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.

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.”

Next Page »


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 43 other followers