan creates a whole new image for himself: after having been considered as a protest singer, he evolves into the Arthur Rimbaud of American Folk Music and changes the focus of his lyrics from the outside to the inside. "I'm ready to go anywhere, I'm ready for to fade, into my own parade, cast your dancing spell my way, I promise to go under it."

  • "Not Dark Yet". Bob Dylan is getting old, with a "sense of humanity [that] has gone down the drain." But he is not dead yet. This song is from what is considered to be the album that sealed his comeback to the forefront of music: Time Out Of Mind. The latter's warm reception actually gives the following line tremendous depth and irony: "I can't even remember what it was I came here to get away from."

  • "Love Minus Zero/No Limit". This is the perfect example to remind us that Dylan is not just a fantastic writer of lyrics, but also a great composer of tunes. And that one of the foundations of his art is rhythm. This song gives us one of his career defining quotes: "There's no success like failure, and [... ] failure's no success at all."

  • "If You Ever Go To Houston". This song captures what Bob Dylan has always been since he changed the course of popular music: a musician trying to embody the heart of American music. The best line of the song being: "If you ever go to Austin, Fort Worth or San Antone, find the bar rooms I got lost in, and send my memories home."

While most consider that the best Bob Dylan songs belong to the sixties, I think it is clear that the songwriter still has a lot to offer. Keep in mind that his latest album is not entitled"The Tempest" but just "Tempest" ...

If you like real music like Bob Dylan's music, and think that he is not dead yet, than you might also want to check out Frans Schuman. He has recorded his first two albums with just a guitar and a harmonica. Some are folk songs, and some have a slightly different feel. But I think you might like it. Click here to download a copy of his latest single for free.

Cheers, Johnny Clark.

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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

VIDEO: "Please Be With Me" by Cowboy, with Duane Allman on Dobro

Hi all,

On the anniversary of what would have been the great Duane Allman's 66th birthday. This is a pictorial tribute to the tune "Please Be With Me" by Cowboy, with Duane on Dobro. Duane was a huge influence on guitarists around the world for generations, and will be into the future.

Uploaded to YouTube by randalswede

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

OPINION: The 3 Best Canadian Classic Rock Songs of All Time

Best of Bachman–Turner Overdrive Live
Best of Bachman-Turner Overdrive Live (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
by Joe T Wiseman

I have often been involved in discussions about what rock songs, from which country, were the greatest. The question of this article is: which are the 3 best Canadian classic rock songs of all time? Here is my list. I suggest that the top 3 are:

American Woman

It is so quintessentially Canadian, given the notion that we live next door to an elephant, that my first pick would be about an American woman. Released in January of 1970, the song, "American Woman" made its way to the top of the Billboard 100 by March. The Guess Who performed and released the song, written by two of its members, Burton Cummings and Jim Hale, on the album of the same name, and as a single.

The song created quite a stir in the United States as The Guess Who toured, and more and more audiences became aware they were a Canadian rather than an American band. The song was viewed by many as being anti-American. The band was anything, but political, as a perusal of their extensive library of music would quickly reveal. They were lovers and not fighters.

Takin' Care of Business

Released as a single by Bachman Turner Overdrive in 1973 and was written by band leader Randy Bachman, formerly of The Guess Who. Bachman Turner Overdrive were forever linked to this song and its signature riff with echoes of the George Harrison riff in The Beatles song Paperback Writer.

According to Randy Bachman, it was the most licensed song in Sony Music's publishing catalogue. Randy is recognized as one of Canada's premiere guitar players and many of the BTO releases are empowered by Bachman's superior guitar skills.

Needle and the Damage Done

Neil Young continues to rock away after decades of fabulous music, this song still resonates as one of his best. The imagery of the damage done by the needle and the idea that "every junkie's like a setting sun" caught the folk-rock world by surprise. The song was written about one of the members of Neil's band Crazy Horse who was an addict.

