Thursday, April 27, 2017

New Music - Chuck Berry!

Hot on the heels of the new release by Prince (despite the fact that the courts have delayed it) is new music from Chuck Berry, who died ealier this year (March 18).

Featured on the video below is "Wonderful Woman". The song features not only Chuck Berry (guitar & vocals) but son and 2 grand-children (who also played in his band for years), as well as Texas blues player Guy Clark, Jr.

The song is from his new album "Chuck", which can be pre-ordered from his website. Also available on video (and his web-site) is the lead single, "Big Boys"....also featured below!

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

April 24...Goodbye to Lila.

1184 BC - Traditional date of the fall of Troy.

1800 - The United States Library of Congress is established.

1895 - Joshua Slocum becomes the first man to solo sail around the world.

2017 - The world loses one of the greatest minds in history when Robert M. Pirsig - author of "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" and "Lila" - dies at his home in South Berwick, Maine (USA). He was 88.

Friday, April 21, 2017


753 BC - Romulus founds Rome....

1947 - Birthday of Godfather of Punk, Iggy Pop.

1967 - The Beatles complete the recordings for Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.

1982 - Joe Strummer of the Clash disappeared for three weeks...until he was found in Paris. After the tour was cancelled.

1990 - Paul McCartney sets new world record - largest paying stadium audience in history - when he plays for 184,000 in a stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

1990 - In the US, Sinead O'Connor's version of "Nothing Compares 2 U" (written by Prince) goes to number 1 on the charts and stays there for 4 weeks, making her a superstar.

2013 - Calvin Harris makes history by becoming the first artist to have eight top 10 hits from a single album (the former record of 7 was held by Michael Jackson).

2016 - The world loses 2 music legends: blues master Lonnie Mack and pop icon & musical genius Prince.

GUITAR GODS: Ottmar Liebert

Ottmar Liebert - This man is a stunning player and an incredible composer. I heard him on a compilation album with players like Paco de Lucia, Jesse Cook, Strunz & Farah, Al DiMeola, and others. I immediately ran out and bought what was, at the time, his only album.

It was called "Nouveau Flamenco" (released 1990) and featured his unique fusion of flamenco-influenced instrumental music.

That album went double platinum in the US and garnered gold & platinum status from Canada to Australia to Mexico and more.

By the next year, he had released "Borrasca", which immediately went gold in the US and was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best New Age Album....his first of FIVE such Grammy nominations.

27 years and as many albums later, the German-born guitarist & composer is still selling out concert halls around the world and making incredible music.

His current Luna Negra tour will take him all over Europe and North America, and I know that I, for one, am eagerly awaiting his next album!

Learn more about this gifted performer at his WEBSITE.

I had a chance to chat with Ottmar recently - check it out!

Thursday, April 20, 2017


I first heard Jesse Cook years ago on some Narada sampler CD. Jesse Cook was among the players, and a real standout for me. I ran out and looked him up and have been a fan of his music ever since.

Apparently I'm not alone!

A dozen solo albums (and a new one on the way), twice as many guest appearances & compilations, 4 DVDs, multiple gold & platinum certifications, world tours, 8 Juno Award nominations (with one win, for Best Instrumental Album for his record "Free Fall"), and more, and Jesse hasn't slowed one bit.

You may have heard his music on various TV shows (like "Sex and the City") or at the Olympics (figure skater Irina Slutskaya of Russia won a bronze medal skating to Jesse's "Mario Takes a Walk" at the 2006 Winter Olympics) or on late night (performing with Charlotte Church on the Tonight Show). Or you might, though Cook is usually the headliner, have seen him opening for legends like Diane Krall or B.B. King or Ray Charles.

And that is just the tip of the iceberg.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

PRINCE - New Album & Websites

As being reported by USA Today, Billboard, and others, the estate of Prince has released the song "Deliverance" and will release (4-21-2017) a 6 song EP of previously unreleased material.

It will be available on iTunes.

Prince died last year (2016) - read the essay on Prince's path & passing HERE at SD Magazine.

