Hello all, we are now in March, 2012... 'RizMum' blog sure is getting slower now, but as promised I will try my best to keep on going... and its been awhile now since my last post (T_T) and to update this took me almost a year, anyhow, this will be my final year so you guys know how it is when the big "E" comes. So guys, see you in my next post and keep on SHREDDING!!!! And as always please feel free to drop a suggestion/ideas via e-mail, Thanks

Saturday, 24 July 2010

Paco de Lucía (Paco de Lucía Sextet)

Name: Francisco Sánchez Gómez
Born: 21st December, 1947 (Algeciras, Cádiz, Spain)

Profile: He is a Spanish composer and guitarist. Recognized as a virtuoso flamenco guitarist all over the world, he is a leading proponent of the Modern Flamenco style, and is one of the very few flamenco guitarists who has also successfully crossed over into other genres of music. Paco enjoys, and has been a successful musician in, many styles such as classical, jazz and world music. He is the winner of the 2004 Prince of Asturias Awards in Arts and in 2010 he was awarded an honorary doctorate by Berklee College of Music in Boston.

History: Born in a musical family, his father was flamenco guitarist Antonio Sánchez, brother of flamenco singer Pepe de Lucía and flamenco guitarist Ramón de Algeciras. At age 11, Paco made his first public appearance on Radio Algeciras, and a year later was awarded a special prize in the Jerez flamenco competition.

In 1961, he toured with the flamenco troupe of dancer José Greco, Three years later, he met Madrid guitarist Ricardo Modrego with whom he recorded 3 albums: 'Dos guitarras flamencas', 'Dos guitarras flamencas en stereo', and 'Doce canciones de Federico García Lorca para guitarra'. Between 1968 and 1977, he enjoyed a fruitful collaboration with fellow New Flamenco singer Camarón de la Isla. The two recorded 10 albums together. His 1976 album, 'Almoraima' was a success and featured notable tracks such as 'Almoraima' and 'Río Ancho', the latter track of which has been covered by other guitarists such as Al Di Meola.

In 1979, Paco, John McLaughlin, and Larry Coryell formed "The Guitar Trio" and together made a brief tour of Europe and released a video recorded at London's Royal Albert Hall entitled Meeting of Spirits. Coryell was later replaced by Al Di Meola, and since 1981, the trio has recorded 3 albums. Paco's own band, the Paco de Lucía Sextet (which includes his brothers Ramón and Pepe) released the first of its three albums that same year. He has released several albums encompassing both traditional and modern flamenco styles.

In 1995, he recorded with Bryan Adams the hit song and video 'Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman' on the soundtrack for the movie Don Juan DeMarco. Through his wide discography he has advanced the technical and musical boundaries of his instrument. The University of Cadiz recognized Paco's musical and cultural contributions by conferring on him the title of Doctor Honoris Causa in 2007.

Influences: Antonio Sánchez (father)

Axology: Almeria classical guitars

Signature song(s): Almoraima - Paco de Lucía (Almoraima, 1976)

Link(s): (Official website)

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Olivia Newton Bundy (Marilyn Manson/LUNGS)

Name: Brian Tutunick
Born: 31st March, 1968 (Tampa, Florida, USA)

Profile: He is an American musician, vocalist and was the original bass player for "Marilyn Manson & the Spooky Kids", he played during the first part of 1990, before Gidget Gein took over bass guitar in June the same year. His stage name combination is from actress/singer Olivia Newton-John (Grease), and Ted Bundy (the American serial killer).

History: Started to play guitar in his teens, then moved to bass few years later. In April 1990, Tutunick were brought in the "Marilyn Manson & the Spooky Kids" band as their bassist after, Manson and Daisy got their first club booking.

After he left the band, Tutunick founded "Collapsing Lungs" (aka LUNGS) in 1991, as a vocalist. "LUNGS" headlined the 1993 Slammie Awards at the Plus Five Lounge in Davie - the same year that rival band "Marilyn Manson" won the Slammie Awards for Band of the Year and for Song of the Year, 'Dope Hat'.

In 1993, "LUNGS" was signed to Atlantic Records. A year later, the band split after 3 years, although long disbanded, they played a one-off, well received reunion gig in 2003 at the Culture Room in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA.

In 1996, Tutunick along with notable DJ Grynch formed the industrial band, "Nation of Fear". They released the song 'Immortal' on a compilation CD for the rock station 94.9 WZTA. Later that year, "Nation of Fear" would release their well-received self-titled album on DiMar Records. They would go on tour with "Genitorturers" and were even joined on tour by "Lords of Acid".

In 1998, the band's released their second album, 'Everything Beautiful Rusts', while receiving much more attention, Tutunick failed to keep the band together and by 2000 they had broken up. Tutunick can now be seen on a weekly music show Feedback featured on the PAX TV channel.

Influences: Unknown

Axology: Unknown

Signature song(s): Faster - Nation of Fear

Link(s): (Official Myspace)

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Shah (Exists/Slam)

Name: Shah Nizam Abdul Halim
Born: Unknown (Kg. Bakar Batu, Johor Bahru, Malaysia)

Profile: He is a Malaysian multi-talented musician, composer, producer, singer and an actor. He is notably known for his works as a guitarist in most of Malaysian top and legendary bands such as "Exists", "Search" and he was the founder of "Slam".

History: He started to play guitar in his early teens, and while still in high-school, Shah joined the 'all-teens band', "Exists" in 1990. This band was the starting point for his career as a professional guitarist. The band was a successful hits in Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei, with the single 'Oh! Ibu'.

After "Exists" second album, Shah left the band and met up with guitarist Ajak, bassist Lili and drummer Man, together they planned to form a new band, with the help of legendary composer Saari Amri. Zamani (vocalist) was the last to joined them, and by 1993, "Slam" was officially formed.

In the mid 90's, Shah and "Slam" released hits songs such as 'Tak Mungkin Berpaling', 'Mentari Muncul Lagi' and 'Gerimis Mengundang'. After Zamani left the band in the late 90's, Shah was already one of the high in-demand sessionist, he even produced "Slam" last album, 'Selamanya...' with 80% of the songs was composed and written by him.

In 1999, Shah joined Malaysian favorite rock band, "Search", after replacing the band's long time guitarist Kid (Search). With the band, Shah as the lead guitarist only collaborated in one album, 'Selepas Banjir'. He left the band in 2000, and tried to reunite back with "Slam" as a singer and guitarist.

Currently, Shah still works in the music industry as a session guitarist and producer. He even produced the Indie band "Sunday" back in 2003 and have worked with various artist for live performances and albums.

Influences: Joe Satriani

Axology: Fender Stratocaster

Signature song(s): Mentari Muncul Lagi (Unplugged) - Slam (Konsert Unplugged, 1997) and Kejoraku Bersatu - Search (Selepas Banjir, 1999)


Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Roy Clark (Million Dollar Band)

Name: Roy Linwood Clark
Born: 15th April, 1933 (Meherrin, Virginia, USA)

Profile: He is an American country music musician and performer. He is best known for hosting Hee Haw, a nationally televised country variety show, from 1969 to 1992. He is an entertainer most of all, with an amiable personality and a telegenic presence. He is highly regarded as both a guitarist and banjo player, and is also skilled in classical guitar as well as playing several other instruments.