Neil released Danny Whitten from the band because of his heroin addiction and Danny died of an overdose shortly after. Neil went on to play in some legendary bands including Buffalo Springfield and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. Neil is a legend of rock and roll and folk-rock in particular. His songs and albums are legendary in the genre of Classic Rock.

Whether or not you agree with my picks, there can be no argument that these are some of the best Canadian classic rock songs of all time. If you like folk rock songs you might also like to check out Smokin' Joe Wiseman at

He has covered traditional folk songs and writes his own folk and rock. Click here to download a copy of his latest single for free.

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Sunday, November 18, 2012

OPINION: The 3 Best American Classic Rock Songs of All Time

Bob Dylan at Massey Hall, Toronto, April 18, 1...
Bob Dylan in Toronto, 1980 (Wikipedia)
by Joe T Wiseman

The proof of the greatness of the classic rock genre can be found in any music store where re-releases of albums from the past with the label "digital re-master" drives the collector to purchase this great music - one more time!

I have often been involved in discussions about what songs were the greatest. The question is; which are the 3 best American classic rock songs of all time? Here is my list. I suggest that the top 3 are:

Like a Rolling Stone

Bob Dylan, in addition to being a prolific songwriter has written songs in multiple genres including rock and roll. Written in 1965 it was the centerpiece of the Highway 61 Revisited album and despite being over 6 minutes long it rose to the number 2 position on the Billboard charts.

The song, with Al Kooper's strong keyboard, the strong guitar groove changed Dylan forever from a folk artist to a force in electric rock music. His folk audience turned on him and Dylan and his electric band were booed by audiences expecting acoustic folk anthems.

Dylan was once more on the leading edge of change and "Like a Rolling Stone" was the vanguard of an electric sound and lyrics that were bitter and sharp on the individual level as opposed to the global. "How does it feel, to be on your own, no direction home, like a rolling stone." Once again, Dylan was at the vanguard of new forms in the music of the baby-boomer generation.

Hotel California

Released as a single by The Eagles in 1977, from the album of the same name, "Hotel California" quickly became one of the most well known songs of that time. Written during a time of excess and success for popular rock bands, this song is a snapshot of that era.

The song was co-written by Don Felder, Don Henley and Glenn Frey. Henley's strong vocals and the superb dual lead guitar work makes Hotel California an exciting and interesting listen for rock enthusiasts.

It held the Billboard chart's number 1 position for a week, was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America and received a Grammy Award for Record of the Year. It is also one of Rock and Roll's Hall of Fame for 500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll.

Voodoo Child (Slight Return)

With his blazing fingers and ability to portray emotion through his guitar Jimi Hendrix dominated the era of the electric guitar, the classic rock era, and this song allowed Jimi to shown off those monumental talents. It is the last track on Electric Ladyland, Hendrix's third and last album.

It is almost as if he purposely saved the best for last. Artists like Joe Satriani refer to it as the best guitar solo of all time. The melody is based loosely on the great Muddy Water's song "Catfish Blues."

The album also has a longer, jam style version called "Voodoo Chile." Of all the great Hendrix solos, this one trumps them all. Audiences got to hear versions up to 18 minutes in length when they were among the lucky ones who got to enjoy Jimi live and in his prime.

Whether or not you agree with my picks, there can be no argument that these are some of the best American classic rock songs of all time. If you like rock songs you might also like to check out Smokin' Joe Wiseman at

He has covered traditional rock songs and writes his own. Click here to download a copy of his latest single for free.

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Saturday, November 17, 2012

The 3 Best English Classic Rock Songs of All Time

Pink Floyd playing Dark Side of the Moon at Ea...
Pink Floyd at Earls Court, 1973 (Wikipedia)
by Joe T Wiseman

There were many songs my bands would have liked to play but were too complex for our part time efforts.

I have often been involved in discussions about what songs were the greatest. The question is: which are the 3 best English classic rock songs of all time? Here is my list.

I suggest that the top 3 are:

Stairway to Heaven

Led Zepplin, originally formed as The Yardbirds, became one of the greatest of all English rock bands and "Stairway to Heaven" was their crowning achievement. The song anchored their 4th album which was one of the greatest selling albums in rock history.

