NEWS this mornin’...
Grover Jackson returns The legendary American luthier who masterminded the rise of both the Jackson and Charvel brands is back with his own California-based brand, GJ². The guitars are set to make their debut at the NAMM convention in California this month. The new line features neck-through-body construction, top components, pickups made in-house, pearl ‘Infinity’ inlays on the Arete 5-Star and 5-Star Korina models, a choice of woods, and high-gloss or rubbed oil finishes. Grover’s inventive design skills were brought to the fore when he built guitars for the elite of rock players throughout the 1980s, including Eddie Van Halen, Allan Holdsworth, Steve Vai, David Gilmour, Jeff Beck and Sammy Hagar. Grover also famously worked together with Ozzy Osbourne’s incredible guitarist Randy Rhoads in the early days of Jackson. Rock guitar enthusiasts can get their hands on one of the new Grover Jackson models now. Visit www.gj2guitars.com to see their full range and for details of stockists.
BEST OF BRITISH The ever-successful Birmingham Guitar Show, now renamed the Great British Guitar Show, will once again be returning to Birmingham’s New Bingley Hall on February 25-26 this year. ‘The decision to re-brand the show came about as we realised it was becoming a “national” show,’ says event manager Jason Hunt. ‘People were travelling from all over the UK to visit us, and as things developed we felt it necessary to tweak the show’s identity. Of course there will be a host of international brands in evidence but we’ll also be striving to showcase the incredibly rich talent of the British guitar industry.’ Amongst the brands showing their wares will be Laney, Ibanez, Boss, Fret-King, Line 6, Vigier, Vanquish, Rotosound, Patrick James Eggle and Blade. As if that wasn’t enough, Guitar & Bass will be making an appearance there too! Tickets cost £10 in advance; you’ll find all the latest at www. greatbritishguitarshow.co.uk.
Web corner THIS MONTH’S VIRAL GUITAR CLIP
Hubert Sumlin teaches Howlin’ Wolf’s Smokestack Lightning HTTP://BIT.LY/IAPV3L Out of respect for the late, great bluesman Hubert Sumlin we have decided to dedicate this month’s vintage guitar clip to the man himself. Here, Sumlin takes us through the masterful intro to Howlin’ Wolf’s classic blues standard with the help of his trusty 1955 Gibson Les Paul goldtop. What a riff.
MUSIC MAKER DUBLIN, IRELAND CONTACT +353 01677 9004 www.musicmaker.ie If you’ve never visited Dublin, then do – it’s a hive of musical activity with great street acts and scores of pubs playing host to solo artists, jam sessions and bands playing all styles of music from jigs and reels to full-on heavy rock. Music Maker is situated in the heart of the city. ‘We have to carry a big stock – there are so many musicians here,’ says Dave Neville. ‘We’re a pretty rock’n’roll store, as you can tell from the “No Stairway!” sign and the big brass Les Paul shop door handles…’
Layout This shop really does have a great rock vibe with four levels of old red-bricked rooms. Drums are at the top (revenge!) and then comes PA and acoustic guitars, while amps and guitars are on level one
New gear Yep, they’ve got the stuff: Fender, Duesenberg, Jackson, Eastwood, Musicman, Tanglewood, Gretsch, Avalon, Line 6, Takamine, plus amps from ZT, Markbass, Aguilar, Marshall, Fender, Vox, Hiwatt, Orange, Carvin, Ampeg and Blackstar. The effects section has too many brands to list
Secondhand gear Part-exchange is welcome on clean guitars, and we spotted some nice Rickys, Fenders and Gibsons. ‘This is a popular haunt for bargain hunters so good deals don’t stay for long’, warns Dave
Best bargain in the shop A Flying V with hard case at 800 Euros, and a Blackstar Artisan 15H head and cab was also a cool half price deal at 900 Euros
Highlight Music Maker is very proactive on the live scene, providing back-line for various live events and instore workshops, while working with schools and providing a really good in-store repair service Conclusion We were touched at how much time and attention a youngster was being given while trying out a first guitar, yet the experienced staff – who all play in bands – can get as in-depth and techy as anyone could want. Definitely worth a visit
VITAL STATISTICS Layout 19 /20 Staff knowledge 19 /20 Staff helpfulness 19 /20 Range of new gear 17 /20 Range of secondhand gear 15/ 20 Parking Plenty on side streets
12 Guitar & Bass FEBRUARY 2012 IN ASSOCIATION WITH
Soundtrack of my life
The exploratory guitarist reveals the music that sent him on a journey from Mississippi to the Sahara – and beyond
Few players have mixed African and Western styles with the deftness of touch of Justin Adams. He honed his approach during an eight-year stint on guitar with Jah Wobble’s Invaders Of The Heart, and Led Zep fans will know him from Robert Plant’s Strange Sensation band. Saharan sensations Tinariwen hit the big time with the help of Adams’ production skills, and he’s now one of the top knobtwiddlers in pan-continental music. Right now his focus is on a partnership with Gambian Juldeh Camara, player of the riti, a one-string harp. Dubbed JuJu, the pair’s hypnotic jams have thrilled listeners both live and on CD with the new album, In Trance.