History: At the age of 14, Young Clark began playing banjo, guitar, and mandolin. He won two National Banjo Championships by the age of 15. He was simultaneously pursuing a sporting career, first as a baseball player, and then as a boxer, before switching over to music full time. At the age of 17, he had his first appearance on the Grand Ole Opry. By the time he was 15 he had already won the world banjo/guitar flatpick championship twice.

By 1955, he was a regular on Jimmy Dean's Washington, DC television program, where Clark played on Dean's band, the "Texas Wildcats". In 1960, Clark went out to Las Vegas where he worked as guitarist in a band led by former West Coast Western Swing bandleader-comedian Hank Penny. During the 60's, he was also prominent in the backing band for Wanda Jackson during the latter part of her rockabilly period.

When Dean was tapped to host The Tonight Show in the early 60's, he asked Clark to appear, introducing him to a national audience for the first time. Subsequently, Clark appeared on The Beverly Hillbillies as a recurring character. Once, on an episode of the Sunday evening Jackie Gleason Show dedicated to country music, Clark played a blistering rendition of 'Down Home'. Later, he even appeared on an episode of The Odd Couple where he played 'Malagueña'.

In 1963, Clark signed to Capitol Records and had three top 10 hits. He switched to Dot Records and again scored hits. He later recorded for ABC Records, which had acquired Dot, and MCA Records, which absorbed the ABC label. In 1969, Clark and Buck Owens were the hosts of Hee Haw. The show was dropped by CBS Television in 1971 but continued to run in syndication for 20 more years. During its tenure, Clark was a member of the "Million Dollar Band".

In 1983, Clark opened the Roy Clark Celebrity Theatre in Branson, Missouri, becoming the first country music star to have his own venue there, and beginning a trend which led to Branson becoming a center of live music performance, as it is today. Many of the celebrities who have played in Branson first entertained at the Roy Clark Celebrity Theatre. Clark frequently played in Branson during the 80's and 90's. He has since sold the venue and gone back to a fairly light touring schedule, which usually includes a performance with Ramona Jones and the Jones Family Band at their annual tribute to Clark's old Hee Haw co-star Grandpa Jones in Mountain View, Arkansas.

In addition to his musical skill, Clark has often displayed his talents as a comedian and actor. During his years on Hee Haw, Clark entertained with numerous comedy sketches, including a recurring feature where he played the clerk of the 'Empty Arms Hotel'. Clark released several albums of his comedic performances, to varying critical acclaim and commercial success.

Influences: Unknown

Axology: Mosrite guitars, Gretsch guitars and Heritage guitars - Roy Clark model

Signature song(s): Yesterday, When I Was Young - Roy Clark

Link(s): (Official website)

Monday, 19 July 2010

Steve Stevens

Name: Steven Schneider
Born: 5th May, 1959 (Brooklyn, New York, USA)

Profile: He is an American guitarist and songwriter. He is best known for playing for other artists, most notably Billy Idol, Michael Jackson, and Vince Neil and less known for his critically acclaimed solo efforts in 'Atomic Playboys' and 'Flamenco A Go-Go', and as an in-demand session guitarist.

History: Steve attended New York City's prestigious Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Performing Arts as a music major, studying the guitar, and graduating in 1977.

In 1979, Steve played in a band called "One Hand Clap" with lead singer Ray Melnik. They played Long Island clubs almost six nights a week for about a year. Steve and Ray eventually moved on to join the "Fine Malibus" in New York City. They caught the attention of Jimmy Miller (producer) and he arranged for them to record an album at Compass Point Studios, in Bahamas.

They spent 2 months there in 1981 and even played a local club at night. At Compass Point Studios is where Steve met singer Robert Palmer. Steve moved on when manager of Fine Malibus (Ric Aliberte) introduced him to Billy Idol, and made an agreement with Idol to signed Steve into his band.

His hit-making collaboration with Billy Idol began when Idol moved from the UK to the US. Stevens co-wrote and played on the albums 'Don't Stop' EP, 'Billy Idol' (1982), 'Rebel Yell' (1984), 'Whiplash Smile' (1986), and the remix collection 'Vital Idol' (1985). In 1987, Michael Jackson hired Stevens to back him on the 'Dirty Diana' track.

Following his departure from Billy Idol's band, Steve pursued a solo career, releasing his first album 'Atomic Playboys' in 1989 and receiving good comments from the critics and a moderate commercial response, then followed by his second solo album, 'Flamenco A Go-Go', in his home studio entirely by himself. This effort stemmed from the inspiration he received after attending a concert by Flamenco virtuoso Paco de Lucía.

In 1987, Steve along with Harold Faltermeyer won a Grammy for his performance on the Top Gun soundtrack and has worked with a host of other artists such as Thompson Twins, Joni Mitchell, Peter Criss, Steve Lukather, Ric Ocasek, Ben Watkins (Juno Reactor), Greg Bissonette, Pink, Jill Jones, Robert Palmer, Jizzy Pearl, Terry Bozzio and Tony Levin.

In 1999, after an extended hiatus, Steve and singer Billy Idol reunited for a series of tours across the USA and Australia. This era included a recording captured for the VH1 show Storytellers, which was subsequently released on CD and DVD. Such was the success of this renewed collaboration, in 2005, along with producer Keith Forsey, the duo released Billy Idol's 'Devil's Playground' album.

Steve has an additional following in Japan tied to his appearances with Japanese rock singer Kyosuke Himuro. Steve was first involved with Himuro's big hit single 'Native Stranger' in 1996, and appeared in this song's music video. Steve participated in Himuro's album 'I・DE・A' in 1997 as a guitarist, songwriter and arranger.

Influences: Paco de Lucía

Axology: Gibson Les Paul guitars and Hamer guitars

Signature song(s): Feminova - Steve Stevens (Flamenco a Go-Go, 2000)


Sunday, 18 July 2010

Tanya Donelly (Throwing Muses/Belly)

Name: Tanya Donelly
Born: 14th July, 1966 (Newport, Rhode Island, USA)

Profile: She is an American Grammy-nominated singer, songwriter and guitarist based in New England who co-founded "Throwing Muses". She is best known as lead vocalist and songwriter for "Belly"'.

History: At age 8, she met with Kristin Hersh in school and their quickly becoming close friends. Eventually, Donelly's father later married Hersh's mother.

Around the age of 14, Hersh's and Donelly's fathers both gave them their own guitars and they initially started playing along with "The Beatles" songs. Soon after, the two started to play along with songs written by Hersh's musical father and then began to write original songs of their own. At age 15, Donelly and Hersh founded "Throwing Muses".

