Your Daily Dose of Guitar News & Reviews

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Berklee's Thaddeus Hogarth Offers Pedalboard Advice

Posted by Michael Mueller on April 28, 2010 at 5:41 PM

Thaddeus Hogarth pedalboardOver the past few years, stompboxes have experienced quite the renaissance, and if you're anything like me, your jones for new pedals is a major component of your GAS problem (that's Gear Acquisition Syndrome, not flatulence!). A major beneficiary of the boom in vintage and boutique pedal market has been the pedalboard industry. With everything from a 12x12 slab of plywood to fully powered boards with built-in tuners and power testers, there are many factors to consider when putting together your own board. Do you really need every pedal you own on one board? How can I fit pedals of five different shapes and sizes onto the board? What's the best way to power it?

If this sounds familiar, Berklee professor and professional guitarist Thaddeus Hogarth has some advice for you. Drawing on his many years experience as a gigging musician, Hogarth explains in his blog how he came to settle on two compact boards that satisfy most of his many needs. Click here to read his post!

ZT Releases the Lunchbox Acoustic

Posted by Michael Mueller on April 28, 2010 at 5:30 PM

ZT Lunchbox Acoustic frontIn February 2009, ZT Amplifiers unleashed the Lunchbox electric guitar amp on the world—a 200-watt class A/B tone monster the size of, well, a lunchbox. The amp received rave reviews, thus encouraging the folks at ZT to expand the line.

This year, ZT presents the Lunchbox Acoustic. Like its electric cousin, this model also features 200 watts of class A/B power, but in a 2-channel format—one for your instrument and one for a microphone, making it perfect for the singer-songwriter/busking crowd. The Lunchbox Acoustic also comes with reverb and an effects loop.

Check out this video to hear the ZT Lunchbox Acoustic in action.



GRILL 'EM ALL Offers Metal Fans Mobile Good Eats

Posted by Michael Mueller on April 26, 2010 at 1:38 PM

Grill 'Em All truckHeavy metal and fine cuisine are two things not commonly found in the same sentence, but heavy metal and hamburgers? Now that's a different story. "Grill 'Em All" founders Chef Ryan Harkins and Matthew Chernus have seized on the classic pairing and given it a flavorful twist that leaves "White Castle and Whitesnake" in the dust, and along the way they're turning headbangers into epicures—and vice versa.

Featuring a gourmet burger menu and a heavy metal soundtrack, the "Grill 'Em All" mobile burger joint has been cruising the Los Angeles lunch hour as well as events such as rock concerts and metal festivals since December 2009 to rave reviews. The metal-themed patties could just as well be served at one of Bobby Flay's new east coast "Burger Palace" restaurants. The "Molly Hatchet" features seared fennel smoked sausage gravy, applewood smoked bacon, and maple drizzle; the "Behemoth" burger comes on grilled cheese buns with smoked cheddar, applewood smoked bacon, and beer-soaked onions; and one that I've just got to try next time I'm in SoCal is the "Blue Cheer," which features a cranberry gastrique, maytag blue spread, and Munchos potato chips—inside the bun! And then there's the handmade cheddar-and-jack-filled panko-crusted tater tots called the H-100s.

Too good to be true? Wait, there's more. In addition to the meat, there's the metal. The truck's PA system blasts a lunch-hour soundtrack comprising bands such as Slayer, Mastodon, Skeletonwitch, and, of course, Metallica.

Heavy metal guitar tabs, video lessons, and jam tracks

To read more, see the full menu, or see where they'll be serving, check out their official web site.

Grill 'Em All logo

POISON Frontman BRET MICHAELS In Critical Condition With Brain Hemorrhage

Posted by Michael Mueller on April 26, 2010 at 10:35 AM

Bret MichaelsPoison frontman Bret Michaels was rushed to the hospital late last Thursday after complaining of a severe headache. Doctors then discovered bleeding at the base of his brain stem. Despite reports that his condition had stabilized, a statement posted on his Facebook page seems to say otherwise:

"As of now Bret remains in ICU under 24 hour surveillance. Further testing this week will help locate the source of the bleeding.

"Look for an official medical report from doctors this week at

"Please remember Bret is, and always has been, a fighter and survivor and is under the best medical care possible.

"Thank you for your support, thoughts & concern!"

Poison guitar tabs and jam tracks

Just last week, Michaels underwent an emergency appendectomy after complaining of stomach pains prior to a show at Sea World, in San Antonio, Texas.

Michaels is currently a contestant on Donald Trump's NBC reality show, "The Celebrity Apprentice." Trump said in a statement last Friday that he was deeply saddened to hear of Bret's condition. I wonder if Trump Casinos are laying odds of Michaels hearing the words "You're fired!" while in a hospital bed.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Bret and his family.


