Friday, 30 April 2010

John Mayer - A True Inspiration

The guitarist, John Mayer is a big name in America, while over in the UK he doesn't appear to be such a household name. However i believe everyone should know the wonderful works of this amazing musician.
The first time i heard John Mayer's music was when a friend sent me his live acoustic cover of Tom Petty's 'Free Falling' from his live album 'Where the Light Is'. As soon as i started listening to the song i was truly memorized by the beautiful, rich tone to John's voice, also the way he has changed the electric guitar parts adopted in the original version into ones that perfectly suited the acoustic guitar and steel guitar blew me away. The occasional backing vocals from the two other guitarist gave the song a very mellow and calm feel while adding strength to the lead vocals. When it comes to the bridge, the guitar is strummed clearly on the ofbeat of the 4/4 beat with little fills from all the guitarists in turn which creates a professional and experienced aura between the 3 musicians on stage.
After hearing 'Free Falling' i went out and brought the whole 'Where the Light Is' Live in Los Angeles CD. A particular favorite of mine being the song 'Gravity'; the way the song builds up gradually throughout the blissful 9 minutes into a truly memorizing guitar solo and ending with a prolonged drum crescendo takes my breath away.
John Mayer is a truly amazing guitarist worthy of one day being considered a musical legend in the same category as Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page, 'Free Falling' along with other acoustic songs on the live album such as 'Neon' and 'Stop this Train' inspired me so much with its steel string guitar playing that i later went out and brought a Cort Steel String Acoustic of my own in an attempt to recreate the same enriching sounds as heard in the album, it's not the same standard guitar as Mayer plays on stage, however Ive fallen in love with its the rich and gutsy tones the steel strings creates.
John Mayer has been the biggest inspiration to me as a guitarist and if i had not discovered this amazing musician the guitar as an instrument would not have such a broad appeal to me.

Glastonbury Line-up Released

With only 2 months to go until the 40th Anniversary Glastonbury Festival, the line-up has been officially released. With musical legends such as U2, Muse and Stevie Wonder set to play on the Pyramid Stage, this epic festival promises to deliver on it fortieth birthday.
Tickets went on sale on October 4th 2009 and were sold out within 24 hours, proving that Glastonbury is one of the biggest and most popular festivals to attend. However, Glastonbury had some rivalry with line-ups from the well established festival T in the Park. The line-up for T in the Park was announced before that of Glastonbury’s and included some impressive acts such as Jay-Z and Eminem. For some time fans were sceptical as to weather Glastonbury could match the remarkable line-up of T in the Park, however a couple of months later they responded with a line-up to be jealous of, promising 4 days of captivating musical acts that everyone would be delighted to see.
So as fans count down the weeks till the big weekend, Glastonbury organizers are working hard to give the estimated 140,000 festival-goers a weekend of musical heaven they wont forget.

Thursday, 29 April 2010

Gibson Dusk Tiger - Another Attempt at a Super Guitar

Gibson’s most recent musical contraption is the rather attractive-looking Dusk Tiger. The most obvious design feature is the stunning marblewood top and chrome tailpiece which fits around the pickup and snakes around the bridge; giving it a flowing display and some of the untamed character suggested in its name. The appearance of this guitar may not be to everyones taste but personally i think these features give it distinct persona that no other guitar i have seen holds.
Unfortunately for many people hoping to experience this guitar, it comes with a costly price tag of £2,799 and is limited to a reserved 1000 production line, the Dusk Tiger will be an instrument available to only a minority of guitarists.
The Dusk Tiger inherits the same Robot technology as Gibson’s last attempt at a super guitar – the Dark Fire. This means it acquires the redesigned Master Control Knob, the MCK II, which, when activated, allows you to access a range of 11 tunings. Although apparently it’s much quicker and more precise than the one on the Dark Fire, it still fails to achieve 100% accuracy on all tunings.
A neat feature on the Dusk Tiger is that you have multi-function toggle switch which allows you not only to change between the magnetic pick-ups, but also has a blend function which means you can embrace the perfect ratio of magnetic to piezo tone in the guitars output.
If your one of the lucky few who will be getting a Dusk Tiger, it also comes with Gibson’s edition of Ableton Live 8 and a Robot Interface Pack (RIP) which is everything you need to connect your Dusk Tiger to your Windows or Mac and record your ideas , it will also give you access to hundreds of effects and amplifiers and the ability to create backing tracks.
The initial signs from Gibson look positive on their 4th attempt of a super guitar, however, when it comes to using the Dusk Tiger for heavy gigging and long hours in the studio will it perform to the high standard we all expect from one of the most famous guitar makes in the world?