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Guitar Instructor Recommends ... ANDY MCKEE
With over 20 million views of his composition "Drifting" on YouTube, not to mention the millions of views on his other YT videos, Andy McKee is quite likely the most popular acoustic guitarist on the Web. Calling to mind the percussive work of Michael Hedges, Preston Reed, and Don Ross with an undeniably gifted ear for melody, McKee accomplishes what few technically gifted players ever really do: he makes you forget about the chops and just focus in on the music he's creating.
Though he cites the three guitarists above along with Billy McLaughlin as his primary influences, he also draws inspiration from a diverse range of electric sounds and styles, including Dream Theater, Earth Wind & Fire, The Yellowjackets, Eric Johnson, Peter Gabriel, and many others.
Meanwhile, here he is performing Toto's "Africa" on solo acoustic guitar. Prepare to be amazed!
METALLICA To Play Not-So-Secret Show at SXSW
It's been reported that Metallica will be playing a not-so-secret show at South By Southwest in Austin, Texas, this week. GuitarInstructor operatives have confirmed that the Bay Area metallers will indeed be playing at Stubb's on Friday (March 20) night, as part of the scheduled Guitar Hero Metallica event.
As reported here, Guitar Hero: Metallica hits streets on March 29 and will feature classic venues like the L.A. Forum and Hammersmith Odeon, the ability to play the game as Metallica or in single-instrument mode, and have a double bass drum kick pedal option.
Rothbury Festival 2009 to Feature the Dead, Dylan, Black Crowes, and More
The second annual Rothbury festival, held in Rothbury, Michigan, will include The Dead (their ONLY summer appearance!), Bob Dylan, The String Cheese Incident, Willie Nelson & Family, and The Black Crowes on a bill of over 60 diverse and stellar artists. The festival will be held at the Double JJ Ranch on July 2-5th.
In addition to the headliner names above, there will be plenty of music for guitar aficionados, as Gov't Mule, Les Claypool, Ani DiFranco, Zappa Plays Zappa, Soulive, and the Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band with Tony Rice, among many others, are also on the bill.
Guided by a bold environmental sustainability mission, Rothbury is dedicated to running as close to a zero-waste event as possible, using compostables in place of disposables, providing easy-to-use full-service recycling, promoting mass transit and carpooling, and other green initiatives as well as supporting environment-friendly companies.
For more info, visit www.rothburyfestival.com.
ARC ANGELS Officially Announce Reunion, SXSW Show
After much speculation in the fan and music communities, the Arc Angels have announced today an official reunion that will include new music and new touring ventures, along with their first major concert as part of Austin’s South By Southwest Festival on Friday, March 20th at 8pm at Auditorium Shores. The eagerly anticipated reunion features original band members Charlie Sexton (vocals, guitar), Doyle Bramhall II (vocals, guitar) and Chris Layton (drums) performing together again. After more than a decade apart, the band has entered the studio to record new music, is slated to open for Eric Clapton on his Spring UK tour, and will release a Live CD/DVD with a U.S. summer tour to follow. Further album and DVD details will be announced shortly.
Almost an institution on the Austin music scene, adoring fans have always considered the Arc Angels to be the stuff of legends – great musical talents working together through a time of crisis to create a tremendous band with a tremendous story. Founded at the Austin Rehearsal Center (ARC), whose initials gave them their name, four amazing artists united after the death of their friend and fellow musician Stevie Ray Vaughan. The band was intended to be a musical outlet and inspiration, and while it was exactly that, it also became something much bigger.
The band's 1992 debut album, Arc Angels, met with much critical acclaim and managed to break onto the Billboard Top 200 chart. The sound was raw and intense rock 'n' roll steeped in the roots of Texas blues yet radio-friendly and widely appealing. The group toured heavily over the next three years, but at the peak of that success, the band abruptly fell apart in 1994, concluding their run with a series of farewell concerts at Austin's Backyard outdoor venue.
Tomorrow night (March 20), almost fifteen years after their incarnation and nearly seven years after headlining the Austin City Limits Festival, the Arc Angels take the stage at Auditorium Shores in Austin, Texas, as part of the South By Southwest music festival. The show starts at 8:00 pm and is free and open to the public—get there early!
