This Just In - A Conversation With Robin Meade - Part 1

She's the anchor of HLN Morning Express with Robin Meade on CNN. She's a former Miss Ohio. She's exceptionally talented singer, songwriter and artist who's now released two CDs. Robin Meade recently sat down with me to talk about her new album, Count On Me, as well as her career in broadcasting, balancing multiple creative paths and more. Click on the link below to watch Part 1 of my interview with Robin, and make sure to check her out at...

Guitar Talk with Metallica’s Kirk Hammett

When it comes to getting a great guitar tone, Metallica’s Kirk Hammett takes a no-frills approach: “It’s really very simple,” he tells “I don’t have a bunch of parametric equalizers or anything like that. I’m just very simple.” It’s a method that’s golden. At this point in his career trajectory, Hammett is a true guitar icon. There isn’t a “Best of” list he hasn’t topped, and fans and critics alike recognize his talent and skillful approach to the art of guitar. With Metallica’s Orion Music + More festival set...

The Guitar World of Richie Sambora

Richie Sambora is responsible for writing some of the best-known rock songs of the past thirty years, together with Jon Bon Jovi. Sambora’s fast bluesy solos and infectious riffing is half the fun at a Bon Jovi show. Richie, who is attending to a private matter, won’t be on stage with Jon and the boys when Bon Jovi tour Europe this month. Here we present some interesting thoughts from Sambora on guitar playing, song writing, and music in general. In an interview with in 2000, around the...

The Old School Sound of Martin Harley

Martin Harley considers himself to have very much an old school approach when writing music. Though many writers prefer to hone their craft in an office setting with appointments throughout the day, he says he has to strike when the moment is hot. “Structure and planning doesn’t really help me get there,” he says of the writing process. “I wish I could get up at 8am, put the coffee on, sit in a space, and just start hammering...

The World of Guitar According to Tony Iommi

Few would dispute that heavy metal’s most ominous strains can be traced to one source: Tony Iommi. Beginning with Black Sabbath’s 1970 debut album, Iommi ushered in a dark, sludgy sound that through the years has impacted bands as varied as Nirvana and Metallica. Sabbath’s new CD, 13, harks back to the style of such vintage classics as “Iron Man,” War Pigs” and “Children of the Grave.” Below, we gather some choice quotes from Iommi about his life as a pioneering guitarist.

The Gibson Interview: Black Star Riders

Black Star Riders is the new band formed by the touring members of Thin Lizzy. Debut album All Hell Breaks Loose is out now and is getting rave reviews. Understandably so, as Black Star Riders’ debut echoes the classic twin Les Paul sound of ‘70s Thin Lizzy with added punch, swagger and some seriously good guitar to go. Black Star Riders are Ricky Warwick (ex-Almighty frontman), Scott Gorham (Thin Lizzy Les Paul legend), Damon Johnson (guitarist for Brother Cane, Alice Cooper...

Lonestar - Twenty Years and Counting

A twenty year anniversary is cause for celebration, and Lonestar is marking this career milestone in more ways than one. Reunited with original lead singer Richie McDonald, the multi-platinum quartet is working hard on a brand new album and embarking on an extensive anniversary tour, with over 90 dates scheduled in North America alone. "Twenty years ago, when we put this little band together to play in some bars and make a little money, I dreamed it pretty good," admits keyboard player and...

Larry Wiater - Texaco Country Showdown Gearing Up for Another Year

For more than three decades the name "Country Showdown" has been synonymous with country music's most important talent contest. Beginning at the local level and graduating to state, regional, and finally a national competition each year, the Country Showdown has carried the name of a variety of major sponsors. Initially known as the Wrangler Country Showdown, the contest has been named for ...

Flying high with Vintage Trouble courtesy of 'Live at 35'

I've interviewed and covered countless music events over the years, but my opportunity to go on a unique and exciting "Live at 35" adventure with the band Vintage Trouble on Friday, May 24 certainly ranks as one of the most memorable and exciting. Check out this video which chronicles my adventure and also provides you a chance to hear from members of the Los Angeles-based rock 'n' soul band, which offered up one of the standout performances I caught at Coachella Weekend 2 last month.

Jo Dee Messina Talks My Time, Our Music

The Beatles once sang, “I get by with a little help from my friends.” Jo Dee Messina is looking for just that for her new album. After an amicable split from Curb, Messina has taken to Kickstarter to raise funds for “My Time, Our Music.” Backers can pledge funds at various levels ranging from $5 to $10,000 plus. Each tier brings rewards ranging from autographed merchandise to playing onstage at a show or having Messina come to your home to cook dinner. A goal of $100,000 must be reached by ...
Tower of Power photographed on 12/02/11 in El Cajon (San Diego) and on 12/03/11 at Club Nokia in Los Angeles.

Tower of Power Still Hip After 45 Years

More than four decades ago, tenor sax player Emilio Castillo and baritone sax player Doc Kupka founded Tower of Power in the San Francisco Bay area, and an American musical institution was born. With hot horn arrangements and a rock-solid rhythm section, Tower of Power hasn't changed with the times; they still come out blazing night after night with a heavy dose of soul-infused rockin' funk that can be imitated but not equaled. Famous for such hits as "You're Still a Young Man" (written by Castillo and...

Ron Levy: Life with Flying V Giant Albert King

Blues ‘n’ groove keyboard MVP and producer Ron Levy has spent more than 40 years on the road and in the studio, leading his own bands — including his exploratory, long-running outfit Wild Kingdom — and working with a cavalcade of influential artists. That extraordinarily long list includes B.B. King, the band Roomful of Blues, Muddy Waters and Magic Sam disciple Luther “Guitar Jr.” Johnson, and funk-jazz saxist Karl Denson among others. All of that and more is chronicled in Levy’s first book, Tales Of...

There's A New Girl In Town....And Her Name Is Kalisa Ewing!

This Friday, May 31, will be one of those once-in-a-lifetime moments for newcomer Kalisa Ewing, who will me making her debut on the stage of the world famous Grand Ole Opry. “I am so excited about it,” she tells MNN. “It was one of those things that when Pete Fisher asked me if I would like to play the Opry, the next day I woke up and thought ‘Did that really just happen?” It’s a dream come true. I can’t wait.” How did this part of the...

Nick Autry: From North Carolina to Working with Industry Giants

Nick Autry is known to some in Nashville as a singer/songwriter/recording artist who, in addition to being a solo act, has fronted local and North Carolina bands like Hollywood Cowboy (he actually is a distant relative of Gene Autry's), the Jaggs and others. But for his day job, Autry serves as general manager of Black River Sound Stage, one of Music Row's most important recording studios. Overseeing the operation of the studio from booking to even engineering, Autry routinely works with some of the ...

Resurrected Prog-Rockers Flash Rock Again

After the Beatles, the Stones and the Who launched the assault on America known as the British Invasion, other British musicians who had been influenced by jazz and classical music as well as the blues and rock 'n' roll began to spread their creative wings, creating what the press coined "progressive rock." Bands like Yes, King Crimson, Emerson, Lake and Palmer and others took advantage of the creative floodgates having been opened and began to create pieces that would sometimes take up...
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