Never released as a single, "Stairway to Heaven" is still one of the most heavily requested of all rock FM stations in the world. Jimmy Page eclipsed every other solo he had performed as a member of The Yardbirds or led Zeppelin with the brilliant guitar work in this song.

The song is over 8 minutes long, thus no AM radio release, begins as a slow acoustic style folk ballad and climaxes as a driving, electric, uptempo, rock classic. It would be difficult to find another rock song as intricately woven and musically complex as this one. It rises above them all!

Comfortably Numb

David Gilmour and Roger Waters agonized over the chord progression for this song. Waters wanted the (Bm) (A) (G) (Em) progression and Gilmour wanted the (D) (A) (C) (G) progression. The result is one of the greatest compromises of rock history co-writing.

The verses are in the (Bm) progression and chechorus is in the (D) progression. "Comfortably Numb" is the anchor of the epic "The Wall" album, the crowning achievement for Pink Floyd. The guitar solos of David Gilmour on this song are the best ever delivered by the band and makes it the most memorable of dozens of great Pink Floyd songs.


John Lennon wrote or co-wrote many songs with Paul McCartney as a member of The Beatles. This song, at the epitamy of his solo career, is without doubt, the best of his illustrious career as a songwriter and performer. It was the best selling single of his solo career.

The song challenged the listener to imagine a world without organized religion, without a focus on possessions, without war, with a brotherhood of man, living for today. Lennon's humanism and view of a utopian world was all revealed at its best in this classic song.

It earned a Grammy Hall of Fame Award and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's list of "500 Hundred Songs That Shaped rock and Roll."

Whether or not you agree with my picks, there can be no argument that these are some of the best English classic rock songs of all time. If you like rock songs you might also like to check out Smokin' Joe Wiseman at He has covered rock and folk songs and writes his own. Click here to download a copy of his latest single for free.

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Friday, November 16, 2012

Chick Corea Discography

Return to Forever Rochester, N.Y. 1976
Return to Forever, N.Y. 1976 (Wikipedia)
by Dave J Panico

Chick Corea started his recording career back in 1962.

The very first album in the Chick Corea discography was recorded with Mongo Santamaria Afro-Latin Group.

He was twenty one years old.

Chick Corea has played with some of the very best Jazz Musicians around the world which includes: Herbie Hancock, Miles Davis, Stanley Clark, Herbie Mann, Stan Getz and so many more.

His discography spans over six decades with over 80 recordings which is an amazing accomplishment.

Chick was an innovator of blending the jazz sound with the rock sound giving what is known today as fusion or jazz fusion.

One of my favorite collections and probably my first exposure to Chick Corea was the Return to Forever "Romantic Warrior" album. This was the bands best selling album which reached total sales of 500,000. I remembering listening to and it was different but very interesting and stimulating to listen to. The band Return To Forever recorded nine records and had some of the best players like Al DeMiola on guitar and Stanley Clark on bass.

In 1986 Chick formed a band called the Elektric Band and the band recorded eight cd's. "Beneath The Mask" is one of my favorites. It peaked at number two on Billboards Top Contemporary Jazz Albums chart.

From 1967-1974, Chick recorded 11 albums with Miles Davis who was one of the greatest jazz trumpeters ever. It seemed to be a great combination when Chick Corea joined up with Miles Davis. I wish I could have seen it.

Miles Davis album "In a Silent Way" started experimenting with electric instruments (guitar/piano) and continued with those electric instruments in "Bitches Brew". With Chick Corea on electric piano, this became Miles Davis's first gold album and eventually won a Grammy award.

In 1976, Chick made a spontaneous visit to Spain in where he fell in love with the flamenco culture. With that love and the influence of the flamenco culture, he used that blend of Latin-jazz as a theme for the album "My Spanish Heart". One of the songs entitled "Armandos Rhumba" was a tribute to his father. In this song he added a bit of salsa music which is a genre that wasn't embraced until years later. This album had a wide appeal to many.

