Your Daily Dose of Guitar News & Reviews
Hear the New JIMI HENDRIX Single "Valleys of Neptune" Now!
Admittedly, when Experience Hendrix announced they would be releasing Valleys of Neptune, an album of previously unreleased songs that Jimi Hendrix recorded during the time between Electric Ladyland and Band of Gypsys, I was a little fearful that the track list would comprise half-finished, demo-quality sketches.
But yesterday (1/28), Spinner.com posted the album's title track, "Valleys of Neptune," which you can hear at this location, and as you'd expect from the greatest guitar player in rock history, it doesn't disappoint. The only complaint I can envision hearing—and certainly not from me—is that the recording is so crisp and clean. It's pretty obvious that the song was mastered in the 21st century, so some vinyl and analog enthusiasts will cry foul, but man does it sound great!
The single is scheduled for global release on Tuesday, February 2, and the complete album will be released on Sony/Legacy on March 9, 2010.
ORIANTHI and STEVE VAI Shred in Highly Strung Video
Shred guitar's latest sensation, Australian string burner Orianthi, teamed with her idol Steve Vai (guitar tab) to record a searing guitar instrumental titled "Highly Strung," for her debut album, Believe. Now the two have released a video of their fretboard indulgence, and it's smokin'! See for yourself here:
JOHN PIZZARELLI Live at Berrie Center in Ramapo NJ
This past Sunday night (1/24), jazz guitarist John Pizzarelli brought his improvisational cabaret-style show to the Berrie Center for the Arts at Ramapo College, in Mahwah, New Jersey. Drawing largely from the catalogs of Hammerstein, Rodgers, Hart, and Kern, Pizzarelli plied his masterly interpretations of such beloved standards as "Happy Talk," "I Like to Recognize the Tune," and "Lovers," interspersed with informative and humorous back stories for many of them.
Much of Pizzarelli's banter in the first set was based on his family—most of whom were in attendance. Then, after a brief intermission, Pizzarelli invited his father, jazz guitar legend Bucky Pizzarelli, to join him onstage. The duo engaged in several wonderful duets, while in between songs, the audience was treated to what was essentially a hilarious yet friendly roast of the elder Pizzarelli. Not deterred by the jokes at his expense, Bucky stuck around and joined the quartet for several rousing numbers, including "Honeysuckle Rose," "Rhode Island," and fan favorite "I Like Jersey Best," for the remainder of the second set.
Pizzarelli's notable quartet also deserves some attention here. John's younger brother Martin Pizzarelli handily held down the low end and the groove in tandem with extraordinary drummer and long-time collaborator Tony Tedesco. Pianist Larry Fuller is an absolute beast on the keys, offering nimble, virtuosic lines that never stray into self-indulgence.
Although Pizzarelli treats his performances as entertainment first, he offered just enough explosive fits of fretboard fury to remind the guitar players in the audience that he's got more chops than a north Jersey butcher shop. Add to that his impressive scat-singing, matched only by the great George Benson, and you wonder why the name John Pizzarelli isn't mentioned more often in discussions of jazz guitar heroes.
Get online guitar video lessons with John Pizzarelli here!
Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp L.A. Being Filmed for VH1 Classic Show
Aspiring rock stars attending this year's Los Angeles Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp will not only have their chance to perform alongside members of KISS, Van Halen, Poison, Motorhead, Traffic, and Winger but also be part of a new VH1 Classic reality series.
Set for February 23-28 at a variety of locations throughout the Los Angeles music community, the acclaimed musical adventure takes attendees through grueling and joyful days like those of their favorite musicians. Each day a new thrilling challenge exists for the "rock campers" from the audition process, to forming bands, writing and recording music, and finally culminating in a "battle of the bands" concert at a legendary Los Angeles venue.
The participants are led through day-long sessions by some of the best in the music business. Already onboard to mentor the rock campers: Bret Michaels (Poison guitar tab), Ace Frehley (KISS), Michael Anthony (Van Halen/Chickenfoot), Mark Farner (formerly of Grand Funk Railroad), Lita Ford (The Runaways), Lemmy Kilmister (Motorhead), Dave Mason (Traffic), Kip Winger (Winger guitar tab), Bruce Kulick (KISS guitar tab), Gary Hoey (solo artist), Teddy Andreadis (Guns N' Roses guitar tab), Mark Hudson (producer, songwriter - Aerosmith guitar tab), Spike Edney (Queen guitar tab), Sandy Gennaro (Joan Jett/Pat Travers Band), Jeff Foskett (Beach Boys), Rami Jaffee (Foo Fighters guitar tab), Rudy Sarzo (Quiet Riot/Ozzy Osbourne guitar tab) and Richie Kotzen (solo artist).
