Jared James Nichols joins us in setting goals for our guitar playing in 2023. Plus, current obsessions!

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“You have to push the boundaries of your creativity, and challenge yourself sonically, and that’s what’s exciting about this album: It’s how uncomfortable it is.”

Photo by Bryan C. Simmons

The triple-Grammy winner draws on DNA to weave recent family-history revelations, funk, rock, soul, blues, and mad sonic thrills into a musical and visual magnum opus.

About two years ago, after finishing his third consecutive Grammy-winner (2020’s Have You Lost Your Mind Yet?), Xavier Dphrepaulezz—aka Fantastic Negrito—did some research on Ancestry.com. As with many of the site’s patrons, the results blew his mind.

“I was like, ‘Holy shit!” he says. “I didn’t know I was a seventh-generation descendent of a white Scottish indentured servant and a Black enslaved person. 1700s? How did they do that? How did they live? No one killed them?’”

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Crown Lands on Rush's "A Farewell to Kings" | Hooked

Guitarist Kevin Comeau details how his mind was blown by Alex Lifeson's playing dynamics that were both medieval and melodic, while also revealing the peculiar chord he lifts from their stash.

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