For kids and those of us who were kids, the Chick Corea discography includes a solo album called "Children's Songs" and he also did the sound track for Happy Anniversary Charlie Brown. Chick recorded a total of nine solo albums.

With such a great discography and decades of musical influence, I don't now of any other musician that has a Best of and a Very Best of album/cd in their discography. Only the great ones do.
Weather you're a fan of Chick Corea Discography or not, there is no disputing that Chick was an innovator and a pioneer for what is now called jazz-fusion.

If you like Chick Corea than you might also want to check out and enjoy listening to Dave Panico. He's a saxophonist that blends, jazz, rock, Latin types of rhythms into his music. Click here to download a copy of one of his songs for free.

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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Guitar Heroes

Eric Clapton, Carl Radle, and Duane Allman liv...
Clapton, Radle & Allman (Wikipedia)
by Dominic A Pearce

So, where did the guitar hero come from?

It seems strange to think that the guitar, pretty much the worlds most widely recognised penis extension, has evolved from the tanbur, the sitar and the lute but hey, that's life.

Fortunately, the story of the guitar hero starts WAY after the story of these instruments and I'm choosing to drop us in at around about the electric guitar's humble beginning - the 40's.

The 40's were the decade that gave us the guitar as we know it today; Les Paul and Leo Fender quite literally carving out a niche in the market with solid bodied electric guitars that were smaller, cheaper and more robust than previous guitars had been, perfect for throwing across a stage and playing behind your head, upside down or inside out.

All that was needed now was a guitarist who could wow and dazzle the masses, someone who was more icon than man - a hero. Luckily instead of one we got about twenty.

Clapton, Allman, Page, Richards, Hendrix, Harrison, Beck, Santana, Knopfler, Ronson, Gilmore, Young, etc etc etc. Guitars just took over. And for good reason, they were loud, fluid and they had the look. To a fledgling generation they were dangerous and a symbol of the counter culture; if you didn't want a job, screw it, just pick up a guitar and change the world.

Unfortunately, it could never last. The self-indulgent nature of the guitarist took over with a greater and greater strangle-hold on the song-writing of the mid to late 70's; stone cold riffs became wet meanderings, the hair cuts becoming ever bigger and the trousers ever tighter. The guitar hero had become the guitar wanker.

But the guitar wasn't licked yet, from the ashes - I can only assume of a flaming guitar that had been played whilst the guitarist hung from a chef's rotisserie on stage surrounded by adoring virgins - the guitar re(de)-invented itself and punk was born.

A new generation of guitarist took over, competing with one another to see who could produce the most abhorrent noise and live the most debauched lives. Joe Strummer and Mick Jones of The Clash; Johnny Ramone of The Ramones and The Dead Kennedys' East Bay Ray are just a few of these 2nd generation guitar heroes who were actively a million miles away from their beatnik predecessors.

For all their differences however, the punk revolution was very much a case of history repeating itself, the punks rebelling against the older generations' tastes just as the hippies had done a couple of decades before and, again, at the centre of it all was the guitar.

It seemed very much that if you wanted to revolt - get a guitar. If you wanted to start a social upheaval - get a guitar. More importantly, if you wanted to be cool and get a girlfriend - get a guitar. Obviously, if you wanted none of these things then you got a bass.

For some however, the punks went too far. I mean there's sparse and stripped back and then there's shit. To solve this, the guitarists decided to invent post-punk and alternative rock.

Punk suddenly had structure and a plan with post-punk bands like Television, Joy Division and Wire, testing where punk and the guitar could be forced but then, when hugely popular once more, suddenly, somehow, the guitar dropped off the map.

It had become uncool and as with most things it was the 80's to blame. Guitars were abruptly too organic, too messy and came with at least 90% not enough chrome attached. Synths reigned and electronic loops took over the mainstream, the guitar surviving - just - with the advent of metal, hair metal and Slash's hair/hat combo.

With a degree of good fortune the alternative rock scene survived also, in colleges and universities, delivering such luminaries as Dinosaur Jr., Sonic Youth, R.E.M. and The Smiths. There was a lot of harking back to genres gone by at this time.

