Embrace your inner rock star!

On Today’s Playlist: Truth by Robben Ford

Robben Ford has been on my list of all time favourites since I was first introduced to his music from 1988’s Talk to Your Daughter album. I was catching up on his latest YouTube Live Stream from past Sunday and he talked about the Truth album and how he has proud of it.

If you’ve never heard Robben Ford, firstly, shame on you (!), but secondly, just give this one a listen and all will be forgiven 🙂 !!

On Today’s Playlist: Live In Cook County Jail by B.B. King

Been on a serious blues streak for a while now, rekindling my early love for the sweet sounds of a “crying” electric guitar that first drew me to pick up the instrument many many moons ago.

Live In Cook County Jail I consider to be one of BB’s finest, even though it doesn’t get as much attention as some other live recordings he has done.

From a guitar playing perspective, I find BB one of the hardest players to “copy” – as in, it’s deceptively difficult to transcribe his solos note for note. There is so much subtlety and nuance to his playing, not to mention his impeccable touch and unique feel and phrasing. Still The King after all these years!

Give it spin!

For Sale: Tokai Love Rock

Update: Guitar Sold!

Selling my lovely tobacco burst Tokai Love Rock. This one is a faithful replica that looks, feels AND sounds very much like a traditional set neck Gibson Les Paul that would easily cost 4 or 5 times as much.

Check out the sound clips here:

If you live in or around Auckland, New Zealand, and would like to test out this guitar for yourself, leave a comment with your mobile number or email address and I will get back to you to arrange for a viewing. All comments are moderated so your contact details will not be publicly visible.

On Today’s Playlist: No Boundaries by Michael Angelo Batio

Lately, I’ve been on a shred quest! And who better to stoke the shred fires than the incomparable Michael Angelo Batio?!! Spinning up his 1995 debut solo album “No Boundaries” today and it still sounds as fresh and impressive as it did back in the day when it first came out.

I’d forgotten how diverse that album actually is. Although there’s no shortage of absolutely terrifyingly precise and fast shred licks, there’s ALSO tons of tasteful melody, bluesy riffs, and even acoustic lines!

Give it a listen:

Still one of MAB’s best works, after almost 25 years since its release

For Sale: Yamaha LL6 Acoustic Guitar

UPDATE: Yamaha LL6 has been SOLD!

Have decided to put my beloved Yamaha LL6 acoustic guitar on the market.

At time of writing, I’ve had this guitar for about 5 years and the sound has really opened up nicely now.

The LL6 is from Yamaha’s line of fine handcrafted acoustics, and features a solid sitka spruce top, East Indian rosewood back and sides (laminated), mahoney neck, ebony fingerboard and bridge, and gold plated machine heads.

I’ve had this lovely piece upgraded with a bone saddle and bone nut, and action has been expertly set up by master luthier Trevor Binford – low enough to play like butter but not too low so you can dig in for aggressive strumming with no buzz at all.

Here are a few short sound clips demonstrating this gorgeous sounding guitar:

If you live in or around Auckland, New Zealand, and would like to test out this Yamaha for yourself, leave a comment with your mobile number or email address and I will get back to you to arrange for a viewing. All comments are moderated so your contact details will not be publicly visible.

On Today’s Playlist: Probot

I’ve just completed reading “This is a Call – The Life and Times of Dave Grohl“, which has led me to go through Grohl’s discography. Which leads in turn to one of his (many) one-off side projects, this one called “Probot”.

This is much much heavier than anything he has done with Nirvana, the Foos, or QOTSA, so be prepared for an aural assault if you’ve never listened to underground metal, doom metal, or similarly sense-pounding metal genres.

Enjoy!

60 Must-Read Guitarist Biographies

I love to read guitarist biographies/memoirs – for inspiration, for insight, for amusement, or just to enjoy a good yarn. Some of my favorites to date include Andy Summers’ excellent “One Train Later” and Yngwie J. Malmsteen’s “Relentess“.

Today I came across a cool listing of 60 Must-read Guitarist’s Biographies. This will keep me busy for a good little while!

Eye Candy: Mayones Duvell Elite Cocobolo / Wenge-Purpleheart

Today’s eye candy comes courtesy of Poland’s Mayones guitar’s custom shop. The body of this beauty features a Cocobolo top on a Mahogany Sapele back, with a 5 piece neck made of Wenge and Purpleheart. Oooo… yummy!

Mayones Duvell Elite Cocobolo – Front

I especially love the way they craft the neck joins on these. So sleek!

Mayones Duvell Elite Cocobolo – Back

Follow this link to the Mayones Custom Shop online store.

On Today’s Playlist: Frank Zappa – You Can’t Do That On Stage Anymore Vol. 3

I’m currently reading an unofficial biography of Foo Fighter‘s frontman Dave Grohl. As often happens when I read musician biographies, I’ll end up combing through a number of their influences and checking them out on Spotify.

Which brings me to Frank Zappa. I’ve of course been aware of some of Frank Zappa’s work for a long time, having bought several of his albums many moons ago during my teens (including the excellent Hot Rats, Over-Nite Sensation, and Apostrophe, among others).

But Frank has such a HUGE body of work, it seems there’s always more to discover.

So today on my playlist is Frank’s live album – You Can’t Do That On Stage Anymore Vol. 3. Check it out!

Eye Candy: OM Style Acoustic Guitar Hand Built by Gage Halland

Today’s guitar eye candy comes courtesy of The Golden Era Guitar shop from Singapore. This gorgeous one-of-a-kind OM-style acoustic was hand built by expert luthier Gage Halland.

When I was in Singapore recently, I had the chance to see and play this beauty in person and can attest to the absolutely impeccable quality of the workmanship. And it sounds amazing – extremely rich and resonant tone with a lot of “body” and clarity.

Halland OM-Cutaway Back View

East Indian rosewood back and sides and Sitka Spruce top with a stylish cutaway that is a cross between Florentine and Venetian.

This is listed currently on Reverb.com for US$10.5K.