Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Janet Robin

Janet Robin is a Los Angeles-based guitarist-singer, who just happens to have had the late great Randy Rhoads as a guitar teacher when she was still in her teens.

Randy had lots of students, and I have always wondered if any of them went on to a music career. Janet has - touring with Lindsay Buckingham, Colin Hay, Meridith Brooks, and has written or recorded wtih Clumsy Lovers, Catie Curtis, Patty Larkin, Garrison Starr, Melissa Etheridge, Loudon Wainwright III, Melissa Ferrick, Maia Sharp, The Wild Colonials, and Ann & Nancy Wilson (Heart).

She also has TV and film credits, with her music being used on “Felicity” and Formosa CafĂ© that was on the soundtrack of the film “Free Enterprise”. The song Brownstone from her second album was used in the TV sitcom “Good Girls Don’t” and the song Around The Corner from that same album is being used in the DVD release of the TV series “Wonderfalls”.

Here is a link to her MySpace page, a Modern Guitar interview, a video on Girls with Guitars and on the Fleetwood Mac page.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Anneli Drecker of Bel Canto

I really enjoy all types of music. I started my musical journey on Beatles, then to Allman Brothers and southern rock. Later, as I "aged", I got into electronic music and so-called new aged "space music", like Steven Roach, or Micheal Stearns. Heavy metal has always been a favorite, too.

I am also a fan of female vocalists like Anneli Drecker.

I got into the music of Bel Canto back in the early 1990's, when the song "Shoulder to the Wheel" was being played on the radio. Bel Canto is a group of three - Anneli Drecker, Nils Johansen, and Geir Jenssen from Tromso, Norway.

Birds of Passage is the first disc I have. Their music is very electronic, and moody. Some of the songs on this disc are a bit gloomy, but the vocals of Anneli are out of this world. I still enjoy this disc even after all these years.

I have been reading up on Anneli these last few days, as I have lost track of the band. She has been a solo artist for a number of years now, and has enjoyed great success around the world. I really like her song, "You Don't Have to Change", which has a modern techno feel to it, along with her incredible vocals. She is very well known in Europe, but sadly, not as popular here in the USA. She does not tour often, as she has three kids and would imagine that a tour here would be out of the question. I wish she was more popular here. Now I have to get some her latest songs and rediscover her fantastic singing.

Look her up on YouTube. There are quite a few videos of her available.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Rory Gallagher - 1978

I have always been a fan of Rory Gallagher, going back to 1978 when a friend loaned me the album, Against the Grain. Rory exemplified all-out guitar rock. He played his one Stratocaster throughout his career, which in today hyped-up world of electric guitars, almost seems impossible. He found his one guitar and stuck with it! That battered guitar gave the world some of the best Stratocaster-fueled music ever. This YouTube video, from 1978, shows Rory in all his power at a German concert.

I just loved the fact that this is the only Stratocaster he ever used. Today, most famous guitarists use multiple guitars, boutique amps and tons of pedals. Rory used his guitar and a vintage Fender amp turned up all the way. These were the days before an old, beat up used Stratocaster cost as much as a new one, before they were locked up in vaults, or treated like a fragile old violin. Some guitarists today spend big bucks on fake brand-new beat-up guitars, hand made amps and pedals, just to get a sound like this. I bet that Rory would have sounded great on a cheap strat copy, too! Do you think that sometimes, the tone you get comes from your hands and soul and not as much on gear?

Rory is sadly missed. He left the world a vast amount of music that I hope the young guitarists of the world listen to.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Johnny Winter's Gibson Firebird Up Close and Personal

Here is a link to a great post on TheGearPage.net

The posters friend is restoring Johnny's Firebird and took close up pictures of it.

This guitar is a true road warrior. Guitar companies try their best to replicate the look of old and used guitars. I don't think anyone could replicate the years of wear and tear on this.

I should give Johnny's music a listen more. He is a true legend in the business.