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Nashville Amp Expo 2010

Posted by Michael Mueller on July 28, 2010 at 6:29 PM

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The 2nd annual Nashville Amp Expo will be held at the Hyatt Place, in Brentwood, Tennessee, on Aug 21-22, 2010. This event allows the public to meet the makers of the highest quality guitar amps and effects units one-on-one. Admission is only $5 and gains you access to the exhibitors, the seminars, and a ton of entertainment and gear giveaways.

Nashville 2010 Amp Expo

The entire Hyatt Place hotel has been reserved for both days, August 21-22, to allow players a rare opportunity to test out high-end, boutique guitar and bass gear without having to worry about being told to "turn it down!" On the contrary, players will be able to bring their own instruments, plug into some of the best gear in the world today, crank it up, and then take it home or place an order if it suits their taste.

All entrants gain access to these incredible seminars:

  • Guitar Recording Master Class hosted by Michael Wagener (Ozzy Osbourne, Alice in Chains, Metallica, Skid Row, Dokken, Motley Crue, etc.)
  • Speaker Cabinets: Fact and Fiction hosted by Anthony Bonadio of Reason Amplification 
  • Master Luthier (Guitar building technique) hosted by Manuel A. Delgado of Delgado Guitars
  • Tube Shootout hosted by vintage tube collector Jeff West
  • Tube Amp Technology and Guitar Techniques hosted by Phil Bradbury of Little Walter Amps
  • Speaker Seminar hosted by the guys of Warehouse Guitar Speakers
  • Marshall vs Boutique hosted by vintage collector Tommy Hatcher

Some of the 85 exhibitors already signed up to show off their products include Mesa/Boogie, Egnator, Peavey, 3rd Power Amplification, Modtone Effects, Industrial Amps, East Amplification, Wampler Pedals, Jensen, Pro Stage Gear/PedalTrain, HipKitty Products, and Fuchs Audio Technology. To see the entire exhibitor list, visit


Fender Custom Shop Road Show Announces Dates and Dealers

Posted by Michael Mueller on July 28, 2010 at 9:54 AM

Fender Custom Shop BroadcasterJoin top Fender Custom Shop representatives for a series of events that provide "an all-access pass to the dream factory" as the Fender Custom Shop Road Show visits U.S. and Canadian dealers throughout summer and fall 2010.

At Custom Shop Road Show in-store events, dealers invite their top customers to meet and greet Custom Shop managers and master builders and their local Fender district sales managers in a relaxed atmosphere that is as cool as it is informative. Guests can see, play and purchase special Custom Shop instruments created exclusively for these events; learn about Custom Shop instruments, history and programs; have their questions answered straight from Custom Shop staff; and design and order their "dream guitar" with direct assistance from Custom Shop staff and their local dealer.

Those who are unable to attend Road Show events in person can still arrange to buy instruments through one of the authorized Custom Shop Road Show dealers listed below.


July 29   Sweetwater Sound          Fort Wayne, Ind.
Aug. 10  Long & McQuade Toronto    Toronto, Ont.
Aug. 12  Long & McQuade Vancouver  Vancouver, B.C.
Aug. 28  Dave’s Guitar Shop        La Crosse, Wis.
Sep. 16  Music Gallery             Highland Park, Ill.
Sep. 30  Wildwood Guitars          Louisville, Colo.
Oct. 2    Rainbow Guitars           Tucson, Ariz.
Oct. 22  Wild West Guitars         Riverside, Calif.

Events take place from 4 – 8 p.m. local time.

Are the Cars Reuniting?

Posted by Michael Mueller on July 28, 2010 at 9:32 AM

the CarsLet the good times roll ... again? On their official Facebook page, the Cars recently posted a photo (seen at right) depicting the four surviving members—singer Ric Ocasek, guitarist Elliot Easton, keyboardist Greg Hawkes (playing bass in the photo), and drummer David Robinson—jamming in a studio. That photo has understandably sparked a torrent of rumors that a reunion is imminent. When asked by the Boston Globe, keyboardist Greg Hawkes was noncommittal. "I hate to be vague, but I really can't say," he told the Globe. "It's a crazy world."

One of the most popular New Wave bands of the '80s, The Cars enjoyed a string of hits including "Let the Good Times Roll," "My Best Friend's Girl," "Just What I Needed," "You Might Think," and "Let's Go." The band released their last album, Door to Door, in 1987 and broke up a year later. In 2000, bassist Ben Orr died from pancreatic cancer.

Here's the band performing "Let the Good Times Roll" in 1982.


Happy Birthday Slash!

Posted by Michael Mueller on July 22, 2010 at 9:07 PM

They say life begins at 40. I'm not sure who "they" are, and I'm not sure I believe "them," but for modern-day guitar hero Saul "Slash" Hudson—who turns 45 today—the forties have been pretty lively so far. This past year has seen Slash release a critically acclaimed self-titled solo album and a supporting world tour doing what he does best. Yep, sometimes life after 40 is pretty darned good. Check him out below, performing "Back to Cali," featuring my buddy Myles Kennedy on vocals.

