Industry News

Rob Balducci gets personal

Rob Balducci gets personal

Playing guitar has always been an emotional experience for Rob Balducci, but perhaps never as much as on his latest release, 821 Monroe Drive. The album is named after his maternal grandparents’ house, where Balducci spent summers as a youngster and adolescent, and where he spent hours practicing the guitar. The new songs revisit those years, as Balducci recalls influences and memories, and shapes them into instrumental stories.  more...
A more aggressive Finger Eleven emerges…

A more aggressive Finger Eleven emerges…

CANADA’S Finger Eleven were on top of the world in 2007. Their album, Them Vs. You Vs. Me, spawned the mega hit ‘Paralyzer’ and won the group a Juno for Best Rock Album. The band’s follow-up, Life Turns Electric, dropped in the fall of 2010, and while it performed well in the band’s homeland, it flew under the radar in the US. Today, the band is back with Five Crooked Lines, a 12-track slab of aggression produced by Nashville-based audio wizard Dave Cobb (Rival Sons, Jason Isbell). So what prompted the Canadian quintet to get raw in Tennessee?  more...
Matchless Amplifiers: Boutique for life

Matchless Amplifiers: Boutique for life

IT WAS MILESTONE DAY the day we rolled up to Matchless Amplifiers’ headquarters in Los Angeles, but you wouldn’t have known it just by idly stopping by. The shop was quiet, but busy as most of the craftsmen and women that work to make the established builder’s line of boutique amps moved between their stations and lunch.  more...
Neil Giraldo: Nice guy meets maniac!

Neil Giraldo: Nice guy meets maniac!

Consistency. It’s what defines Neil Giraldo professionally and personally. He has it in his tone, his gear, his attitude, and his marriage. Onstage he swears by his main guitar — a 1968 Guild Starfire III that he calls Pain — and his Marshall JCM 900 amps, a chain that has defined his sound for decades. In his approach to life, he dedicates himself to being “a nice guy,” good to his fans, kind to others, and he centers himself through a dedicated regimen of exercise and proper nutrition. And, of course, there’s his 33-year marriage and 36-year working relationship with Pat Benatar — no small feat in an industry in which musicians change band members and partners as if walking through revolving doors.  more...
Charlie Hunter refines his art

Charlie Hunter refines his art

GUITARISTS THAT play bass is not a new development. The same can be said for bassists that play guitar. A number of bands rotate instruments among players either out of necessity or a desire for new directions in sound or improvisation. But how about playing both instruments at once? When Charlie Hunter showed up on the scene in the early 1990s, the idea of playing guitar and bass on the same stringed instrument was a fairly fresh approach.  more...