Otis Redding THE VERY BEST OF I was into punk as a teen, but this led me back to the blues. On songs like Try A Little Tenderness Steve Cropper’s guitar is so restrained, yet it’s the anchor of the arrangement – the whole band is just sitting with that rhythmical guitar. The playing is just so funky! It was an explosion for me.
Blind Willie Johnson DARK WAS THE NIGHT I love the spooky lyrics and the gravelly voice that sounds like it comes from another world – it’s as dark as hell. He played mostly bottleneck.
The rhythmic drive that he got on Soul Of A Man… I defy anybody in the world to play like that now. It becomes like waves of sound. It’s just totally gut-wrenching.
Richard and Linda Thompson I WANT TO SEE THE BRIGHT LIGHTS TONIGHT You can hear Richard had been listening to flute, violin and even bagpipes on folk tunes, and he’s trying to get some of those sounds with his guitar.
He was doing these very emotive bends, almost singing with the guitar, but he always had that raw, spiky tone. The guitar sound on Calvary Cross just killed me.
Ali Farke Touré NIAFUNKÉ He was the first to take traditional African music and figure out how to get those sounds on an electric guitar. I love the drone and the rhythmic flow of the guitar and I was drawn to his mean, bluesy, dark tone. It swings like crazy but it’s also very trancey, with tough minor keys and seventh notes.
Staples Singers THE BEST OF THE VEE-JAY YEARS I love Pops Staples’ playing on this early stuff – he’s got this beautiful tremolo sound. He’s playing the bass notes with his thumb… it’s a gentle sound, but it’s 100 per cent groove. Listen to You Don’t Knock – those pentatonic scales are simple, but there’s nobody left that can play them like Pops Staples. Nobody!
Tinariwen THE RADIO TISDAS SESSIONS I went to the Sahara to meet Tinariwen when we made this record and it was quite an experience. For them their music is a heavy cultural statement about their people. They somehow subtly adapt the sights and sounds of the desert into their music, but they know about rock’n’roll, too – they really love it!
DVD of the month
The Love We Make PAUL MCCARTNEY Eagle Vision This touching black and white film shadows McCartney as he explores New York’s memories of 9-11 in the build-up to the Concert For New York City. A moving journey, both intimate and uplifting.
Fret-King Eclat DBC released Fret-King has announced a new signature electric for primo Brit rock guitarist Dave ‘Bucket’ Colwell. Colwell worked with luthier extraordinaire Trevor Wilkinson to develop it, aiming for a vintage feel that would befit a guitarist who’s played all over the world with the likes of Paul Rodgers’ Bad Company and Humble Pie as well as his own rock outfit, Bucket & Co. This lightweight solidbody has a two-piece, centre-joined mahogany body with ‘thumbscoop’ for easy access to the upper frets, a rosewood fretboard with 22 frets and is armed with a Wilkinson dog-ear WP90 single-coil. Now all you need is a crazy nickname. See www.fret-king.com for more.
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