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STEVE VAI Offers Alien Guitar Secrets Master Class

Posted by Michael Mueller on June 15, 2009 at 1:30 PM

Steve Vai guitar lessonOtherworldly guitarist Steve Vai brought his Alien Guitar Secrets master class to the 2009 London International Music Show this past weekend (6/13-6/14). The show marked Vai's only UK appearance this year and culminated in a special performance guesting with the Phil Hilborne band featuring Nicko McBrain on drums.

The series of two sold out master classes was a unique and once in a lifetime opportunity for the select few people to hear Steve discuss guitar techniques and the music business. A few attendees even had the opportunity to jam with Vai in this intimate environment.

The day also saw a host of stars play the show's main stage including Grammy-winning country pickin' legend Albert Lee and killer guitarist Jan Akkermann, among others. Throughout the day there were also a host of signings from special guests including Black Stone Cherry, bassist extraordinaire Doug Wimbish, and Steve Diggle from the Buzzcocks.

If you can't make an Alien Guitar Secrets master class, you can catch Vai at this summer's National Guitar Workshop on July 20, in Purchase, NY. There, Vai will discuss his technique and take part in a Q&A session as part of NGW's Rock Summit.

NGW is also generously offering Vai fans a special discount on tuition. Visit their website or call 800-234-6479 and quote the code: VAI062609. This will entitle a discount of $100 of tuition. This offer is valid through 6/26/09, cannot be combined with any other offer, and is only valid for students not currently registered with NGW.

Get Steve Vai guitar tabs and video lessons here!

RATT and EXTREME Team Up to Lay It Down In Your Town This Summer

Posted by Michael Mueller on June 12, 2009 at 10:09 AM

Ratt Extreme TourBreak out the spandex and Aqua Net! Eighties hair-metal icons Ratt and Extreme are hittin' the road this summer to lay down what's sure to be a rockin' night o' nostalgia at each stop along the way. The tour, which will feature sets from both bands, with Ratt closing, kicks off on July 12 in Amarillo, TX and runs through August 7th in Hampton Beach, NH. In celebration of the 25th anniversary of their landmark debut Out of the Cellar, Ratt will be playing the album in its entirety.

Both bands are excited about the double bill. "Warren DeMartini and Nuno Bettencourt on same stage, same night? 'Nuff said, we'll see you there!" says Ratt drummer Bobby Blotzer.

Extreme's Nuno Bettencourt agrees: "One hot summer night. Two bands fully loaded with musicianship. Mix in one part memorable songwriting. Add nine ounces of passionate performers. Throw in three well respected guitarists. Add a touch of West Coast raunch and a hint of East Coast funk. And you get yourself a recipe for one night of unforgettable rock and roll."

Ratt, whose current lineup includes original members Stephen Pearcy (vocals), Warren DeMartini (guitar), and Bobby Blotzer (drums) along with bassist Robbie Crane and guitarist Carlos Cavazo (Quiet Riot), is currently in the studio recording its first new record in over 10 years with famed producer Elvis Baskette. The band announced its new partnership with Loud & Proud/Roadrunner Records earlier this year. The album is planned for release this fall.

Extreme, whose current lineup includes original members Nuno Bettencourt (guitar), Gary Cherone (vocals), and Pat Badger (bass) as well as drummer Kevin Figueiredo, recently released their first new album in 13 years, Saudades de Rock

Get Extreme guitar tabs and jam tracks here!

Tour dates are as follows:

7/10  Pryor, OK**
7/12  Amarillo, TX
7/13  San Antonio,TX
7/14  Odessa, TX
7/16  Tempe, AZ
7/17  Los Angeles,CA
7/18  Las Vegas, NV
7/19  Anaheim, CA
7/22  Denver, CO
7/23  Kansas City, MO
7/24  Chicago, IL
7/25  Toledo, OH**               
7/26  Cheswick, PA
7/28  New York, NY
7/30  Westbury, NY
8/2   Allentown, PA
8/5   Springfield, VA***
8/6   Sayreville, NJ
8/7   Hampton Beach, NH
8/8   Clearfield, PA**
8/15  Sky City, NM**
8/29  Uncasville, CT** 
** = Ratt only
***= Extreme only

BOSS Announces FRV-1 Fender Reverb Pedal

Posted by Michael Mueller on June 11, 2009 at 3:43 PM

Boss FRV-1BOSS and Fender USA have collaborated to create the FRV-1, a stunning recreation of the 1963 Fender Reverb. A staple sound of rockabilly, country, blues, surf rock and even grunge rock, this tube-driven reverb sound is now available in a compact pedal.

The FRV-1 recreates the classic spring-reverb sound of the 1963 Fender Reverb via Boss's patented COSM technology. Three classic controls for Dwell, Tone, and Mix allow players to refine their tone, adding buttery warmth or sparkling twang.

The FRV-1 is expected to be available in late July.


