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Band of Skulls - Baby Darling Doll Face Honey
Released in 2009 the Band of Skulls quickly rose on the indie alt scene and what's left of college radio these days. But as with some much music today it crossed over via TV media and video game soundtracks. The best part of this CD is that while it had popular songs such as Light of the Morning and I Know What I Am there is tons of depth and exploration of fuzz tones thru out this work. Emma the lead singer has a haunting and wonderful voice that is highlighted thru-out the album and Russell the other singer is just pure Rock n Roll. Why can't there be more bands like this these days, new, fresh, old school and kick ass. Listen to Song Samples - Band of Skulls Website
The Bakerton Group El Rojo - El Rojo is the second full-length studio album by instrumental psychedelic rock band The Bakerton Group. The album was released in 2009 and contains 10 tracks. Mick Schauer, who played keyboards on the first album, left the group and was replaced by Per Wiberg of Opeth. The title of the album began as the working title for a song that was never included on the album. "El Rojo" was used because it reminded the band of the progressive rock band King Crimson. Neil Fallon described the concept behind the "El Rojo" character along with the album art (illustrated by Eno Kalkin, who also created the art for the band's previous album): We came up with this idea of a vague character on a celestial level. I think of El Rojo as that character. There's no back-story written about it. The way I look at the album art and listen to the music, I see it as a vague, celestial Don Coyote type character, bouncing around the galaxy from planet to planet.
Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage - Saw this on VH1 Classic the other night and it brought just so many great memories for me. Rush had lost a place in my heart over the years or maybe I had just lost my way with Rush. This movie showed and proved to me how important this band was for me. I have now watched it 5 times after renting it on Netflik and have even converted my 15 yr old to a Rush head now. The movie is so great on so many levels the buddy feature is something I wasn't prepared for that the 3 of them are just best friends since they where 12 ! True friendship is evident as you go thru the Pert tradegy and it starts to show in the music as well. The documentary takes you thru the rock years, the prog years, the synth years, and their eventual full circle back. Rush is without a doubt music like no other as Gene Simmons say "What kind of music is it ? It's Rush music!" that sums it up. Love the band hate the band you will love this movie !!!
Andy Timmons - Resolution - Came out in 2006 and this is just a killer record/cd/album/download. Andy just plays so musical and agressive if you like guitar music you just have to love it. It's shred but it't not it's Eric Johnson but it's not it's Satch'ish but it's not. That is the sign of a great artist to me someone who is themselves and is a true artist. Chops galore but these are true songs not just shredfests From the opening tune Deliver Us to the jazzy Prayer to kick ass rockers like Ghost of You this is a true guitar hero album full of chops, enery, and melody. If your jones'in for some Guitar music go no furth Andy Timmons has the drug you need !Andy Timmons Website - Other Hot Lick Articles
The Ballad of John Henry - The latest from Joe Bonamassa shows a artist coming of age and truley going the next level. Joe has pushed away from the Blues and then again not really left his roots at all. He finds himself in a place that he is starting to call his own. Pure music vision and artistry is something that you can really feel taking place on this record. From the opening tune Ballad of John Henry to the rocker Story of Quarrymen to ballads like Happier Times this is a full range of album of styles and emotions. Guitar junkies will rejoice as Joe showcases himself as the newest and greatest heir apparent to the crown of Guitar God of the 21st century. The album can be sampled HERE
The Best of the Vines - recently downloaded this album and was amazed at the depth of work these guys have put in already. I had heard the hits on Sat Radio and MTV2 etc, but there are many songs that are just incredibly haunting and stellar. "Autumn Shade " showcases a acoustic ballad that is full of harmonies, very Floyd'ish and just so beautifully you would think Sid is on it !Winter Days is another acoustic number with great lyrics, and vocals that just showcases the depth of the band. There are the rockers such as the hits Get Free and Ride which put the band on the map, but its the mellower songs such as Vision Valley and Sun Child that show the true depth and talent of the band !
