Unplugged

Grateful Dead - American Beauty (1970)

American Beauty is the great album of the Grateful Dead, a perfect record on which can be found some of the best songs of their career such as Box Of Rain by Phil Lesh, Sugar Magnolia by Bob Weir, and three absolute classics by the main two composers in the band (Jerry Garcia putting the music and Robert Hunter the lyrics) such as Friend Of The...

John Mayer

Today we take a look at the career of one John Clayton Mayer, the American singer/songwriter, guitarist and record producer, born October 16, 1977, in Bridgeport Connecticut to two teachers, Richard and Margaret Mayer, the middle brother between older Carl and younger Ben. He got interested in the guitar after watching Michael J. Fox’s memorable...

Buddy Guy - The Blues Is Alive And Well (2018)

George “Buddy” Guy, born in Louisiana in 1936, started playing guitar on a 2-string diddley bow that he made when he was 5 or 6 he says, he was later given a Harmony acoustic that now resides in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and he has just released his 18th studio album The Blues Is Alive and Well, (RCA Records) and well...it is, and so is...

Dire Straits - Dire Straits (1978)

The back story is like a fantasy.   In 1977 Mark Knopfler was so broke following his recent divorce he had to go and sleep in his brother David’s flat, where John Illsley happened to be staying. As Mark was a lead guitarist, David played rhythm and John bass, it seemed straightforward, once they had found drummer Pick Withers,...

Eddie Cochran

The world is determined to forget the greatness of Eddie Cochran. Almost reduced to a small footnote among the pioneers of rock, people forget that Cochran was more than just Summertime Blues. He wrote his own songs, produced them, was one of the first to experiment with multitrack and overdubs, played several instruments and was an...

The Magpie Salute - High Water 1 (2018)

Two years after The Magpie Salute released their debut live record, the band make a powerful return with their first studio album High Water (released 10 August; Mascot/Eagle Rock).   In many ways the album represents a cathartic moment for Black Crowes’ fans, as it was difficult to foresee what might happen when it all became...

Fleetwood Mac - Rumours (1977)

When Fleetwood Mac, the first album with Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks, reached top spot on record sales charts, the group was already recording the sequel. What should have been a party became something else, by this time both couples in the band had split up, and to top it off, Mick Fleetwood’s wife was cheating on him with his best...

Marc Bolan

The best rock and roll has always been built on spectacular riffs and addictive hooks, from "Go, Johnny, Go" to "No Future, no future, no future for you" through to "Talking about My Generation" or "Get It On, Bang A Gong, Get It On. " Marc Bolan knew all about it; maybe his technique as a guitarist left a lot to be desired but his Les Paul...

Paul Weller - True Meanings (2018)

Paul Weller’s True Meanings was released on September 14th and is his fourteenth solo album; but impressively it is the twenty sixth studio album of his career if his time with The Jam and The Style Council are included.   He has travelled a long way musically since first helping shake-up the charts as an 18 year old in...

Lita Ford

When Guitars Exchange began to raise the profile of female guitarists on its pages, Lita Ford was one of the first to respond, well before the #MeToo movement exploded as a global force for change.       That should be no surprise to anyone who has seen her blaze a trail from the tender age of 16, when she joined The...

Bruce Springsteen - Born To Run (1975)

After two notable albums with great reviews but few sales, Bruce Springsteen found himself at a crossroads. His record company was thinking of rescinding his contract but then an article appeared in which someone wrote prophetically: "I've seen the future of rock and roll and his name is Bruce Springsteen." It was the critic Jon Landau, whom...

Lenny Kravitz - Raise Vibration (2018)

Some 30 years after his debut album Let Love Rule, New Yorker Lenny Kravitz has cut his 11th record, Raise Vibration, released this month, with the same purpose and intent, “The message remains the same, it was and always will be about love...With these songs I offer you vibrations of peace love and unity.” The album opens with We Can Get...

Pink Floyd - The Wall (1979)

While many punk fans happily went to gigs to gob at their heroes on stage in the late 1970s, one star – from a completely different genre – decided to spit back.     Roger Waters had grown sick at the perceived lack of contact between the audience and a band who, during the In the Flesh tour, were sometimes playing in...

Steve Gaines

On the cover of the only studio album that he was given time to record with Lynyrd Skynyrd, Steve Gaines, like the rest of the band, appears in the center surrounded by fire. And there may not be a more graphic definition of what he did for this band, by re-igniting the fire that seemed extinct and putting them back in their place as one of...

Paul McCartney - Egypt Station (2018)

Sir Paul McCartney at 76 years of age, a superstar since he was 20, shows no signs of slowing down on his ‘long and winding road’. He has just released his 18th solo album titled Egypt Station and we’re going to take a look and a listen. When you’ve achieved as much as “Macca” (McCartney) in music over the decades, and have...

The Verve - Urban Hymns (1997)

A Northern Soul, the The Verve’s second album was an artistic success but not so much commercial. Launched in the heat of Britpop it did not manage to enter the British Top Ten and barely had repercussion outside Britian. The recording had been chaos and the band decided to separate. But a few days later Richard Ashcroft, their...

Alex Lifeson

Canadian guitar shredder Alex Lifeson (born Alexandar Zivojinovich) was part of the rock trio Rush along with Neil Peart/drums and Geddy Lee/vocals/bass, who carved a groove into progressive blues/metal/rock that still resonates and is recognised as some of the cleanest, yet rawest sounds ever put to vinyl. They were a heavy influence on acts like...

J. Willgoose Esq.

PSB began in August 2009 with J. Willgoose Esq. (13 April 1982) picking up his guitar and being inspired to draw on recordings of key historic events for ‘lyrics’.   The London-based band soon added Wrigglesworth on drums and J. F. Abraham on bass; although in practise they all are multi-instrumentalists.  ...

Thin Lizzy - Vagabonds of the Western World (1973)

When in 1973 Thin Lizzy went into the studio to record 'Vagabonds of the Western World' they already had two albums behind them that had not gone anywhere, and they were just one of the many bands that flirted with hard rock. Their only glimpse of massive success had been an excellent version of the traditional Irish song Whiskey In The Jar,...