Throughout the 80's, Donelly worked as lead guitarist and secondary vocalist/songwriter, complementing the work of band leader Hersh. In 1986, the band did recording albums for the British 4AD label. Although the band's work generally employed complex rhythms and offbeat chord structures, Donelly has said she eventually accepted that her compositions were simpler and had 'more traditional songwriting sensibilities' than Hersh's, by the last two years she worked in the band. Some of her tunes from this period include 'Green', 'Dragonhead' and 'Angel'.

In 1990, Donelly had additionally begun working in a side project called "The Breeders" with Kim Deal (Pixies). Working with this band increased Donelly's versatility as a guitarist. In 1991, after the released of "Throwing Muses" album 'The Real Ramona', Donelly officially left the band and founded "Belly", as guitarist, vocalist and songwriter.

In 1993, "Belly" released the 'Star' LP, the album soon peaked at #2 on the UK music charts and featured, 'Feed the Tree', which quickly rated at #1. In 1995, the band released, 'King'. Though critically well-received, this album did not match the commercial success of 'Star'. The band officially broke up in 1996.

After "Belly" was disbanded, Donelly put together a group of musicians to tour internationally with, just prior to her first solo release, the 'Sliding & Diving' EP. Included on the tour were bassist Dean Fisher (husband) and drummer Stacy Jones (Letters to Cleo).

In 2004, Donelly released 'Whiskey Tango Ghosts', an acoustic album laced with Rich Gilbert's pedal steel guitar touches. The album's lyrics explored, in part, marital relationships and family life. Donelly has said the album's minor-key tone was influenced by 'a horrible war, a horrible administration, a bleak, mean winter'.

Influences: Marc Ribot, Leonard Cohen, Lucinda Williams, Joan Wasser, Robyn Hitchcock, Nina Simone, Kristin Hersh, "Dambuilders", "Pixies", "Count Zero" and "The Beatles"

Axology: Campbell American guitar - Tanya Donelly signature model and Fender Telecaster Thinline

Signature song(s): Feed the Tree - Belly (Star LP, 1993)

Link(s): (Official website)

Saturday, 17 July 2010

Daisy Berkowitz (Marilyn Manson/3TG)

Name: Scott Mitchell Putesky
Born: 28th April, 1968 (Los Angeles, California, USA)

Profile: He is better known by his stage name Daisy Berkowitz, a professional musician and was the guitarist of industrial metal band "Marilyn Manson" before moving on to "Three Ton Gate" (3TG) and "Stuck on Evil". His stage name is formed from the names Daisy Duke and David Berkowitz.

History: Putesky's first musical instruments were the flute and the snare drum, and in 6th grade he joined the school's chorus, for which he apparently had a talent. His early loves were drawing and Sci-Fi movies (mainly Star Wars). His first record was the Star Wars soundtrack, and the influence that it had on him can be seen in much of his original artwork, which consists of aliens and spaceships.

In the late 70's, when he was in his early teenage years, he found admiration for artists such as David Bowie and "Talking Heads", influences that are apparent in his later work. In 1980, Putesky's discovery of MTV after his moving to Fort Lauderdale, gave him the inspiration to save up to buy a small Casio keyboard. He taught himself to play, and later, in 8th grade, took guitar lessons. Influenced by his early favorites, which lead to his development of an odd personal style sometimes described as a fusion between blues and grunge.

Putesky's first band was "The Flying Eggbeaters", with drummer Tom Wolf and bassist Jim Neuman. This gave him the experience needed to later go on to other bands, such as "Blue China" and "Ear Wacks". In 1988, after being given a small 4-track recorder by his parents, he bought a bass guitar and a drumkit to record his music with a full ensemble, at this period, he met with Brian Warner (future frontman of "Marilyn Manson") at a local party and the two instantly bonded.

Putesky, who had at this point not thought to advance his lyrical ability, began to meet up with Warner and brainstorm after his admission of wanting to start a band as a creative outlet for his poetry-writing abilities. Dual input from both parties gave the band its darkly psychedelic style, and as early as 1989, they began to record on Putesky's 4-track songs that would seven years later become known as 'Cake and Sodomy' and 'Dogma'. They quickly assembled a band with Warner's schoolmate Brian Tutunick (aka Olivia Newton Bundy) and Perry Pandrea (aka Zsa Zsa Speck). The band played its first show at Churchills, Miami and was known as "Marilyn Manson & the Spooky Kids".

In the early 90's, the band quickly built a cult following, playing at clubs and later opening for several national acts such as "Danzig". In 1992, "Marilyn Manson & the Spooky Kids" played their last show and renaming themselves to a shorter "Marilyn Manson". Though the band built up a strong local fanbase throughout these years, it was not until their 1995 release 'Smells Like Children' that they caught the ear of the world with the darkly gothic cover of Eurythmics' 'Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)'.

After opening for "Danzig", having two headlining tours, the band headed back to the studio to begin work on their new album 'Antichrist Superstar'. At this point, creative differences between Warner and Putesky reached their peak. Putesky left "Marilyn Manson", abandoning the Daisy Berkowitz moniker in favor of his own initials, SMP, and began recording demos for his first solo project, "Three Ton Gate".

In 1997, the album was released, written entirely by Putesky using the name Scott Mitchell (his first and middle name), and featured gothic vocalist Tyreah James. In 1998, Putesky joined up with longtime "Marilyn Manson" collaborators "Jack Off Jill", replacing departing member guitarist Ho Ho Spade and playing live on their 1999 West Coast tour. His first recorded work with the band was the EP 'Covetous Creature'. By early 1999, Putesky was no longer a member of "Jack Off Jill", by most accounts, he simply lost interest in the band and he kicked around several solo and collaborative projects.

He also re-established the "Rednecks on Drugs" project with fellow musician Rich Penny, eventually, "Rednecks on Drugs" metamorphosed into "Stuck on Evil", essentially a hard-rock band with gothic and early Rock 'N Roll influences. In 2001, the band recorded a 10-song full-length album, 'Suntanic', produced by Putesky. However, following the September, 11 (911) attacks, and the subsequent condemnation of 'evildoers' by President Bush, the band decided to drop the word 'evil' from its name, reverting to the original name of "Three Ton Gate", and Putesky recorded the album 'Lose Your Mind' in 2003.

Influences: David Bowie, "The Cure", "U2", "Talking Heads" and Star Wars (soundtrack)

Axology: Yamaha RGX 612-S

Signature song(s): Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) - Marilyn Manson (Smells Like Children, 1995)

Link(s): (Three Ton Gate's Official Myspace)

Friday, 16 July 2010


The harmonic minor scale is similar to the natural minor except for a raised seventh. The raised seventh gives the harmonic minor a distinctive three-semitone interval (three half steps) between the sixth and the seventh note.

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Abdee Negara (Slank)

Name: Abdee Negara
Born: 28th Jun, 1968 (Danggala, Sulawesi, Indonesia)

Profile: He is an Indonesian guitarist, producer and sound engineer. He is notably known as the lead guitarist for the legendary rock band "Slank", after replacing Pay Siburian who left in 1996.

