Felix Martin: Venezuelan Guitarist Wows Pittsburgh

Words and photos:  Stephanie Connell

On Wednesday, March 8, Felix Martin and his band entered the ballroom at James Street Gastropub and Speakeasy in Pittsburgh.  The James Street Speakeasy is a unique venue.  It has a jazzy, 1920s prohibition feel.   The ballroom itself, complete with a small bar and a man painting in the corner, felt more relaxed than I expected.  The venue had a formal, historic air mixing with today’s informal culture.

It was the perfect setting for Felix Martin, and his band (bassist Killian Duarte and drummer Victor Alvarez).

I have had minimal experience with musicians who play specialized guitars.  Most of my experience included very traditional sounds.  It had never crossed my mind that a guitar with more than six strings would be used for heavy metal.  Felix Martin greatly raised my expectations of this type of music.  His music has a heavier sound than I expected.

The band had a very positive attitude throughout the show.  Some technical difficulties stopped the show for a few minutes, and, even then, the group smiled and laughed.  The songs they played included Cardboard Roofs and Flashback.  Felix Martin left the crowd smiling and excited for the headliner for the night, Consider the Source.

FELIX MARTIN is a Venezuelan guitarist who is pioneering a style of playing the electric guitar by performing simultaneously with two of them as if they were one, creating a new sound on the instrument.

Felix is pushing music into new boundaries by mixing Rock and Metal with different styles such as Jazz, Progressive, World, Latin, Fusion, etc. The uniqueness of his guitars and technique allows him to create distinguished sounds that makes the music sound unique.

Felix has toured with his band that includes Berklee Alumni drummers and bassist Kilian Duarte throughout the USA, Europe and South America. Played in festivals such as Progressive Nation, SXSW, Euroblast, Tech-Fest and many more.

Felix uses his self-designed 14 and 16-string guitars, which are two regular guitars in one, in a way never seen or heard before. This opens up a new and hidden world for the electric guitar and instrumental music. Felix pioneered this style of playing at the age of 13, and as of 2014, he remains the only one in the world who plays this way (Felix Martin Facebook).

 

Michael Kelly Guitar Co. to Kickstart Lightweight Electric Guitar Collection

CLEARWATER, FL (Mar 21, 2017)— For Michael Kelly Guitar Co., innovation is more than a market experiment—it comes down to listening to the community of players and their needs. After analyzing customer interactions across multiple platforms, Michael Kelly determined there was a pressing need for a lighter weight electric guitar option. In listening to these needs, Michael Kelly is using Kickstarter to bring a brand new series of guitars to their community.

“Our players’ community has been a guiding force in the development of many of our recent collections,” says company founder Tracy Hoeft. “Repeatedly, we heard from many players who, because of various health reasons, truly needed a lighter guitar option. Some were ready to give up playing altogether. Now we are excited to be able to fill this need for players who want to keep making music.”

The company embarked on a two-year research and development effort that resulted in the Michael Kelly Enlightened Series collection, which will pre-launch on Kickstarter at the end of March before launching globally this summer. Each guitar in this series has a target weight of 6 pounds—30% lighter than traditional electrics—without compromising sonic quality or styling.

The Michael Kelly team of guitar experts knew the challenges before they embarked on this mission. But, the team was determined to addresses every challenge head-on with the goal of optimizing the player experience.

Starting with the body, Michael Kelly’s designers began to interview experts in tone wood from around the world. After testing a dozen varieties, they decided on a species of mahogany that delivered excellent tone while being significantly lower in weight than more commonly used tone woods. The body was also designed to be thinner than normal, providing a dual benefit of added comfort as well as weight reduction. The risk of negatively affecting the instrument’s tone as a result of removing weight was mitigated by lightening the area behind the bridge. The development of four ports further allowed the team to reduce weight while retaining the instrument’s tone.

Additionally, these guitars feature parts that have been tooled up with aluminum, rather than standard steel guitar parts. Aluminum also proved to be ideal for tone and improving instrument performance. In terms of balance, no detail was overlooked in trying to solve the neck-heavy weight problem. Adjustments included finding an alternative set of locations for the strap buttons to overcome the issue.

Of course, an expertly engineered, lightweight design is only as practical as the sonic quality it enables. Michael Kelly worked to identify the natural sonic profile of each guitar in the Enlightened Series. Each model has customized pickups to enhance sonic performance, as well as special electronics modifications that increase the selection of sounds to allow each player to fine-tune their favorites.

The Michael Kelly team can’t wait for players to try out this innovative “light-done-right” collection that won’t break the bank—or their back! Enlightened Series guitars will be priced beginning at MSRP $850. Stay tuned and visit the Kickstarter project page, www.MichaelKellyGuitars.com/ultralight to learn about exclusive incentives and rewards for pledges.

About Michael Kelly Guitar Co.
Founded in 1999, Michael Kelly Guitars is an American guitar, bass, and mandolin company that imports quality instruments manufactured to their specifications. “Built on Sound,” the company has earned a reputation for excellent aesthetics, value, and overall performance. For more information, visit www.MichaelKellyGuitars.com or call (727) 793-9059.

 

Real Guitars Made from Real Skateboards

Real Guitars Made from Real Skateboards

From Skate Park to Studio: Prisma Guitars Makes Musical Dreams a Reality

SAN FRANCISCO —What started as a love for two hobbies is evolving into a passion for one business. Today, Prisma Guitars is driven by the goal of building custom guitars with a one-of-a-kind style where instruments are all 100% handcrafted from the wood of recycled skateboard decks and custom engineered for the highest quality sound.

