Sunday, 15 April 2012

Greg Howe, Koko Rengifo: live jam


Wagner Ribeiro: Street Fighter - on guitar

Street Fighter - Hadouken theme (Version by Wagner)

Neal Nagaoka: Telecaster and Dimarzio fun

Having fun with a Telecaster

Dimarzio Custom Tone Zone Pickup Demo

John Norum: Europe - Bag Of Bones - a great rock album

Europe's new record is their 9th studio release and was produced by one of the world's most prestigious producers, Kevin Shirley. Shirley has done some great work for  bands like Iron Maiden, Joe Bonamassa, Black Country Communion, Black Stone Cherry and Journey.  So you'd expect more of the same class to shine through on Bag of Bones.

The album features 11 brand new tracks, including the first single, Not Supposed To Sing The Blues.

EUROPE "Bag of Bones" Behind The Scenes Studio Footage

Album Track Listing:
1. Riches To Rags
2. Not Supposed To Sing The Blues
3. Firebox
4. Bag Of Bones
5. Requiem
6. My Woman My Friend
7. Demon Head
8. Drink And A Smile
9. Doghouse
10. Mercy You Mercy Me
11. Bring It All Home

I  returned home from holiday to a batch of CD's to review and listen too, and I was looking forward to getting into Europe's latest work. I've long been a fan having seen the band live on a number of occasions. So I slip on the CD and run through the tracks to found out where Europe is at the moment. 

Riches To Rags, the opening tune, is a rumbustious rocker, fueled no doubt by the punchy production of Kevin Shirley. John Norum piles in with a rocking solo to round out the affair.

Not Supposed To Sing The Blues is the first single from the album. Big drums and Iconic swagger, with Kashmere keys, Beatles jangly guitars and the ever classy clean vocals from Joey Tempest, who has always been a great strength for the band.

"Europe" Official Video "Not Supposed To Sing The Blues" HD

The title track Bag Of Bones starts as an acoustic track with some steel guitar plaintively calling behind Joey’s sad and poignant lyrics, building out into a rockier chorus. John Norum reaches for his wah to colour up the the solo in a typical blues rock way.

There a short pause for Requiem which is an all instrumental interlude, a keyboard vignette, alluding to the title of the track.

My Woman My Friend opens with a piano and vocals leading into John Bonham big drums. This is a more straight ahead rocker in the style of Led Zeppelin, great for radio air play, reminding me of the great work that Black Country Communion have been putting out of late. Great solo rocky, feel based solo by John Norum kicks the track harder!

Kevin Shirley comes to the fore again with Drink And A Smile. The track is more in the Zeppelin mould, acoustic twelve string driven, Zeppelinesque vocals, highly enjoyable and I can imagine likely to be great as a live show treat for fans.

Finally, the album's closer is the classy ballad Bring It All Home, but this is not a bubbly romantic schmooze fest, but more a plaintiff review by Joey Tempest of better times gone by, as today's harder times press home. The track is rounded out by another classy, blues soaked solo supplied from the fingers of John Norum, neatly wrapping up this release.

So overall this album is harder and heavier than previous albums. In general, the songs are great, Joey Tempest is on form with well thought out, rocky but with listenable lyrics well projected onto the albums cuts. Overall the album is classy, rock, bluesy, dark and driven... lyrics that match your mood... music for our time? One thing's for sure, I’ve got to book me some tickets for their live show as it’s sure to be great.

Chris Brooks: donates 100 signed albums to raise money for Leukaemia sufferers

Sydney guitarist donates 100 signed albums to raise money for disease.

I'm Chris Brooks, a working musician from Sydney, Australia, and I have donated 100 signed copies of my album "The Axis of All Things" to support The Leukaemia Foundation, an organisation that provides invaluable services and support to the people and families affected by the disease as well as vital fundraising for research.

In the next month I hope to sell all ONE HUNDRED of the signed albums for the special price of $10 each (plus p/h) and donate 100% of all nett funds received to The Leukaemia Foundation. I'll be forwarding your funds in memory of Melissa Alana Jerrett, a young lady who lost her battle to the disease in 1993, 11 weeks after her 20th birthday.

You can help by doing some or all of the following:

~ Buy a signed CD for the special price of $10 for yourself or a friend
~ Forward this post (as is) to everyone you know
~ Post this page and/or the above video to your facebook/twitter/other.
~ Tweet your favorite musicians/celebrities to retweet/repost about this
~ Use the donate button to pay more than $10 for your CD if you want

For more information about Leukaemia and how The Leukaemia foundation helps, visit

Thank you so much for your support.

Chris Brooks

Brian Hunsaker: Across the Galaxy review

Brian Hunsaker was born and raised in Seattle and has been been playing electric guitar since 1990. Brian has taken 4 years of painstaking hard work to deliver the "Across the Galaxy" CD and it shows. What’s on offer on this classic CD is is top notch productions with classy guitar sounds, the sort you would expect from a Joe Satriani, Steve Vai and the ever classy Truth In shredding favourite, Dimitar Nalbantov.

I was lucky enough to grab a copy from Brian himself and it’s clear why he’s rightly proud of his work. All tunes sparkle with classy production, with mellifluous musical key tones, resonant rock guitars and full drums that don’t overpower the classy guitar work and with guitar nestling neatly into the backing track, avoiding the possible potential shredathon issues of instrumental guitar albums. This is the sort of production you can get when you work on it over such a long time.

Like Dimitar Nalbantov, it’s clear that Brian Hunsaker is thinking production as well as songwriting when he’s laying down his tunes. So the CD is all about the tone, feel and intonation, notes ring out, vibrato is clean and wide, just the way that I like it. Songs have great use of keyboard tones and his layering of guitars to build out the sound is spot on, Surreal Majesty being a great example of Brian’s studio work.

Brian Hunsaker's Rock out tunes are big and beefy, but they're distinctly not metal, more hard rock. Pumping bass and slabs of rocking guitar, a prime example being the rockier Gila Monster, which was developed into a promotional video for the album.

Gila Monster - original music by Brian Hunsaker

Stand out cuts for me are the slower tunes, you can imagine driving your car nonchalantly along the highway, windows down, sun shining, sound up loud for all to hear. Reverie, which reminds me of a rocky, modernised Joe Satriani, Rubina, with jangly keys and rich, sumptuous and full guitar tones. Plus the afore mentioned Surreal Majesty and the rockier Into Orbit, beefy drums, and lush keys and harmonised layered guitar work.

So all in all a top notch bit of guitar and production, this is one of those great guitar albums for a sunny day, play loud and enjoy! I’m sure your neighbours will enjoy it too :) ...

You can get Across the Galaxy through CDBaby, Amazon, Zune Marketplace, iTunes, CDUniverse,Google Play, and Spotify!

A recent interview with Brian by Rockhand.

Brian Hunsaker Rockhand Interview part 1

Brian Hunsaker Rockhand Interview part 2