Your Daily Dose of Guitar News & Reviews
Founding Bassist Dave Ellefson Returns to Megadeth
Megadeth founder and frontman Dave Mustaine has announced the return of original bassist David Ellefson (1983-2002) to the iconic multi-platinum group. This reunion is appropriately timed to Megadeth's upcoming historic month-long Rust In Peace 20th anniversary tour, which launches March 1 in Spokane, WA. At these incredibly special shows, Megadeth will play their landmark, genre-defining 1990 album Rust In Peace in its entirety, in addition to other Megadeth favorites.
"This shows the power of brotherly love and forgiveness," Mustaine says. "David Ellefson belongs in Megadeth. Next we are going to show you the power of getting your asses kicked...HARD!"
"This is a huge moment for all of us, band and fans alike," David Ellefson agrees. "It is a great celebration of the music from one of the biggest landmark albums of our career."
Ellefson will join Mustaine and Megadeth band members Shawn Drover (drums) and Chris Broderick (guitar) on tour in support of the group's current CD Endgame, arguably the band's strongest showing since Rust in Peace.
Of course, this move also means that James Lomenzo's tour of duty has expired. No word as to whether he left on his own or was shown the door. Mustaine simply said: "We'd like to thank James LoMenzo for several years of loyal service on the bass, and wish him the very best."
For more information on Megadeth, go to: www.megadeth.com.
Peavey Announces the New Butcher Guitar Amp
Peavey proudly announces the new Butcher guitar amplifier, a 100-watt, all-tube head that specializes in innovative versatility and timeless, brutal, British tone.
The Butcher is a two-channel amplifier with five 12AX7 preamp tubes and four EL34 power amp tubes. Both the Clean and Crunch channels feature independent three-band EQ, plus master volume and preamp gain controls so guitarists can adjust the interplay between the preamp and power amp on each channel for an array of gain possibilities. Both channels include a separate, footswitchable gain boost, while the Crunch channel also has a 12-way Punch selector that adjusts the low-end attack of the amplifier—a handy feature that helps match the head to various speaker enclosures. (cont. below image)
The master section widens the range of possibilities with two footswitchable master volumes, so players can set one as a default and use the second as a solo boost; a patented Presence control that boosts the extreme high frequencies, giving the amp extra cut; and high and low gain inputs.
On the rear panel, the built-in Peavey MSDI microphone-simulated XLR direct interface eliminates the need for miking by allowing users to send the amp's signal directly to a recording device or mixing console. Additional controls include a line out with level control; active effects loop with send and return level control; impedance selector; half-power switch; and a tube bias adjustment jack.
The Peavey Butcher amplifier will be available from authorized Peavey retailers in late spring or early summer.
- Two independent channels, Clean and Crunch
- 100 watts into 16, 8 or 4 ohms
- Half-power switch drops the output to 50 watts
- 4 x EL34 power amp tubes
- 5 x 12AX7 preamp tubes
- Three-band EQ on each channel
- Global Presence
- Two Master Volume controls
- Global Master Volume Boost with switch and level control
- 12-way Punch attack control on Crunch channel
- Pre-gain Boost switch on both channels
- Built-in MSDI microphone-simulated direct XLR output
- Line out with level control
- Active effects loop with send and return level control
- Tube bias adjustments on back panel
- Four-button footswitch included
- Made in the U.S.A.
- U.S. MSRP $1,499.99
The BLUES FOUNDATION Launches Generation Blues Youth Outreach
The Blues Foundation announces the expansion of its youth education initiative with Generation Blues. This scholarship program will allow qualified applicants under the age of 25 to study their instrument of choice at reputable camps, seminars, and workshop programs at Port Townsend Acoustic Blues Festival, Augusta Heritage Center, and Fernando Jones' Columbia College Blues Camp.