Prisma offers musicians the opportunity to customize every feature in building their dream guitar, from body shapes and pickups to necks, bridges, and knobs. Prisma electric guitars have six body shapes that can be built entirely with skateboards, a skateboard top and mahogany or alder back, or with a hollow body. In addition to using their own stock of skateboards, Prisma is able to build a guitar with a customer’s skateboards at no extra charge.

Necks are available in multiple profiles in four styles: skateboard, mahogany or maple with rosewood fingerboard, or one-piece maple. Each neck has a 12’’ inch radius and 25.5’’ scale length with a hand-shaped Graph Tech nut at 1 5/8’’ width. Prisma uses only hand-wound pickups from McNelly Pickups and David Allen Pickups, and all guitars are built exclusively with Emerson Custom electronics. Tone Pro or Mastery bridges are available, and an Allen key Hot Rod truss rod anchors the body, which has a 100% nitrocellulose instrument lacquer finish.

Prisma also builds custom bass guitars in two body styles with three wood options: mahogany back with skate top, alder back with skate top, or full skateboard. A maple neck with rosewood or maple fingerboard is available along with three finish types and several other customizable features.

 

Pricing for custom guitars begins at $2,500 and orders take approximately eight to twelve weeks to complete. Left-handed models are available at no extra cost, and all instruments come with a travel-ready MONO bag. Guitars can be shipped internationally.

Tapping into local SF culture, Prisma also offers pre-built series guitars with select customizable features. The Sunset Series pays homage to Prisma’s Sunset District neighborhood, home to Ocean Beach, where surfing and skateboarding are a way of life. Each guitar in this series is a vibrant pastel that is meant to represent a house in the neighborhood. Loaded with McNelly x Prisma pickups, the series features handmade skateboard knobs and a custom Decoboom pickguard inspired by 1970s surf culture.

“Skateboards are made with seven layers of hard rock maple— a familiar guitar wood— and some of the layers are randomly dyed colors. Through working the materials, we get the colors to come through,” says Nick Pourfard, founder of Prisma Guitars. “Every single time I build one, it’s a different result. I never make the same guitar twice.”

For a behind-the-scenes look at the Prisma design process, check out this video that features a demo by professional skateboarder and musician Tommy Guerrero. To learn more about custom Prisma Guitars, visit www.PrismaGuitars.com.

About Prisma Guitars 

Prisma Guitars was founded in 2015 by 24-year-old Nick Pourfard, a self-taught woodworker and industrial design student based in San Francisco. Inspired by his love of skateboarding and music, Nick decided to combine the two to create colorful guitars using broken and used skateboard decks. He has created custom guitars for stylistically diverse musicians at home and abroad, including international icon Steve Harris of the band Iron Maiden. Prisma Guitars are all 100% handmade in the USA, and the colors are completely one-of-a-kind for every build. To learn more, visitwww.PrismaGuitars.com.

Cort Guitars Releases AB850F Acoustic Bass Model

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA—In the spirit of back-to-school season, Cort Guitars invites you to meet the new acoustic bass in class: the AB850F. The AB850F features the same high-quality craftsmanship as its classmates with the latest Fishman electronics resulting in a big natural acoustic sound with plenty of volume to anchor the low-end in any musical setting.

unnamed (4)A signature feature of Cort acoustic basses is the full-size, jumbo body that measures 110-135mm. This depth produces a huge, full-bodied sound with plenty of bass and volume. Available in natural or black finish, the AB850F body features a dovetail neck joint and Venetian cutaway for easy high-fret access. Advanced scalloped x-bracing provides exceptional sturdiness beneath the surface.

The AB850F’s wood construction is best-in-class and best-in-sound. Spruce is an overwhelmingly popular choice for the acoustic top because of its ability to provide an excellent balance between strength and flexibility. The AB850F’s spruce top has a versatile sonic character that makes it ideal for a variety of musical genres and playing styles. Equally as popular on acoustic models are the AB850F’s mahogany back and sides that are bright, yet natural with a strong and warm midrange.

This quality acoustic bass has a 43mm nut width at the neck and a standard 34’’ scale length that complements the jumbo-size body for an expansive sound with enhanced string vibration. The 22-fret rosewood fingerboard with dot inlay leads down to an esthetic multiple rosette that complements the rosewood bridge.

The AB850F is equipped with the Fishman ISYS + EQ. Featuring a 2-band equalizer, LED tuner and phase control along with Sonicore pickup, these high-quality electronics deliver the signature Fishman sound as well as excellent amplification.

Competitively priced at $449.99 MSRP, the AB850F provides big sound at big value and comes standard with a gig bag. For more information, and to find a Cort dealer, visit the manufacturer’s website by clicking here.

About Cort Guitars

Cort designs, manufactures, and delivers some of the finest guitars and basses to musicians and music enthusiasts all around the world. Over the past 50 years, the company has worked with some of the largest and most well-recognized guitar companies in the industry as well as artists of international recognition. Cort remains focused on providing instruments that will last generations with the best workmanship possible, the best materials and components, and the best service long after the instruments have been purchased. For more information, visit www.cortguitars.com.

Michael Kelly Guitars Announces Crowd-sourced Product Development For New Electric Bass Guitars

The development of new products is typically done in the strictest secrecy within guitar companies. Breaking with the old guitar industry standard of springing new products on players at the time of launch, Michael Kelly Guitars is crowd-sourcing the development of a new collection of electric bass guitar models. Confident in allowing players to define the new product and guide the development, the guitar maker is throwing the curtain wide open.

Starting Aug. 22, Michael Kelly Guitars will begin sharing design ideas with the public for their next generation of bass guitars. At least once a week, they will post different insights and samples on the special Player’s Voice section of the MK website as well as on their social media accounts, asking for community insights and opinions. This new and engaging content will further open the dialogue between the company and bass players.

