Unplugged

Hubert Sumlin

The story of Hubert Sumlin is so linked to that of Howlin' Wolf that when Wolf died, in the papers of his funeral Sumlin appeared listed as his son. It is impossible to tell the story of Sumlin without the tremendous protective shade that Wolf gave him, but it is also not possible to deny the tremendous impact that Sumlin’s guitar had on...

Martin Barre

When people think of Jethro Tull, the first image that comes to mind is that of an ungainly and disheveled man, with a long coat, playing a flute resting on a single foot. But for anyone who is familiar with the music of Ian Anderson there is another thing that makes this mythical band, and that is the powerful riffs and the melodic solos of...

Jonny Greenwood

Jonny Greenwood is one of the most important musicians in recent decades. A multi-instrumentalist with academic training, he plays the piano, the viola, synthesizers, the organ, the banjo, the harmonica and the 'glockenspiel', to name just a few, besides the guitar. Of course it is his guitar that gave Radiohead their distinctive sound on their...

The Eagles - Desperado (1973)

By 1972 The Eagles had had two big hits - Take It Easy and Witchy Woman – but were aspiring to take things a step further, and the idea of a concept album based around outlaws and gunslingers gained traction among the members (at that time composed of Glenn Frey, Don Henley, Bernie Leadon and Randy Meisner). ...

Canned Heat - Boogie With Canned heat (1968)

The 60s scene for rock/blues bands was so crowded, (Paul Butterfield /John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers, Steppenwolf, Grand Funk Railroad, to name just a few) it was easy to get lost in the haze. Canned Heat was just those guys, formed by vocalist Bob ‘the Bear’ Hite and slide guitarist Alan ‘Blind Owl’ Wilson in 1965, Los Angeles,...

Joe Satriani - Surfing With The Alien (1987)

Joe Satriani (Satch to his mates) is the most commercially successful instrumental guitar soloist the world has ever seen. He has 6 gold and platinum records, has sold over 10 million copies to date, and has been nominated for 15 Grammy Awards so far. Impressive street creds indeed! Things broke open for him with his 2nd album Surfing With the...

The Black Keys - Let's Rock (2019)

It was something of a concern to all lovers of the six string – and rock music in general -when, following the release of Brothers (2011) Dan Auerbach told Rolling Stone magazine that “guitar bores the shit out of me most of the time.”     Scroll forward to 2019 however and The Black Keys’ ninth album...

Defining a legend in 10 songs: Howlin’ Wolf

A lot of people wonder what the blues is? There will be those who get theoretical and say that it is "a repetitive pattern, which usually follows a structure of twelve bars", there will be those who get poetic and say that blues is "a feeling", there are those, like our protagonist, who say "when you ain’t got no money, you have the blues", but I...

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...