Unplugged

The sound of the ’59 Les Paul, through 10 mythical songs

There is no guitar model more desired in the world than a Gibson Les Paul Standard, or Burst as the connoisseurs prefer; particularly those of three years in which it was made, the 58, the 59 and the 60. Specifically those of the year 59 are considered the authentic Holy Grail of the guitar; they do not reach a thousand copies, some 1,500 if...

Nils Lofgren - Blue With Lou (2019)

The real heart of Nils Lofgren’s latest album Blue with Lou (26 April; Cattle Track Records) can be found in the tender third track Talk Thru The Tears -  which is a reworking of Smile – when Lofgren croons: “Laugh, though your heart is breaking…” because in many ways this album is a lament and a tribute to two men Lofgren...

Kenny Wayne Shepherd - The Traveler (2019)

Louisana-born Kenny Wayne Shepherd debuted with his outstandingly successful blues album Ledbetter Heights in 1995 and continues to show his class almost a quarter of a century later with the release of The Traveler on 31 May 2019 (Provogue/ Mascot Label Group/ Concord Records).   Over those years Shepherd has grown...

Noa Drezner

Noa Drezner, flamenco guitarist, composer and producer, one of the few women in her field in the world.  She lived for a decade in southern Spain, where she studied flamenco guitar, played alongside leading artists and participated in countless events and festivals in Spain, Israel and abroad.   Noa brings the warm and...

Syd Barrett - The Madcap Laughs (1970)

“I've always been mad, I know I've been mad, like the most of us are.  Very hard to explain why you're mad, even if you're not mad.” [backed by distant manic laughter]   Speak To Me, Dark Side of The Moon   There are so many stories about the Pink Floyd co-founder, original lead singer and...

Rory Gallagher - Blues (2019)

The release of Blues, a 3 LP collection Rory Gallagher’s material, released on May 31, 2019, is a special treat for fans of the legendary Irishman’s style and commitment to the mastery of his instrument and the blues. It comes in 3 delicious parts, Acoustic, Electric, and Live performances, a treasure chest of rare unreleased recordings,...

Chet Atkins’ best moments on guitar

When the world knows you as 'Mr. Guitar' and you're the visible face of one of the most important guitar companies in history, to say you've left your mark on the guitar world falls short. Chet Atkins left a dinosaur-sized footprint in the history of the six-stringed instrument. With 88 studio albums, countless collaborations and a career spanning...

Blondie - Parallel Lines (1978)

Blondie’s third album, Parallel Lines (23 September 1978; Chrysalis Records), was a pop sensation that brought the band international success and sold over 20 million copies but, like a lot of classic albums, it was born out of almost total disorder.      One key element of this chaos - and success - was...

Hollywood Vampires - Rise (2019)

You will be forgiven if you don’t know the new kids on the rock block, Hollywood Vampires, but the band’s components will certainly ring bells. The main moving parts are rock God Alice Cooper/lead vocal, Aerosmith’s axe-shredder Joe Perry, and superstar Hollywood actor/bad boy Johnny Depp brandishing his guitar on this their 2nd LP, Rise...

Jeff Beck - Truth (1968)

It’s been 51 years since the release of an album that defined an era in rock history: Truth, by the Jeff Beck Group. It would become the standard bearer of all things blues/rock to come. For starters, it brought together young talents like singer Rod Stewart, bassist Ronnie Wood, pianist Nicky Hopkins, drummer and ex-Bluesbreaker Mickey Waller,...

Bruce Springsteen - Western Stars (2019)

The Boss has released his first studio album in 5 years, a pretty little gem called Western Stars that is lined with his hybred country inclinations, backed by soulful orchestral cinematic brushes, yet while ever-Springsteen, the album is more thoughtful and less political, housing a well produced package of slow-baked short stories, woven through...

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....

Rory Gallagher’s best songs

Rory Gallagher is one of the best guitarists that ever existed, we all agree on that, but that fame makes us forget that this guy also composed and performed great songs, beyond his splendid solos. It's a shame that today he is still remembered more for a false story, (the one that says that when Jimi Hendrix was asked what it felt like to be the...

Steve Hunter Interview

American Steve Hunter (14 June, 1948) first played with Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels, before working with Bob Ezrin, Lou Reed, Alice Cooper, Peter Gabriel, Aerosmith, and Tracy Chapman, among many others. He played guitar on Gabriel’s Solsbury Hill and wrote and played the introduction for Reed’s Sweet Jane on Rock ‘n’ Roll...

Orianthi

Orianthi Penny Panagaris (22 January 1985), normally known as Orianthi, is an Australian guitarist, singer and songwriter who performed for several years with Alice Cooper, and was slated to be Michael Jackson’s lead guitarist on his final This Is It tour.   Orianthi’s 2009 single According to You...

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...

Tom Morello

Today at Guitars Exchange we would like to take a look at the life and times of New Yorker Tom Morello, the guitarist, singer/songwriter, actor, writer, and political activist who earned global fame through his stint with Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave, among other projects. Born Thomas Baptiste Morello on May 30, 1964, in Harlem, he...

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...