“We are inviting players to join a community that will guide the development of several new Michael Kelly products,” explains company founder Tracy Hoeft. He continues, “This group will nurture these products from the initial basic product concept to a completed collection of products.”

Through videos, photos, and shared data, players will be able to differentiate how certain elements of the instruments will look and sound compared to others. This conversation will continue through November. The resulting products will be introduced at the 2017 National Association of Music Merchants Show in Anaheim, California,January 19-22.

Considering that so many of their customers share the passion for excellence, this team effort has unlimited potential. To access the special site and join this community visitMKPlayersVoice.com.

About Michael Kelly Guitar Co.

Founded in 1999, Michael Kelly Guitars is an American guitar, bass, and mandolin company that imports quality instruments manufactured to their specifications. “Built on Sound,” the company has earned a reputation for excellent aesthetics, value, and overall performance. For more information, visit www.MichaelKellyGuitars.com  or call(727) 793-9059.

660 Guitars Unveils CT/52 Guitar

GILMER, TX June 8, 2016 – 660 Guitars announced today the introduction of their latest guitar design, the CT/52. The CT/52 has been engineered as a modern slant on a classic, single cut guitar design. The CT/52 extends 660 Guitars’ already robust line of American-made instruments, featuring all-aluminum bodies. Customers can place orders directly from the factory at www.660guitars.com
The 25.5” scale CT/52 captures bold engineering and modern playability, while maintaining the principle build features consistent in all 660 Guitars. Handcrafted with USA parts, the CT/52’s body is constructed of one piece of aircraft-grade aluminum, paired with a shallow-oval 16” radius solid graphite/carbon fiber neck, and weighing in at 7.5 lbs. The finish is a resilient powder coat, available in a multitude of color options. The bridge on the CT/52 is a Hipshot USA bridge and a Kahler Tremolo bridge is optional for an additional price. The pickups are 16.50K Dimarzio Dominion Humbuckers with ceramic magnets, mounted on ‘mini-rails’ to allow numerous user-adjusted tonal variations. Smoked acrylic black glass is standard. Hennessy Secure strap locks are also standard, and the guitar ships in an RB Aero low-profile case.
660 Guitars was forged on the friendship of builders Drew Emory and Myke Wilkerson, both independent builders who found they shared the same ideas in constructing guitar bodies out of metal, namely aircraft-grade aluminum. Traditional instruments are subject to many issues, from humidity, airline handling, to general use. Aluminum is an extremely rugged and durable building material, and offers the guitar world a change from traditional wood construction. The results are warm and resonant guitars with tank-like construction, and minimal weather-related issues.
The CT/52, along with all of 660 Guitars’ instruments, is handcrafted with pride in the USA, precision engineered, and built to exacting standards to minimalize maintenance and downtime, while ensuring the instruments are around for generations.
MSRP $3400 USD
To learn more about the CT/52 and the 660 Guitars building process, please visitwww.660guitars.com

Make’n Music Announces Limited Edition American Standard Offset Telecaster

Limited Edition FSR Offset Guitar in Butterscotch Blonde – to be made available

Chicago, IL June 1, 2016 – International musical instrument retailer Make’n Music announces the “8th Wonder of Fender’s Magnificent 7”, a Limited Edition American Standard Offset Telecaster®. This is an incredibly distinctive instrument that combines design elements from two iconic Fender models -The Fender® Telecaster® and the Fender® Jazzmaster®. Only 25 pieces of this exclusive initial run will be offered in Butterscotch Blonde.

Company owner, Teddy Gordon states, “Ever since the first official Fender® ‘Telemaster-style’ electric guitar was ordered by Make’n Music back in 2005 and delivered in 2008, this unique Jazzmaster® / Telecaster® Hybrid design became an instant classic – coveted by offset lovers everywhere. Originally conceived in a dream and brought to reality by the Fender® Custom Shop, this configuration is now officially referred to as the Offset Telecaster®. Copied by many but never before seen in the official Fender® production lineup, it’s an innovative concept and a truly original instrument. It has long been our hope to bring this traditionally ‘Custom Shop only’ offering to USA production for a more player friendly price point. We couldn’t be happier with how they turned out.”

The Limited Edition Fender® Offset Telecaster® features a highly distinctive offset body shape and combines it with the clear, bell-like voice of a Custom Shop Twisted Tele single-coil pickup in the neck position and a vintage-style Custom Shop Telecaster® single-coil pickup in the bridge position. The neck features a very comfortable Modern “C” profile with a 9.5” radius and Medium Jumbo frets for incredible playability. What appears to be a typical strings through the body American Vintage Telecaster® bridge with 3 Brass Saddles is actually unique in that those 3 saddles feature adjustability for intonation on all 6 strings. The electronics include a 3-way pickup selector switch, Master Volume and No Load Tone control. To cap things off, another unique feature is a premium Swamp Ash body finished in Butterscotch Blonde.

Features & Specifications

·      Exclusive Make’n Music Limited Edition (25 piece initial run)

·      Butterscotch Blonde Finish w/ 1-Ply Black Pickguard

·      Satin Neck Back with Gloss Fingerboard and Headstock

·      Premium Swamp Ash Body

·      1-Piece Maple Neck

·      Modern “C” Profile

·      25.5” Scale Length

·      9.5” Fingerboard Radius

·      22x Medium Jumbo Frets

·      1.685” Nut Width

·      Double Action Truss Rod

·      American Vintage Telecaster® Bridge

·      3x Brass Saddles (6-string individually intonatable)

·      Strings through the Body

·      Chrome Hardware

·      Limited Edition Neck Plate

·      3-way Pickup Selector Switch

·      Master Volume Control

·      No Load Tone Control

·      Custom Shop Vintage-Style Single-Coil Pickup (Bridge)

·      Custom Shop “Twisted Tele” Single-Coil Pickup (Neck)

·      Hardshell Case

·      Accessory Package with Cable, Strap and Cloth

·      Manufacturer’s Part Number – 0171504750

This Make’n Music exclusive 25 piece limited run of the American Standard Offset Telecaster, is available for pre-order now at www.makenmusic.com/telemaster for only $1499.99. Reserve yours today with a deposit of only $295. The guitars are expected to ship in Mid. / Late July.