The Smiths and R.E.M. conjured up the jangly pop sounds of The Byrds which could be juxtaposed with the more angular riffing reminiscent of Led Zeppelin found on a Dinosaur Jr. album. There were also the Pixies milling about but they're not comparable to much and let's not even get started on the punk/funk/jazz/folk of the Minutemen.

And so it continued until the early 90's where the guitar took place in yet another sea change and grunge and brit-pop exploded onto the scene, complete with a new set of heroes to be adored.

Of course, with a huge new movement in music a new generation of kids had to be coming of age, this time the 'nevermind' generation were taking over declaring that guitars were good, maybe, but who cares.

Nirvana were huge and so were Oasis, Weezer and Manic Street Preachers, whilst Johhny Greenwood and Radiohead began to take over the world and the lives of another generation of guitarists. The guitar and the guitar hero had come up trumps again.

So, where does all of this leave the guitar standing today? A certain amount of years on and the guitar is still going strong but there seems to be a lack of world changing-ness about the situation or if there isn't, I haven't heard anything to make me change my mind.

I'll wait still, of course, as it is pretty obvious by now that the guitar always has a trick up its neck. God forbid, however, if the latest revolution was that awful, awful game.

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Monday, November 12, 2012

VIDEO: Jimi Hendrix - Dolly Dagger 11 Live @ Rainbow Bridge Maui, Hawaii, USA 1970

Hi readers,

A real treat today, a genuine obscurity. Here's the word from the creator and owner of the IP:

"Sourcing info, to give credit where credit is due: I made this. It is the 25 minutes of Rainbow Bridge Jimi Hendrix footage, 20 minutes of outtakes, and the Strange Day On Maui footage (about 10 minutes), all re-synced to the songboard audio. The songs are full-length, although the film footage is not. The gaps are filled in with Maui footage, 60`s stuff, surfing footage, and Strange Day On Maui footage. The audio is the overdubbed-drums source, the only one available, so the drums are out of sync a bit. It's hardly noticeable though. Hope you all enjoy it.

Uploaded to YouTube by soul rebel

Friday, November 9, 2012

The Beatles' Surprising Contribution To Brain Science

Wordmark of The Beatles, originally painted di...
Wordmark of The Beatles, originally painted directly on drum by Erwin Ross, Hamburg (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
by ,

The same brain system that controls our muscles also helps us remember music, scientists say.

When we listen to a new musical phrase, it is the brain's motor system - not areas involved in hearing - that helps us remember what we've heard, researchers reported at the Society for Neuroscience meeting in New Orleans last month.

The finding suggests that the brain has a highly specialized system for storing sequences of information, whether those sequences contain musical notes, words or even events.

But the discovery might never have happened without The Beatles, says Josef Rauschecker of Georgetown University. As a teenager in Europe, Rauschecker says, he was obsessed with the group.
"They were kind of the hot band at the time and I would listen to music while I was studying," he says. "My mother would say, 'Don't do that, you can't concentrate.' "

But Rauschecker ignored her. He says The White Album, Revolver and Rubber Soul seemed to become a part of his teenage brain, and the memory of which songs came in which order never faded. "Years later I would put on one of these old LPs and then you know at the end of one track you immediately start singing the next one," he says, "as if it was all stored in your brain as a continuous sort of story."

That intrigued Rauschecker, who by this time was a brain scientist at Georgetown. He kept wondering which part of his brain knew the order of all those sequences of Beatles songs. "The funny thing is that if you ask me now what comes after 'Michelle' or whatever I wouldn't know," he says. "It's not explicit knowledge. But if you hear it, then you can immediately continue singing it."

So a couple of years ago Rauschecker's lab did an experiment. It had volunteers bring in a favorite CD and lie in a brain scanner. Then the scientists watched what happened as the volunteers listened. Sure enough, there was distinctive brain activity after each track ended. But Rauschecker says the brain activity wasn't where he thought it would be.