History: Abdee is a self taught guitar player. He started to play guitar in his early teens, and wanted to become a professional musician ever since. In the 80's, he moved from Kota Palu to Jakarta, to pursue his dreams. His first band was with Ecky Lamoh, Gideon Tengker and Henky Supit. After the band split, he became a session player for various artists, from Ermy Kulit to "Trio Kwek-Kwek".

In 1996, after guitarist Pay Siburian left "Slank", Abdee went on to audition for the legendary group. He was accepted for the post and in 1997, "Slank's" 7th studio album 'Tujuh' was Abdee's debut album with the band. The album gave new sound to the band due to Abdee's influences in blues and he even added some of his 'slide' trademarks.

From the start, when he joined "Slank", Abdee has contributed all his efforts on "Slank's" albums. Currently, he is the sound engineer and producer for the band. And he has released 7 albums altogther, from 'Tujuh' (1997), 'Mata Hati Reformasi' (1999), 'Ngangkang' (2000), 'Virus' (2001), 'Satu satu dan Bajakan' (2003) and to the latest album 'The Big Hip' {2008}.

With his tight schedules with "Slank", Abdee also collaborated and produced for other bands, such as "Seurius". He is also a clinician for the G Plus magazine and an endorser for Extreme guitars.

Influences: Keith Richard (Rolling Stones) and Ry Cooder

Axology: Fender Telecaster and Extreme guitars - mainly Telecaster model

Signature song(s): Ketinggalan Zaman - Slank (Mata Hati Reformasi, 1999)


Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Zim Zum (Marilyn Manson/Pleistoscene)

Name: Timothy Michael Linton
Born: 25th June, 1969 (Chicago, Illinois, USA)

Profile: He is an American multi platinum musician, songwriter and former guitarist for "Life, Sex & Death" and industrial metal band "Marilyn Manson", and was known as Zim Zum. His current projects are "Pleistoscene", a solo project, and "The Pop Culture Suicides".

History: Zim starts to play guitar at the age of 13. His love in guitars, made him worked as a guitar repairman in a local guitar manufacturer. In his early days, before joining "Marilyn Manson", Zim reportedly previously played guitar for the band "Life, Sex & Death".

After responding to an ad in The Chicago Reader for an audition, for replacing the original guitarist Daisy Berkowitz of "Marilyn Manson", he got the job and performed his first live show with the band at Nothing Records' A Night of Nothing showcase, opening for "Nine Inch Nails".

In 1998, the album, 'Mechanical Animals' was Zim's second major label writing and recording, charted at #1 on Billboards Top 200 in its first week of sales, which makes it the first "Marilyn Manson" album to do so. It has since gone on to earn the multi-platinum status. He wrote and recorded on 10 of the 14 tracks on the album. Soon after the album was released, Zim left the band to pursue a solo interests, this includes collaborations with other artists, such as; Cher and her son, Elijah Blue Allman, "Korn" and "Jane's Addictions".

In early 2000's, Zim left Hollywood behind and returned to Chicago, compelled to explore his musical vision in an art and music district. Treading upon uncharted mental ground, he completely isolated himself in his studio for more than a year, cutting off all ties to the outside world in an effort to guarantee the creation and production of his music completely unique in perspective and true to his own definitive musical statement. During that 'self-imposed exile' he spent 14 hours a day writing and recording over 100 songs.

In 2002, Zim formed his unique studio project band, called "Pleistoscene". It was considered to be ahead of it's time for releasing 2 songs as free digital downloads before this was common practice. These downloads attracted over 500,000 hits in the first month it debuted. Even today, he talks about "Pleistoscene" as his 'own orchestra' and states that its still fully functional.

In 2005, Zim brought his main musical project, "The Pop Culture Suicides" to life. The band started releasing 4 songs through their official MySpace profile and have since released many more. And in 2009, he finished recording the band's conceptual double album that will be broken into and released as 4 EP's.

Influences: Unknown

Axology: Gibson Les Paul Custom, Gibson SG, Fernandes guitars, 1976 Fender Stratocaster, 1976 Fender Tele-Deluxe, Fender Barritone guitar, Roland 707 Synth guitar, Washburn P4 guitar, Framus Cobra amplifiers and Marshall 1960B 4x12 cabinets

Signature song(s): Fundamentally Loathsome - Marilyn Manson (Mechanical Animals, 1998)

Link(s): (Official website)

John 5 (Marilyn Manson/Loser)

Name: John William Lowery
Born: 31st July, 1971 (Grosse Pointe, Michigan, USA)

Profile: He is an American guitarist, better known with his stage name John 5 which was bestowed on him in 1998 when he joined industrial metal group "Marilyn Manson" as their guitarist, and currently the guitarist for Rob Zombie. He is also a solo artist and works as a staff writer for Chrysalis Records, working with artists such as Avril Lavigne, "Garbage", Meat Loaf, "Scorpions", FeFe Dobson and has been writing and recording with southern rock band "Lynyrd Skynyrd".

History: Lowery first started playing guitar at the age of 7 after watching Buck Owens and Roy Clark's television show Hee Haw with his dad. His parents supported his playing as long as it didn't interfere with his education. They also accompanied him at the adult bars where he would play during the evening. In the 80's, Lowery started his career as a session guitarist having moved to LA from Michigan at the age of 17. His first band in L.A. was "Alligator Soup", which led to an important meeting with Rudy Sarzo (Whitesnake), that would give him his first real bit of exposure.

This also saw him meeting producer Bob Marlette, who has worked with, among others, Tracy Chapman, Alice Cooper, Rob Halford and "Black Sabbath". Lowery began working on numerous projects with Marlette including TV show soundtracks, movie soundtracks, commercials and infomercials. This in turn saw Lowery being picked to play with Lita Ford (The Runaways), opening up for "Kiss", and started another long time friendship with Paul Stanley and various "Kiss" members.

In 1996, Lowery went for his first audition with "Marilyn Manson", but narrowly missed out (he was late to the auditions) and the guitarist role at that time was taken by Mike (Timothy) Linton, who became known as Zim Zum. Instead, Lowery teamed up with former "Judas Priest" frontman Rob Halford, to work on an industrial metal inspired album, under the band name of "2wo". The subsequent album 'Voyeurs' was remixed by Trent Reznor (Nine Inch Nails). The band embarked on a world tour, and were part of the Ozzfest line-up but the tour was pulled and "2wo" disbanded.

After "2wo" disbanded, Lowery's next piece of work came when he played on David Lee Roth's (Van Halen) solo project album, 'The DLR Band'. Lowery was already a fan of the band and was familiar with the playing style. He submitted 6 tracks he had written to Roth's management. Finding they suited, Lowery submitted further tracks to Roth's management. Eventually Roth and Lowery met and recorded 'The DLR Band' album in 2 weeks.