About Make’n Music

Make’n Music has been the original home of tone since 1973 and for over 40 years we’ve been committed to meeting the needs of our customers. Make’n Music offers a hand-picked selection of premium boutique and custom gear. Our Northbrook, IL showroom is open and comfortable with private, soundproof demonstration rooms for a pleasant shopping environment while our website www.makenmusic.com is regularly updated with an incredible array of custom electric guitars, tube amplifiers and effects pedals. Knowledgeable and courteous sales professionals are always available to help make sure the gear you want is the best choice to suit your needs. Whether you’re looking to pick up a new hobby, push sonic boundaries or simply tweak your tone, Make’n Music is the place!

For ordering information, please contact Teddy Gordon via email 
sales@makenmusic.com

MotherBrain Oozes Delay from Dr. No Effects

It doesn’t take a genius to know the importance of a good delay pedal. Just use your brain.
The limited run MotherBrain Analog Delay is the latest creation from the always unpredictable Dr. No Effects.  The hand crafted pedal is an excellent sonic tool for guitarists, bass players, keyboards and vocal.
The MotherBrain is an insanely high-end quality delay that produces classic, classy tones. With three easy-to-adjust functions, it’s easy to achieve rockabilly slapback or insane oscillation — just grab hold of a cerebrum, dial in, and you’re ready to go. Present runs your signal from “Wet” to “Dry.” Insanity sets your delay time. Memory locks in your feedback for “Long Term” or “Short Term.” When the MotherBrain is engaged, it has no influence on the actual send through signal, that stays at the same level and clarity as your original signal. To achieve maximum results, Dr. No suggests using as the last effect in your pedal chain.
As is the case with all Dr. No Effects, you don’t have to be a brain surgeon to dig into the MotherBrain. It’s user-friendly, simple, and easy to use. All a player needs is a 9-volt battery and they’re on their way to robust tone.
From the circuit to the silkscreened housing, custom brain knobs, box, and brain keychain, The MotherBrain is entirely handmade and built to last a lifetime. It’s also a limited edition: only 350 are available, each one signed and numbered by Dr. No.
To learn more, please visit www.DrNo-Effects.com and Shop.DrNo-Effects.com
MSRP: €239/$272.

Little Racer Premieres “Dancing” Track + Free Download

Click Here To Stream + Download “Dancing” On Filter

Little Racer is a four-piece from Brooklyn consisting of Elliot Michaud (vocals, guitar), Ish Nazmi (bass), Wade Michael (guitar), and Dave Tedeschi (Drums). Shortly after forming in 2010, their eponymous single Little Racer found it’s away across the ocean to the BBC and London imprint Young and Lost Club, who subsequently released the 7″ single  The Town/Split for the Coast in late 2011.  After a short visit to London to support the single, they returned to New York to write and record a follow up EP.  With influences ranging from New Order to Cat Stevens, their ringing guitars and choruses will most definitely take you away from it all, even if only for 24 minutes.

 

Click Here To Download “Vanessa” On Young And Lost Club

Click Here To Watch “Split For The Coast” Video 

Click Here To Listen To “Split For The Coast” // “The Town”

 

Links: 

Bandcamp

Facebook 

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Renowned Guitarist John Wesley Signs to InsideOutMusic and Announces Release of New Studio Album ‘Disconnect’

InsideOutMusic is extremely proud to announce the signing of renowned guitarist John Wesley for the release of his forthcoming sixth studio album ‘Disconnect‘ on April 1. John had this to say:

 

“Disconnect, is the culmination of all the musical input I have had in the past several years. I am a fan of so many different types of music and being able to perform with artists that take huge chances musically such as Fish, Porcupine Tree, and Steven Wilson led me to a new place creatively. My focus has been on playing guitar for so long, so the songs on this record really came to life on the guitar. I had a great team of musicians to work with and the result is my best work to date. With this album, I was able to achieve a more aggressive guitar-oriented sound that is coloured by my progressive influences. Disconnect has many of the same elements of my previous work — lyrical depth, song orientation — but I really feel that I pushed my boundaries musically, with my playing and the song arrangements, more so than in my past work. Inside Out is the perfect home for this album.”

 

John’s last release was ‘The Lilypad Suite‘ EP which came out in 2011 and since then he has been playing with the likes of Steven Wilson and Sound of Contact, as well as keeping busy with session work. ‘Disconnect’ marks his first full-length studio release since 2005’s ‘Shiver’.

 

Look out for more information on ‘Disconnect’ in the coming weeks!

 

JOHN WESLEY online:

www.john-wesley.com

www.facebook.com/johnwesleyofficial  

www.twitter.com/johnwesleymusic  

TimberCraft Cabinets Announces Launch of Handmade, Customizable Speaker Cabinet Company

Have you ever noticed how there are thousands of styles of guitars you can buy? Each one is unique. Colors, cuts, pickups, every imaginable part of a guitar can be customized to fit YOUR individual style. As a guitarist, your instrument is an extension of yourself. We spend so much time searching for the right guitar – the guitar that you proudly wear on stage that says, ‘this is me’. Now, have you ever thought about why amps aren’t treated the same way? Most amplification equipment on the market looks the same – straight lines, black tolex, nothing to set you apart as a player. While shopping for a new speaker cabinet, TimberCraft owner Morgan Hopfensperger noticed a sad lack of creativity in the cabs on the market. He set out to change all that.

