Your Daily Dose of Guitar News & Reviews
George Benson Returns With "Guitar Man" on October 4
On October 4, 2011, National Endowment of the Arts Jazz Master and Grammy-winning legend George Benson brings his guitar to the forefront in his newest album Guitar Man. The 12-song collection includes a mix of jazz and pop standards—some in a combo setting and some solo, but all of them tied together seamlessly by Benson's soulful and exploratory signature sound. Lending a hand on this recording is a solid team made up of veterans and newcomers alike: pianist Joe Sample, keyboardist and musical director David Garfield, bassist Ben Williams and drummer Harvey Mason. Williams is one of the hottest up-and-coming new artists on the jazz scene. Mason is a regular member of Fourplay, and a studio collaborator with Benson all the way back to Benson's 1976 blockbuster album, Breezin'.
On Guitar Man, Benson's mastery of the guitar is demonstrated in a variety of styles and settings, all with legendary jazz roots. The opening track "Tenderly" is a solo guitar track that serves as a reminder that Benson is one guitar man with sufficient technical and interpretive skills to be a band unto himself. The second song is an intriguing rendition of Lennon and McCartney's "I Want To Hold Your Hand." Other highlights include a rollicking version of the Champs' 1958 instrumental hit, "Tequila," followed a couple tracks later by "My One and Only Love," which opens with a 16-bar solo jazz guitar intro that segues into a sweet vocal ballad. Benson delivers a playful straightahead rendition of "Paper Moon" with the quartet, followed by a solo guitar rendition of "Danny Boy" (one of the few times, if ever, that a guitar sounds like bagpipes - download the song free below!). In the final stretch, Benson and Garfield set up a lush guitar-and-piano arrangement of the smoky standard, "Since I Fell For You," with Benson once again stepping up to the mic for an emotional delivery of the song's impassioned lyrics.
George Benson will be touring in support of Guitar Man. Confirmed dates below (additional dates TBA):
10/1 Austin, TX
10/2 St. Louis, MO
10/14 Phoenix, AZ
10/16 Atlanta, GA
10/19 Englewood, NJ
10/20 Morristown, NJ
10/21 New York City, NY
10/23 Glenside, PA
A free download of "Danny Boy" is available here:
Dean Guitars and Megadeth Giving Away One Dave Mustaine Guitar at Each Mayhem Festival Date
The Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival, which runs through August 14th this year, is taking part in an amazing promotional opportunity, brought to you by Megadeth and Dean Guitars. At each tour stop (except San Bernardino and Montreal), Megadeth singer/guitarist Dave Mustaine has been handing off the guitar that he's been playing each night of the festival to a member in attendance.
"It was time to invite some fans up to jam, and let them take one of these bad boys home with them," states Megadeth guitarist and lead vocalist Dave Mustaine, who is pictured below handing his personal guitar to a lucky fan. Post continues below photo
Winners must be present to win. Check your local radio listings for more information on the contest. See below for all remaining tour dates.
ROCKSTAR ENERGY DRINK MAYHEM FESTIVAL TOUR DATES:
8/2 Virginia Beach, VA
8/3 Raleigh, NC
8/5 Tinley Park, IL (Chicago IL)
8/6 Clarkston, MI (Detroit, MI)
8/7 Noblesville, IN (Indianapolis, IN)
8/9 Oklahoma City, OK
8/10 Dallas, TX
8/12 Atlanta, GA
8/13 Tampa, FL
8/14 West Palm Beach, FL
For more information on the ROCKSTAR ENERGY DRINK MAYHEM FESTIVAL, visit www.rockstarmayhemfest.com
Top 10 Guitar Intros of All Time
Ain't nothin' like a killer guitar riff, particularly when it kicks off an equally killer tune. Here are 10 of our favorites. Click on the title for official guitar tab!
10. "Wanted Dead or Alive" Bon Jovi
Go ahead, just try to pick up a 12-string acoustic and not play this descending 6ths riff.
9. "Sweet Child O' Mine" Guns N' Roses
John Mayer calls this finger-twister the "fastest way to not get laid at the party" riff, but in Slash's capable hands, it's simply golden.
8. "Sunshine of Your Love" Cream
In an example of masterly arranging, the main riff is heard variously in both single-note and chordal forms, thus giving the listener something familiar without being too repetitious.
7. "Iron Man" Black Sabbath
This quintessential metal riff set the precedent for all heavy guitar to come.
6. "Purple Haze" Jimi Hendrix
The intro riff to the solo career of the greatest electric guitarist of all time—and it's composed of tritones! Priceless.
5. "Crazy Train" Ozzy Osbourne
All aboard! This F# minor riff of offers not only a lesson in pedal point but also a great alternate picking workout!
4. "Walk This Way" Aerosmith
Raunchy, bluesy, funky, and loaded with swagger, this riff epitomizes classic rock.
3. "Smoke on the Water" Deep Purple
Ritchie Blackmore's masterpiece has probably been played by more guitarists than any other riff in history!
2. "Back in Black" AC/DC
The Brothers Young got rhythm, and nowhere is that more apparent than in this classic gem!
