Posted: June 30, 2010
Australian’s guitar virtuoso Joe Robinson — deemed Senior Grand Champion Performer of the World at the 2009 World Championships of Performing Arts in Los Angeles — was featured at the 2010 Bonnaroo Festival (June 10-12) in Manchester, Tenn.
Robinson performed solo at the Troo Music Lounge and then later took the stage with Nashville jam band Elmwood.
Fans of the 2008 winner of Australia’s Got Talent can watch him pitching in for Elmwood’s song “Woodduck” in the You Tube video over to the right, which interestingly, is how Robinson mastered his chops on the guitar.
“I grew up in the country in Australia, out in the sticks, it was like 45 minutes to drive to a supermarket so the only way I could learn the music I wanted to learn was from the internet,” says Robinson in an online video shot at Bonnaroo. “I can remember sitting there and putting on a You Tube video and letting it load, and it would take like an hour for a You Tube video to load because I had really slow internet.But it just taught me so much and it was a really great way of getting new information, even when living in quite a remote area. It was really invaluable for me.”
Robinson has been working with acclaimed music industry executive Reen Nalli (INXS, India.Arie, Blue October) and is expected to release his first vocal recording release later this year.
Posted: June 30, 2010
Photo by Chris Kies, Courtesy of Premier Guitar
ZZ Top joined an elite roster of musicians at Eric Clapton’s 2010 Crossroads Festival, held in Chicago on June 26.
According to Premier Guitar, the blues rock luminaries delivered the “hardest rocking set of the day.”
With his Gretsch “Billy-Bo” Jupiter Thunderbird in hand, Billy Gibbons and his sidekicks Dusty Hill and Frank Beard rocked through a set that was highlighted by a fuzz-driven cover of Jimi Hendrix’s “Foxy Lady” and their own classic “La Grange.”
ZZ Top is scheduled to perform at this year’s Del Mar Beer Fest in Del Mar, Calif. on Sept. 4, followed by a string of shows with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.
Get ticket information here.
Posted: June 23, 2010
A Gretsch 6120 Nashville model guitar autographed by Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush—better known as Atlanta-based country music super-duo Sugarland—will be auctioned on eBay between June 23 through June 30. The proceeds will go to support educational music programs sponsored by AthFest, Athens, Georgia’s long-running music festival.
The guitar was donated to AthFest by The Gretsch Foundation, an organization chartered by Savannah’s Fred and Dinah Gretsch to help promote music and arts education programs.
“When folks who understand the value of music as a way to enrich people’s lives work together, amazing things can be accomplished,” said Fred Gretsch.
The Gretsch Foundation donates Gretsch guitars to programs like AthFestAfterSchool, AthFest InSchool, and Keys For Kids. The guitars are decorated by major artists and/or signed by prominent musicians, and then auctioned off on eBay to raise funds. Over the past two years The Foundation has donated guitars signed by the members of R.E.M., Widespread Panic, and The Drive By Truckers.
Posted: June 22, 2010
Singer, songwriter and monster blues-rock guitarist Nick Curran — with Grestch guitar in hand — is featured in the August issue of Vintage Guitar magazine.
In the Q&A, Curran breaks down a list of guitar albums that changed his life, like AC/DC’s Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap.
“The interaction on Malcolm and Angus on this is so badass,” said Curran. “Malcolm holding down the rhythm with a killer Gretsch tone, and Angus playing counter-rhythm parts and ripping blues leads over these great steady grooves. Lay Bon Ccott’s sleazy poetry over the top, and wow!”
Malcolm Young’s Gretsch might have had something to do with why Curran was attraced to a Gretsch Electromatic Pro Jet, which he used on his fourth solo CD, Reform School Girl.
“I had it painted white on the front and put TV Jones Filtertrons in it, with a Gretsch Bigsby,” Curran told Vintage Guitar. “It looks really cool — a great guitar.”
Check out Vintage Guitar, page 24 for more.
Posted: June 14, 2010
By most all accounts, the Dead Weather — featuring Jack White of the White Stripes on drums and vocals, singer Alison Mosshard of the Kills, and Gretsch-wielding guitarists Dean Fertita of Queens of the Stone Age and Raconteurs and Greenhornes’ guitarist Jack Lawrence — was one of the must-see performances at the 2010 Bonnaroo Festival, held in Manchester, Tennessee, June 10-13.
The rock supergroup — deemed “Best Bonafide Rock God” by Spin — was introduced by comedian Conan O’Brien.
“I know it’s been raining on you,” he said to the massive crowd. “But I say, ‘let it rain.’ Don’t think of it is as rain. Think of it as us having a shower together.”
As Rolling Stone’s J. Edward Keyes pointed out, “if it was going to rain at any point during the day, it was appropriate that it happened when the Dead Weather were onstage. The group hung like a black cloud in the center of a festival dedicated to the notion of joy and community, their music as ferocious as it was grim and nihilistic.”
Prior to launching into set opener, “Forever My Queen,” White jokingly took credit for the rain, telling his audience that he had “called in three weeks ahead for that.”
But according to Spin, there was something to his claim.
“And rain it did, as if his backwoods bluesman persona had summoned the dark clouds with his two flailing drumsticks,” wrote William Goodman. “The Dead Weather’s set was a fitting romp of unhinged roadhouse licks, complete with big shiny Gretsch guitars, as she-devil Alison Mosshart tossed herself around in a leopard-print cardigan, tight jeans, and black makeup galore.”
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