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Satriani on trees, concepts and fame

Satriani on trees, concepts and fame

IT’S AN enjoyable experience for some, a necessary evil for others, and the bane of many beginning musicians’ existence. Practice. It’s the punch line to the generations-old question, “How do you get to Carnegie Hall?” It’s also what Joe Satriani was doing prior to beginning a day of interviews. “It’s one of those discouraging facts,” he says. “When I was young, I always thought that I’d practice for a couple of years and then I’d be good, I’d be set, and I could just go and have fun. But decade after decade it’s like, ‘Man, I’ve got to keep practicing all the time; otherwise my fingers forget what they’re supposed to do and how hard it is to do it.’”  more...
Black Cat Pedals purrs along

Black Cat Pedals purrs along

TOM HUGHES loves gear. He isn’t shy about it. So stoked are the flames of his passion for the lineage of vintage noisemakers, that back in the early 2000s he set out to compile a book that would be become the go-to tome for those seeking knowledge regarding old school pedals… Analog Man’s Guide to Vintage Effects. Color us unsurprised to find when we visited the Black Cat Pedals shop in New England that a pair of glass cases full of top-flight stomps was there to greet us, including a Mike Beigel-signed Mu-Tron III, a Bob Sweet-autographed Mojo Vibe, a Hot Chili Tubester, big-boxed Gainster, a gold Klon Centaur and a variety of wood-boxed Electro-Harmonix pedals among others.  more...
Aloke, Linden, Division, DeCourcey

Aloke, Linden, Division, DeCourcey

DOWNTOWN Peekskill, New York, is busy for a Sunday morning. People are shuffling in and out of buildings, circling the block in search of parking while the police set to cornering off Division Street and its restaurant row for a nearby local art show and to be more pedestrian friendly for the coming lunch hour. Nestled among the eateries between Central Avenue and Main Street is Division Street Guitars, a venture that started out as a repair workshop, but soon evolved into a full-service guitar store.  more...
Our First Look: the Line 6 Helix guitar processor

Our First Look: the Line 6 Helix guitar processor

RECENTLY a producer decided to drag me kicking and screaming into the digital age with the Line 6 Helix. It took him months to do it. I fought every step of the way. What you should probably know about me is that I didn’t have a cell phone until like 2006 and I didn’t want one. I’m not a big fan of change, or things that make doing things easier. I have at times in my life had a Steve Albini-like dedication to analog. Over time though, brands like Strymon have convinced me that digital tape emulation is not a sin worthy of excommunication.  more...
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...