For fans of the more sophisticated blues/rock of players like Robben Ford and Scott Henderson, Schofield is worthy of standing shoulder to shoulder with the best of the genre.

ALBUM

Matt Schofield
Far As I Can See
Mascot Lable Group

Matt Schofield is a modern blues guitarist in the truest sense of the word. He takes the forms and themes from his heroes and screws with them. His latest album, Far As I Can See, is a fiercely individual collection of tunes that ranges from odd-time shuffles, to Hendrixian explorations, and even some NOLA funk. In order to capture the best guitar tone he could for this album, Schofield enlisted his guitar tech and FOH sound engineer Simon Law and Schofield's tone throughout is muscular and clear with just enough gain to give each note a bounce. On "Getaway," a funky jam in 7/8, the rhythm section does a masterful job of making an odd-time groove actually groove.

The Maceo-meets-TOP feel that propels "Hindsight" pushes Schofield to play more jazz-inspired lines with a burning syncopation that drips with plenty of East Bay grease. The classic Neville Brothers track "Yellow Moon" gets an updated reading with a new arrangement (and some great rhythm guitar work) while the Texas rocker "Tell Me Some Lies" is straight out of the Vaughan family playbook. For fans of the more sophisticated blues/rock of players like Robben Ford and Scott Henderson, Schofield is worthy of standing shoulder to shoulder with the best of the genre.

Must-hear track: "Red Dragon"

A bone nut being back-filed for proper string placement and correct action height.

It doesn’t have to cost a lot to change your acoustic guitar’s tone and playability.

In my early days, all the guitars I played (which all happened to be pre-1950s) used bone nuts and saddles. I took this for granted, and so did my musician friends. With the exception of the ebony nuts on some turn-of-the-century parlors and the occasional use of ivory, the use of bone was a simple fact of our guitar playing lives, and alternative materials were simply uncommon to us.

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While Monolord has no shortage of the dark and heavy, guitarist and vocalist Thomas V Jäger comes at it from a perspective more common to pop songsmiths.

Photo by Chad Kelco

Melodies, hooks, clean tones, and no guitar solos. Are we sure this Elliott Smith fan fronts a doom-metal band? (We’re sure!)

Legend has it the name Monolord refers to a friend of the band with the same moniker who lost hearing in his left ear, and later said it didn’t matter if the band recorded anything in stereo, because he could not hear it anyway. It’s a funny, though slightly tragic, bit of backstory, but that handle is befitting in yet another, perhaps even more profound, way. Doom and stoner metal are arguably the torch-bearing subgenres for hard rock guitar players, and if any band seems to hold the keys to the castle at this moment, it’s Monolord.

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