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Holiday Blues of the Good Kind For You

Posted by Michael Mueller on December 16, 2011 at 1:41 PM

When most people think of holiday blues, it's all about the stress of shopping, writing out those darned cards, wrapping gifts, and so on. But these here are the good kinds of holiday blues—guaranteed to lift your holiday spirits. Click on any album cover to hear previews.

James ArmstrongBlues at the Border James Armstrong (Catfood Records)
On this new album (co-produced by my friend and colleague Michael Ross), Armstrong offers up sensuous, soulful blues that fully bridge the traditional to contemporary. Throughout Armstrong lives in the pocket created by his air-tight band, his slide work oscillating from sultry to sassy, and his smooth baritone vocals the epitome of what a soul-blues singer should sound like. Highlights: "Everything Good to Ya," "Blues at the Border," "Devil's Candy," "High Maintenance Woman," "Young Man With the Blues."

Sean CostelloAt His Best - Live Sean Costello (Landslide)
When Costello passed away in 2008, one day shy of his 29th birthday, the world lost one of the most promising talents of a new blues generation. This high-energy collection of live performances allows to revisit Costello's brilliant fretwork in its raw glory. Highlights include album opener and Freddie King classic "San-Ho-Zay," his jazzy phrasing in "T-Bone Boogie," and his unbridled attack on the strings during the Johnny Guitar Watson tune "Motor Head Baby."

Roy TrevinoRoy Treviño Roy Treviño (Troubadour)
From the gospel of "Gloria" to the slide-laced Diddley beat of "Hurricanes" to the roadhouse blues of "The Boy Can Play" to the Latin grooves of "Sin Ella" to the tropical "Trinidad," south Texas bluesman Treviño seamlessly navigates and mixes myriad styles that result in one delicious stew of tasty blues.

Blues For Hard Times Fiona Boyes (Blue Empress/VizzTone)
In the press materials that came with this disc was this quote from the late Hubert Sumlin: "She's got it—I've played with 'em all, and she's got it!" Yep, whatFiona Boyes he said. The latest effort from Boyes is a pastiche of traditional barrelhouse, ragtime, Cajun, and Delta styles plied in absolutely masterly fashion. Highlights: "Nickels & Dimes," "Guys Be Wise," "Mean World," "No Friends"

Official Guitar Tab for New Red Hot Chili Peppers Album Now Available

Posted by Michael Mueller on December 12, 2011 at 4:50 PM

We're excited to announce that the official guitar tab for the Red Hot Chili Peppers' new album, I'm With You, is now available online at

Red Hot Chili Peppers - I'm With You guitar tab

We have note-for-note transcriptions of all 14 songs, including the band's monster first single, "The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie." The new album marks the recording debut of new guitarist Josh Klinghoffer, who, though true to the Chili Peppers funky tradition, brings a fresh new voice to the newly crowned Rock and Roll Hall of Famers.

If you'd rather purchase the complete tab book for the new album, click here, or on the book cover below.

Red Hot Chili Peppers guitar tab







To browse over 200 Red Hot Chili Peppers guitar tabs, click here.


GNR, Chili Peppers, Freddie King Top 2012 Rock Hall Class

Posted by Michael Mueller on December 7, 2011 at 9:07 AM

First, they conquered the jungle, then some 20 years later Chinese democracy, and now, in their first year of eligibility, Guns N' Roses leads the 2012 class of inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Also making the cut are the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Beastie Boys, The Small Faces/The Faces (also first balloters), Donovan, and Laura Nyro. Seminal electric blues guitarist Freddie King also (very deservedly) received the nod for his early influence.

Despite Nyro's presence, women were largely snubbed this year, as Hall voters somehow passed over Heart and Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, as well as Donna Summer and Rufus with Chaka Khan. Also missing the cut were Eric B. & Rakim, War, the Cure, and the Spinners.

With GN'R's induction, talk is sure to turn once again to a potential reunion, at least for the induction ceremony—but I wouldn't hold my breath. In fact, my money is on the Chili Peppers and Beastie Boys to provide the show-stopping performances at the ceremony, which will be held in Cleveland, on April 14, 2012.

Congratulations to the Rock Hall Class of 2012!