Gary Moore's Still Got the Blues - was perfectly timed in Gary Moore's career just as Metal was dying in the late 80s due to Nirvana and Alt Music. Gary re-invented himself by going back to his roots the late 60s British Blues. This also coincided with the whole vintage guitar boom so you had thousands of guitar fans eager for a Blues Rock statement from someone. Gary Moore delivered just that with this incredible beautiful raw powerful Blues Rock record. You must listen to this record to see what British Blues became after Page, Beck, Clapton, Trower and Frampton.......Song Sampler #1 - Song Sampler #2
Robert Fripp and Andy Summer I Advance Mask - this album was released in May 1982 right after the Police had broken up. I was highly influenced by this album for its textures and instrumental tracks but it does sound somewhat dated with its highly chorused sound. Players who want to experience what early texture records where about have to find a copy of this album ! It is out of print but can be found as a expensive import which is worth every penny ! The texture chords back dropped against both Summers and Fripp soloing is just a treat to behold !......Song Sampler #1 - Song Sampler #2
Joe Bonamassa's CD “New Day Yesterday” released in 2001 is like watching a heavyweight fighter right before he becomes the champ. JB is truly entering his peak on this album and quickly becoming the king of the power blues. He just has such command of his art through out the album with such tracks as ”Cradle Rock”, “Don't Turn That Bridge”, ”Miss You, Hate You”. There are no clunkers on this album every track is wonderful in its own right, great music, great sound. Fans of Gov't Mule, Ford etc, will love this record. Track #1 - Track #2 - Joe Bonamassa Website !
The Rolling Stones A Bigger Bang - the album has been out alittle over 2 weeks so how can it be classic, well not classic but its good, real good? I just get a big smile that "finally" a older (ancient) band has made an album that truly rocks. For some of you younger guys these guys could be your grandfathers, let alone your father, and to hear the opening number Rough Justice you know they kick it. Right out of Exile Main Street, we roll into Some Girls, to Black n Blue, to Let It Bleed....every song stands on its own ! One can not stop the flood of memories of every party you went to with a Bud in your hand and Stones blasting in the background. If your over 35 get the CD, get in the car and crank it your immediately 20 again. If your 30 get this CD and see how these old rockers still kick ass and what hardcore rockin blues is all about. It truly lives up to the hype as the best Stones album since Some Girls, Keith is just a God ! .......Song Sampler
Pink Floyd The Wall - after 25 yrs of classic FM channels playing cuts from The Wall we have been jaded to the true brilliance of this truly classic album. I finally picked up a Digital Remix of The Wall and instantly I was 17 again and in awe of its power, beauty and craftsmanship. For guitar heads the playing of David Gilmour is just in a English term "Brilliant". The compressed tone and subtle playing is perfect that each solo of each song is just pure magic. He plays within each song not over the top, enhancing and pushing each song to greater hits. A technique that would be ruined in the following decade of the 80s. For one to truley get the full impact of these classic tracks, take a night, get a copy and sit in silence for the entire record. It is truly a masterpiece.......Song #1 - Song #2 - Song #3
Living Colour Vivid - in the mid-80s I worked as a stage manager at rock club in NY. At 8:30 that night there was a knock on the door as I opened it there were 4 black guys in neon body glove outfits or some sort. I thought hmmm this isn't what I expected ? Not to be racist, stereotyping, or non-politically correct I thought we were in trouble. This must be a dance band or something ? 10 mins later they got up on stage, Vernon Reid hit the first note and I watched a audience just drop. They killed, beyond killed, tore it up and down and sideways. Months later
Living Colour exploded onto the music scene with Vivid their powerful debut record. The band explored subjects such as racism, living conditions in the inner cities and the style but no substance lifestyle. Vernon Reid is one of the best guitarists around and he plays in manic, buzzsaw style. Muzz Skillings and Will Calhoun provide a solid rhythm section with Mr. Skillings playing an extremely heavy bass. Corey Glover plays the rock frontman to a tee. "Cult Of Personality" is a monumental rock song with Mr. Reid's guitar work standing out. .... Song #1 - Song #2 - Song #3
Genesis - Lamb Lies Down - Steve Hackett - A Classic Prog Rock record from the early 70s from Genesis. The Lamb Lies Down is an incredible piece of work both musically and lyrically. Steve Hackett the guitar player was not a up in front shred type of player even in the days of Beck, Page and Clapton. He was one of the first texture guitar players, using a volume pedal for swelling guitar sounds, and subltle chordal work. His playing was very hypnotic as is this whole album. If you havent listen to this record since your youth sit on the couch and revisit this. If you have never heard t and werent even born till 10 yrs later, get a copy and enjoy. It is a heady aural pleasure !..... Song #1 - Song #2 - Song #3 - Song #4