In 1998, the infamous band "Marilyn Manson" was looking for a guitarist to replace Zim Zum. Again, for the second time Lowery went to try out for the band audition. Following a tour with Rob Halford in Europe, Lowery received a call from Manson's manager asking if he would like to meet Manson for lunch. At the meeting Manson asked Lowery to join the band, taking the moniker, 'John 5', he signed on for the band's tour and to work on the next album. Lowery's first live performance for "Marilyn Manson" came on the MTV Video Music Awards.

In 2005, after Lowery left "Marilyn Manson", he formed the band "Loser", recruiting vocalist Joe Grah, bassist Charles Lee and drummer Glendon Crain, they began working on their debut album 'Just Like You'. The band had initial success not long after signing with Island Records, when the track 'Disposable Sunshine' became part of the Fantastic Four Movie soundtrack. At the same time, Lowery was also working for Rob Zombie and a working conflict occurred.

In 2006, Lowery left "Loser", and took up the role of Rob Zombie guitarist as a permanent gig. Lowery is also working on the musical score for Rob Zombie's 6th feature-length film, Tyrannosaurus Rex.

Starting in 2004, Lowery has gone on to record a total of five instrumental records. His works have had many guest players on them, from Steve Vai, Joe Satriani to Jim Root. And in 2009, Lowery released a remix album, 'Remixploitation', and has also released an instructional DVD entitled 'The Devil Knows My Name'.

Influences: Buck Owens and Roy Clark

Axology: Fender J5 Telecaster, Fender J5 Acoustic, Squier J5 Telecaster, Ibanez AX, Ibanez Iceman, Ibanez RG, Ibanez Talman, Gibson Les Paul, Taylor 912 Acoustic, Boss effects and Marshall amplifiers - JCM900

Signature song(s): The Fight Song - Marilyn Manson {Holy Wood (In the Shadow of the Valley of Death), 2000} and Pear of Anguish - John 5 (Requiem, 2008)

Link(s): (Official website)

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Eva Fampas

Name: Eva Fampas
Born: 4th June, 1964 (Athens, Greece)

Profile: She is a Greek guitarist and a music teacher. She was described as 'a great musical personality' by Morning Talk Newspaper. Fampas is also regarded as one of the world's most gifted artists, with performances noted for coupling deep musicality, passion and an exceptional virtuosity.

History: Fampas was born into a musical family and started playing the guitar very young under the instruction of her father Dimitri Fampas, the very famous Greek composer, guitarist and professor. Her first participation in concert was at the age of 12, with the D. Fampas' famous guitar school.

Fampas was a brilliant graduate of the National Conservatory of Athens, she studied with outstanding professors such as; Dimitris Dragatakis (composer), Theodore Antoniou (composer-maestro), Leo Brouwer (guitarist-composer), master-classes given by: Ruggero Chiesa, Robert Vidal, John Duarte and Pepe Romero.

In 1981, Fampas won at first place on the 16th International Guitar competition (Guitar Academy of Milan), followed by a medal by Athens Municipality in 1984, for her participation in the celebrations-Athens 150 years capital of Greece - organized by the Greek Writers' Association and the Cultural Center of Athens Municipality.

Fampas has performed hundreds of recitals and concerts in more than 25 countries in Europe, Asia, America Latina and Africa with great success, she maintains a very active concert schedule and she is in great demand as a recitalist, soloist, chamber musician and pedagogue. Newspapers, magazines, National and International TV and radio stations around the world have honored her accomplishments with portraits, interviews and extensive articles.

In 2004, Fampas premiered the FOR EVA guitar concerto by Yiu-Kwong Chung and the Baiao Lunar, two new works dedicated to her, with Athens State Orchestra conducted by Costis Papazoglou at the MELINA Athens' cultural center. In 2008, she premiered the orchestrated by Andersen Viana, GREEK SUITE with the Athens Municipality Symphony Orchestra conducted by Michalis Economou at the Byzantine Museum of Athens. This concert was repeated at the Technopolis cultural centre of Athens due to the great success of the premiere and to audience's demand.

Her virtuoso repertoire, very melodic and exciting, with traditional, ethnic and contemporary influences, includes a substantial amount of works by Greek composers as well as music from the Baroque era to the present century. Her passionate and powerful interpretations of Greek music frequently receive ovations from both the press and the audiences.

In addition to her other activities she is frequently invited to be member of the jury in guitar competitions as well as in competitions for compositions for guitar, to give lectures and master-classes in Academic Conferences, Musical Institutions and Guitar festivals around the world. Presently she reworks and supervises the publication of Dimitris Fampas' guitar music books. She is also the author/composer of the educational book - melodic lessons, the most joyful guitar method for children and of various award winning short pieces for children.

Eva Fampas is the Founder and President of the Guitar Friends' Association DIMITRI FAMPAS, a non profit cultural society, which is dedicated to serving her father personality and music, to celebrate guitar excellence and to encourage and promote young talented guitarists and the Greek music.

Influences: Dimitri Fampas (father)

Axology: Unknown

Signature song(s): Ravines  - Eva Fampas (Eva Fampas plays Fampas, 2005)

Link(s): (Official website)

Saturday, 10 July 2010

Dick Dale (The Del-Tones)

Name: Richard Anthony Monsour
Born: 4th May, 1937 (Boston, Massachusetts, USA)

Profile: He is a surf-rock guitarist, known as 'The King of the Surf Guitar'. He experimented with reverberation and made use of custom made Fender amplifiers, including the first-ever 100-watt guitar amplifier.

History: In 1954, Dale moved to Massachusetts to Orange County, California. He learned to surf and became interested in music. He soon learned to play the drums, the trumpet, but it was the ukelele that really caught his ear - a lefty, Dale played the instrument upside-down and backwards but without restringing it, from ukelele it evolves to playing the guitar. Eventually, he formed a band called "The Del-Tones" (Texas DJ; 'T. Texas Tiny' suggested Dale's stage name).

Much of his early music shows a Middle Eastern influence; Dale is often credited as one of the first electric guitarists to employ non-Western scales in his playing. Dale himself was an amateur surfer and wanted his music to reflect the sounds he heard in his mind while surfing. While he is primarily known for introducing the use of guitar reverb that would give the guitar a 'wet' sound, which has since become a staple of surf music, it was Dale's tremolo picking that was his trademark.

With his backing band "The Del-Tones", Dale's live performances became huge local draws. The song 'Let's Go Trippin' is often regarded as the first surf rock song. This was followed by more locally released songs, including 'Jungle Fever' and 'Surf Beat' on his own Deltone label. His first full-length album was 'Surfers' Choice' in 1962. His signature single 'Misirlou' went to #1 in America, followed by his second album, named after his performing nickname, 'King of the Surf Guitar'.

In 1964, surf rock briefly became nationally popular in the US, but the British Invasion began to overtake the American charts. In 1986, he recorded a new album and was nominated for a Grammy, and the use of 'Misirlou' in the Quentin Tarantino film, 'Pulp Fiction', gained him a new audience. He has released several albums since and continues to tour.