Guns N' Roses guitar tab 
Red Hot Chili Peppers guitar tab, video lessons, and jam tracks 
Beastie Boys guitar tab 
The Faces guitar tab
Donovan guitar tab 
Freddie King guitar tab, video lessons, and jam tracks




Zakk Wylde to Be Honored at Rock and Roll Roast

Posted by Michael Mueller on December 6, 2011 at 8:36 AM

Guitar World magazine has announced their first-ever Rock & Roll Roast, with guitarist Zakk Wylde serving as sacrificial lamb, er, honoree. The invitation-only event will take place at The Grove in Anaheim, California, on Thursday, January 19, 2012. A portion of the proceeds will go to the MusiCares charity.

Zakk Wylde guitar tab, video lessons, and song lessons

Wylde commented, "How can they roast me? I'm a good Catholic boy."

Wylde's former boss, Sharon Osbourne, will serve as toastmaster, with special guests Ozzy Osbourne, Scott Ian, Corey Taylor, Chris Jericho, and Stone Cold Steve Austin also onboard. Comedy and roast vets Jim Norton, Brian Posehn, Jim Florentine, and others will also take aim at the Black Label Society frontman and guitar hero. Lady Starlight (Lady GaGa's resident DJ) will be spinning tunes for the event.

"We're excited to kick off this new annual event," says Guitar World editor Brad Tolinski, "and who better than Zakk Wylde to be our first .. victim?"

Watch a promo trailer for the event featuring Zakk and Jim Norton here:


Legendary Blues Guitarist Hubert Sumlin Dies at Age 80

Posted by Michael Mueller on December 5, 2011 at 10:31 AM

No matter where you are today, the sky is crying. Hubert Sumlin, a mainstay of the Chicago blues scene and longtime Howlin' Wolf collaborator, died in his sleep Sunday at a hospital in Wayne, New Jersey. He was 80.

Hubert Sumlin"An unsung hero of postwar electric blues whose stinging, searing, serpentine and stunning solos will reverberate forever," is how blues guitarist and historian Dave Rubin aptly describes Mr. Sumlin. Best known for his work with Howlin' Wolf from the mid-1950s up until Wolf's death, in 1976, Sumlin's guitar work on such classics as "Smokestack Lightning," "Killing Floor," "Wang Dang Doodle," "Backdoor Man," "Spoonful," and "Little Red Rooster" not only helped form the lexicon of electric blues guitar but also had far-reaching influence on the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Keith Richards, Jimmy Page, and Eric Clapton, among other legends of the blues-based rock guitar arena.

Hubert Sumlin/Howlin' Wolf guitar tab, video lessons, and jam tracks

Born in Greenwood, Mississippi, in 1931, Sumlin was raised in Arkansas, where he got his first guitar at age 6. While still a boy, he would meet Howlin' Wolf for the first time when he snuck into one of Wolf's shows. Then, in 1954, Wolf hired Sumlin to play with him up in Chicago, where the pair would leave an indelible mark on the blues. Their 1962 album Howlin' Wolf, which has come to be known as "The Rockin' Chair Album" is one of the most important blues recordings of all time and was named the third greatest guitar album of all time by Mojo magazine in 2004.

Sumlin was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2002 and subsequently had one lung removed. He continued to perform, with an oxygen tank at his side, right up to his death.

"I think the thing that made Hubert's playing so special was its unpredictability," says Sean McDevitt, a former editor at Guitar One magazine. "It could be absolutely stinging—even menacing at times—and it darted in every direction imaginable. He created an energy and vibe that were integral parts of Howlin' Wolf's classic sides. Their music had this kind of bone-chilling vitality that just doesn't exist today. To me, Hubert was much more than Wolf's celebrated sideman; he was an equal creative partner in their long musical relationship.

"Hubert the man, meanwhile, was everything you'd ever want: gentle, affable, engaging, gracious, accommodating, and truly sweet," Sean continues. "Sometimes in life, meeting one of your heroes isn't all it's cracked up to be—they frequently disappoint you. Hubert never did. He always was, and always will be, the genuine article. We've lost an absolute titan of American music."

I had the privilege and honor of being part of a video shoot with Hubert and Sean at Guitar One, in 2006, and indeed, Mr. Sumlin was as gracious an artist as I've ever encountered, and just remembering that infectious grin of his warms my heart. Rest in peace, Hubert.

Here's footage of that Guitar One video lesson:

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