Geez, what’s going on around here? Mostly, we here are Pointy Guitar have had our heads buried in Jude Gold’s magnificent podcast “No Guitar is Safe.” The longtime Guitar Player scribe has taken to the net to interview tons of fascinating players including Pointy faves like Guthrie Govan, Frank Gambale, Oz Noy, and Steve Vai.

Maybe you should spend a few months listening this afternoon.

Right here.

This one is very tough to take. Rock icon David Bowie has died at 69, just days after the release of his album Blackstar. Bowie’s friend (and one of the few who knew of his ailment), Belgian theater director Ivo van Hove, speaking to dutchnews.nl, characterized the legend’s final days as follows, via The Independent:

Bowie was still writing on his deathbed, you could say. I saw a man fighting. He fought like a lion and kept working like a lion through it all. I had incredible respect for that.

Read more from The Independent right here.

Today the Internet is flooded with Bowie’s music and story. Got get some.

Now that it’s all over, all I can do is wish you well.

This one really stings: Guitar giant Riley B. “Blues Boy” King has departed. Of late the legend had fought a well publicized health battle before passing at 89. The New York Times boils B.B. down like this:

Mr. King married country blues to big-city rhythms and created a sound instantly recognizable to millions: a stinging guitar with a shimmering vibrato, notes that coiled and leapt like an animal, and a voice that groaned and bent with the weight of lust, longing and lost love.

Listen to some blues today and read more at NYT.

Right here.

The current realm of country music is as full of hot guitarists as any other. One only need listen to a few masterful measures played by Brent Mason or Brad Paisley to confirm this. Yet guitar solos are being excised from singles to appease an audience hungry not for artful playing, but seemingly for another verse filled with cliches that have been tired since Steve Goodman and John Prine lampooned them in “You Never Even Called My by My Name” in 1975. Billboard is running an insightful article on this topic wherein consultant Joel Raab puts it like this:

The listeners’ attention spans are shorter and shorter, and if they start getting bored with whatever it is that we’re doing it’s too easy for them to go somewhere else. So it’s really about forward momentum on the radio station. Is that guitar part moving everything forward? If it is, great. If it’s not, then maybe it needs to be edited.

Spoken like a true bean counter.

You can read more (and be sickened) at Billboard.

Right here.


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.

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