TimberCraft Cabinets is a company started by Morgan Hopfensperger early last year, combining his passion for music and love of woodworking. It was founded on the idea that, like him, there must be other musicians that value craftsmanship, and believe that ALL of their gear should be as beautiful, and unique as the guitar you play through it.

It used to be that there was a specialist for everything. If you wanted meat, you went down the street to the local butcher. If you needed bread, you went to the baker next door. Everything was a craft, and everyone, a craftsman. Mass production has killed the spirit of craftsmanship and replaced it with a standardized form of consumerism. People don’t have things made for them anymore. Now, we buy products made by machines in factories, sold in large retail chains, by salesmen who know little to nothing about what they’re selling.

Morgan started building speaker cabinets in his garage, knowing that SOMEWHERE out there, other guitarists wanted the same thing that he did – craftsmanship, beauty, customizability, a speaker cabinet that is uniquely YOURS.

It all starts with a design. TimberCraft wanted their speaker cabinets to be unlike any other. First, they draw up an idea. Then they plan out the dimensions and types of wood to use that will give each design the best tone and functionality possible.

They start with personally hand selecting every piece of wood, letting the natural beauty of the wood show, and since every tree is different, every speaker cabinet they build is the only one of its kind. There’s no other cab like it in the world.

Says Morgan Hopfensperger about TimberCraft Cabinets:

“I started TimberCraft because I needed a new speaker cabinet for myself, and was underwhelmed with the options I saw from major retailers. I’m a musician first, and my passion for woodworking led me to start building these things. I, like many people these days, have grown tired of huge companies dominating industry by having their products made cheaply overseas, and sold in large retail chains, by salesmen with no knowledge of the product. These days, people want to support the little guy – the craftsman – the guy who works hard, sweats, and produces things he’s proud of, simply because he loves it.

While I was building these cabinets in my free time, I would post pictures of them online as they progressed. With each cab I completed, the response I got from my friends and family became more and more enthusiastic. People really seemed to like what I was making, so I began to consider doing this full time.

While researching how to build on a larger scale, I spent a lot of time learning about where the materials I would need come from. I found that many of the materials used in mass-produced speaker cabinets, namely grille cloth, come from sources where workers are paid a very low wage, or work in unsafe conditions. I wanted to feel good about what I was making, taking into account every part, every material that goes into my products. I wanted to be confident that the products I manufacture are not done so on the backs of the impoverished.

With that in mind, I partnered with a non-profit organization that connects African textile workers with American consumers, ensuring that they are paid fairly and work safely. The organization is called Market Colors and they do great work.

The speaker cabinets I build are priced fairly – comparable to what you mind find in your local music store. My overhead is low because everything is made by me personally, in-house.

The most important part about what I do is that everything is fully customizable. Most speaker cabinets you’ll find in music stores are already made, loaded with speaker, sold as-is. It’s kind of a “take it or leave it thing” – you buy it how it’s made, or you have to spend extra money to make modifications to it.

My speaker cabinets function the same as any other on the market. What makes them different is how they LOOK, as well as the process by which they were made.”

For more information, visit:
www.timbercraftcabs.com

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Everlast’s “The Life Acoustic”: Lazy and Uneventful

Everlast’s (real name: Erik Schrody) 1998 hit What It’s Like was so wildly popular that plenty of people who DIDN’T know what it was like still learned all the words before they realized that the song’s finger-pointing-but-non-judgmental lyrics were aimed at them. It was a prominent enough track to help him sell almost three million copies of the record, Whitey Ford Sings the Blues, but can you name another single from this album? No? Neither can I? Before we get further, I want to remind you of the catchy, seemingly skillful composition of “What It’s Like.”

His most recent solo release, “The Life Acoustic” is, at least in sound, similar to his biggest hit, but starkly different from the myriad collaborations he’s been a part of. It takes his previously released but unknown solo tracks, strips them down, and lets his voice take center stage. Unfortunately, this is an album that feels like it’s trying and failing to be good enough for radio play on a rock station. There may even be a few tracks composed to head intentionally to adult contemporary purgatory. (All I can hear in Broken is Hootie and the Blowfish, but less vocally skilled.)

This is going to be a mostly critical review, so if you’re an Everlast fan, I’d recommend you take pause before continuing. Musically, this album feels stale, derivative and not carefully composed or completely thought through. I can’t help but wonder if there’s a seriously lack of competence that we’re only finally able to fully see in this record. After quite a few careful listens, I do not hear more than four or five chords in most of the songs, all of which begin with Everlast speaking the title of the tune into his microphone. Then the guitar comes in, followed soon after by keyboard or piano. I like simplicity in my music, but these tracks feel lazy to me, formulaic. It’s as if were rearranged and recomposed in a day and recorded in one take 24-hours later.

But worse is that Everlast’s recognizable, gritty, often almost-off-key vocals sound just as careless as the composition. He sings through most of the record. I found myself so distracted by how out of place his voice sounded, that I was sometimes able to forget there were even strings being strummed behind him. I heard pieces without a whole; genres being haphazardly thrown together into one song without consideration of the audience. (My Medicine is a good example of this.)

My last criticism here is that most of what this album conveys lyrically is adulthood, its underlying resentments, its unforgiving nature. The songs that Everlast chose to feature here are all about sort of resigning yourself to loneliness and responsibility, but doing so knowingly. Ultimately, though, I think I prefer him when he’s angry.

“The Life Acoustic” was released on August 27, 2013 on Martyr Inc. Records. It is available on iTunes here.