Camps, seminars, and workshops attended by Generation Blues scholarship recipients may take place throughout the year, in the recipients' choice of locations. Participants are awarded the scholarships on a bi-annual basis, and participation is open to anyone under the age of 25 and interested in the blues. Applicants must write a letter of intent and provide letters of recommendation. Video submissions are also accepted. First deadline for submissions is April 2, 2010.
Blues Foundation board member and leader in the Generation Blues initiative Cassie Taylor adds that "this is a wonderful way to ensure the future of the blues by helping young people get the education they need and deserve to help them grow as a blues artist." Taylor started her career in blues music as a teenager when she toured successfully with her father, trance blues artist Otis Taylor.
Generation Blues joins a number of other successful youth initiatives launched by The Blues Foundation, including the popular Blues in the Schools which supports blues educators by providing a classroom curriculum that incorporates elements of history, math, English, music, and other disciplines as they can relate to the entire blues industry of making and promoting blues music. Youths under age 21 may also take advantage of free individual membership of The Blues Foundation.
By offering individuals up to the age of 21 free membership, the Foundation invites even more young blues lovers to get started on a lifetime of participation in the activities of their local blues society and The Blues Foundation. Generation Blues is one of the latest programs announced to further assist blues musicians and those making their careers within the blues music community. Also recently announced was the Foundation's alliance with Sound Healthcare, providing healthcare benefits and access to insurance programs to those in need within the blues community.
Details on how to apply for a Generation Blues scholarship are available at: www.blues.org.
The Who Rock the Super Bowl with Medley of Hits
Rock titans The Who took the stage for the Super Bowl XLIV halftime show in Miami, Florida, last night and delivered a medley of classic rock hits. Standing at the front of a circular stage, which itself was surrounded by a huge circular lighting rig, singer Roger Daltrey and guitarist Pete Townshend—the band's two surviving original members—along with their backing band took the audience on a 12-minute whirlwind tour through five classic Who songs: "Pinball Wizard," "Baba O'Riley," "Who Are You?," "See Me, Feel Me," and "Won't Get Fooled Again."
Despite Townshend's signature windmill moves and a powerful, energetic sound, there unfortunately was no spine-tingling, hair-raising, pump-your-fists-in-the-air-while-sitting-on-your-couch moment. Perhaps a guest performance from another iconic artist could have given it that extra juice. Who knows? (No pun intended.) Still, I hope that when I'm 64 years old (like Townshend), I can rock the windmill with the same youthful enthusiasm. Long live rock!
MARILLION Guitarist Steve Rothery Gives Guitar Clinic in NYC
On Saturday, January 30th, while in town to pick up his new signature model Jack Dent guitar (kind of a cross between a Strat and an Explorer), Marillion's Steve Rothery held court at the Dog Ear Tavern in downtown Manhattan, offering fans and guitarists insight into his unique guitar style. Sporting his new axe, Rothery offered tips on tone, crafting melodies, tools of the trade, phrasing, and more.
Known for a highly melodic soloing approach akin to his heroes David Gilmour and Steve Hackett, Rothery revealed one of his secrets to creating lyrical lines. "I imagine the guitar as a wind instrument, or a voice, where you have to pause to take a breath," he said. "It results in a more lyrical and emotional quality, which to me is much more exciting, musically."
Among his tips to help expand your creative palette, Rothery advised using a drum machine or looper when writing or practicing. He also opened up the guitar tool kit and demonstrated how simple devices like a capo or eBow can help you think outside the box, as can experimenting with new guitar tones and sounds via effects, varied amp and guitar settings or combos, and the like.
"Sound absolutely influences the way you write," Rothery relates. "Different tones will lead you to different places."
In addition to the afternoon clinic, Rothery and some stateside friends played an informal jam session later that evening, featuring classic rock and blues tunes like "Born Under a Bad Sign" and "White Room." He also treated those in attendance to two Marillion fan favorites, "80 Days" and "Sugar Mice," before mingling with adoring fans for the rest of the evening.