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Thursday, November 8, 2012

SPECIAL NOTICE: The Beatles Are Back!

English: Screenshot of The Beatles from the U....
The Beatles (Wikipedia)
by Corey M Martin

Much like humans, music has been evolving since its earliest known incarnation. There have been countless eras defined by particular genres that have gone on to shape the very world we know.

Music is a powerful tool of expression that can be used to overcome almost anything. You can even break down regions of the world based on the music that originated there.

You can connect music to almost anything. What makes us unique is our love for different types of music.

We may like a certain band because their lyrics may mean something special or they may have gotten us through rough times. We may be drawn to a particular style of music because it reminds us of simpler times. It all depends on the person, but one thing is for certain; there is plenty of music to go around.

One of the most important moments in music history occurred in the 60's when the Beatles arrived from the UK. At the time they arrived, the rock and roll scene in America was growing and looking for that next big push.

Before the Beatles hit the States they had taken Europe by storm with a national tour, hit records and thousands of fans. They were now hoping to hit the big time in America and little did they know they would do that and more.

From the moment they arrived, Beatlemania was in full effect. Millions and millions of people watched them on national television skyrocketing them to one of the hottest acts in the country. Before long they had a slew of number one singles and were well on their way to becoming one of the biggest rock and roll acts the world had ever seen.

As the times changed so did the music. Slowly their songwriting got more in depth and tackled some serious issues. The musical style shifted to a more progressive style, experimenting with new sounds and different instruments as well. There was no escaping the Beatles popularity. They really were everywhere you looked. TV, radio, movies they became the faces of rock and roll.

As time wore on the stresses of touring and producing music at such a rate began to take it's toll and the band eventually parted ways. Their legacy had already been cemented in time and they had left their mark on popular culture for decades to come. Even today, millions of people buy their records and cover the hits of the greatest rock band in music history.

Ever since the Beatles disbanded there have been countless tribute bands, shows and productions dedicated to carrying on the legacy they had left behind. From local cover bands to nationally touring musicals to hit Broadway plays.

In a town like Las Vegas, which was built on the success of entertainment, there is one show that pays tribute to The Beatles by recreating their concert experience for today's audience. BeatleShow is the most authentic Beatles concert experience you will find in Las Vegas.

Located inside the Saxe Theater, BeatleShow features a group of the best Beatle musicians in the world performing all of the hits, live. Featuring all of their hits from every one of their top selling albums, Beatles fans young and old will not believe their eyes (and ears) as each era of Beatles music is represented on stage. BeatleShow is the best way to relive the music of the Beatles in Las Vegas!:

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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Bob Dylan In Session - 1961: Nights At The Roundtable

Bob Dylan – the formative grumblings and stirrings of the 60′s Song and Dance Man
Click on the link here for Audio Player: Bob Dylan In Session – Saturday Of Folk Music – 1961

Something special tonight - one of the many radio programs Bob Dylan performed on early in his career.

In the 1950′s and early 1960′s, when FM radio was almost the sole domain of the “audiophile” and the independent station, many programs were devoted to live music - whether it was Jazz or Folk or Classical.

And it was a major factor in getting new artists established to an audience not particularly interested in the mainstream, but interested in what was new.

This session, from July 19, 1961 features Bob Dylan (and a guest appearance from Danny Kalb), is from the program Saturday Of Folk Music from, I think, WNCN.

Here’s what’s on the player:
Saturday Of Folk Music – July 19th, 1961

1 Handsome Molly
2 Omie Wise
3 Poor Lazarus
4 Mean Old Railroad
5 Acne
Enjoy and get ready for Monday.

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Monday, November 5, 2012

Jimi Hendrix T-Shirts: Find Out Where You Can Get the Best Deal Online

Gypsy Sun and Rainbows
Cover of Gypsy Sun and Rainbows
by Martin Seij

When you consider the variety of merchandise available about Jimi Hendrix, for anyone to look for a specific product it would be very convenient to be able to go to a website that provides all this information without any pressure to buy.

