NEWS this mornin’...
Gibson reissues L6S Gibson’s L6S was the go-to guitar for Carlos Santana and Al Di Meola in the early ’70s and now it’s making a return to the fleet. The L6S was based on the Gibson L5S carved-top solidbody, and the reissue remains true to the original but with a few mods. The single cutaway body and slim profile neck are solid maple, there are 24 medium jumbo frets (it was the first Gibson with a full two-octave fingerboard) and there are two nitro finish options, antique natural or silverburst. The L6S’s two Alnico humbuckers and six-position ‘chickenhead’ pickup selector promise a breadth of tone that led the great Santana to call the guitar his ‘rainbow’. The L6S is considered by many to be an underrated instrument, and now it has a time to shine once again. There’s more over at www.gibson.com.
Hubert Sumlin RIP
1931-2011 Howlin’ Wolf’s legendary yet modest guitar player epitomised bravery, inspiration and playing for the song…
One of the blues world’s most admired guitarists, Hubert Sumlin, has died of heart failure aged 80. Sumlin spent much of his professional life as right-hand man to the legendary Howlin’ Wolf, and his subtle and unique electric fingerstyle sound influenced many of the best-regarded players of the ’60s rock-blues boom, including Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton and Keith Richards.
Sumlin was born in Mississippi and raised in Arkansas, where he was given his first guitar aged six. Having taught himself how to play, Sumlin began his career as a regular face on the Chicago blues scene, where he took up the position of second guitar for Wolf and soon became an indispensable part of Wolf’s haunting blues sound. For a brief time in 1956 Sumlin also did a stretch for Muddy Waters (earning himself a mouthful of broken teeth from the Wolf), but returned to
Wolf’s band after a punishing year’s worth of touring. With Wolf’s passing in 1976, he continued with his band until 1980, which they renamed the Wolf Pack.
Sumlin was rarely seen without his 1955 Gibson Les Paul goldtop, on which he concocted his own distinctive style with a uniquely biting tone. Not only was Sumlin nominated for four Grammys, he also ranked 43rd in Rolling Stone’s ‘100 Greatest Guitarists Of All Time’ and he was finally inducted into the Blues Foundation’s Hall Of Fame in 2008.
Sumlin could also take centre stage, and he put out a string of solo records from 1964 through to his final effort, 2004’s Blues Music Award-winning About The Shoes, featuring Keith Richards. As a final testament to his far-reaching influence, Jagger and Richards insisted they cover the costs of his funeral.
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Jim Dunlop has collaborated with blues-rocker Joe Bonamassa for the new Bonamassa Signature Cry Baby wah pedal. Looks-wise, the new unit has a swanky copper top with a sleek ‘smooth-finish’ black casing to match his faultless fingerplay and dapper image. Specifications include vintage-style ‘through-hole’ components, an output buffer that counters impedance imbalance with old-school fuzz pedals, a Halo inductor to sweeten your tone and a switch for true-bypass or non-true-bypass. The wah is engineered to have a wide vocal sweep range, making it one truly characterful option for your pedalboard. The new Dunlop wah costs $169.99 from www.jbonamassa.com, and comes with a free T-shirt. Happy soloing! IN ASSOCIATION WITH
NEW MACCA ALBUMPaulMcCartneyhasannounceda new studio project for 2012 McCartney’s new offering is set to include an eye-opening set list of songs that soundtracked his youth as well as two new numbers. Working with Grammy-winning producer Tommy LiPuma plus Diana Krall and her band, McCartney has promised to offer a glimpse into the songs which inspired the songs. ‘I realised how well structured these songs were,’ says Paul. ‘I think I took a lot of my lessons from them.’ The album also features guest appearances from Eric Clapton and Stevie Wonder, and it’ll be released on Hear Music/Concord Records on February 7. A taster entitled My Valentine can be heard on www. paulmccartney.com right now.
NEWS IN BRIEF Jimi Hendrix app Described by Experience Hendrix as ‘your backstage pass to explore and learn the music, life and career of the legendary Jimi Hendrix’, this new app offers users the chance to find out everything they ever needed to know about the ‘greatest guitarist of all time’ with interactive chapters including immersive text, images, video, discography, filmography and an interactive ‘location lens’ that lets you explore key places in the Hendrix story. See www.jimihendrix.com.
Plug me in Two nifty new AmPlugs from Vox this month, the Night Train and the Twin. The Night Train is a headphone amp that simulates its big brother’s high-gain sound, with Bright and Thick settings for high-frequency and chunky sounds respectively, while the Twin aims for the sound of Vox’s classic dual-speaker AC30. Both offer a great way to practice your licks well into the early hours without landing yourself a noise abatement order.
Designer axe Modish readers will be thrilled to learn that iconic fashion designer Paul Smith has got together with Vintage guitars for a new limited edition downsized acoustic guitar, available in Paul Smith stores and on his website. The guitar has a maple neck, a spruce top and mahogany body, rosewood fingerboard and mahogany bridge. Smith has added a deep purple finish with a distinct Paul Smith ‘signature stripe’ inlaid around the rosette and his logo on the headstock. The guitar comes with a Paul Smith padded travel bag. The cost is £195; more at www.paulsmith.co.uk.
Calendar SHOWS, GIGS, FESTIVALS, WORKSHOPS 2
Oli Brown UK Tour APRIL Fast-rising blues rock star Oli Brown is taking his award-winning band to venues in major cities all across the UK next year to promote the release of his upcoming album Here I Am, due in March. WHERE? Various venues in the UK TICKETS See venues CONTACT 0844 478 0898; www.olibrownband.com; www.thegigcartel.com
Rodrigo Y Gabriela UK Tour 9-24 FEBRUARY The masterful Mexican acoustic duo take their fusion of folk, metal and Latin sounds on a short UK tour, this time with a full Cuban band in tow to promote their new studio album Area 52, set for release later this month. WHERE? Dublin, Glasgow, Manchester and London TICKETS £20-£25 CONTACT www.rodgab.com
Alvaston Hall Blues Weekend 23 - 26 MARCH Set in the beautiful Cheshire countryside, this event promises an awesome line-up including Chris Farlowe and the Norman Breaker Band, acoustic blues, late night jam sessions and indoor pool, tennis, archery and a nine-hole golf course. WHERE? Alvaston Hall, Nantwich, Cheshire TICKETS From £209 (standard accommodation) CONTACT 0870 601 6012; boogaloopromotions.com
Scarborough Blues Fest 2012 27 MARCH - 1ST APRIL A great little blues get-together featuring over 30 artists including Ian Siegal and Aynsley Lister. This intimate, friendly venue will host six nights of riff-fuelled fun for blues fans everywhere. WHERE? The Cask Inn, Scarborough TICKETS £8-£40 CONTACT 07956 925 925; www.scarboroughbluesclub.com
Rare Sex Pistols single online An extremely rare copy of the Sex Pistols’ God Save The Queen is up for sale online, but you’ll need to get saving to afford the whopping £10,000 price-tag. 991.com received the unplayed 1977 record in mint condition from an ‘ex-industry source with impeccable credentials’. Although it initially reached number two in the charts, A&M Records destroyed most of the copies after dropping the band, hence the hefty price.
The Lost Chord
Place the fingers carefully for this one, as this voicing gets a bit congested at the bottom of the fretboard. Play this chord slowly from lowest note to highest note to make the most of the flattened fifth on the top string, first fret. Resolve the tension by moving to either E or Em.
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