Slash guitar tabs


John Mayer Plays Ice Cream Man to Tailgating Fans

Posted by Michael Mueller on July 22, 2010 at 8:41 PM

This past Wednesday night (7/21), about an hour and a half before doors opened at Jones Beach on Long Island, a Ben & Jerry's ice cream truck pulled into the parking lot to give out free ice cream to the tailgaters gathered for the John Mayer show that evening. While free ice cream is always something worth getting excited about, the excitement ratcheted up big time when fans discovered it was Mayer himself doing the scooping and serving (see video below).

According to Erica Futterman at, Mayer came up with the idea two weeks earlier as a surprise for his Battle Studies tour. In addition to doling out scoops of Heath Bar and Milk and Cookies ice cream, Mayer signed autographs and took photos with fans. Oh, and he also hit the stage on time to deliver a knockout show, including covers of the Police's "Wrapped Around Your Finger," Prince's "Raspberry Beret," and Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'."

John Mayer guitar tab


If You Don't Know Jack Pearson, You Don't Know Jack!

Posted by Michael Mueller on July 21, 2010 at 9:35 AM

Jack PearsonOur good friend and gristle-spankin' guitarist Greg Koch informed us that he played with former Allman Brothers guitarist and Nashville session staple Jack Pearson last night, along with Guthrie Trapp and Pat Bergeson. Let's just say that if you don't know Jack Pearson's guitar playing, you don't know jack.

Pearson was born and raised in Nashville, Tennessee, and started playing professionally at age 14, clocking his first recording session at 15. Blending blues, jazz, and soul with his deft slide touch reminiscent of—yes, these are big words, but true words—Duane Allman, Pearson's fluid phrasing is at once playful and captivating.

Over the course of his somewhat under-the-radar career, Pearson has played with the likes of the aforementioned Allman Brothers, Jimmy Buffett, Shelby Lynne, Mundell Lowe, Jimmy Smith, Lee Roy Parnell, Faith Hill, Lee Ann Womack, Derek Trucks, and Warren Haynes and Gov't Mule, among many others.

You can learn more at his web site,, but meanwhile, here's some sweet footage of Pearson in action. While he's downright amazing here playing off the cuff, Koch tells us that what he does here is just the tip of the iceberg. If you get a chance to take in one of his shows, take it!


HELMET Announce New Album and Tour

Posted by Michael Mueller on July 20, 2010 at 3:09 PM

Helmet guitar tabHelmet have just announced they will hit the road September 8—one day after the September 7 release of their new full-length album Seeing Eye Dong, which marks the band's first release since 2006's critically acclaimed Monochrome and their first on indie Work Song label. The new album is also being paired with a bonus disc of live material recorded at the Vans Warped Tour in San Francisco 2006.

Launching in Sacramento, CA September 8, the tour will take Helmet—vocalist/guitarist/songwriter Page Hamilton, drummer Kyle Stevenson, guitarist Dan Beeman, and bassist Dave Case—to the U.S. and Canada, wrapping up in Los Angeles, November 5. Immediately after, Helmet will head to Europe for a string of dates.

Page Hamilton video guitar lessons

On a limited availability basis, tickets for the North American dates go on sale today, Tuesday, July 20 at The purchase of a U.S. show ticket will also include a free digital download (one download per order) of the new album for a flat price of $24, only when purchased via the band's website.

Also available now, Helmet fans can sign up for three free preview tracks: "Seeing Eye Dog" and live tracks "Milquetoast" and "Tic." Those who purchase any package of Seeing Eye Dog via the band's website before the September 7 release date will also receive the album's expansive song "LA Water" in advance.

With a body of work as varied as Helmet, Hamilton takes time to make sure each set list hits on all levels.  "Tempo, key and the groove in a song are things I think about in order to have the set flow," he explains. "It has always been important to me just as the sequence of an album is important. I grew up listening to albums, not single songs, so the entire experience is what I care about the most."

In an effort to offer fans multiple options, Seeing Eye Dog is available in five separate purchase options. Further information on these options can be found at

U.S. Tour Dates:

9/8     Sacramento, CA
9/10    Oakland, CA
9/11    San Jose, CA
9/13    Portland, OR
9/15    Seattle, WA
9/16    Vancouver, BC
9/18    Edmonton, AB
9/19    Calgary, AB
9/21    Casper, WY
9/23    Tempe, AZ
9/24    Anaheim, CA
9/25    San Diego, CA
9/26    Redondo Beach, CA
10/8    Denver, CO
10/9    Fort Collins, CO
10/10   Omaha, NE
10/12   Chicago, IL
10/13   Cleveland, OH
10/15   Columbus, OH
10/16   Detroit, MI
10/17   Toronto, ON
10/19   Montreal, QU
10/20   Boston, MA
10/22   Baltimore, MD
10/23   New York, NY
10/24   West Chester, PA
10/30   Austin, TX
10/31   Dallas, TX
11/2    Albuquerque, NM
11/3    Tucson, AZ
11/5    Los Angeles, CA

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