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All Axess Launches the First of their Platinum Series Instructional Lessons with LAMB OF GOD’s Willie Adler

Willie Adler’s “Destructional” Guitar Lesson Available Now

 

 

Premier online music community and media company AllAxess.com have partnered with multi Grammy-nominated guitarist Willie Adler to launch the first of their Platinum SeriesMusic Instruction Series.

 

All Axess have continued to make their mark on the music and media world with the addition of the Platinum Series which offer an intimate and insightful look into the approach and playing of some of the world’s top musicians. The Platinum Series contains the most interactive and personal music lessons ever and not only feature never-before audio and video content, but chances for the fans to interact and communicate with their favorite artists.

 

All Axess Co-founder and DevilDriver guitarist Jeff Kendrick comments about the release of the Platinum Series lessons:

 

“I am extremely pleased to not only offer the first of All Axess’s Platinum series instructional lessons, but to bring you the playing techniques and insights of one of the most respected heavy metal guitarists in the world. Cannot wait for all of you to enjoy it.”

 

Willie Adler’s “Destructional” Lesson will be the inaugural video lesson released by All Axess and will contain all aspects of his guitar playing and musicianship. The lesson will encompass the following:

 

1.) A complete insight into Willie’s guitar playing and will include warm-up routines, left and right-handed exercises, riffs and melodies that Willie has crafted over many years of playing.

 

2.) New, never before heard six “jam tracks” and audio loops produced solely by Willie for this lesson. Tracks include guitar and drum parts.

 

3.) Jam tracks will also be made available as session files and audio stems for the fans.

 

4.) Multi-camera angles that capture the riffs and techniques that have made Willie one of the most respected guitarists in the world.

 

5.) A unique user name and password that gives the user “Axess” to follow-up question and answer sessions with Willie.

 

6.) Corresponding lesson tablature to follow along and learn from.

 

7.) User’s will have opportunities in the future to upload and share ideas with other players and enter contests to win prizes.

 

How much would you guess this lesson costs? $80.00?… $100.00? We are offering a limited time only discounted rate of $7.99 for the next 30 days! The lesson will retail for $19.95after the pre-sale! Hurry up and purchase yours today!

 

All Axess will be bringing you a ton more lessons and new surprises, please stay tuned to AllAxess.com.

ABOUT ALLAXESS.COM:

 

Founded in 2011 by DevilDriver guitarists Jeff Kendrick and Mike SpreitzerAllAxess.com quickly became a pioneering music media community online. In addition to its main hub site with exclusive lessons and video from the world’s top musicians, the company encompasses a myriad of official sites for individual players. These include Willie Adler (Lamb of God), Chris Kael (Five Finger Death Punch), PaoloGregoletto (Trivium) and more. The brand also boasts a series of individual lesson videos, personal merchandising, official social media pages, and more. AllAxess.com has been profiled in ForbesMetalHammer, and ARTISTdirect.com as well as numerous other media.

All Axess Launches the First of their Platinum Series Instructional Lessons with LAMB OF GOD’s Willie Adler

Premier online music community and media company AllAxess.com have partnered with multi Grammy-nominated guitarist Willie Adler to launch the first of their Platinum Series Music Instruction Series.

 

All Axess have continued to make their mark on the music and media world with the addition of the Platinum Series which offer an intimate and insightful look into the approach and playing of some of the world’s top musicians. The Platinum Seriescontains the most interactive and personal music lessons ever and not only feature never-before audio and video content, but chances for the fans to interact and communicate with their favorite artists.

 

All Axess Co-founder and DevilDriver guitarist Jeff Kendrick comments about the release of the Platinum Series lessons:

 

“I am extremely pleased to not only offer the first of All Axess’s Platinum series instructional lessons, but to bring you the playing techniques and insights of one of the most respected heavy metal guitarists in the world. Cannot wait for all of you to enjoy it.”

 

Willie Adler’s “Destructional” Lesson will be the inaugural video lesson released byAll Axess and will contain all aspects of his guitar playing and musicianship. The lesson will encompass the following:

 

1.) A complete insight into Willie’s guitar playing and will include warm-up routines, left and right-handed exercises, riffs and melodies that Willie has crafted over many years of playing.

 

2.) New, never before heard six “jam tracks” and audio loops produced solely by Willie for this lesson. Tracks include guitar and drum parts.

 

3.) Jam tracks will also be made available as session files and audio stems for the fans.

 

4.) Multi-camera angles that capture the riffs and techniques that have made Willie one of the most respected guitarists in the world.

 

5.) A unique user name and password that gives the user “Axess” to follow-up question and answer sessions with Willie.

 

6.) Corresponding lesson tablature to follow along and learn from.

 

7.) User’s will have opportunities in the future to upload and share ideas with other players and enter contests to win prizes.

 

How much would you guess this lesson costs? $80.00?… $100.00? We are offering a limited time only discounted rate of $7.99 for the next 30 days! The lesson will retail for$19.95 after the pre-sale! Hurry up and purchase yours today!

 

All Axess will be bringing you a ton more lessons and new surprises, please stay tuned to AllAxess.com.

ABOUT ALLAXESS.COM:

 

Founded in 2011 by DevilDriver guitarists Jeff Kendrick and Mike SpreitzerAllAxess.comquickly became a pioneering music media community online. In addition to its main hub site with exclusive lessons and video from the world’s top musicians, the company encompasses a myriad of official sites for individual players. These include Willie Adler (Lamb of God), Chris Kael (Five Finger Death Punch), Paolo Gregoletto (Trivium) and more. The brand also boasts a series of individual lesson videos, personal merchandising, official social media pages, and more.AllAxess.com has been profiled in ForbesMetal Hammer, and ARTISTdirect.com as well as numerous other media.WillieAdler_roadsteriv

It’s About To Get “K-Yotic” with Malina Moye & Bootsy Collins

“ROCK ‘N ROLL BABY” MALINA MOYE FINDS THE GROOVE WITH “K-YOTIC”

 

GUITARIST/VOCALIST’S NEW SINGLE FEATURES THE LEGENDARY BOOTSY COLLINS

Touring Now; “Rock ‘n Roll Baby” album coming in early 2014. 

