Unplugged

The Cure - Disintegration (1989)

Have you ever really, really, wanted something but when you finally achieved it, suddenly found that you were not so sure? This is in some ways the situation Robert Smith (born 21 April 1959) found himself in with Disintegration (released May 1989). He wanted The Cure to make a legendary record – ‘a grand...

Donna Grantis

With her distinctive shaved hairstyle, Canadian Donna Grantis is perhaps best known as Prince’s female guitarist in his performing trio 3RDEYEGIRL and the New Power Generation.  Named as one of 50 top female guitarists by Guitar Player magazine, Grantis composed the title track to Prince and 3RDEYEGIRL’s 2014...

Steve Marriott

Steve Marriott had a giant voice locked in the body of a boy, everybody was amazed when they heard him, and he was the main point of reference for all British singers that came after him, from Rod Stewart to Paul Rodgers, then on to Robert Plant and Joe Cocker. But what sets him apart from the rest is that he was also a remarkable guitarist and an...

Manic Street Preachers - Resistance Is Futile (2018)

Martin Luther King, who was assassinated 50 years ago this month, spoke of ‘hewing a stone of hope from a mountain of despair’, and in some ways the Manics feel like they have gone through a similar exercise with Resistance is Futile, released 13 April 2018 by Columbia Records.       The title of their...

Lowell George

Lowell George was born in the very mecca of cinema, Hollywood, on April 13, 1945; the son of a furrier who worked for the studios and decorated his house with photos of the great stars. But, from childhood, it could be seen that George was not called to follow in his father's footsteps in the film industry but to become a great...

Radiohead - The Bends (1995)

If Radiohead had only released Pablo Honey, their first album, today they would only be remembered as a ‘one hit wonder' band that emerged from the huge shadow created by Nirvana. In Creep Thom Yorke sang that he would like to be special, but it was with The Bends that he really achieved it. This was the first masterpiece of the most...

Merle Haggard - Mama Tried (1968)

Recorded between February and June 1968, Mama Tried was the seventh album by Merle Haggard in three years; but such an abundance of material was totally justified, as it became the best work of his ‘golden age’. Without being a conceptual album it has a recurring theme: prison, from the iconic cover to the wonderful song...

Steve Howe

Londoner Steve Howe was born in the spring of 1947. He picked up the guitar at 12, after listening to one Chet Atkins, who had a contagious style of guitar playing that afflicted young enthusiasts the world over. He was also a keen follower of jazz masters Django Reinhardt and duo Les Paul & Mary Ford, so, how in hell did he wind up as one of...

Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite - No Mercy In This Land (2018)

Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite follow up their 2014 grammy award winning album Get Up! with another gem for blues lovers - and potentially another grammy - No Mercy in this Land, released 30 March.    Harper wrote or co-authored all ten tracks on the album, as well as co-producing, singing and...

Mick Ralphs

They once asked Mick Ralphs what mark between 1-10  he would give himself as a guitarist, his answer shows his modesty but also his intelligence: “Minus 20. I never think about things like that. I like to be an all-round guitar player who can play rhythm and lead breaks. That’s because I’m a songwriter and songwriting is all about doing...

Eric Clapton - Slowhand (1977)

Eric Clapton, a name synonymous with God, at least in the blues/rock world of artists; “Clapton is God” was once sprayed all over his homeland, England. So ‘legend’ is cheap change next to that, but for a man whose career has spanned 5 decades, playing his fabled ‘Blackie’ a ‘56-’57 Composite Fender Stratocaster (including on this...

Jack White - Boarding House Reach (2018)

Boarding House Reach marks the third full length project from Jack White, after releasing six compelling albums as front man of The White Stripes. This record (released on 23 March) shows White beginning to experiment with some different sonic styles, a natural course of progression after sticking fairly routinely to The White...

Aerosmith - Rocks (1976)

In May 1976 the “Bad Boys of Boston”, Aerosmith,  released their 4th album Rocks. A decidedly perfect title for an album that certainly rocks. Unlike previous efforts, this record peels off the veneer of their pop/rock smash hits Walk This Way and Sweet Emotion, and bares the rawer, purer harder side of the band. That said, there’s no...

Randy Rhoads

Randall William Rhoads (December 6, 1956 - March 19, 1982), was an American metal rock guitarist who played in Quiet Riot and Ozzy Osbourne. Randy Rhoads grew up in a musical family, his parents were music teachers, so he picked up a Gibson acoustic when he was 6 and the future legend was off to the races. His mother Delores put him into piano...

Sue Foley - The Ice Queen (2018)

The Ice Queen, released 2 March, represents Sue Foley’s coming of age as a a singer, songwriter and guitarist. It is particularly appropriate that this, her best album to date, was recorded with the support of her long-time colleagues Charlie Sexton, Jimmie Vaughan and Billy Gibbons (of ZZ Top) at the Firestation studios in San Marcos, just...

Laura Cox

When Laura Cox uploaded her first guitar video to Youtube in 2008 she could scarcely have imagined the astounding reaction she would have. Since that time her clips have garnered more than 70 million views, her channel has over 260,000 subscribers, and her skill on the six-string has been complimented by living blues legend, Joe...

Jefferson Airplane - Volunteers (1969)

California based Jefferson Airplane were one of the pioneers of psychedelic rock in the 1960s, a band made up of Marty Balin/vocals, Paul Kantner/guitar vocals, Grace Slick/vocals, Jorma Kaukonen/lead guitar, vocals, bassman Jack Casady, and Spencer Dryden on drums. Volunteers was the last album with this original lineup, and veers somewhat away...

Free - Fire And Water (1970)

Free was formed in London in 1968 with the coming together of a quartet of very young and talented group of musicians: singer Paul Rodgers, guitarist Paul Kossoff, bassist Andy Fraser and drummer Simon Kirke. After recording two notable albums in 1969, a great opportunity came to them that same year when the newly created supergroup Blind...

Ultima Experiencia

Última Experiencia; lead singer and guitarist Miguel Ángel Ariza, bassman José Alberto Solís, and drummer Carlos Lahoz: have stayed away from the scourge of fashions and trends, managing to mold a solid career out of it with a fervent belief in something that is almost a religion to them: rock. And from the moment they decided to call...