Your Daily Dose of Guitar News & Reviews
Bill Ward Will Not Play With Black Sabbath on Summer 2012 Dates
In a letter posted on his web site, Black Sabbath drummer Bill Ward declared that, due to an "unsignable contract" (i.e., he feels he's not being offered a fair share of the money, which may or may not be true), he will not be playing with Sabbath this summer, thus ending any hope for a full-on reunion in the foreseeable future.
"I sincerely regret to inform you that after a final effort to participate in the upcoming Sabbath shows a failure to agree has continued," said Ward in his statement. "It is with a very sad heart that I bring you this news. I am sincerely passionate in my desire to play with the band, and I'm very, very sorry that it's fallen to this."
The three remaining original members—singer Ozzy Osbourne, guitarist Tony Iommi, and bassist Bill "Geezer" Butler—are playing the band's hometown of Birmingham, England, on May 19. Following that gig, the band is headlining the Download Festival on June 10 and Lollapalooza on August 3rd.
Slash Debuts Video for New Single "You're a Lie"
Guitarist Slash is set to release his new album, Apocalyptic Love, featuring Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators, next Tuesday, May 22. In anticipation of the album's release, Slash has debuted the official video for the album's first single, "You're a Lie." If you want to hear even more, head on over to RollingStone.com, where you can stream the entire album today (5/15) only!
Next week (5/22), Slash and Co. are playing a sold-out album-release show at New York City's Irving Plaza. If you're not lucky enough to be holding a ticket, the show will be streamed live here.
Wayne Krantz Takes Vocal Detour Down Howie 61
Longtime fans of "Wayne Krantz the guitar god" may very well take issue with his latest release; however, longtime fans of "Wayne Krantz the sonic adventurer" will be quite pleased. On Howie 61, a reference to Bob Dylan's Highway 61 Revisited, Wayne Krantz not only makes the bold move of embellishing his quirky fusion-based compositions with vocals but also mixes up his standard trio format with A-list guests such as Vinnie Colaiuta, Tal Wilkenfeld, Keith Carlock, Pino Palladino, Anton Fig, John Patitucci, and Charley Drayton, among several others.
Always known as a boundary-busting artist, Krantz this time pushes his own artistry forward via vocals and greater focus on composition as opposed to improvisation. It's not the first time he's included vocals on a recording, but Krantz describes this effort as "more complete and tightly integrated." The result is reminiscent of Mike Keneally's solo work, skirting the rough edges of rock, jazz, and experimental jazz to compose an adventurous musical thrill ride.
Highlights include standout guitar tracks "The Bad Guys" and "Can't Stand to Rock" (check out the video game-style fretboard insanity at the tune's close!), the funky instrumental cover of Ice Cube's "Check Yo Self," the stellar rhythm section interplay of Colaiuta and Wilkenfeld on "Son of a Scientist," and the brilliant, shimmering chord work of "beLls" (no, that's not a misspelling).
Howie 61 may appear like a 65 mph changeup after years of 95 mph fastballs, but if there's one thing that's been consistent throughout Krantz's career, it's evolution and reinvention. Which is precisely what he achieves here. It may not be for everyone, but Krantz should be commended for putting out an album he's wanted to do for some time, and not just another album of what his fans want him to do.
"God Told Me To" by John 5
Shock-rock guitarist extraordinaire John 5 has released a new solo album, God Told Me To, a 10-track collection—five electric and five acoustic—that perfectly encapsulates John 5's unpredictable yet exciting multi-personality-driven musical approach. Exploring hardcore, pop, shred, flamenco, blues, and modern acoustic sounds, the record flows with the unifying undercurrent of 5's far-reaching love for music of all kinds.
John 5 guitar tab
John 5 video lessons
The album's somewhat bipolar nature is evident right from the start. Opening track "Welcome to Violence," a blitzkrieg of sonic brutality, is followed by a thrilling and true-to-original cover of Michael Jackson's "Beat It." Whereas the former conjures those evil desires to bring pain and suffering on those who've wronged you, the latter makes you want to dance afterward. Then "Aslund Bump"—a mandolin blues with the feeling of danger lurking just beneath the surface—takes you to the backwater country of Deliverance.
John breaks form a bit on "Killafornia," which despite its horror-affecting title is a fairly straightforward guitar instrumental—possibly the most "accessible" track on the album aside from "Beat It." The man of a thousand horror faces shows yet another facet with his Leo Kottke and Michael Hedges–inspired acoustic acrobatic act "The Castle." "The Hill of the Seven Jackals" returns to "classic" John 5, featuring signature sounds like chromatic runs, sweep-picking, wide-interval slides, and notes and effects never previously attempted on a Fender Tele.