In 1987, he appeared in the movie 'Back to the Beach'. He features playing surf music, also playing 'Pipeline' with blues legendary, the late Stevie Ray Vaughan. And in 2005, the "Black Eyed Peas" song 'Pump It' from the 'Monkey Business' album heavily samples Dale's 'Misirlou'. 'Misirlou' is also featured on games such as the infamous; Guitar Hero II, as well as Rayman Raving Rabbids.

Influences: Hank Williams, Gene Krupa and Harry James

Axology: Fender Stratocaster guitar and Fender Dual Showman amplifiers

Signature song(s): Misirlou - Dick Dale and The Del-Tones (Surfer's Choice, 1962)

Link(s): (Official website)

Friday, 9 July 2010

Muddy Waters

Name: McKinley Morganfield
Born/Died: 4th April, 1915 (Issaquena County, Mississippi, USA) – 30th April, 1983

Profile: He was an American blues musician, generally considered 'the Father of Chicago blues'. Blues musicians Big Bill Morganfield and Larry 'Mud Morganfield' Williams are his sons. A major inspiration for the British blues explosion in the 60's, Waters was ranked #17 in Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. His fondness for playing in mud earned him the nickname 'Muddy' at an early age. He later changed it to 'Muddy Water' and finally 'Muddy Waters'.

History: He started out on harmonica but by the age of 17 he was playing the guitar at parties emulating two blues artists who were extremely popular in the south, Son House and Robert Johnson.  Waters moved to Chicago for the first time in 1940. He played with Silas Green a year later, and then returned to Mississippi. In the early part of the decade he ran a juke joint and performed music there himself.

In 1943, Waters headed back to Chicago with the hope of becoming a full-time professional musician. Big Bill Broonzy, one of the leading bluesmen in Chicago at the time, helped Waters break into the very competitive market by allowing him to open for his shows in the rowdy clubs. In 1945, his uncle Joe Grant gave him his first electric guitar which enabled him to be heard above the noisy crowds.

In 1947, Waters recorded some tunes for Aristocrat, he also played guitar with Sunnyland Slim on piano, but in 1948, songs like 'I Can't Be Satisfied' and 'I Feel Like Going Home' became big hits and his popularity in clubs began to take off. Soon after, Aristocrat changed their label name to Chess Records and Waters' signature tune 'Rollin' Stone' also became a smash hit.

In 1958, Waters headed to England and shocked audiences (whose only previous exposure to blues had come via the acoustic folk/blues sounds of acts such as Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee and Big Bill Broonzy) with his loud, amplified electric guitar and thunderous beat. His performance at the 1960 Newport Jazz Festival, recorded and released as his first live album, At Newport 1960, helped turn on a whole new generation to Waters' sound. He expressed dismay when he realized that members of his own race were turning their backs on the genre while a white audience had shown increasing respect for the blues.

Waters' sound was basically Delta blues electrified, but his use of microtones, in both his vocals and slide playing, made it extremely difficult to duplicate and follow correctly.

Influences: Unknown

Axology: Fender Telecaster guitars

Signature song(s): Rollin' Stones - Muddy Waters (The Best of..., 1958)

Link(s): (Official website)

Rhoma Irama (Orkes Melayu Purnama/Soneta)

Name: Raden Oma Irama
Born: 11th December, 1946 (Tasikmalaya, Indonesia)

Profile: He is an Indonesian dangdut guitarist, singer and actor. During the height of his stardom in the 70's, he became the self-proclaimed 'Raja Dangdut' (King of Dangdut) with his group "Soneta".

History: His career began in the late 60's when he recorded solo records and with the group "Orkes Melayu Purnama". He sang duets on several record LPs with Indonesian female vocal stars such as Inneke Kusumawati, Ellya Khadam, Lily Junaedhy, Vivi Sumanti, and the later to be crowned 'Queen of Dangdut', Elvy Sukaesih.

It was at this period of time, a new popular music called Dangdut emerged from the slums and suburbs of Jakarta in Indonesia. The music was performed on an electrified and modernized version of the older acoustic orkes melayu orchestra and combined influences from Indian and Malaysian film music, Islamic popular music and American popular song, primarily rock.

The name dangdut is an onomatopoeic reference to the tabla-like pair of drums used in the ensemble that supply the genre with its defining rhythm: DANG dut, in which a heavy, low-sounding pitch off the beat ("dang") is followed by a light, higher pitch note on the downbeat ("dut"). The form was originally characterized by love duets between young men and women.

Once Oma broke from recording with "Orkes Melayu Purnama", he eventually formed "Orkes Melayu Soneta", the first so-called Dangdut group. In fact, Oma established the term Dangdut with a song by that name from the early 70's. He wrote the classics 'Kareta Malam' and 'Kuda Lumping' which were sung by Elvy Sukaesih. Once "Soneta" was established in the early 70's, Oma changed his name to Rhoma and went on a decade long run of successful hit records and films, all of which starred Rhoma playing himself while performing all of his hits.

During the 80's, Dangdut was synonymous with the on-stage persona of Rhoma, dressed in a tight black tanktop, headband, leather pants, gloves and boots, and playing a black flying-V guitar, sweatily glistening in heavy-metal dangdut glory-certainly a far cry from the bubblegum, coy flirtatiousness of the heavily made-up teen dangdut singers of the genre's early years. By the late 80's, Rhoma had become fabulously wealthy. During this era, he continued to record and develop an international reputation, collaborating with such legends as Lata Mengeshkar, the golden voice of Bollywood.

Today, Rhoma is still active with the dangdut and entertainment business. However, with his semi-retirement, dangdut has reverted mostly to light flirtatious songs, and today it greatly resembles other forms of more overtly Westernized Indonesian genres of popular music.

Influences: Unknown

Axology: Fender Stratocaster and Gibson Flying V

Signature song(s): Begadang - Rhoma Irama (Begadang, 1978)


Thursday, 8 July 2010

Otis Rush

Name: Otis Rush
Born: 29th April, 1935 (Philadelphia, Mississippi, USA)

Profile: He is a blues musician, singer and guitarist. His distinctive guitar style features a slow burning sound and long bent notes. With similar qualities to Magic Sam and Buddy Guy, his sound became known as West Side Chicago blues and became an influence on many musicians including Michael Bloomfield, Eric Clapton and SRV.

History: Rush is a self-taught musician who began playing the guitar at the age of 8. Moving to Chicago in 1948, he was introduced to the more urban sounds of the blues and made the decision to become a performer after he saw Muddy Waters for the first time. At the age of 13-14, Rush made a name for himself playing in clubs on both the South Side and West Side blues scenes. Soon Rush fronted his own band under the name of "Little Otis".

From 1956-1958, he recorded for the Cobra Records and released eight singles, some featuring Ike Turner on guitar. His first single 'I Can't Quit You Baby' reached #6 on Billboard's chart. During his tenure with Cobra, he recorded some of his well known songs such as 'Double Trouble' and 'All Your Love (I Miss Loving)'.

