Solo Sessions: Chet Atkins; Canyon of Dreams: The Magic and the Music of Laurel Canyon; Travelin’ Man: On the Road and Behind the Scenes With Bob Seger; Red Hot Chili Peppers: Me and My Friends; B.B. King: Live at Montreux 1993 Blu-ray; The Moody Blues: Live at the Isle of Wight Festival 1970
Solo Sessions: Chet Atkins
Three things you need to know: Chet Atkins, solo guitar, and clean, readable transcriptions.
This book contains a simple, easy-to-digest collection of some of Chet’s most popular solo guitar tunes, transcribed by John McClellan and Deyan Bratic, and interspersed with some charming drawings of Chet by BriAnn Wassman. The introduction is blessedly short and to the point; less chat, more Chet. Disc information is included for most of the songs, which means you can head to the Chet section of your CD collection to listen to the songs before leaping in and attempting to play them. The CD included also contains one piece of music, the “Courante” from Bach’s French Suite No. 1 in C minor. Chet never released the recording, which makes this a world premiere. The playing is lovely, and the idea of Bach being played by Chet on electric guitar makes me chuckle.
Most of the tunes are traditional, either old folk tunes or classical pieces, with a couple of old standards thrown in for fun. What other player in history could get away with “Arkansas Traveler” and “Maleguenas” in the same collection? There are a couple of Joplin pieces (Scott, not Janis), and even a little Dvorák. You have to respect somebody that can take that much musical territory and put his own stamp on it. This book is a must for Chetophiles. Its a splendid way to show just what the original “Certified Guitar Player” was capable of with two hands and a gittar. —GDP
Canyon of Dreams: The Magic and the Music of Laurel Canyon
This is a huge, heavy book that’s loaded with photos relating to the musical history of a California nexuspoint where music thrived and the party didn’t end for the better part of three decades. Laurel Canyon native Harvey Kubernik tells the story lovingly through his memories and interviews with still-living denizens of the Canyon’s glory days. Unabashed about the whole sex, drugs and rock and roll theme, it manages to avoid becoming tawdry while acknowledging it as a fact of life.
It is an engaging and comprehensive tome, yet at times the stories cut off rather abruptly and you’re left shifting gears before you’re ready. The writing style is also a little rough, and at times the author uses devices that don’t quite work. He usually gets the point across, but sometimes you have to read things over a couple times to get it. But being treated to such an intimate look at the workings of the patch of real estate that brought us the likes of Jackie Deshannon, Frank Zappa, The Monkees, Buffalo Springfield, CSN&Y, Joni Mitchell, Carole King, the LA Wrecking Crew, Jackson Browne, Sonny and Cher, Glen Campbell and the Doors (to name a tiny fraction), is a pleasure you don’t have to feel guilty about. —GDP
Travelin’ Man: On the Road and Behind the Scenes With Bob Seger
Bob Seger was all over the radio when I was growing up; he’s the biggest rock star that was never in your face—but he was always in your ears.
Travelin’ Man: On the Road and Behind the Scenes with Bob Seger is a photo-rich tribute by photographer Tom Weschler and music journalist Gary Graff, who traveled and worked closely with Seger during the late ’60s and through the ’70s. It chronicles Seger’s career from the very earliest babyfaced incarnation—The Bob Seger System— through what ultimately evolved into The Silver Bullet Band, including his brief time as a solo singer-songwriter, which Seger describes as, “like Simon and Garfunkel without Garfunkel.” The story is told with many photos and few words; there are short little memories of moments and events, but not lengthy stories or gig-by-gig reflections. The captions are a bit sparse, and sometimes it’s not too clear who the people in the photos are, but then you remind yourself that this is about Bob Seger in the ’70s, and it all makes perfect sense. The booze, drugs and women stories are kept to a minimum, seemingly because that’s the sort of stuff that “goes without saying,” and as a result of that, Weschler and Graff end up telling a far more compelling story by allowing the reader to craft up their own descriptive captions.
The forward and afterward are written by John Mellencamp and Kid Rock respectively, and there’s a very complete discography at the end. —GDP
Red Hot Chili Peppers: Me and My Friends
Every family has one. You know, that inconspicuous lens-snapper who never stops taking pictures even during the most obvious of inappropriate times. But with all these ill-timed and obnoxiously private photos, you’re able to capture real people and real emotions. And that’s just what rock photographer Tony Woolliscroft does in Red Hot Chili Peppers: Me and My Friends.
