Unplugged

Eddie Hazel

In early 1971, at Detroit’s United Sound Systems’ studios, a band of musicians, who looked like aliens just out of a mothership, are recording their third album. The leader and ideologist of this motley group has some chords on which he wants his guitarist to improvise a solo, and both have taken LSD and seem to be on another planet. Before...

Kings Of Leon - When You See Yourself (2021)

Time Waits For No Man  Following on from 2016’s Walls, Kings of Leon’s eighth album, When You See Yourself, (5 March 2021; RCA records) is an upbeat offering full of catchy and stimulating guitar-based tunes from brothers Caleb, Nathan and Jared, and cousin Matthew Followill.    Producer Markus Dravs (Coldplay,...

The Allman Brothers Band – At Fillmore East (1971)

The best 'jams' of rock In November 1970 Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs appeared, which was the debut release from Derek And The Dominos - the first album by the band behind which was Eric Clapton, and in which the guitar of Duane Allman stood out. By that time the eldest Allman was already one of the most sought after session musicians...

Steve Lukather - I Found The Sun Again (2021)

Making HayWhile many have found the last year a challenge, Toto legend and guitarist Steve Lukather has taken advantage of a particuarly good moment in his life to ‘make hay while the sun shines’.     One result is the release of a powerfully diverse new album, I Found The Sun Again (26 February 2021; Mascot Label...

Cream - Wheels Of Fire (1968)

Planting the seeds of heavyCream made it clear from the beginning that modesty did not go with them. The group was formed in 1966 after the three were considered the best on their respective instruments in the UK: Eric Clapton had been proclaimed the God of the electric guitar, Jack Bruce was described as the best bass player and Ginger Baker...

Steven Tyler

In 1973 Aerosmith’s eponymous first album was selling poorly, and as a result the band were close to being dropped by their label. At this low point Steven Tyler however was able to draw on something that harked back to when he was just a few years old, and used to lie under the piano as his father played; because that was where he got the...

Black Pistol Fire - Look Alive (2021)

A Lifetime’s Complicity While many band members meet during their school days – for example, Flea & Kiedis; McCartney & Harrison; and Bowie & Frampton – not many, like Black Pistol Fire’s guitarist Kevin McKeown and drummer Eric Owen, met in kindergarten.     And now - after five albums, a 14 week...

Shawn Lane - The Tri-Tone Fascination (1999) - Album Review

Taking the Road Less Travelled Shawn Lane’s short life was marked by hardship and tragedy but that did not stop him making it successful; as a guitarist he was enormously respected by artists of the calibre of Ted Nugent and Cream’s Ginger Baker, and collaborated with musicians including Ringo Starr, Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson, Willie...

Leo Fender

Normally from Guitars Exchange we talk about some of the most mythical, and best, guitarists in history, people like Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan, David Gilmour and Jeff Beck. Today, however, we are going to speak of someone who wasn't even capable of tuning a guitar and who, even so, is a fundamental figure in this whole story, as well as the...

Joanna Connor - 4801 South Indiana Avenue (2021)

Bodacious Blues When Joanna Connor sent out a tweet following some ‘performance videos’, she did not expect to hear back from Joe Bonamassa,  and even less to hear him say: “You should be a household name; I’d like to talk with you about making a record...”     In fact the blues prodigy had actually...

Ry Cooder - Paradise And Lunch (1974) - Album Review

Cornerstone of the 'americana' sound Ry Cooder is one of the greatest slide guitar geniuses that the world of popular music has ever known, but Ry Cooder is very clear that a great album cannot be just a platform to show his expertise with the guitar. Cooder is much more than a great guitarist and his solo albums are much more than platforms...

James Taylor

James Taylor was the incarnation of the singer-songwriter in the 70's, with soft compositions that caressed like the Laurel Canyon breeze and a particular fingerpickin' style on the guitar that not only colored his own records but also appeared on some of the most important albums of that decade, such as Joni Mitchell's Blue and Carole King's...

Trower, Priest, Brown - United State Of Mind (2020) - Album Review

Sweet Serendipity  Superficially at least you’d never think to put singer/songwriter Maxi Priest, guitarist Robin Trower, and producer and multi-instrumentalist Livingstone Brown (Ed Sheeran, Tina Turner, Kylie Minogue, Bill Withers) together, but having met by chance at Brown’s Brixton studio the trio realised...

Red Hot Chili Peppers - Mother's Milk (1989) - Album Review

The beginning of their classic line-up Mother's Milk, the band's fourth release, may not be one of the Red Hot Chili Peppers' best albums, but it is one of their most important, being the first to feature the band's core lineup of Anthony Kiedis on vocals, Flea on bass, John Frusciante on guitar and Chad Smith on...

Alice Cooper - Detroit Stories (2021) - Album Review

Driving Rock ’n’ roll From the city of cars and Alice Cooper’s birthplace, the ‘godfather of shock rock’ conjures up his twenty-first solo offering: Detroit Stories (26 February 2021; Earmusic).     Cooper returns to his musical beginnings as well by re-uniting with producer Bob Ezrin, MC5 guitarist Wayne...

The Who - My Generation (1965) - Album Review

Maximum R&BThe debut album of one of the most incredible bands in history is as impetuous and intense as one would expect. It could be argued that of all the top four greatest bands that comprised the 'British Invasion' -the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Kinks, and the Who themselves- the debut of Pete Townshend's band was the most successful of the...

Marcus King - El Dorado (2020) - Album Review

From Blues to SoulThe prodigiously talented Marcus King has joined forces with the Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach to release his first solo album, El Dorado (17 January 2020; Fantasy Records), and in doing so has broadened his palette to incorporate much more soul.     King, who has been touring with his own band...

John Fahey - The Transfiguration Of Blind Joe Death (1965) - Album Review

Acoustic epiphanyJohn Fahey was already a long-time music collector when a friend played him Blind Willie Johnson's Praise God I'm Satisfied … and he had an epiphany. Not that he stopped collecting old records - that passion became even more obsessive - nor that he forgot about bluegrass and became a blues fanatic; but Fahey decided that it was...

Steve Earle And The Dukes - J.T. (2021) - Album Review

I Love You Too “By not only fearlessly facing grief, but also honouring Justin's sly humor, raw vulnerability and nimble songwriting, Steve Earle fittingly sees his young Cowboy off into the sunset.”    “The heartbreak is palatable and one can’t help but be moved by both the confession and the candor. Indeed, the...