KID ROCK and LYNYRD SKYNYRD Bring Back the "Rock and Rebels" Tour
This summer, Kid Rock and Lynyrd Skynyrd will reprise last year's highly successful "Rock and Rebels" tour. The 22-city trek kicks off June 26 in West Palm Beach, Florida. Tickets go on sale beginning March 20th. Here are the tour dates:
6/26 West Palm Beach, FL @ Cruzan Amphitheatre
6/27 Tampa, FL @ Ford Amphitheatre
6/28 Atlanta, GA @ Lakewood Amphitheatre
6/30 Houston, TX @ Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
7/1 Dallas, TX @ Superpages.com Center
7/7 Buffalo, NY @ Darien Lake Performing Arts Center
7/8 Holmdel, NJ @ PNC Bank Arts Center
7/10 Cuyahoga Falls, OH @ Blossom Music Center
7/11 Indianapolis, IN @ Verizon Wireless Music Center Indianapolis
7/12 Tinley Park, IL @ First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre
7/14 Pittsburgh, PA @ Post-Gazette Pavilion
7/21 Maryland Heights, MO @ Verizon Wireless Amphitheater St. Louis
7/22 Cincinnati, OH @ Riverbend Music Center
7/24 Raleigh, NC @ Time Warner Cable Music Pavilion at Walnut Creek
7/25 Virginia Beach, VA @ Verizon Wireless Virginia Beach Amphitheater
7/26 Charlotte, NC @ Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre Charlotte
7/29 Boston, MA @ Comcast Center
7/31 Hershey, PA @ Hersheypark Stadium & Star Pavilion
8/1 Washington, DC @ Nissan Pavilion
8/2 New York, NY @ Nikon at Jones Beach Theater
SHADOWS FALL Will Release New Album on Their Own Label
Shadows Fall have announced the formation of their own label in conjunction with Warner Music Group's Independent Label Group and Ferret Music. The band will release their 6th studio album this fall. More details coming soon.
"All of us in Shadows Fall could not be more excited about our new working relationship with ILG and Ferret Records," says singer Brian Fair. "We have always been a band that tried to maintain as much control over our career as possible and this new deal gives us just that. The music industry is changing drastically and to stay one step ahead we knew we needed a new business model and perspective. By combining the forces of ILG, Ferret Music, and Channel Zero we have created a Justice League Of Metal!"
Drummer Jason Bittner recently had this to say about the band's new material, "The songs are a little more on the darker, angry side... lots of heaviness, lots of crazy guitar, and LOTS of room for me to have some fun. There is no doubt in my mind that this will be the best performance of my career, so far, and I owe that to my guys for bringing me incredible riffs to write killer drum parts to."
Upcoming SHADOWS FALL shows:
Apr. 11 - The Crazy Donkey - Farmingdale, NY
Apr. 30 - Pulp Summer Slam - Manila, Philippines
Jun. 25 - Chilkoot Charlies - Anchorage, AK (21+)
Jun. 26 - Club Millennium - Anchorage, AK (All Ages)
TAJ MAHAL To Be Inducted Into The Blues Hall of Fame
The Blues Foundation has announced that legendary composer and two-time Grammy winner Taj Mahal will be inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 2009. The induction ceremony will be held on Wednesday, May 6, in Memphis, TN, the night before the 30th Blues Music Awards.
One of the most influential artists of the past half-century, Mahal recently scored a Grammy nomination in the category of best Contemporary Blues Album for Maestro, released in September 2008. The album, which marks the 40th anniversary of Mahal's recording career, featured guest appearances from Ben Harper, Jack Johnson, Angelique Kidjo, Los Lobos, Ziggy Marley, and others.
The Blues Hall of Fame is a program of The Blues Foundation, a non-profit organization established to preserve Blues history, celebrate Blues excellence, support Blues education and ensure the future of this uniquely American art form. The Foundation consists of a worldwide network of 165 affiliated Blues societies and has individual memberships spanning the globe. In addition to the Blues Hall of Fame, the Foundation also produces the Blues Music Awards, the International Blues Challenge and the Keeping the Blues Alive Awards. For more information or to join The Blues Foundation, visit www.blues.org.