Woolliscroft has been documenting the band through his still lens all over the world for nearly 20 years, capturing them at their most vulnerable times. For instance, when the Peppers reunited with long-time guitarist John Frusciante in 1998, he shot the band in a pre-show huddle that was later used on the Californication sleeve. And of course, we can’t forget the band’s legendary get-ups, or lack thereof, which includes the tube sock incident at the Nassau Coliseum, flaming hats at Lollapalooza ’92 and the light bulb outfits at muddy Woodstock ’94.
The book is chronologically laid out with sections dedicated to the Peppers’ albums— Mother’s Milk through Stadium Arcadium— and the resulting tours. Mixed in between the collection of photos, Woolliscroft adds some personally intimate anecdotes that add another layer to the visually-driven book. Some of the stories weaved between photos include having to crash on the Peppers hotel floor, By the Way recording sessions with Rick Rubin and the record-breaking three consecutive sold-out shows at London’s Hyde Park.
With over 300 photos on 225 pages, Me and My Friends provides a confidential look at a group of exuberant characters. With his nearobtrusive clearance inside the Peppers’ lives, Woolliscroft tears down the rock star fantasy and exposes four friends who’ve been on a musical journey for over 20 years. —CK
B.B. King: Live at Montreux 1993 Blu-ray
Anybody that’s seen B.B. King in concert knows the man can play the blues. After all, the “King of the Blues” was practically born with a Gibson ES-345 in his hands. Add the fact that he’s been performing live for the better part of the last 60 years and you get the makings of a timeless performer that knows how to work his way around a stage.
Unfortunately, working his way around a stage has become somewhat of a problem for the 84-year-old legend, as he now takes a seat for most of his performances. He still, however, maintains a rigorous touring schedule that rivals many of today’s much younger musicians. And of course, he continues to deliver the same awe-inspiring blues guitar playing that made Englishmen the likes of Page, Clapton, Beck and Richards first pick up a guitar.
All of this makes us appreciate B.B. King Live at Montreux 1993 that much more. No one knows for sure how many times King has played the renowned Swiss festival, but suffice to say the number is more than 20. Fortunately, B.B. King Live at Montreux 1993 captures one of the best ever. His band revs it up like an old-time blues revue, warming up the crowd with three standards before the King—dazzling in his beautiful blue and pink paisley tuxedo jacket—takes the stage to a thunderous reception. His band is as tight as it gets, but the show is all King and his flawless, amazing guitar playing. From the stirring “Let The Good Times Roll” to the classic “Caledonia” to the incomparable “The Thrill is Gone,” King delivers a vibrant and eclectic mix of classic blues that only he can deliver.
So grab yourself a cold one, pop this into your Blu-ray player and watch the King do his thing. For this is certainly the teacher’s finest hour. —GH
The Moody Blues: Live at the Isle of Wight Festival 1970
Whether you’re a fan of the rock fusion symphonic group that so proudly incorporated the flute or not, you have to acknowledge the role they played influencing musical styles by meshing rock and classical music in a way that has sold over 50 million albums worldwide. And in 1970, The Moody Blues were in the midst of a creative and commercial high point riding on the success of A Question of Balance.
This DVD features the renowned 1970 Moody Blues performance in front of more than a half million people at the Isle of Wight Festival, which was previously only available on CD. However, unlike the CD, the DVD only features 10 tracks from the set because some of the video footage has been lost. That said, the existing tracks include “Ride My See Saw,” “Tuesday Afternoon” and the epic “Nights in White Satin.” While the audio and video are raw—guitarist Justin Heyward admits this—they provide a true nostalgic representation of the historic festival, and the Moody’s wide spectrum of tones can still be fully appreciated. Also, the band does delineate from some of the traditional recordings and song structures for improvisation, but they still crank out their hits note for note. It’s a pleasant mix for avid and new fans alike.
