Unplugged

JukeBox

Peter Frampton - All Blues (2019)

One track on All Blues (7 June 2019; Ume), which contains Peter Frampton’s cover versions of his favourite blues classics, stands out above all the rest for its poignancy: Howlin’ Wolf’s (based on Jimmy Oden’s 1942 standard) Going Down Slow.   On Going Down Slow, Frampton teams up with Steve Morse to extend and distort...

Pretenders - Pretenders (1980)

The Pretenders eponymous debut album (7 January 1980; Real Records) is not without its critics – some argue that it is overrated – but we at Guitars Exchange rotundly disagree, because the fact is that there is a huge amount to celebrate about this band’s first offering.    Firstly, let’s talk about Chrissie Hynde....

Rolling Stones - Let It Bleed (1969)

As 31 December 1969 approached, more than the end of the decade it seemed like the end of the world, mainly because the United States was caught up in a spiral of violence from which it seemed they might not emerge. The corpses of their young continued to arrive in coffins from Vietnam, their leaders were shot, like Martin Luther King and...

Stray Cats - 40 (2019)

A few weeks ago Little Steven released the joyful album Summer of Sorcery and now Stray Cats return with 40 (24 May; Surfdog Records); a huge celebration of rockabilly. With new records by Black Keys, Tool and even the Pixies rumoured to be on the way, we may be heading for a much anticipated revival of rock and guitar music in the not too...

Creedence Clearwater Revival - Green River (1969)

Green River was Creedence Clearwater Revival’s third album, the second of the three they released in 1969 and the first of their ‘trilogy of masterpieces’, to be completed with Willie And The Poor Boys and Cosmo's Factory. John Fogerty seemed to be touched by a magic wand and his creativity overflowed. It is incredible to think...

Idlewild - Interview Music (2019)

‘Expect the unexpected’ might be one summation of Idlewild’s eighth album, Interview Music, released 5th April.   “It is a disparate record; it’s more explorative. Some of the songs are classic Idlewild, whereas the rest of it goes off on different tangents,” guitarist Rod Jones recently told Guitars Exchange, and a listen...

The Dream Syndicate - These Times (2019)

Californian-band The Dream Syndicate’s latest album, These Times (3 May 2019; Anti-) in many ways has the feel of a straight-forward road album, although the image they have chosen for the cover evokes a kind of psychedelic river trip. Either way, the journey is without doubt worth making.   Following 2017’s well-received...

The Who - Tommy (1969)

Tommy is one of those albums that is much more than an album, Tommy was quite an event that turned The Who into a group as popular as the Beatles and Stones. In its time it was considered to be the first rock opera in history and had a tremendous impact on its contemporaries, it may not be true but it was the album that best exemplified the concept...

Little Steven - Summer Of Sorcery (2019)

Steven Van Zandt is one confident dude.   He sees the world as being in a disastrous state - “It’s unbelievable what’s going on; we’re in a civil war here” - and so decides to make an album, Summer of Sorcery (3 May 2019; Wicked Cool/UME), as celebratory and as sunny as could be. And then he organizes a huge world tour to...

Neil Young - Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere (1969)

At the end of 1968 Neil Young was quite disoriented, and he continued pretty lost after leaving Buffalo Springfield with a first solo album that, in his own words, had too many 'pre-recordings'. But then he listened to an album that he liked a lot; namely the debut album by the Californian band The Rockets. Young had known of them from the...

Bob Seger - Night Moves (1976)

‘Nothing worth having comes without some kind of fight’, as the saying goes, and one gent who knows that to be true is American rock God Bob Seger, the Detroit native kicked around in various bands like The Decibels, The Town Criers, and Doug Brown & the Omens, then fronted his own groups called Bob Seger and the Last Heard, then The Bob...

Erja Lyytinen - Another World (2019)

Finn Erja Lyytinen’s latest self-produced album Another World (26 April, Tuohi Records) is a real treat for guitar lovers everywhere.   The European Blues Award Winner is well established as a blues artist but recently her music has tended more towards 80s rock and metal. On her latest record she has also brought in American...

Willie Nelson - Red Headed Stranger (1975)

In 1975 Willie Nelson had definitively ‘found himself’. This is because the key elements that led to the discovery of the Nelson that we all know today were: firstly, in 1969, when he took control of Trigger, a classic Martin N-20 with nylon strings (on which he added the pickup from his old Baldwin to amplify its sound). When he received...

Steve Earle - Guy (2019)

When American Steve Earle was 14 he ran away from home to try and seek out his guitar idol Townes Van Zandt, and when he was 19 he hitch-hiked from San Antonio to Nashville and came across Guy Clark; and both became his lifelong friends, musical colleagues and guides. “When it comes to mentors, I’m glad I had both,” says Earle....

Prince and The Revolution - Purple Rain (1984)

Prince's career was built gradually until ‘the final assault’ of Purple Rain. Prince was first seen as the heir to Stevie Wonder with his first two albums; then Dirty Mind was his critical consolidation, 1999 his first massive success and later came Purple Rain, the definitive peak of his career, which consolidated him as a pop star with a...

The Rolling Stones - The Rolling Stones (1964)

In April 1964 The Rolling Stones released their eponymous debut album with what Keith Richards described as half-comprised mixes, mostly all covers and rushed to the market by then producer Andrew Loog Oldham; it was cut in just 5 days. It was, however, what knocked the Beatles off their top spot in the U.K. charts at #1. But certainly the haste in...

Donna Grantis - Diamonds & Dynamite (2019)

When Guitars Exchange interviewed Donna Grantis last year she sent our readers two previews of tracks she was working on at the time: Diamonds & Dynamite and Elsa; from that we knew something special was on its way, and now it is here!      Diamonds & Dynamite (eOne; 21 March 2019) is a glorious fusion of...

Bob Dylan - Nashville Skyline (1969)

Bob Dylan’s ninth studio album, Nashville Skyline (Colombia Records: 9 April, 1969), built on the more countrified- and Nashville– oriented direction of John Wesley Harding and, musically and lyrically represented a radical break from the past.   While critics initially gave it a mixed reception, Nashville Skyline has come...

Bob Daisley and Friends - Moore Blues for Gary (2018)

It’s been almost eight years since the sad departure of one of Ireland’s most outstanding guitarists, Gary Moore, who touched the entire music world with his stellar guitar work in Thin Lizzy and Coliseum II, and on such solo hits as Out in the Fields and Parisienne Walkways to name just a few in a career loaded with classic gems. Here at...