Malina Moye shreds on the guitar and flips funk grooves with equal amounts of skill. The first single from her upcoming album,Rock ‘n Roll Baby, is called “K-Yotic,” and it joins her with Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Famer Bootsy Collins. The song will be released on all digital platforms 7/30, with the Rock ‘n Roll Babyalbum to be released early 2014 on  WCE Records, Distributed by BDG/ RED Distribution, LLC (a division of SONY Music Entertainment).

“K-Yotic” has a Zeppelin vibe with urban undertones that has Moye poised to showcase a new generation of rock. About the song, Malina says “With ‘K-Yotic,’ I wanted to capture the raw energy of rock and the power of funk, but maintain a current, radio friendly vibe. I feel everyone has a situation in their life that is chaotic. When I wrote the song, I was going through mine.”


Malina Moye feat. Bootsy Collins: K-Yotic (stream) 
 

Described as a modern day renaissance woman, Malina Moye is a quadruple threat, carving out her own lane in today’s music scene as one of the few artists in history able to straddle both rock and soul genres. Moye’s musical narrative boasts an impressive resume that includes making history as the first African-American woman to play the National Anthem on guitar at a professional sporting event, all the way to performing at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame tribute concert for music pioneer Chuck Berry. She’s opened for acts ranging from current superstar Robin Thicke to iconic rock band Journey. Most recently, Malina was praised by Jet Magazine as “the highlight of the evening” after she headlined the largest peace concert on the west coast with Chaka Khan honoring the legendary humanitarian Stevie Wonder.

Malina Moye is the first left-handed female guitar player to endorse iconic brand Fender , and she also participated in the critically acclaimed 2012 “Experience Hendrix” Tour. Furthermore, the rock goddess was featured in the UK documentary “Stratmaster: The Greatest Guitar Story Ever Told,” and Guitar World Magazine dubbed Malina the “female Jimi Hendrix” and “one of the top 10 female guitarists to know.” UK’s Blues and Soul Magazine touted Malina as having “…all the ingredients to shake the modern soul room.”

Malina Moye 2013 Tour Dates:

6/27/13: Piacenza Festival (Piacenza, Italy)
6/28/13: Rapperswil Fest (Rapperswil, Switzerland)
7/6/13: Vache De Blues (Villerupt, France)
7/7/13: Club Montmartre (Brussels, Belgium)

7/13/13 Goodwood Fest of Speed (West Sussex, UK)

7/14/13 Goodwood Fest of Speed (West Sussex, UK)

7/17/13 Magic Fest (Giumaglio, Switzerland)

7/27/13 Rhynoferock Festival (Pernes Les Fontaines, France)

8/12/13 Umag Fest (Umag, Croatia)

Malina Moye onlineOfficial Site | Facebook | Twitter

TWIN GUNS – Saturday, March 23 – 9:00PM @ 31st Street Pub

Twin Guns Sweet Dreams_5

The powerhouse duo of Andrea Sicco and “Jungle” Jim Chandler give the full blown sound out of a two person front that is reminiscent of the Black Keys, but with a unique sound core that defies any one genre of rock n’ roll. On tour for their late 2012 album Sweet Dreams, listen for a wild, but not chaotic, mix of surf, grunge, metal, death metal, electronica, rockabilly, and 50s-60s doo-wop aspects… all tied up in neatly choreographed feats of musical composition.

Twin Guns satisfy like a Wild West Neo-Black Sabbath that rides in from the sunset instead of disappearing into it.

With King Fez, and Retro Agents. Doors at 9:00PM.

Listen to Sweet Dreams by Twin Guns at: http://twinguns.bandcamp.com/album/sweet-dreams-2012

& Twin Guns debut album Scene of the Crime at: http://twinguns.bandcamp.com/album/scene-of-the-crime-2011

ADRENALINE MOB and GuitarWorld.com Release First ‘Coverta’ In-Studio Video for ‘Romeo Delight’ (Van Halen Cover)

This is killer…you have to see Portnoy wailing on a classic VH tune.  PMM can’t wait to cover them when they come to Altar Bar Pittsburgh March 14…

 

GuitarWorld.com has posted an exclusive new video of ADRENALINE MOB recording their cover of ‘Romeo Delight’ (originally by Van Halen) for their new covers album Coverta, hitting stores on March 12, 2013. ADRENALINE MOB, featuring Russell Allen (Symphony X), Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater), John Moyer (Disturbed) and Mike Orlando (Sonic Stomp), will release a series of these in-depth recording videos via GuitarWorld.com in the coming weeks. Check out the current video of ‘Romeo Delight’ at this location.

 

ADRENALINE MOB guitarist Mike Orlando states, “Recording ‘Romeo Delight’ was an absolute blast for me. I grew up listening to EVH, and from the moment I heard ‘Eruption,’ I was hooked for life! Tracking the guitars was such a blast, as I plugged in my white-and-black Charvel, my trusty ol’ MXR Phase 90 and went right into my cranked-up Marshall JCM800, entering that EVH zone and giving my all to pay tribute to one of the greatest rock guitarists ever! We had a great time with Mike Portnoy’s idea to insert a medley of kick-ass VH parts in the mid-section while going into a great treat before we head back to the final chorus!”

