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SWEET Announces 2-CD Set and 2009 Tour

Posted by Michael Mueller on February 24, 2009 at 3:11 PM

A new two-CD set featuring songs never before available on CD in the U.S., Action: The Sweet Anthology is the definitive Sweet collection. The record features 30 tracks, including every U.S. and U.K. hit, including the Top 10 U.S. smashes "Little Willy," "Ballroom Blitz," "Fox On The Run," and "Love Is Like Oxygen." This collection was remastered from the original tapes by Bill Inglot. 

Sweet is also touring in 2009, having just announced new dates in America and Canada.

February 26      Moosejaw, SK
February 27      Regina, SK
March 13          Agoura Hills, CA
April 9              Scanton/Wilkes Barre, PA
May 16             Uncasville, CT
July 17             Nakusp, BC
August 8           Three Forks, MT
August 28         Santa Cruz, CA

For more details, visit the band's web site here.

Win a Gibson Kris Kristofferson Southern Jumbo Acoustic!

Posted by Michael Mueller on February 24, 2009 at 10:04 AM

Kris Kristofferson GibsonGibson Guitar is offering you the opportunity to win the Kristofferson SJ that Kris played at the winter NAMM show this past January. Gibson recently announced the release of the new Kristofferson SJ guitar developed by Gibson Acoustic. As a limited run of 300, the model honors a true legend in American songwriting with an accurately detailed recreation of the Southern Jumbo, Kristofferson’s favorite acoustic guitar.

After spending time in the Army, Kristofferson headed to Nashville in 1965 to pursue music as a career. He held down a variety of odd jobs from sweeping floors at Columbia Studios to flying helicopters for a petroleum company in Louisiana, all the while following his dream and writing songs like "Help Me Make It through the Night" and "Me and Bobby McGee." It was these iconic songs that would go on to give Kristofferson his place in music history as both a dynamic performer and a classic songwriter, penning hits for such greats at Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Janis Joplin.

The Kristofferson SJ blends traditional qualities with several modern features, including a Fishman Matrix undersaddle pickup system with an endpin-mounted preamp responsible for the model's rich bass and sparkling highs. Other features include open-back nickel Gotoh tuners, Gibson's traditional rosewood bridge, and a fat '50s-style tortoise shell pickguard. An aged vintage sunburst finish gives the Kristofferson SJ a beautiful yet understated look that faithfully captures the distinct feel of his beloved original.

In addition to being known worldwide as a classic singer/songwriter and a well respected actor, Kristofferson has also gained recognition for his support of social causes including his long-time support for the United Farm Workers. This relationship is recognized in his signature SJ with a genuine mother of pearl UFW logo on the fingerboard's 12th fret, along with a donation under Gibson's name going to the UFW with every guitar sold. MSRP on this fine instrument is $4,083.

For a chance to win the Kristofferson SJ, click here. For a complete list of specs, visit

MIKE PATTON Scores First Feature Film

Posted by Michael Mueller on February 24, 2009 at 9:39 AM

Mike Patton (Fantômas, Faith No More, Mr. Bungle, Peeping Tom, and the forthcoming Mondo Cane, amongst others) has just completed his first major motion film score for the film Crank 2: High Voltage, which will be released April 17.

While Patton has often dabbled in film—whether it was lending his voice to the creatures in I Am Legend, his score for the indie film noir short A Perfect Place, or Fantômas’ film scoring interpretation via The Director’s Cut—this marks his first proper film score.

Created during the latter half of 2008, Patton holed up in a Los Angeles studio and eliminated all other projects during the recording, a point worth noting as he is well known for being one of modern music’s most prolific artists.

Patton has also provided vocals to several videogames including Bionic Commando, Portal, Left 4 Dead, and The Darkness. He also lent his voice to Adult Swim's Metalocalypse (character name: Rikki Kix). Patton just wrapped up a trek across Australia with Fantômas as part of the Big Day Out festival. His upcoming schedule includes a performance with labelmates Zu (Mar. 19 @ Great American Music Hall in San Francisco), the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival on Apr. 17 with Rahzel (ex-Roots beatboxer), and the highly anticipated reunion tour with Faith No More in Europe this summer.   