You, and you alone will decide whether or not you are ready to spend your money online. That is no concern of mine. However what you should expect to find online, is an honest overview of all the available merchandise.

This article will specifically go into the variety of T-shirts that are available with Jimi's image on them. You can search for the color of the T-shirts, like a purple, light red or even orange T-shirt. Or even more specific, you can search for a T-shirt that shows the name of one of the songs.

For example you could be looking for a Stone Free T-shirt, or one that says Foxy Lady. Another way to find what you need, is to look for the places that Jimi played. We all remember Woodstock or Monterey. There are specific T-shirts available on these subjects.

Now it would be pretty obvious to find a purple shirt that says Purple Haze now wouldn't it? But it's not like that. There are many combinations that you can imagine for colors, names of songs or just a picture of the band on it.

How about a Jimi Hendrix T-shirt of the song Little Wing that shows little wings? Sure, you can find those as well. Popular songs like Foxy Lady or Machine Gun will have their own versions available. And even specific songs from the Band of Gypsies album, like Power of Love can be found on a T-shirt.

Although most of the shirts are short sleeve, you can also find some long sleeve shirts. What I like about the variety available online, is that even though most of the shirts are black, there are also a number of shirts available in different kinds of colors. And to be honest some pictures will look better on a black shirt then for example on a white shirt.

A very special one to me is the army colored shirt with the face of Hendrix on it. Anyone who knows anything about Hendrix and the timeframe he was in, will understand that this shirt is the biggest contradiction you can imagine.

Furthermore there are shirts that represent the different gigs that he did. For example there is Monterey, Copenhagen and of course Woodstock. And since there was a Hendrix tribute tour in 2012, that specific shirt is also available on the Official Hendrix website.

This shirt will show all the 21 gigs that Billy Cox and his friends did to honor this great guitar player. It doesn't get any more special than this!

So if you are looking for a specific Jimi Hendrix T-shirt you can do your search on google or any other browser you prefer. What you will come up with is an overview of online shops that offer the same shirt, for different prices.

So what is the best deal? You will have to compare the quality and look for additional charges for shipping. Do you want to do that? Or do you want to have a selection of shirts available to you in one place?

When you are a true Jimi Hendrix fan you will know where to shop for merchandise. And every now and then a new website will pop up providing you with all the information and links to Jimi you need.

I will gladly provide you with a link to one of those new sites that will help you find the best deal for Jimi Hendrix T-shirts.

Go to the Play Like Jimi official website and look for the Jimi Hendrix T-shirts available online. If you want to see us play live, check out our tourdates. We would love to see you there!

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Friday, November 2, 2012

File Under Who Cares? McCartney Says Ono Didn't Cause Beatles Breakup

by Chad Childers,

For many years, there has been much speculation that John Lennon‘s wife, Yoko Ono, influenced the Beatles breakup, but Paul McCartney says that it’s not true and that the band was splitting regardless of Ono.

Classic Rock magazine reports that McCartney shares his feelings on the subject in a new interview with Sir David Frost that will be broadcast on Al Jazeera next month to celebrate his 70th birthday.

McCartney says, “When Yoko came along, part of her attraction was her avant-garde side, her view of things. She showed him another way to be, which was very attractive to him. So it was time for John to leave. He was definitely going to go. She certainly didn’t break the group up - the group was breaking up.”

The vocalist credits Ono with Lennon’s inspiring single ‘Imagine,’ adding, “I don’t think he would have done that without Yoko, so I don’t think you can blame her for anything.” As for the band’s split, McCartney says, “It wasn’t a bad thing … [We left] a neat body of work.”

Of course Sir Paul has more records to sell ...

Speaking of bodies of work, McCartney is increasingly adding to his. The singer has his ‘Live Kisses‘ DVD, which features his take on several standards, arriving on Nov. 13. He’s also covered ‘The Christmas Song‘ for Starbucks latest compilation, ‘Holidays Rule,’ which is in outlets tomorrow.

Plus, there’s word that McCartney may have two albums currently in the works.