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May 2014

January 2012 Staff Picks

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January 2012 Staff Picks

Because the always-dependable Mesoamerican Long Count calendar (and the profound Hollywood blockbusters based on its prophecies) has foretold humankind's demise at the end of 2012, the staff of Premier Guitar—as well as Guest Picker Rich Robinson (Black Crowes)—is holding this summit to discuss how we will make our mark as guitarists before our impending doom on December 21.

Andy Ellis -- Senior Editor
What am I listening to?
The Kentucky Headhunters, Dixie Lullabies. Armed with a real-deal ’58 Les Paul, Greg Martin shines in this greasy mix of ballads and brassknuckle rockers.
Guitar-wise, how am I going to make my mark before the world ends on December 21, 2012?
In 1969, my guitar teacher—the wise Mick Goodrick—said, “Each time you pick up the guitar, play like it’s your last.” I don’t buy anyone’s doomsday prophecy, but I’ll face 2012 with this mantra in mind.


Shawn Hammond -- Editor in Chief
What am I listening to?
moe., What Happened to the La Las? I’m not normally a big jam-band guy, but La Las is chock-full of catchy vocal melodies, laid-back, feel-good grooves, adventurous, harmonically rich guitar excursions, and fully realized songs that don’t drag on forever.
Guitar-wise, how am I going to make my mark before the world ends on December 21, 2012?
Traditional Mayan tunes. All. Year. Long.


Nick Ireland -- Marketing Manager
What am I listening to?
Revisiting Johnny Cash’s “Hurt”—one of the most powerful and evocative covers of all time, in my opinion.
Guitar-wise, how am I going to make my mark before the world ends on December 21, 2012?
Going to take the reins on lead for a cover of Chuck Berry’s “Run Rudolph Run” at an upcoming holiday gig. Those in attendance will bear witness to ... semiadequate guitar work.


Tessa Jeffers -- Managing Editor
What am I listening to?
Outlaw music from the TV show, Sons of Anarchy—three EPs of gritty originals by various artists (Curtis Stigers, The Forest Rangers, Lions) refreshingly mixed with face-lifted tunes from Leonard Cohen, Neil Young, Pete Townshend, and Dylan.
Guitar-wise, how am I going to make my mark before the world ends on December 21, 2012?
I aim to play something that brings at least one person to tears.


Chris Kies -- Associate Editor
What am I listening to?
At the Drive-In’s Relationship of Command. The band went out on top with its third and final album of high-octane indie rock. Led by Cedric Bixler-Zavala’s maniacally melodic vocals and Omar Rodriquez-Lopez’s cuttingly groovy guitar orchestration, it’s truly a non-stop thrill ride that’s been on repeat.
Guitar-wise, how am I going to make my mark before the world ends on December 21, 2012?
Keep faking it ’til I make it ... or 12/21/12 comes.


Rich Osweiler -- Associate Editor
What am I listening to?
Richie Owens and the Farm Bureau, In Farm We Trust. There’s a dash of classic rock, blues, bluegrass, and more on the varied tunes from multi-instrumentalist Owens’ latest offering, all with evident Southern roots and wicked-fine musicianship.
Guitar-wise, how am I going to make my mark before the world ends on December 21, 2012?
I have a stash of strings that would have lasted a few years. I’m going to distribute them to all the buskers downtown so they have fresh sets for their final performances.


Rich Robinson -- Guest Picker
What am I listening to?
I can’t stop listening to Helplessness Blues by the Fleet Foxes. Beautiful songs and beautiful harmonies.
Guitar-wise, how am I going to make my mark before the world ends on December 21, 2012?
As far as making my mark on the world before December 21, 2012—it will happen one note at a time.


Charles Saufley -- Gear Editor
What am I listening to?
Howling Hex, Wilson Semiconductors. Neil Hagerty, the 6-string savant behind Royal Trux, shape-shifts between Chet Atkins sitting in with Sun Ra and Jimmy Page jamming with a futureshock Sir Douglas Quintet. Twisted homebrew from an American guitar genius.
Guitar-wise, how am I going to make my mark before the world ends on December 21, 2012?
Nothing is ending. I will counter the forces of destruction with fuzz.


Jason Shadrick -- Associate Editor
What am I listening to?
Chick Corea, Eddie Gomez, and the late Paul Motian, Further Explorations. This live album celebrates the 50th anniversary of Bill Evans’ landmark Explorations album—which Motian played on—with a collection of tunes from Evans’ catalog along with some originals. Motian’s beat on “Hot House” will be missed.
Guitar-wise, how am I going to make my mark before the world ends on December 21, 2012?
Work on mastering the underwater theme from Super Mario Bros.

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