Win the Ultimate Zakk Wylde Gear Pack

Posted by Michael Mueller on April 23, 2010 at 12:06 PM

In honor of Zakk Wylde's recent crowning as "Best Guitarist of 2010" at Revolver's Golden God Awards, Dunlop is giving away the "Ultimate Zakk Wylde Gear Pack." The grand prize includes:

  • A year's supply of Dunlop Signature Zakk Wylde guitar strings
  • CryBaby Zakk Wylde Signature wah pedal
  • MXR Zakk Wylde Overdrive pedal
  • MXR Black Label Chorus pedal
  • Coffin Case (custom-made limited-edition Graveyard Disciple model)
  • Epiphone Graveyard Disciple guitar
  • EMG Zakk Wylde Signature set of pickups

Zakk Wylde guitar tabs

To enter, visit Contest ends June 1. And be sure to check out Zakk's brand new web site to see what he's been up to recently.

Zakk Wylde guitar tabs and lessons

Check out this video of Zakk talking about his new studio, the Black Label Bunker, and the upcoming Black Label Society album, due out this summer.




RICHIE KOTZEN Announces US Tour Dates

Posted by Michael Mueller on April 22, 2010 at 10:02 AM

Richie KotzenGuitarist Richie Kotzen will hit the road on April 22 for a string of South American dates, starting in Goiania, Brazil, and then will make his long-awaited return to the USA, beginning May 10, in Orlando, Florida. It marks his first string of US tour dates in over a decade. He will be performing from his 17 plus solo albums along with various charting hits he wrote or performed with Poison and Mr. Big.

"I'm really excited about this new CD," Kotzen says of his latest release, Peace Sign. "I'm not sure how I did it, but somehow I think it has a really live sound, even though I'm playing all the instruments on all but four songs. I think it is because of the music I grew up on. Bands like Cream, The Stones, and of course Hendrix all had that 'live—create it on the spot' sound so I suppose that is the way I hear music."
To whet your appetite, here's the video for "Paying Dues," from Peace Sign. A full list of US tour dates is listed below the video.


VIP Packages are available on this tour. VIP Packages include one VIP ticket with early entry to the venue, attend sound check, a meet-and-greet with Kotzen, an autographed limited-edition tour poster, a commemorative laminate, a 2010 Peace Sign tour t-shirt, and a copy of Peace Sign.

For more information visit

May 10  *Sam Ash Guitar Clinic   Orlando, FL
May 11  Skipper's Smokehouse     Tampa FL 
May 12  Club 57 West             Orlando FL
May 13  Freebird Live            Jacksonville, FL
May 14  The Local                Marietta, GA 
May 15  *Sam Ash Guitar Clinic   Nashville, TN
May 16  Mercy Lounge             Nashville, TN
May 18  Jaxx Night Club          West Springfield, VA 
May 19  The North Star Bar       Philadelphia, PA
May 20  *Sam Ash Guitar Clinic   Philadelphia, PA
May 21  The Works                Reading, PA
May 22  Diesel Club Lounge       Pittsburgh, PA
May 24  *Sam Ash Guitar Clinic   New York, NY
May 25  Highline Ballroom        New York, NY 
May 26  Toad's Place             New Haven, CT 
May 27  Showcase Live            Foxboro, MA 


Fender Unveils New Eric Johnson Rosewood Strat

Posted by Michael Mueller on April 22, 2010 at 9:34 AM

When Fender released the first versions of the Eric Johnson Signature Stratocaster a few years ago, the scuttlebutt among the gearheads in my circle was that it might just be the best Strat the company had made since the mid-'60s, and the closest they ever came to capturing the magic of their '50s models. But, of course, it came only with a maple fretboard, so those players who prefer rosewood were left out.

Now, Fender has unveiled the brand-new Eric Johnson Stratocaster Rosewood model. The guitar features a two-piece alder body finished in thin-skin nitrocellulose lacquer, a quartersawn maple neck with bound round-laminated 12"-radius rosewood fretboard, a three-ply parchment pickguard, pickups voiced by Johnson himself, staggered vintage-style tuners, a custom tremolo block, and four brand-new finish options, three of which (Lucerne Aqua Firemist, Tropical Turquoise, and Medium Palomino Metallic) are exclusive to this model. A deluxe blonde hardshell case is included. The guitar lists for $2,699.99.

For more details, visit

Eric Johnson guitar tabs and video lessons

We'll reserve comment on the unfortunate press art Fender chose to use:

 Fender EJ Strat RW



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