 

Coverta is an eight-track EP featuring cover versions of some of the band’s favorite songs. Long-time fans of Mike Portnoy are aware of the multiple cover CDs he has released with Dream Theater and with Neal Morse. Coverta is the first CD of covers recorded by ADRENALINE MOB.

 

TRACK LISTING:

 

01. “High Wire,” Badlands

02. “Stand Up and Shout,” Dio

03. “Break on Through,” The Doors

04. “Romeo Delight,” Van Halen

05. “Barracuda,” Heart

06. “Kill the King,” Rainbow

07. “The Lemon Song,” Led Zeppelin

08. “The Mob Rules,” Black Sabbath

 

 

In support of their album Omerta and debut single, ‘Come Undone’, ADRENALINE MOB will be commencing a U.S. tour on March 12th.

 

Yesterday, the band began leaving individual posts on their official Facebook page for each tour date below, inviting attendees to that specific date to comment. A few of the lucky commenters on each date post will be chosen to take part in a special meet & greet with the band before that show date (winners will be announced in the comments). Head to www.facebook.com/adrenalinemob to check out the posts… New Haven, CT and New York City have already been posted!

 

 

The tour will consist of two legs this spring and tickets are on sale now. The dates for the first leg are:

 

3/12 – New Haven, CT @ Toads Place

3/13 –New York, NY @ Marlin @ Webster Hall

3/14 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Altar Bar

3/15 – Allentown, PA @ Crocodile Rock

3/16 – West Springfield, VA @ Empire

3/18 – Jacksonville, FL @ Brewster’s Roc Bar

3/19 – Tampa, FL @ Orpheum

3/20 – Orlando, FL @ The Haven

3/22 – Houston, TX @ Scout Bar

3/23 – San Antonio, TX @ Backstage Live

3/24 – Dallas, TX @ Trees

3/25 – Abilene, TX @ Lucky Mule

3/27 – Phoenix, AZ @ Joe’s Grotto

3/28 – San Diego, CA @ Brick by Brick

3/29 – Las Vegas, NV @ Cheyenne Saloon

3/30 – Los Angeles, CA @ Roxy

4/1 – Colorado Springs, CO @ Black Sheep

4/2 – Kansas City, KS @ The VooDoo Lounge

4/4 – St. Louis, MO @ Fubar

4/5 – Nashville, TN @ Exit IN

4/6 – Atlanta, GA @ Masquerade

4/7 – Richmond, VA @ Kingdom

 

Nothing More will be the support act on the first leg.

 

 

For more information on ADRENALINE MOB, please visit www.adrenalinemob.com.

Steelesque Is Meta-Rocking With Johnny On The Spot

A quick way to describe the sound of the June 2012 release “Johnny On The Spot” is the word “Olympian,” both in the sense of athletic power-lifting and in the sense of large columns of marble (i.e. “rock”). But it isn’t in your best interest to be too hasty in trying to describe what Rob Eldridge and Josh Egan are doing in this first major offering under the banner of Steelesque. The equation that Steelesque’s super computer is running on is dense and deserves the time to decode carefully.

The overdrive energy of the two-man guitar and drum front might remind a bit of a Black Keys arrangement, however the soundscape varies way beyond the heavy-handed, gin-joint persona of that duo. Also on this album, recorded in studio time split between the Pittsburgh and Burlington Vermont are guest musicians Mick Lykens (lead and slide guitar), Eric Bee (guitar), and Kevin Maurer (with an impressive mix of horns). This addition of artists makes one track to the next an adventurous shift. In fact, the variation of influences makes it difficult to identify a signature in the sound of Steelesque, but this more than resolves itself in the fact that the songs are unlimited by any formulaic approach. In a sense, Johnny On The Spot has the feel of a greatest hits album for what Steelesque can do with the wide range of licks and lyricism at their disposal. The predominant vibe of what emerges is an unapologetic rock-homage to rock-itself.

By way of a run-list of what you might listen for: Big board effects on vocals and crazy amped guitars (not loud or dramatically distorted, but crazy good in the effect combinations that are fitted together); Occasional wild background recordings and sound bites; Some British festival rock qualities that lean toward jam band aspects (particularly in track 3, “Life Fast Wheel,” which takes off flying like a neo-Dead track or Lotus/Phish piece); Some old-school country guitar popping up in the midst of smoothly syncopated vocals on track 4, “Raven Don’t Mind;” Well engineered cross-fading, big electric rift-outs on several tracks as well as a quirky Apple Studios-style spoken word and electric drift-in on the sixth/final track “Dead Bee;” J.R.R. Tolkien fan-boy references on the Rush-spirited track 5, “Tom Bombadill;” and, Overall, cool variations in lyrical/vocal mood and color from song to song – sometimes a bit Robin Trowery, sometimes a bit Alice Cooperish, sometimes a bit Bowiesque. If that all sounds a bit tour de force, it’s because it really is.


To express the resounding effect of Johnny On The Spot I have to give a personal association that became obvious to me while listening. My brother beat the snot out of me on a somewhat regular basis growing up, but he more than made up for it by introducing me to the breadth of Classic Rock (from AC/DC to Zappa) before it was called “classic.” Although he listened to a wide array of artists, he was discriminating in his rock interest, even down to the finer distinctions between bands like RATT, Twisted Sister, Quiet Riot, and WASP. I mention this because, as far afield as Steelesque’s Johnny on the Spot is from being a glam rock product, you can nevertheless hear a studied ear of rock-at-large working in the instrumentation and structure of each track on the album. When I consider the virtues of rock songs I often ask myself if my big brother would like it. He lives in the Chicago area now, but when I send him Johnny on the Spot I know he is going to rock out this album in his Steeler-fied garage.

Steeleque’s Johnny On The Spot is available for sale on iTunes, and for test drive at: steelesque.bandcamp.com or Spotify.