In 1960, Rush landed a recording contract with Chess. He recorded eight tracks for the label, four of which were released on 2 singles that year. Six tracks including the 2 singles later came out on 'Door To Door' album in 1969, a compilation with Albert King. Around the 60's, Rush began playing in other cities in the US and also to Europe, most notably the American Folk Blues Festival.

In 1971, Rush recorded the album 'Right Place, Wrong Time' for Capitol Records, and the album was released 5 years later. The album generally has since gained a reputation as one of the best works by Rush. In 1985, he made a tour in the US and releasing the live album, 'Tops', recorded at the San Francisco Blues Festival. In 1998, Rush released 'Any Place I'm Goin', and earned his first Grammy Award for Best Traditional Blues Album in 1999.

Though he has not recorded a new studio album since 1998, he continued to tour and perform. In 2002, he was featured on the Bo Diddley tribute album 'Hey Bo Diddley - A Tribute!', performing the song 'I'm A Man'.

Influences: Muddy Waters, Jimmie Rogers, T-Bone Walker and BB King

Axology: Fender Stratocaster, Gibson ES-335, Gibson ES-355 and a Japanese-made Flying V

Signature song(s): Double Trouble - Otis Rush (singles, 1958) and Three Times A Fool - Otis Rush (Right Place, Wrong Time, 1976)

Link(s): (Official website)

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Filomena Moretti

Name: Filomena Moretti
Born: 1973 (Sassari, Italy)

Profile: She is an Italian classical guitarist, graduated from the Sassari Conservatoire and was awarded the first prize.

History: Moretti was given her first guitar when she was 5. It was love at first sight and the passion grew with the years. Early learning and practice with the masters, something she never stopped doing – to this day she follows Julian Bream’s guidance.

In the early 80's, she continued her studies with Ruggero Chiesa, and won several international competitions; Premier Prix at the Competition Cagliari (1991), Second Prix at the International Competition of Sassari (1992), Second Prix at the Competition Fernando Sor de Rome (1993) and Premier Prix at the Competition de l’A.R.A.M (1996).

In 1993, she obtained a grant to pursue her studies with Oscar Ghihlia at the Chiagana Academy in Sienne, and took part in several master-classes with A. Diaz, D. Russel, J. Bream, J. Tomas and M. Barrueco. After her studies, Moretti performed with leading orchestras. Her extensive repertoire includes the most important guitar and orchestras concertos.

In 1999, she toured Italy with the renowned Lucero Tena, and was also invited by the Verdi Conservatoire in Milan. In June 1999, she performed the Giuliani Concerto with the "Societa dei Concerti" at the Verdi Conservatoire in Milan. In France, she has appeared at the TransClassiques at La Cigale in Paris, at the Flâneries Musicales in Reims, at the Festivals de Radio France in Montpellier, at the Young Soloist Festival in Antibes. Her concerts have been broadcasted on Muzzik and Mezzo TV channels. She has also been invited by FRANCE 2 channel.

Moretti has recorded two CD's for Phoenix and Stradivarius labels. The released of the Integral for solo guitar by Joaquin Rodrigo under the Stradivarius label, Moretti caused her to be on the front page of the Italian magazine Classica. In 1998, she received the 'Golden Guitar' for her recording of Fernando Sor under the Stradivarius label. For Transart UK label, she recorded two volumes of J.S. Bach's lute works transcribed for guitar

With her warm and deep sounds, the richness and variety of her musical palette and her skilful transpositions, Moretti already demonstrated at the Théâtre des Abbesses how she could wrench us from ourselves; she created a unique fusion between interpreter and audience. Beside transpositions of pieces by Scarlatti and Bach, she will play scores by Italian composer Regondi, by Mertz the Austrian, Mangoré the Paraguayan and Fernand Sor the Spaniard.

Influences: JS Bach

Axology: Unknown

Signature song(s): Asturias - Filomena Moretti (Extrait De Suite Espanola)


Monday, 5 July 2010

Joe Pass (The Trio)

Name: Joseph Anthony Jacobi Passalacqua
Born/Died: 13th January, 1929 (New Brunswick, New Jersey) - 23rd May, 1994

Profile: He was an Italian-American born jazz guitarist. His extensive use of walking basslines, melodic counterpoint during improvisation, use of a chord-melody style of play and outstanding knowledge of chord progressions opened up new possibilities for jazz guitar and had a profound influence on future guitarists.

History: Born into a non-musical family, Pass started to play the guitar after being inspired by actor Gene Autry's portrayal of a guitar playing cowboy. He received his first guitar, a Harmony model (bought for $17), on his 9th birthday. Pass' father recognized early that his son had 'a little something happening' and pushed him constantly to pick up tunes by ear, play pieces not written specifically for the instrument, practice scales and not to 'leave any spaces' - that is, to fill in the sonic space between the notes of the melody.

As early as 14, Pass started getting gigs and was playing with bands fronted by Tony Pastor and Charlie Barnet, honing his guitar skills and learning the music business. He began traveling with small jazz groups and eventually moved from Pennsylvania to New York City. In 1962 he recorded 'The Sounds of Synanon'.

In the 60's, Pass recorded a series of albums for the Pacific Jazz label, including the early classics 'Catch Me', '12-String Guitar', 'For Django', and 'Simplicity'. In 1965, Pass toured with George Shearing. Mostly, however, during the 60's he did TV and recording session work in LA, including The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, The Merv Griffin Show, The Steve Allen Show, and others.

In the early 70's, Pass and guitarist Herb Ellis were performing together regularly at Donte's jazz club in LA. This collaboration led to Pass and Ellis recording the very first album on the new Concord Jazz label, entitled simply 'Jazz/Concord (#CJS-1)', and collaborated on a series of music books, and his 'Joe Pass Guitar Style' is considered a leading improvisation textbook for students of jazz.

In 1974, Pass released his landmark solo album 'Virtuoso' and the album 'The Trio' featuring Pass, Oscar Peterson, and Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen. At the Grammy Awards of 1975, "The Trio" won the Grammy Award for Best Jazz Performance by a Group. In the late 70's and early 80's, Pass and Ella Fitzgerald recorded four albums together; Take Love Easy (1973), Fitzgerald and Pass... Again (1976), Speak Love (1983), and Easy Living (1986).

In addition to his ensemble performances, the jazz community regards Joe Pass as an influential solo guitarist. His solo style was marked by an advanced linear technique, sophisticated harmonic sense, counterpoint between improvised lead lines, bass figures and chords, spontaneous modulations, and transitions from fast tempos to rubato passages. Pass would regularly add what he called 'color tones' to his compositions, to give what he believed was a more sophisticated and 'funkier' sound.

Influences: Django Reinhardt, Charlie Parker(saxophonist) and Gene Autry (actor)

Axology: Gibson ES-175 guitar, semi-acoustic Epiphone guitars, Ibanez guitars and a custom guitar by luthier Jimmy D'Aquisto,

Signature song(s): Cherokee - Joe Pass and How High the Moon - Joe Pass


Sunday, 4 July 2010

David Gilmour (Pink Floyd)

Name: David Jon Gilmour
Born: 6th March, 1946 (Cambrige, England)

Profile: He is an English rock musician, best known as the lead guitarist, one of the lead singers, and one of the main songwriters in the progressive rock band "Pink Floyd". In addition to his work with "Pink Floyd", Gilmour has worked as a record producer for a variety of artists, and has enjoyed a successful career as a solo artist.