After the concert, the DVD includes 20 minutes of contemporary interviews from four band members—excluding flautist/vocalist Ray Thomas—who fondly reflect on their Isle of Wight performance. The best part is when pianist and technical contributor Michael Pinder describes and walks through the mellotron featured all over Moody records and performances. All and all, this is a great offering that accurately captures an early incarnation of the Moodies at a pinnacle. —CK
Kick off the holiday season by shopping for the guitar player in your life at Guitar Center! Now through December 24th 2022, save on exclusive instruments, accessories, apparel, and more with hundreds of items at their lowest prices of the year.
We’ve compiled this year’s best deals in the 2022 Holiday Gift Guide presented by Guitar Center.
Designed for utmost comfort and performance, the Vertigo Ultra Bass is Mono’s answer to those who seek the ultimate gigging experience.
Complete with a range of game-changing design features, such as the patent-pending attachable FREERIDE Wheel System, premium water-resistant and reflective materials, shockproof shell structure and improved ergonomic features, the Vertigo Ultra Bass takes gear protection to the next level.
The Vertigo Ultra Bass features:
- Patent-pending FREERIDE Wheel System that allows for wheels to be attached on the case in no time, giving you the option to travel with it seamlessly
- Upgraded materials, including a water-resistant 1680D Ballistic Nylon outer shell, plush inner lining and new reflective trim for maximum backstage and night visibility
- Enhanced protection with a shockproof shell structure and heavy-duty water-resistant YKK zippers for protection from the elements
- Improved ergonomics and functionality including added back support and load-lifting detachable shoulder straps with side release buckles
- Flexible storage options with added space for touring essentials
The Generation Collection of acoustic guitars features the exclusive Gibson Player Port designed to offer a unique and immersive sonic experience.
The G-Bird, the newest addition to the Generation Collection--represents the glorious legacy of the Gibson Hummingbird colliding with modern sonic enhancement through the Gibson Player Port to add a new dimension to the G-Bird sound. The Gibson Player Port allows players to hear more of themselves as the audience hears it. With a tone that is crisp and resonant, all of the Gibson Generation Collection acoustics are designed to be comfortable to hold and play for long periods of time. All Generation Collection guitars feature the Gibson Player Port, slim, lightweight bodies, a flatter fingerboard radius, Walnut back and sides, Sitka spruce tops, and a stunning Natural finish. Additionally, the new G-Bird, and the G-200 and G-Writer are equipped with LR Baggs™ Element Bronze pickup systems which amplify deep bass and crystal-clear highs.
The G-Bird represents the glorious legacy of the Gibson Hummingbird with modern sonic enhancement through the Gibson Player Port adding a new dimension to the G-Bird’s sound. The G-Bird features a stunning solid Sitka spruce top and solid walnut back and sides for the ultimate in crisp, resonant tone. This square-shoulder dreadnought delivers all the rich low end and well-balanced mids and highs the original Hummingbird is famous for. The TUSQ nut and saddle, along with chrome Grover Mini Rotomatic tuners, deliver solid tuning stability so you can spend more time playing instead of tuning. The utile neck, with its easy-playing Advanced Response neck profile, is so comfortable you won’t want to put it down. The G-Bird also comes equipped with an LR Baggs Element Bronze pickup system, so it will always sound as good to your audience as it does to you. The G-Bird also comes equipped with an LR Baggs™ Element Bronze pickup system, so it will always sound as good to your audience as it does to you. The G-Bird is available in Natural finish. A gig bag is included.
Modeled after Gibson’s pioneering small-body parlor acoustic guitars from the 1930’s, the G-00 is a top choice for blues and fingerstyle guitar performances. Despite its more compact size, the G-00 achieves a full, balanced sound. The G-00 fills any room with rich tones-which players can hear like never before, with the exclusive Gibson Player Port. Like all models in the Gibson Generation Collection, the G-00 is handcrafted in Bozeman, Montana, by the same highly--skilled craftspeople who make all Gibson acoustic guitars. The G-00 features a beautiful solid Sitka spruce top and solid Walnut back and sides for tone that sounds crisp and resonant. The slightly thinner G-00 parlor-sized body is exceptionally comfortable to hold and play. The TUSQ nut and saddle along with the Grover Mini Rotomatic tuners, deliver solid tuning stability so you can spend more time playing instead of tuning, and the utile neck with its easy-playing neck profile is so comfortable you won’t want to put it down. The G-00 is available in Natural finish. A gig bag is included.