Izzy Stradlin & The Ju Ju Hounds - Izzy's first album after leaving Guns -n Roses released on October 13, 1992. The album is a wonderful sounding rock n roll record in the vein of early 70s Stones. B3 organ reins throughout the record with crunching guitars and nice lead tones. All the songs are very well written and the album flows from start to finish. Izzy has kept his solo career going for over 10 yrs now but has never received the attention he deserves with his own music. It should be noted Rick Richards plays most leads and was a former member of the Georgia Satellites. .....Song #1 - Song #2 - Song #3
Rush - Chronicles, is a best of CD with the greatest hits from the early 70s to the mid/late 80s. A double CD that spans the bands career with about 30 songs. I think this is a tremendous guitar record and really shows the different styles of the band from early rock band, to theater rock, to synth rock etc. I saw Rush open for Blue Oyster Cult in 1975 they walked out in these Kings outfits and at first I was like who is this ! But then I thought man its a 3 piece and they can rock ! I was hooked ! This was the first band I got into besides Zappa that got away from traditional Blues/Rock/Pop format of the 70s. Any player of any age would enjoy these songs and GREAT guitar solos ! .....Song #1 - Song #2
Steve Vai - Flexable - I first got a peek at this album from Guitar Player Magazine when they were putting little flexi-disks in the magazine. You pulled the record out of the magazine and put it on your turntable. Anyone remember these ? I grew up in the same town (Carle Place, NY) as Steve and had seen him play in Circus and Rayge many times at our school. Even the senior talent show when he played the National Anthem Jimi style and won. I was always envious of his prowess even then and when I saw his name on the Flexidisk I was shocked. I knew he was playing with Zappa but was convinced that this little record would suck. I was just coming into my own as a player playing in cover bands and original bands etc. I was convinced I was a player also. Then the needle hit the record. I just remember sitting on the couch thinking what the fuck was that. No serious...WHAT THE FUCK WAS THAT. I listened 2 or 3 times and immediatly got really depressed. I went for a ride in my car threw Old Westbury came home and put my guitar in the closet. I never looked at it for year. I quit the band I was in "The Audience" and just worked at Cablevision as a installer......Song #1 - Song #2....Click for the rest of the Story
Helmet - Betty - Release in June of 1994 this was Helmet's second major album release. The album again showcased Helmets down angst ridden guitar rock that was not like the typical grunge rock of the day. These guys were heavier and darker than Nirvana, Pearl Jam and the rest of the day. It was almost a peak of what was to follow in the later part of the decade when thud thud music came of age. The guitar playing showcased very little solo work but highlight the aggression of the instrument. If you want energy and power this album and band did it. They also used unusual instrument choices such as G&L S100s tuned to B for a sound and tone that makes you want to jump out of your skin. If you like high energy rock these guys should be found in the bin under H for Helmet.....Song #1 - Song #2 - Song #3 - Song #4
Jeff Beck Blow by Blow! - I bought this record when it first came out in 1975. The record was pretty headey stuff for a 14 yr old kid but I loved it. I had never heard a instrumental album before especially with someone who could play guitar like Jeff Beck. Here I was 14 yrs old and totally into fusion at the time. If you are younger and have never heard this record it is a classic. It sounds somewhat dated with the keyboard sounds of Jan Hammer but the guitar playing is top notch. Tone and Chops always sound good no matter what year it is. This is rated a must have for any guitar head collection !.....
Peter Frampton NOW! - I bought the new Peter Frampton record last week wishing for a bit of nostalgia and wishing for some great guitar playing. Frampton was the first concert act I ever saw opening up for the Faces in 1975 when I was 14. This is still when he was a musician before I would abandon him upon seeing him on the cover of Tiger Beat just 2 yrs later. Upon popping the CD in the car and taking off on the highway it was instantly the summer of '75 again. Powerful guitar rock music at its best with a superior songwriter at hand. As days followed the CD had not left the drive and its evident its no longer the summer of '75 but the winter of 2004..its NOW (Hour Of Need, Mia Rose). Frampton had never stopped being a musician - songwriter in fact his journey has just allowed him to age and evolve like a fine wine. The two crimes are that we once abandoned him for being a pop star and that today we don't say in the same breath Clapton, Beck, Page, and Frampton. Truly a small label treasure of the year.