Marillion's latest record, Less Is More, is a well-executed acoustic set featuring remakes of the band's songs from the past several albums. "We didn't want to make a simple MTV-unplugged-strum-your-acoustic-guitar record," Rothery said. "It was fun, but a bit perilous at times, too, trying to come up with the new arrangements. Something like 'Hard As Love,' for example, was a radical re-write."
After holding a clinic on music software at the Apple Store in SoHo on Monday, Rothery returned home to England, where the band has commenced writing the new Marillion record. For more on Rothery and the band, visit www.marillion.com. For more on Rothery's side project, The Wishing Tree, which just released its second album, Ostara, visit the band's official MySpace page.
Orange Launches Rockerverb II
The Rockerverb series has long been regarded as a masterpiece of guitar amplification and Orange Amps are proud to announce the launch of the new Rockerverb II, which builds on the classic proven Rockerverb formula and improves the specification and range available.
Over the years Orange has listened carefully to feedback from their endorsers and players around the world and they are now ready to launch the next generation of world class guitar amps.
The New Rockerverb II series includes the following new specifications and changes:
- Enhanced valve F/X loop offering a totally transparent sound
- Improved reverb tone which delivers an unforgettable sound across all levels
- New middle control on the clean channel
- Re-designed combo's with new front mounted controls
- Range now includes new Rockerverb 50 watt 1x12 model with new spec 2xEL34 valves
All models and built using tried and tested top quality components and deliver the legendary orange sound. From chiming tube driven reverbs to sparkling tube driven effects loops and ultra high gain distortions these are rightly regarded as the most versatile guitar amps on the market delivering some of the purest guitar tones in the business.
The Rockerverb 50 head, Rockerverb 100 head and Rockerverb 50 (2x12 and 1x12) combo's will be launched in March 2010 with the new upgrades.
For further details and to see these great new amps, visit www.orangeamps.com.
Shred or Record With Slash
Through the efforts of Ernie Ball and Guitar Center, respectively, you now have a chance to take a once-in-a-lifetime private master class lesson with Slash, or even have the mad hatter record on your band's album.
First, the lesson:
Ernie Ball has partnered with longtime endorsee Slash to provide the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for 20 guitarists to attend a private master class with Slash in Hollywood, CA. Hidden inside select packs of Ernie Ball electric guitar string sets available exclusively at Guitar Center stores are 5 different colored picks: Gold, Silver, Red, Black, and White. Each pick has a corresponding prize (number of prizes in parentheses) including:
Gold (20) - Tickets to attend a private masterclass with Slash
Silver (10) - Custom Ernie Ball Music Man instruments
Red (20) - $500.00 Guitar Center Shopping Sprees,
Black (100) - Signed copies of Slash's solo record (available April, 2010),
White (1,000) - Free packs of Ernie Ball strings.
"I'm extremely excited to partner with Ernie Ball on this incredibly proactive retail promotion," said Slash. "The private masterclass is something I'm greatly looking forward to putting together!"
The promotion runs from February through May of 2010. Visit www.ernieball.com/slash for more info.
Now, if you're in an unsigned band but think you've got the goods to make it, check this out. Guitar Center is also running a contest called Your Next Record, which will give one band a career-altering opportunity. From February 1st through April 30th, bands can submit their music at www.yournextrecord.com for a chance to win the opportunity to record a 3-song EP with legendary producer, Mike Clink (Guns N' Roses, Mötley Crüe, Megadeth), with the added bonus of having Slash write, record, and perform on the first single.
"The formula that used to work for discovering new artists has been decimated and the opportunities for really talented bands to be heard is extremely limited," says Slash. "That's why it's so important to me and Guitar Center to provide a situation where new talent can be discovered. This is an incredibly interesting way to find and help launch a really great band that hasn't been able to get their foot in the door otherwise."
The grand prize also includes a $10,000 shopping spree at Guitar Center, $10,000 in new gear and endorsement deals from Ernie Ball Music Man, having your single featured on iTunes, worldwide distribution through Tunecore, and much more. For complete details, including how to enter, visit www.yournextrecord.com.