To keep track of Prince news, visit the official Prince web-site for Paisley Park. His Online Museum shoul dbe back on-line soon, though their Facebook Page continues to be active, as is Warner's official Prince page at facebook as well as its dedicated page.

You can also join the mailing list at the last website Prince had before his passing.

Hear the new song at the official Soundcloud page HERE or watch the video from one of the official Youtube channels below.

UP-DATE: Reuters is reporting:

NEW YORK — A U.S. judge has blocked a planned release of new Prince music on the anniversary of his death this week.

The Minnesota district court on Wednesday issued a temporary injunction barring the release of the six-song EP “Deliverance” after Prince’s estate argued that the recordings breached a confidentiality agreement between Prince and his former sound engineer.

According to court documents, Judge Wilhelmina Wright also ordered engineer Ian Boxhill to hand over all “original recordings, analog and digital copies, and any derivative works” to Prince’s estate.

“Deliverance” was due to go on sale on Friday and would have marked the first in a series of planned posthumous releases of material by Prince from the huge vault of discarded or unfinished material he reportedly left behind.....

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

GUITAR GODS: Tommy "O" Organ

Tommy Organ (a.k.a. Tommy O).

If you haven't heard the name, you've most certainly heard his playing. TV sessions (like George Lopez's house band to the Grammy Awards and more) to albums (from Ray Charles to TLC to Toni Braxton to Beyonce to Lionel Ritchie to Mary J. Blidge and more) to world tours (Usher to Janet Jackson and more) and more still.

Tommy played guitar for Bill Clinton's Inauguration (and the Inauguration Ball), MTV Music Awards, Arsenio Hall's house band, both Leno & Letterman...he is a go-to session player for everyone from Gladys Knight to Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis....and if you saw Michael Jackson's film "This Is It" (for the "This Is It" tour), then you saw the twin guitar team of Orianthi and Tommy.

Friday, April 14, 2017

SD Magazine Publisher Releases Album

NEW MUSIC from Skinny Devil Magazine publisher David M. McLean (creator of Skinny Devil Music Lab). A short 3-song EP of old flok & blues pieces titled "Public Domain".

Available at BandCamp: PUBLIC DOMAIN

A collection of David's work at Reverbnation.

Following several shows performing this material, he will begin recording a 5-song EP of new original material.

GUITAR GODS: Alan Robinson

I first heard Alan play several years back when we were performing guests at a high school for a music clinic. Hearing Alan play, and then hearing him tell some of his story & answer questions from the students, was...well, it was a very special morning.

Alan clearly possesses immeasurable kowledge and skill, and just as clearly has immeasurable fun while playing! This is evidenced on his recordings as well as when you see him on stage (both of which I highly recommend).

Alan was a Sergeant Major (now retired) with the US Army and played in the 202nd Army Band as Principle Guitarist. He was also, in a break from his military career (after securing a Bachelor of Music from the famed Berklee School of Music in Boston, MA and a Masters of Music from EKU) an Assistant Professor of Music/ Director of Contemporary Music and Jazz Studies at Pikeville College and Director of Bands (South Floyd High School). He also attended the US Army School of Music. Now, post-military, he is returning to school (this time at University of KY, fall 2017) starting work for his Doctorate of Music.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Pentatonic Chord Voicings

Pentatonic Chord Voicings
Alan Robinson
Hey everyone! It's time for a new lesson in chord voicing. For this lesson we are going to stay with the focus on pentatonic scales, but rather than seeing them as an actual scale we are going to create chords. Just like major and minor scales yield chords by stacking diatonic 3rds this process will be similar. Traditional harmony uses the following intervals to create triads: M3rd+m3d= Maj triad, m3rd+M3rd = min triad. There are three different formulas for pentatonic chords using the following intervals: M2+P5, m3rd+P5, m3rd+m6th. Note as a stand alone that I didn't identify these "chord formulas" as major or minor. The reason for this is that they are all related to a shared root and actually derived from the pentatonic shape more than the intervals that are yielded. Hopefully, this will make more sense as we move forward.
Let's work with Box #1 of the pentatonic scale. We will use E minor pentatonic for all examples.