History: Gilmour attended The Perse School on Hills Road, Cambridge, and met future "Pink Floyd" guitarist and vocalist Syd Barret, along with bassist and vocalist Roger Waters. Gilmore studied modern languages along with Barrett, and spent his lunchtime learning to play the guitar. They were not yet bandmates however, and Gilmour started playing in the band "Joker's Wild" in 1962.

In 1966, Gilmour left "Joker's Wild" and busked around Spain and France with some friends. However, they were not very successful, living virtually a hand-to-mouth existence, and about a year later he returned back to England.

In 1967, Gilmour was approached by drummer Nick Mason, who asked if he would be interested in joining "Pink Floyd", which he did in January 1968, making "Pink Floyd" briefly a five-piece band. He was used to fill in for Syd Barrett's guitar parts when the front man was unable to take a consistent part in "Pink Floyd's" live performances.

When Syd Barrett left the group, Gilmour by default assumed the role of the band's lead guitarist and shared lead vocal duties with bassist Roger Waters and keyboard player Richard Wright in Barrett's stead. After recording 'Animals' album, Gilmour thought that his musical influence had been underused, and channeled his ideas into his self-titled first solo album in 1978, which showcases his signature guitar style, as well as underscoring his songwriting skills.

Gilmour's solo style is often characterized by blues-influenced phrasing, expressive note bends and sustain. He is also a proficient multi-instrumentalist. He plays bass guitar (which he did on some "Pink Floyd" tracks), keyboards, banjo, harmonica, drums (as heard on the Syd Barrett solo track 'Dominoes', and other songs where he opted to play all the instruments) and lately, the saxophone.

Taking time off from "Pink Floyd's" schedule, Gilmour also took up various roles as a producer, sideman and even concert sound engineer for a wide variety of acts which included former bandmate Syd Barrett, Paul McCartney (The Beatles), Kate Bush, Grace Jones, Tom Jones, Elton John, Eric Clapton, BB King, Seal, Sam Brown, Jools Holland, Bob Dylan, Pete Townshend, The Who, Supertramp, Levon Helm, Robbie Robertson, Alan Parsons, and various charity groups among others.

In 1985, Gilmour was member of Bryan Ferry's band. He played on Ferry's album 'Boys & Girls', as well as the song 'Is Your Love Strong Enough' for the US release of the Ridley Scott-Tom Cruise film 'Legend'. A music video for the latter was created, incorporating Ferry and Gilmour into footage from the film. He also took part in a comedy skit titled 'The Easy Guitar Book Sketch' with comedian Rowland Rivron and fellow British musicians Mark Knopfler (Dire Straits), Lemmy (Motorhead), Mark King (Level 42) and Gary Moore.

In 1994, Gilmour played guitar for the video game 'Tuneland', along with the additional saxophonist for "Pink Floyd", Scott Page. In 2001-2002, Gilmour held a small number of acoustic solo concerts in London and Paris, along with a small band and choir, which was documented on the In Concert release. In 2003, Rolling Stone magazine included Gilmour in the list of hundred greatest guitarists of all time.

Influences: Jimi Hendrix

Axology: Fender Stratocasters, Fender Telecasters, Fender Esquire, Fender Bass VI, Fender Precision bass, Fender Jazz bass, Gibson Les Paul Goldtop, Gretsch guitars, Ovation guitars, Takamine guitars, Martin guitars, Taylor guitars, Guild guitars, Charvel guitars, Music Man Fretless Stingray bass guitars, Steinberger GL, Jose Vilaplana nylon string guitar, Fender amplifiers, Mesa/Boogie amplifiers and Hiwatt amplifiers

Signature song(s): A Saucerful of Secrets - Pink Floyd (A Saucerful of Secrets, 1968) and Another Brick in the Wall Part 2 - Pink Floyd (The Wall, 1979)

Link(s): (Official website)

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Carter Lancaster

Name: Carter Lancaster
Born: mid 1950's (Ontario, Canada)

Profile: A versatile guitarist, performer and composer, he is one of those rare musicians whose expertise and virtuosity transcend issues of style. His unique musical vision has led him to master Jazz, Bluegrass and modern acoustic guitar styles, in a manner that allows each style to complement the others without sacrificing any of their respective nuances. A performer with over 30 years experience, and can be seen working as a solo artist, with jazz and folk duos, trios, or quartets, and occasionally with orchestras.

History: Lancaster was raised in a family who loved music, his father was a jazz pianist - and taught him the importance of understanding scales, chord theory, and harmony. Young Lancaster learned to read music at an early age. He started playing acoustic guitar at the age of 11 on a 'Saturn' acoustic guitar (at the time it cost him $12) which he still owns. He took private lessons for 5 years and gradually switched over to an Aria semi acoustic guitar.

By the time Lancaster was 13, he purchased a Gibson ES 335 which was his main guitar for years. He then formed his first band called "Velvet Fog", which covered mostly Jimi Hendrix songs. In his early 20's, he started playing more acoustic guitar and purchased a Martin M-36 acoustic guitar that he used for Bluegrass. It was at this period of time he started writing his own music.

Though Lancaster started by playing the guitar, he began studying the harp guitar (a rare vintage instrument with 6 treble and 5 or 6 contra-basses), after he heard a Stephan Bennett album. He was intrigued with the sounds from this amazing instrument and bought 2 Dyer Symphony Harp guitars that are about a hundred years old.

Lancaster was noticed in the music community after he performed one of his original compositions 'Widow Walk' at the Harp Guitar Gathering in Williamsburg, Virginia. But, he is probably known best for his fluid jazz electric chord-melody style and his standard and open tuning acoustic compositions, his ability to incorporate a variety of harmonic and 2-handed tapping techniques, while maintaining a strong melody line and percussive rhythm are sure to grab any listener’s attention.

In 2009, Lancaster released his second solo album called 'Case Closed'. The album is a compilation of original pieces performed solo on 6 string acoustic and Harp guitar. Currently, he is writing more music which he hopes to begin recording soon for his next album.

Influences: Joe Pass, Lenny Breau, Bruce Cockburn and Stephen Bennett

Axology: 2 Dyer Symphony Harp Guitars, Holloway Harp Guitar, Marc Beneteau Concert standard, Breedlove Performance Focus, Fender Stratocaster, Gibson ES-335, Martin M-36 guitar and Saturn acoustic guitar

Signature song(s): Blue - Carter Lancaster (Case Closed, 2009) and Widow Walk - Carter Lancaster (Case Closed, 2009)

Link(s): (Official website)

"When I listened to Carter’s CD, I became more and more annoyed as I realized that he had written some tunes that I should have. He must be stopped". - Stephen Bennett