On "Noche Acosador," John 5 explores the timbres and techniques of flamenco music in his own inimitable way—more Al Di Meola than Paco de Lucia, yet convincing nonetheless. "The Lust Killer" with its pleading minor-key and tritone-fueled melody might best described as an instrumental rock guitar ballad—for stalkers.
The album closes with two acoustic ballads, "The Lie You Live" and "Creepy Crawler," the latter being an introspective window to a dark, tormented soul whose hell is time and again reaching the cusp of light and emotional freedom only to be cast back to the chains of its shadowy existence.
12 Classic Foreigner Guitar Tabs Now Available
We're excited to announce that we've just posted 12 new guitar tabs from Foreigner. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Foreigner stood atop the arena rock realm, selling millions of albums on the strength of such classic hits as "Cold as Ice," "Double Vision," "Hot Blooded," "Head Games," and "Juke Box Hero," among many others.
Now, 30 years after their heyday and in testament to their enduring popularity, Foreigner is still going strong on the tour circuit. For a complete list of summer 2012 tour dates, please visit the band's official web site, ForeignerOnline.com.
Blues Guitarist Michael Burks Dead at 54
PRESS RELEASE -- Guitarist, vocalist, songwriter Michael "Iron Man" Burks died in Atlanta on Sunday, May 6, 2012. He was 54 years old. He was returning from a tour of Europe and collapsed at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. He was rushed to South Fulton Medical Center where he could not be revived. The preliminary diagnosis for cause of death was a heart attack. More information will follow as it becomes available.
Michael "Iron Man" Burks earned his moniker by his hours-long, intensely physical performances, fearsome guitar attack, and tough, smoky vocals. He also earned it by the thousands of miles he personally logged behind the wheel of his touring van. Burks was a true modern blues hero whose music was driven by an intense, blue collar work ethic that had won him well-deserved national and international recognition. His instantly identifiable guitar sound and his live charisma earned him four Blues Music Award nominations. He won the 2004 Living Blues magazine Critics' Award for Best Guitarist. Burks received a nomination for the 2012 Blues Music Award for Best Guitarist.
Born in Milwaukee in 1957, Burks grew up immersed in the blues, and learned to play guitar at an early age. His family moved to Camden, Arkansas in the early 1970s. There, Burks and his siblings helped their father build the Bradley Ferry Country Club -- a 300-seat juke joint. By this time Michael was fronting his own band as well as backing several of the blues and R&B greats that passed through town. Burks left music to raise a family and returned to performing blues in the 1990s.
After self-releasing his first CD in 1997, Burks signed with Chicago's Alligator Records in 2001 and released three critically acclaimed albums. GuitarOne named his debut album, Make It Rain, one of the Top 200 greatest guitar recordings of all time. He has toured the world, headlining blues festivals, concert halls and clubs. His status as an Arkansas musical hero was confirmed by his receipt of the prestigious Sonny Payne Award for Blues Excellence in 2006, presented by the Delta Cultural Center, and by his multiple headlining appearances at The Arkansas Blues & Heritage Festival. Burks had just finished recording his fourth Alligator CD, which is due for release at the end of July 2012.
Adam "MCA" Yauch of Beastie Boys Dead at 47
Beastie Boys rapper/musician Adam Yauch, also known as MCA, has passed away at the age of 47. He was diagnosed with cancer of the parotic gland in 2009 and underwent surgery and radiation treatment. The Beastie Boys were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last month, but Yauch was unable to attend due to his illness.
Beastie Boys guitar tab
Yauch along with Mike "Mike D" Diamond and Adam "Ad-Rock" Horowitz formed the Beastie Boys in 1979. Originally a hardcore punk band, they soon began experimenting with hip-hop and rap and their 1986 album Licensed to Ill became the first #1 album in hip-hop history. That disc, produced by now legendary metal producer Rick Rubin, featured a visceral blend of heavy metal, punk, and rap that produced the rap-rock anthems "Fight For Your Right (To Party)" and "No Sleep Till Brooklyn," the latter featuring the blazing fretwork of Slayer's Kerry King.
The Beastie Boys' most recent release, Hot Sauce Committee, Pt. 2, which was released in May 2011, showed the Beasties still at their best—even after delaying its production to give Yauch time to go through his cancer treatment. It's a real testament to the trio's enduring passion for and mastery of making music their own inimitable way.
Yauch is survived by his wife and daughter.