All the while, Mark Burnett Productions will be on hand filming a four-episode, one-hour series that will air this July on VH1 Classic. The new, hour-long, weekly docu-series will feature 15 musicians from a variety of backgrounds and cities as they go through the transformative process of becoming "rock stars."
"Rock and Roll Fantasy Camp has been changing the lives of non-professional music lovers for years," says Camp founder David Fishof, "and the rock and roll legends who mentor them also wind up inspired by the interactions."
For more information, please visit: www.rockcamp.com.
SCORPIONS Will Rock Into Retirement in 2012
The year 2012 may or may not see the end of civilization as we know it, but it will see the end of hard rock as nearly 40 years of fans have known it. German hard-rock superstars the Scorpions announced on their web site Sunday (1/24) that after the March 23 release of their next album—Sting in the Tail—and a three-year mammoth tour that will take them across five continents, they will call it a career.
"While we were working on our album these past few months, we could literally feel how powerful and creative our work was—and how much fun we were still having in the process," said Scorpions singer Klaus Meine. "We want to end the Scorpions' extraordinary career on a high note. We are extremely gracious for the fact that we still have the same passion for music we've always had since the beginning."
"So at some point," added guitarist Matthias Jabs, "it came to us to end our career with this exceptional album."
"The three-year tour through five continents is meant to be a huge blowout, where we can party with our fans and say good-bye," said Rudi Schenker. "When I started out, I had a lot of wishes. It's crazy, I achieved more than I ever even dreamed of."
During their 40-year career, the Scorpions sold over 100 million albums and received numerous awards, such as the World Music Award and several Echos—the German equivalent to a Grammy. Today they still play sold-out venues around the world. Not long ago, 152,000 South Americans came to 15 concerts between Rio de Janeiro and Mexico City. Their song "Wind of Change" became anthem for the fall of the Iron Curtain.
The tour will launch in the band's home country of Germany in May. After that, they will tour North America before continuing their journey across five other continents, concluding in 2012. For more info, including upcoming tour dates, visit the Scorpions official web site or their MySpace page.
Prince Pens Purple and Gold Ditty for Minnesota Vikings
OK, we love Prince. We really, really do. He's one of the most amazing musicians and artists (and guitar player) of the past 30 years. But the purple-obsessed one's new musical homage to his hometown Minnesota Vikings, "Purple and Gold," (see clip below) is neither regal nor rockin'.
Prince penned the tribute after watching the Vikings beat the Dallas Cowboys at the Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota, last weekend.
"Praise every voice and let it be known, in the name of the purple and gold," the chorus begins. "We come in the name of the purple and gold, all of the odds are in our favor … long live the purple and gold!"
The bigger question, which will be answered this Sunday around 10:00 pm EST, is which Prince song will be playing in the Vikes' locker room: "Let's Go Crazy" or "Purple Rain." Better bring that umbrella, Brett, as Guitarinstructor predicts the Saints will go marching into Miami.
KORN and ROB ZOMBIE to Headline Mayhem Festival 2010
Hard rock veterans Korn and Rob Zombie will headline the 2010 Mayhem Festival, a 24-date tour scheduled for July and August in the U.S. and Canada. Joining them on the mainstage will be Lamb of God and Five Finger Death Punch.
Mayhem features multiple stages of metal, motorcros exhibitions, comedians, scantily clad "Beachers Babies" dancers, and other variety acts.
Hatebreed, Chimaira, Shadows Fall, and Winds of Plague will play the Jagermeister Stage, while Atreyu, Norma Jean, In This Moment, and 3 inches of Blood tear up the Mayhem Festival Stage.
Presale tickets go on sale on April 2, and tickets go on sale to the general public on April 16 at LiveNation.com. More information about the tour itinerary and ticket sales can be found at Mayhemfest.com.