1. "Johnny B. Goode" Chuck Berry
Li'l Johnny wasn't the only one who could "play the guitar like a ringing bell."
Honorable mentions include the Beatles' "Day Tripper," Van Halen's "Unchained," Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Sweet Home Alabama," Alice Cooper's "School's Out," and just about every song in the Led Zeppelin catalog.
Now, enjoy one of the finest GN'R covers of all time ...
New Manraze Album Featuring Phil Collen Out Today (8/2)
London-based alternative/nuwave rock band Manraze, formed by iconic Def Leppard lead guitarist Phil Collen along with punk rock forerunner Paul Cook (Sex Pistols) on drums and Simon Laffy (Girl) on bass, have released their sophomore album, punkfunkrootsrock, across the U.S. and Canada today (8/2) through Rocket Science Ventures. In addition, a Limited Edition CD version is currently available in the U.S. through the Manraze direct-to-consumer online store.
If you want to get a great deal on it, punkfunkrootsrock is Amazon.com's "Deal of the Day" today (8/2), with price of just $3.99 USD. The price is good for only 24 hours. Get the deal here!
The trio has also announced plans to perform a "one night only" event in Los Angeles. Billed as the official Album Release Party at the legendary Roxy Theater, Manraze will hit the stage on Sunday, October 2nd to perform songs from the new album, as well as a selection of hits from their debut album, Surreal. Special surprise guests will also be on hand to help the guys celebrate their release. Fans can pre-purchase special VIP ticket packages for this show by visiting the band's Facebook page.
The album's first single, "Over My Dead Body," hit iTunes on May 31st. To download the second single, "I C U in Everything," visit Melodicrock.com.
Puddle of Mudd Covers Rock Classics For New Album
NEW YORK, NY –August 1, 2011 – Puddle Of Mudd's version of The Rolling Stones classic "Gimme Shelter" will be the first single from their forthcoming album re:(disc)overed. The track will be made available on iTunes beginning tomorrow, August 2nd, while the album is set to land on August 30th.
For this release, Puddle Of Mudd dig back into their own past for the songs that turned them on to becoming musicians in the first place. Re:(disc)overed finds the band tackling such classics as AC/DC's "TNT," Steve Miller's "The Joker," Elton John's "Rocket Man," the Stevie Nicks/Tom Petty duet "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around" (which Puddle Of Mudd recorded with BC Jean), Neil Young's "Old Man," and of course the first single, "Gimme Shelter."
"Our goal in interpreting these songs was to pay more tribute rather than reinvent," says guitarist Paul Phillips. "These are all classics that are perfect in every sense, so who are we to mess with that? We just wanted to represent them in their true form and add a little of our sound to them. We cut everything with very few takes and tried to keep it very live like those old seventies records. We didn't want to Pro Tool the hell out of it."
Track list for re:(disc)overed
For more info, please visit www.puddleofmudd.com.
Five Finger Death Punch Announces Share the Welt Tour and New Single
Five Finger Death Punch is set to headline the Share the Welt Tour this fall in support of their upcoming third album, American Capitalist, which hits stores on October 11th, 2011. Heading out to support 5FDP on the tour are current heavy metal frontrunners All That Remains, Hatebreed, and Rev Theory. Tickets for these dates go on sale this weekend to the general public, but VIP packages with pre-sale tickets will be available at 5FDP.com starting Wednesday at 10am CT.
Also, 5FDP's brand new single, "Under and Over It," will be available on iTunes starting tomorrow, August 2nd. More dates are set to be announced in September, so stay tuned for updates! See below for all current tour dates.
Confirmed Summer Festival Dates
8/13 Twin Lakes, WI
8/16 Honolulu, HI
8/19 Saratoga Springs, NY
8/20 Winnipeg, MB
8/26 Post Falls, ID
8/27 Auburn, WA
8/28 Hillsboro, OR
9/10 Chandler, AZ
9/18 Dayton, OH
9/24 Irvine, CA
Share the Welt Tour Dates
10/16 San Francisco, CA
10/17 Medford, OR
10/19 Salt Lake City, UT
10/22 Denver, CO
10/25 Boise, ID
10/26 Reno, NV
10/28 El Paso, TX (not Share the Welt)
10/29 San Antonio, TX
11/1 Little Rock, AR
11/2 Oklahoma City, OK
For more information on Five Finger Death Punch, please visit www.5fdp.com
Journey's Don't Stop Believin' Named #1 Single of the 20th Century
Thirty years ago this month, Bay Area rockers Journey released what many consider their crown jewel, Escape. The first single from that groundbreaking album was "Don't Stop Believin'," which reached #8 on the Billboard charts at the time. But now 30 years later, that little ditty about a small-town girl and a city boy on a midnight train goin' anywhere has been named the #1 song of the 20th century.
Journey, in it current incarnation featuring Neal Schon on guitar, Ross Valory on bass, Jonathan Cain on keys, Deen Castronovo on drums, and Arnel Pineda on vocals, was in New York City last week to perform as part of "The Today Show's" summer concert series when they were presented with a plaque from Nielsen SoundScan commemorating the achievement.
CBS News has a great interview with Schon and Cain about the history of the song here.