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A stone classic from B.O.C., live in 1975. You simply must check out the gorgeous solo from Buck Dharma.

If you’ve read Pointy Guitar for any amount of time, you probably know that multi-instrumentalist/composer/visionary Mike Keneally is a house favorite. Mike has embarked on a tour with bassist Doug Lunn and drummer Gregg Bendian and spoke with Anil Prasad at Innerviews. As with any Keneally interview, the topics and references are wide and robust. Here he spotlights a favorite piece of gear:

The shining star is a 1988 Fender Clapton Stratocaster. I got it from Fender moments after the Frank Zappa tour ended in 1988. They brought it to me to check out while I was hanging out in the studio with XTC while they were recording Oranges and Lemons. The guitar just sings. It has a beautiful vocal-like quality to it and I’ve leaned on it heavily.

Read oh so much more at Innerviews.

Right here.

Check out David Tronzo’s trio playing live at the Shapeshifter Lab in Brooklyn. Quite a ride.

If you thought that My Bloody Valentine had ceased to exist, it’s no wonder: Their most recent  record came out over two decades ago. Now guitarist/main man Kevin Sheilds tells NME that there will be a followup to 1991′s blissfully noisy Loveless. And he says fans will embrace the new music:

I think with this record, people who like us will immediately connect with something. Based on the very, very few people who’ve heard stuff, some people think it’s stranger than Loveless. I don’t. I feel like it really frees us up, and in the bigger picture it’s 100 per cent necessary.

Read more at NME.

Right here.

 

Yeah, but can he play the blues?

Just kidding. This is an absolute classic from the late Michael Hedges, “Because It’s There.”

Hot on the heels of Rolling Stone‘s perplexing and muddled “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time,” Guitar World has issued a saner listing of greats. Their article, “30 on 30: The Greatest Guitarists Picked by the Greatest Guitarists” gets it better. Leave it to a guitar publication to please a bitchy guitarist, I suppose.

The 30 panelists make some predictable choices: Eddie Van Halen cites Eric Clapton, Joe Satriani cites Jimi Hendrix, etc. And then there are some interesting surprises, such as Steve Vai’s take on Brian May:

He’s probably one of the top identifiable guitar players, even more so than Beck, Page and Clapton.His contribution to orchestrated guitars is unprecedented. There was nothing like it before him. To me, it was like when Edward Van Halen came along and reshaped the sound of electric guitar. That’s what I heard in Brian May’s playing.

And Mick Mars’ praise of Alvin Lee:

Alvin brought a real explosive side to the blues. Some people said they couldn’t handle it, but I thought he was great.

Alex Skolnick raves about Jimmy Herring, as did Doug Morrison right here on Pointy. Time to really dig into him.

Read the entire set of 30 at GW.

Right here.

Guitar Muse is running a cool article featuring three guitar greats who might’ve packed it in in the face of adversity. In addition to the tales of Django Reinhardt and Tony Iommi, they characterize the necessary transformation of Wes Montgomery:

(B)y the time he got home and had time to practice, his wife was sleeping. To prevent waking her, he played with his thumb instead of a pick–this infused his playing style with a soft, smooth sound.

Necessity truly is the mother of invention.

Read the full article at GM.

Right here.

Purveyors of instrumental heaviness Russian Circles have checked into Chicago’s Phantom Manor studio where they’ll craft the followup to 2009′s Geneva. As bassist Brian Cook says in a press release:

We’re excited to get into recording and be somewhat sheltered from the outside world. We’re going to try to make the same ebb and flow of our live set happen on the record, with more constructive dynamics and dramatic bridging between songs.

Read more at Lambgoat.

Right here.

This past weekend saw a star-studded ensemble turn out for the ALS benefit, the Jason Becker’s Not Dead Yet Fest. Named after the guitarist who was diagnosed with the disease in the late 1980s, the concert featured a preponderance of guitar giants: Michael Lee Firkins, Steve Lukather, Marty Friedman, Jeff Watson and Joe Satriani were among the performers. The show’s namesake was present too, as Matt Blackett reports at Guitar Player:

The man of the hour, Jason Becker, caught the whole show from the side of the stage and caught the love that filled the room from start to finish. Just about every performer talked about how awed they were by Jason’s talent and spirit. The guys in Flametal put it best when they said, “We’d love to play some of Jason’s music but it’s just too f***ing hard.”

Amen.

How about that Jason Becker? I’ve forever been wowed by his towering skills, but am even more blown away by his spirit.

Read the full report at GP.

Right here.

Guitarist Alex Skolnick is busy these days, as summarized in a recent interview with Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles. In the article he touches on changing record labels, a new Testament album and the new Alex Skolnick Trio album, Veritas:

I just wanted to make a statement about doing something that feels truthful. It’s a scary concept. People freak out about the truth. We all get in situations where we’re not being truthful, especially to ourselves. This was an album where I really felt like it felt right. This is what I want to do.

Read more and see the cover of Veritas at BW&BK.

Right here.

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