Electro-Harmonix Releases the POG2

Posted by Michael Mueller on June 10, 2009 at 4:44 PM

Electro-Harmonix POG2Back in 2005, Electro-Harmonix unveiled the original POG, a polyphonic octave generator that enabled guitarists to conjure everything from the surreal jangle of an 18-string guitar, to rich, thick walls of symphonic sound.
Four years later, mad scientist Mike Matthews and his team have released the POG2, for an even greater range of tonal variations.

The POG2 adds an attack control that allows you to fade in lush, smooth swells. The new second sub-octave reaches window-rattling low frequencies. The two-pole resonant low pass filter now includes two additional Q modes, and the newly enhanced detune function offers further tonal refinement. Additionally, the POG2 allows you to save your favorite settings and recall them with a click.

The POG2 also is now packed into a rugged and pedalboard-friendly diecast chassis. Having played around quite a bit with the original POG, we're really looking forward to getting our hands on this one!


COLLECTIVE SOUL Returns With New Album August 25

Posted by Michael Mueller on June 10, 2009 at 11:52 AM

Collective Soul GRVCollective Soul is back, and they've revealed the title and track listing to their upcoming album, Collective Soul (Rabbit), which is scheduled for an August 25th release. The self-produced album was recorded at frontman Ed Roland's Lake House studio. You can hear the first single, "Staring Down," on hot adult contemporary and AAA radio now, with "Welcome All Again" shipping to rock radio on July 6.

Collective Soul (Rabbit) track listing:

Welcome All Again
My Days
Staring Down
She Does
Lighten Up
Hymn For My Father

Collective soul recently announced a co-headline summer tour alongside platinum recording artist Gavin DeGraw. Tickets for all dates are currently on sale:

6/18     Worley, ID**
6/20     Burlington, IA**
6/22     Cleveland, OH
6/23     Fort Wayne, IN
6/24     Indianapolis, IN
6/26     Des Moines, IA
6/27     Green River, WY**
6/30     Wichita, KS
6/29     Kansas City, MO
7/1      Calgary, ALB**
7/3      Norfolk, VA**
7/4      Quebec City, QC 
7/7      Tulsa, OK
7/9      Southhaven, MS
7/10     Chicago, IL
7/11     Columbus, OH
7/13     Myrtle Beach, SC
7/14     Lake Buena Vista, FL
7/15     Ft. Lauderdale, FL
** = Collective Soul only

A US headline date in August and September will follow.  Dates will be announced shortly.

Get Collective Soul guitar tabs here!

The Recording Academy Announces New AMERICANA Grammy Category for 2010

Posted by Michael Mueller on June 10, 2009 at 10:46 AM

The Recording Academy will officially recognize the Americana genre next year when it awards the inaugural Grammy for Best Americana Album. NARAS recently announced the restructuring of several Grammy Award categories, establishing a Best Americana Album award and a corresponding American Roots Music field. Both the new award and category will debut at the 2010 Grammy Awards.

The move further underscores the increasing significance of the Americana music format and brand, accelerating the Americana Music Association's already substantial momentum as it approaches its 10th Annual Americana Festival and Conference. 

"Americana music resonates with a growing legion of listeners," said Jessie Scott, President of the Americana Music Association Board of Directors. "These are the country's preeminent artists, who not only pay homage to roots, but truly shape modern music. The Americana community couldn't be prouder of NARAS's decision."

Slated for Wednesday, September 16 through Saturday, September 19, the 10th Annual Americana Festival and Conference will offer daily seminars, panels and networking opportunities at the Nashville Convention Center. The event's climax will be the 8th Annual Americana Honors and Awards ceremony, slated for Thursday, September 17 at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. Justin Townes Earle, Buddy and Julie Miller, Alejandro Escovedo, and Kasey Chambers are just a few of the artists who have received Americana Award nominations this year.

Visit for conference and ticket information. 

Wanna Buy STEVE VAI's Amps?

Posted by Michael Mueller on June 9, 2009 at 9:58 AM

Steve Vai CarvinAfter filming an interview and lesson with Mike Stern last week, in which Stern talked about recording with Steve Vai, I decided to check out to see what the master's been up to and saw this dandy offer:

Fans who attend Vai's Alien Guitar Secrets Master Classes (dates below) will have the chance to purchase the Carvin VL2100 heads that Steve uses during the master class. There will be two VL2100 available for purchase after the show at the following locations:

• Sat Jun 20 - Tiel, HOLLAND: Twentietow
• Sat Jun 27 - Neustadt A.d. Aisch, GERMANY: Meinl Guitar Festival
• Tue Jun 30 - Tel-Aviv, ISRAEL: Culture Palace

For more information or to purchase in advance, contact The VL2100 heads are available on a first come basis. Arrangements must be made prior to the master class and a non-refundable deposit of 50% must be submitted to guarantee the purchase. Purchase price is $1,200 USD each.

Amps will be delivered by little green men about four foot—tip them well or they'll kick your butt.

Get Steve Vai guitar tabs here!

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