All the gold!

Ok, this is my new Orange 35RT – I researched this amp and all the amps in this class for over three weeks. Needless to say I fell asleep at the computer every night.

As you can see this is straight forward. Clean and Dirty with 3 band eq. Nothing fancy just straight up basic amp which is LOUD!

I thought I took a full length picture but obviously not. This is a pic of my very first Fender guitar. Maybe when I die, this can be burned along with my ashes!

What I didn’t take a picture of is the headstock on the back. The real feature here is the locking pegs. No need to wrap 3 or 4 times. Cut to measure and just tune.

So here it is, after 20 years, it has been updated, cleaned and rewired!

Note the only new hardware, new tail piece and two knobs.

The person who put this stuff together was Eddie from Carlino’s guitars in Medford MA. He had to put a piece of wood where the old bridge used to be. As you remember, you used to have a tremelo in place, that has been removed for a stable bridge. While it’s not necessarily pretty, its functional and does the job quite nicely. The guitar does not go out of tune. Good work from Eddie!

Closer look at the bridge.

Despite the paint job, this guitar plays amazingly well. The sound is great and with the Dimarzio pickups, the neck pickup sounds every bit as good as a standard strat!

And yes, that is Steve Morse’s signature… and of course the Warmoth Turtle!

This is as smooth as it gets!

So, never realized that Wes Montgomery played guitar with his thumb as the pick. Amazing player. I’ve always loved his sound and despited the tired cliche of chord soloing, this is the real deal. His playing makes me classify this music as “NY jazz”. His music evokes scenes of a smoky jazz bar and has a metropolitan feel if that makes any sense. My first real foray into jazz was in 1986 when I bought Pat Metheny’s First Circle. The first cut from that album was Forward March. It was a multi-instrument track played on the synchlavier. I thought the song was utter trash, thinking I’ve just wasted my $7 dollars, I figured I would power my way through the rest of the album. The second track was Yolanda You Learn, which was an up tempo song and it quickly brought me back and it turned out to be one of my favorite albums to this day. This would eventually lead me to Jim Hall and ultimately to the man Wes Montgomery. I’m not sure why I never bought a lot of his stuff. I think I usually end up going to a record store (do those even exist anymore?) and usually the laundry list is long and Wes never quite makes the cut. I have access to a lot of his music so in the coming months, I will focus on his stuff. Anyway in looking for Al Di Meola live tracks, I came across this remastered video. The audio is great and I just love this format.

Which one is pink?

A coworker suggested if I wanted to listen to something new, check out Porcupine Tree. Porcupine Tree was described as Pink Floyd with an edge. As a result from Porcupine Tree came the guitarist Steven Wilson. He has released his own stuff outside of the band and the above song is one of those. I’m a sucker for good guitar playing and I like the darker content of some of his previous videos. His last release was based on a women who lived alone in London and had died. Nobody noticed she had been missing or dead for two full years. The songs were all tied to that theme, again very dark and sad. The album was titled Hand. Cannot. Erase. The songs are nicely arranged from strings to horn sections. Wilson was quickly emerging as Mr. Surround Sound. He’s been commissioned to remaster some classic rock albums including – Yes (Fragile) and Jethro Tull’s (Too Old To Rock ’n’ Roll: Too Young to Die) to name two of them. You can keep up to date which albums are being remastered – STEVEN WILSON WEBSITE. For now, I’m just goint to leave you this video.

What does Bowie’s album have to do with it?

Absolutely nothing. I was looking for some headphones a while back and was looking to see if Stereo Review had an online presence. Apparently they became simply SOUND AND VISION back in 2000. It’s obvious that I haven’t looked into buying a real sound system in many years. I just don’t have the time to sit and listen to any music. I listen to most of my music on the road with shitty earbuds. I’ve always been interested in hearing music on really good systems but I’ve neither had the money or the space to set this up. Maybe another thing to do during my retirement. Anyway, if you’re looking for reviews of stereo equipment, check out SOUND AND VISION –

It’s beginning to feel a lot like Gryla!

What the hell is Gryla? Go ahead and look it up. You know for icelandic countries that put out weak hockey players, their music and women are pretty brutal!! As for the women lookup the crossfit games and check the names of the women who win it every year. Ah, I digress, I’ve been on a metal run these last couple of days and I’ve run into another band that I’ve known of for years – Vader, from Poland. I could take em or leave em. However I do like this song in particular. I’ll have to go back and listen to some of the earlier stuff again. This song is not like a lot of the others. This is a more measured effort that could be completely played on the radio. Unfortunately outside of satellite radio, it is unlikely we’ll ever hear this kind of music. Its times like this, during the dead of winter, that I wish I had my radio show back. Let’s be clear the radio show is college radio out of Tufts and it is a whopping 25 Watts, there is more energy coming from my monitor than the radio station towers. They do have a online presence but lets face it, no one wants to listen to metal on a Saturday morning. I’ve done the numbers. My most popular show was a blues show which had 24 online listeners. The metal show usually gets about 4 tops. Ah just brambling (bragging and rambling) now. Merry Christmas if you celebrate it.

What do you do when you’re dirty?

Take Abbath! Ok, I’m not going to pretend I knew or even listened to the godfather’s of this genre – Immortal. I won’t even pretend to even like this genre, however every full moon there comes a song that I can actually listen to and Winterbane is that song. This is off of the new solo album from former frontman of Immortal, Abbath. The song is aggressive and oddly catchy. Even the acoustic interlude before Abbath brings the song home in a more normal voice makes this a “pop song”. Ok, maybe not but it’s listenable and I like it. We’re at a point now in music where a lot of the musician’s I’ve grown up with are now dying off. We’re also at the point now where a lot of the bands like this that emerged in the late 80’s/early90’s are now ‘seniors’. These folks are approaching their mid 40’s, early 50’s. Where do these musicians go from here? Do they keep going like Lemmy and die quickly? Do they take a break and then re-emerge 10 years later to do a sad reunion tour? It’s hard not to watch a video like this and smile just a little. For now, I’ll just enjoy it for what it is. A catch song that isn’t from a polished 20-nothing band.

Ah, since we’re already here, I am going to give you a link to the most ridiculous Black Metal Pics of All TIME. You’re Welcome!!!!

I never hated Dolly Parton

I have been listening to a fair amount of country music in the last few weeks. Among some of the folks I’ve been listening to are Allison Moorer, Shelby Lynn (who are sisters by the way), Loretta Lynn, and Roseanne Cash. However one person I haven’t listen to as of yet was Dolly Parton. I’m not really sure why I never listened to her music because I know shes released some really good music. I used to work with one of the former djs from The Hillybilly at Harvard, Brian Sinclair, and he turned me on to some of her more traditional music and her bluegrass stuff is really very good. The real reason for this post is because an article in the NY Times today in which she is giving families $1000 for 6 months to the families who lost their homes in the fires of Tennessee. I’ll post a link to the article at the end. Maybe I’m just getting softer in my old age but good for her and for the folks who had someone that cared enough to put up the money. There is no reason for her to have done this, its nice to see. Whether its a PR stunt or not, I choose not to be cynical in this instance. I will start listening to her catalog this weekend and get back to you regarding my favorite albums. NYTIMES ARTICLE HERE.