The G-45, a round-shouldered jumbo, adds the Gibson Player Port to its famous “Workhorse” J-45 style body, which is Gibson’s best-selling acoustic guitar of all time. On the G-45, players can now hear more clearly than ever how this beloved guitar responds to every style and technique of playing. Powerful one moment and soft the next, the G-45 delivers all sounds with incredible dynamic range in an elegant, medium body size. The G-45 is part of the Gibson Generation Collection and like all models in this collection, it is handcrafted in Bozeman, MT, by the same highly skilled craftspeople who make all Gibson acoustics. It features a solid Sitka spruce top and solid Walnut back and sides for tone that sounds crisp and resonant. The G-45 features a slightly thinner round shoulder body is exceptionally comfortable to hold and play. The TUSQ nut and saddle, along with the Grover Mini Rotomatic tuners deliver solid tuning stability, so you can spend more time playing instead of tuning, and the utile neck with its easy-playing neck profile is so comfortable you won’t want to put it down. The G-45 is available in Natural finish. A gig bag is included.
Gibson’s impressive range of square-shouldered guitars have become an expressive standard for rock, pop, folk, and country artists. The G-Writer is known for its wide range of sounds, from gutsy and loud, to soft and sweet; they are superb for all styles and shine, whether strumming chords or fingering intricate solos. The G-Writer comes ready for the stage or studio with an LR Baggs Element Bronze pickup system and the ear-opening Gibson Player Port. The G-Writer is part of the Gibson Generation Collection and like all models in this collection, it is handcrafted in Bozeman, MT, by the same highly skilled craftspeople who make all Gibson acoustics. It features a solid Sitka spruce top and solid Walnut back and sides for tone that sounds crisp and resonant. The G-Writer features a slightly thinner cutaway body, is more comfortable to play and provides effortless access to the upper frets. The TUSQ nut and saddle, along with the Grover Mini Rotomatic tuners deliver solid tuning stability, so you can spend more time playing instead of tuning, and the utile neck with its easy-playing neck profile is so comfortable you won’t want to put it down. The G-Writer is available in Natural finish. A gig bag is also included.
Gibson built its first “Super Jumbo” SJ-200 as a custom order for country and western singer and film star Ray Whitley, who desired a big, loud, and deep flat-top over which to croon. The SJ-200 quickly became a staple of cowboy singers and horseback troubadours, and then country music, 60’s folk stars, and onto every acoustic guitar genre that has followed. Ray would be proud to hear the booming sound from the Gibson Player Port on the new G-200, which comes ready for the stage or studio with a LR Baggs Element Bronze pickup system. Like all models in the Gibson Generation Collection, the G-200 is handcrafted in Bozeman, MT, by the same highly--skilled craftspeople who make all Gibson acoustics. The G-200 features a beautiful solid Sitka spruce top and solid Walnut back and sides for tone that sounds crisp and resonant. The slightly thinner G-200 cutaway jumbo body is exceptionally comfortable to hold and provides excellent access to the upper frets. The TUSQ nut and saddle, along with the Grover Mini Rotomatic tuners, deliver solid tuning stability so you can spend more time playing instead of tuning, and the utile neck with its easy-playing neck profile is so comfortable you won’t want to put it down. The G-200 is available in Natural finish. A gig bag is also included.
G-Bird | Generation Collection
For more information, please visit gibson.com.
Looking for a compact, “noiseless” way to plug in and play guitar? Check out the brand-new Gibson Digital Amp, available only in the Gibson App.
The new Gibson App simplifies the learning process and brings guitar playing to life for the current and next generation of guitarists in a modern, comprehensive, and intuitive way. The Gibson App is the place to take your guitar playing to the next level. New to the Gibson App is the Gibson Digital Amp, the ultimate starting amplifier for beginners and a flexible amp on-the-go for intermediate players and pros to get their sound anywhere. The Gibson Digital Amp is an accessible amplifier for both acoustic and electric guitars, and is currently available for Apple/iOS users--an Android version will debut next year.