Janes Addictions Strays - Dave Navarro of Janes Addiction is the ultimate rock star. Besides being Rock N Roll cool, the right chick, the right look, etc. The guy can play his ass off and writes some kick ass rock songs ! In a day of thud thud music or bland pop punk flooding the radio its welcome to hear a band that rocks and can play a solo !! The NEW Janes Record that came out this past summer is not just a cash in for a reunion paycheck album. This record rivals anything they have recorded in the 80s or 90s. Dave Navarro's playing is top notch through out and the production by Bob Ezra is flawless. We put up some videos from the album for you guys to check out as well as one video from the old days to just show the power of the band and Dave's playing. If you never heard a Jane's record get one today it will open your eyes to textured playing and what can be down with FXs and chops in the hard rock world !
Wes Montgomery The Silver Collection - This Hot lick moment is from Wes Montgomery The Silver Collection on Verve. Basically a Greatest Hits type of CD which fits the bill just right. If you want to hear lush jazz playing by the man who basically kicked Jazz guitar into HIGH gear in the late 50s till his death in 1968 this is "the" man. If your sitting there saying well I dont really like Jazz do yourself a favor and try it. Jazz is something for the right time and the right moment. Listening to Wes after 2 or 3 times is like a breath of fresh air. His lush octave melodies and incredible smooth runs are to die for ! There are tons of Wes records and you should do yourself a favor and grab one to start. They usually are pretty cheap in the Jazz section.
Frank Zappa Shut Up And Play Yer Guitar - This Hot lick moment is from Frank Zappa's early 80s multi-album Shut Up And Play Yer Guitar. Zappa basically put this album out for all the guitar solo nuts that were fans of his. They had been complaining that there was NOT enough guitar solos on his albums. So to grant them their wish Zappa put together this 3 album/2 CD compilation of live guitar solos. I have listened to this album 100s of times and did not know till recently that Zappa used some tape witchcraft on this album! He took all the solos from Live recording and then laid them on top of studio tracks which were NOT even the same song. When listening to this not its even more amazing. ANYONE who is a total guitar head would LOVE this CDs ***** 5 star Hall of Fame. .....
Carlos Santana Blues for El Salvador - This weeks Hot Lick is from a hidden favorite of mine from 1987. The Carlos Santana Album "Blues for El Salvador" is truly great album for all guitar heads. Way before Santana started making hit records in the late 90s and post the hey day of Santana the band Carlos was making some fine solo instrumental records. This CD is dated with the overuse of drum machines instead of real drums but that was all the rage in 1987. If you took these tracks today and had them lay real acoustic drum tracks behind them they would be timeless. The one thing that rings out on the entire album is Carlos's tone and pure musicianship. He was and is a truly gifted musician even if he is on Pop radio today......
PIL - This weeks Hot Lick is from a hidden favorite of mine from 1986. The PIL album Compact Disc was their first attempt at a more palatable listening experience. Still very exploratory with the tracks like Rise and Bags the album was a FRESH TREAT in the face of Hair Band Madness of the mid to late 80s. Hidden in some of the tracks was the guitar playing of yet to be guitar hero Steve Vai. These tracks were mostly recorded in 1985 before Mr Vai became famous in the David Lee Roths Band. If you listen to the Mp3 sample below of the guitar solo during the song Ease you will hear the young genius at work. His solo set to a more tribal rhythm and NOT the pop oriented metal tracks of the day is hypnotic and incredibly tasteful. Only one wishes he had stayed on or retreated to this type of direction sometime in his career. .....
Scott Henderson Well to the Bone - This is the first installment of the NEW Hot Licks Section. Were you can listen to great guitar tracks from artists and then if you wish purchase the CD ! How Cool ! Our first artist is Scott Henderson and his latest CD "Well to the Bone". Scott came into his own with the Dog Pound CD in the mid 90s. This latest CD "Well to the Bone" finds him still in the aggressive Blues mode but with a more song oriented format. If you are a guitar geek or blues fan or fusion fan this is a MOST have CD. Scott Henderson is one of the finest guitar players on earth today. Check it out and find why !..........