Guitar Instructor Recommends ... Ciro Manna

Posted by Michael Mueller on February 23, 2009 at 12:27 PM

Each year at the winter NAMM show, we get to see the hottest new guitar gear, attend some pretty cool jam sessions and concerts, and network with like-minded guitar fanatics. We—meaning: the music press—also meet a number of unsigned guitarists each show, some talented, some not so much, looking to get some ink and hoping to get their big break.

This year was no different, but there was one who really caught our attention. In very polite, broken English, Italian guitarist Ciro Manna introduced himself and asked that we take his CD Feel 'n' Groove and give it a spin. There was no hard sell, no verbal resume, just a humble request that we check it out.

We did, and this is one of the best NAMM submissions we've ever received. Throughout the instrumental disc, Manna's fluid, funky, and jazz-infused lines reveal a diverse range of influences like Joe Satriani, Greg Howe, and Frank Gambale, while his versatility and command of the groove earn him a spot in the new class of guitar heroes alongside players like Guthrie Govan and Bumblefoot. Visit Ciro's web site to hear some sample clips.


PRINCE Rocks Oscars After Party

Posted by Michael Mueller on February 23, 2009 at 12:06 PM

This year's Academy Awards may have been a little ho-hum, but at least one Oscars after-party got Hollywood rockin'—even if it didn't start until 1:45 a.m. According to Steve Baltin at, his purple majesty Prince brought the house down at Hollywood's Avalon, kicking off the festivities with the Edgar Winter Band classic rocker "Frankenstein."

Backed by a stellar group of musicians, Prince led the ensemble through a pastiche of surprising rock 'n' roll karaoke, from the Cars' "Let's Go" to the Rolling Stones' "Miss You" and "Honky Tonk Woman." To prove his ridiculous range, Prince asked the crowd—a mixture of celebs, including Best Supporting Actress winner Penelope Cruz, and fans who paid $100 a ticket—"Do you want jazz, funk, soul, reggae, rock 'n' roll?" The answer of rock 'n' roll prompted a little Jimmy Eat World's "The Middle."

Prince later invited several people from the audience onstage to dance and take over lead vocals during performances of the Sheila E. hit "Glamorous Life," and Wild Cherry's '70s hit, "Play That Funky Music." And 3:00 a.m. or not, you can be sure when Prince says, "Everybody dance," that crowd was moving.

Win an Ibanez, ESP, or Fender Guitar Autographed by Paul Gilbert, George Lynch, and Richie Kotzen

Posted by Michael Mueller on February 20, 2009 at 9:23 AM

If you live in southern California and are attending the Guitar Generation Tour shows at the House of Blues in San Diego (2/25), Hollywood (2/28), or Anaheim (3/2), save that ticket stub! It could be your ticket to an Ibanez, ESP, or Fender guitar signed by the Guitar Generation stars—Paul Gilbert, George Lynch, and Richie Kotzen.

All you have to do is make a copy (scan or photocopy) of your ticket stub, send that copy in with your name, email address, and phone number to the address below by March 9th and you will be put in the drawing. The drawing will be held Friday, March 13, 2009.

This contest is for fans only—no-one related to, working for, or associated with any of the artists can enter. You must have valid ticket stub and can only enter once, as the tickets are numbered.

Please send scanned stubs via email to, or mail your photo copy to: 

9206 Franklin St.
Chatsworth, CA 91311

Guitar Instructor's Own JACK GRASSEL To Offer Jazz Guitar Open Counseling at Musicians Institute

Posted by Michael Mueller on February 19, 2009 at 4:24 PM

Jack GrasselOn Wednesday February 25, Musicians Institute welcomes guitarist and composer JACK GRASSEL for an afternoon of Jazz-oriented guitar open counseling. For decades, guitarists the world over (including yours truly) have studied his many instructional guitar books and recordings, and his columns have enlightened readers of Guitar Player and Just Jazz Guitar magazines.

During his lengthy career, Jack, whom Guitar One magazine named one of the 10 Best Guitarists in America, has performed over 11,000 times in every conceivable musical setting, with a few self-declared favorites including appearances with Luciano Pavarotti, Tom Jones, Melvin Rhyne, Nancy Wilson, Bob Hope, Jay Leno, Bob Newhart, and The Ringling Brothers Circus.

If you happen to be an MI student, we highly recommend you attend Jack's open counseling session. If you're with the rest of us, be sure to check out Jack's lessons here at GuitarInstructor, or visit his web site to learn more about his work.

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