Use the Gibson Digital Amp’s jamming guide to get started and transform your sound with built-in effects and pedals, jam to backing tracks, or use it in lessons and songs. The Gibson Digital Amp only requires your phone, and wired headphones for the best playing experience, no cables are needed. The amp features 3 acoustic mic presets, 4 electric amp presets, and 6 effects pedals.
The Gibson Digital Amp is the ultimate starting amplifier for beginners and a flexible amp on-the-go for intermediates and pros.
The Gibson App uses a unique two-way, interactive platform to teach guitar students how to do everything from playing their first note to shredding loads of songs. The Gibson App features interactive lessons with thousands of lessons and songs. Learn the songs step-by-step with video tutorials from superstar artists and pro guitarists in the “Gibson App Guide.” The Gibson App also includes the new Digital Amp, a built-in tuner, a metronome, Gibson TV, and new songs are added every week. New Gibson App Guides are added regularly and include Tommy “Spaceman” Thayer’s favorite iconic KISS guitar solos, Richie Faulkner’s (Judas Priest) “Guide to Metal,” Jared James Nichols’ “Guide to Blues,” CELISSE’s “Guide to Songwriting,” and more.
The Gibson App uses “audio augmented reality” to provide dynamic feedback to students as they learn and play. As you pluck a note or strum a chord, the Gibson App listens to your guitar and gives you real-time feedback on your playing. It also gives students a more contextual learning experience: Instead of learning chords and scales in a vacuum, you’re able to practice on a scrolling tablature that lets you hear how you sound with the backing of a virtual band. That means you can load up “Hurt” by Johnny Cash, “Brown Eyed Girl” by Van Morrison, “American Girl" by Tom Petty, “Nothing Else Matters” by Metallica, “Where is My Mind" by Pixies, “Country Roads” by John Denver, “I Hate Myself For Loving You" by Joan Jett, “Heaven” by Kane Brown, “Shape Of You” by Ed Sheeran, “Killer Queen” by Queen,“ Sweet Child O’ Mine,” by Guns ‘N Roses, “Run to the Hills” by Iron Maiden, “Roxanne” by The Police, and “Don’t Stop Believin’” by Journey, “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and “The Man Who Sold the World” by Nirvana, “Are You Gonna Go My Way” by Lenny Kravitz, and “Don't Look Back In Anger” by Oasis and hundreds more songs in a wide range of genres, to see how your play matches up with such seminal tracks.
As you’re playing, the Gibson App gives you feedback on timing and tone, ensuring that students are getting active input on how their play is developing. The Gibson App appeals to players of all levels, it’s not just for beginners looking to learn a few chords; the app can assist seasoned guitarists who are working their way through difficult riffs, want to learn their favorite songs, or polish their advanced techniques.
Players can also challenge themselves by speeding up or slowing the tabs. Like having a full-time guitar teacher, the Gibson App keeps track of all your progress and adjusts lesson plans accordingly. The Gibson App released a “backing track mode” which supports both lesson and song playback without headphones, so users can self-select what works best for their current environment. And that’s not all: the Gibson App also packs in a fully-featured digital tuner for guitar first-timers, there’s even a detailed lesson on how to tune your instrument, a multi-function metronome, players can connect to free one-on-one consultations with Gibson’s Virtual Guitar Tech team, and to direct links to the Gibson, Epiphone, and Kramer online stores for easy shopping for guitars, gear, apparel, and accessories.
Learn Guitar With The Gibson App
The Gibson App is more than a pocket-sized guitar teacher, it’s loaded with an archive of exclusive content and original programming from its premium and accessible award-winning online network, Gibson TV, featuring music icons telling their best guitar stories, with more episodes and installments added regularly. Users can watch Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi share insights and tales from his decades-long career on the series “Icons,” dive into Joe Bonamassa’s assortment of legendary Les Paul guitars on “The Collection,” or see how Gibson’s iconic instruments are made in their Nashville factory from body to binding on “The Process.” There’s even a series called “The Scene” that focuses on backstage stories from hallowed music venues from coast to coast like The Troubadour and Grand Ole Opry.
The Gibson App free version features a few lessons a day; the premium version of the Gibson App offers full access and a 14-day free trial, then costs $19.99/£16.49 monthly or $119.99/£98.99 yearly.
For more information, please visit gibson.com.