Tuning Up: Roy Buchanan and the Ghost of Jimi Hendrix

I became infatuated with Roy Buchanan’s incendiary playing when I was a relative youngster, after finding a copy of Guitar Player with Roy on the cover. He looked more like one of dad’s disheveled friends than a star, which intrigued me enough to pick up Roy Buchanan and Second Album—the first time I heard the war between angels and demons channeled through wood and steel.A few years later, my friend Stuart Stack and I hopped in my dad’s battered ’67 Comet to see Roy play the Pinecrest in Shelton, Connecticut. The opening band was unmemorable, but then came the wait. One hour. Two hours. And no Roy.Suddenly, the sold-out crowd began parting behind us, and I turned to see Roy coming through the human sea, with a Fender case dangling from his left hand. As he passed, saying hi and excuse me, the aroma of distillery accompanied him. Stu and I looked at each other. This was not going to be good.We were right. It was amazing! Roy took the stage and quickly summoned every demon and angel at his call, sending overtone squeals to the sky, supercharging his chords on standards like “Green Onions” with one of the crunchiest “clean” Tele tones I’ve ever heard, and dancing up and down the fretboard like the Nicholas Brothers. (Look them up on YouTube. It’ll be worthwhile.) He even delivered “The Messiah Will Come Again,” with its heartbreaking melody, stoic monologue, and explosive finale. We became fans for life.A few years after that, when Roy had signed with Alligator Records and cut a firestorm called When a Guitar Plays the Blues, I interviewed him after another casually brilliant—and sober—performance at a club called Jonathan Swift’s in Cambridge, Massachusetts. After the gig, Roy and I adjourned to the motor lodge where he was staying in Harvard Square. Roy wanted to do the interview in the lobby, where, luckily, the coffee table, two chairs, and hot pot of java that were its only appointments were available.He was a delightful person: soft-spoken, articulate, his eyes bright with humor and life. And about half-way through, for obvious reasons, I asked him if he believed the guitar had the power to channel the spiritual world.“Well,” he replied, “the ghost of Jim Hendrix appeared to me and saved my life.” I was instantly all in. Roy went on to explain that after a gig he’d played in D.C. one night, when he was so wasted by booze and other vices that he felt near death, some college students—seeing he was in a bad way—invited him back to their place. Once there, they offered a cure: LSD.It was the first time he dropped acid, he said, and in addition to the colors and weird audio transformations, he started to see a kind of mist, and Jimi appeared. He warned Roy, reflecting on his own death, that if Roy kept on this path he would die, and that the time to quit and get sober was now—or he’d no longer be able to serve a higher calling with his guitar. Roy promised Jimi, who he’d never met before, that he’d find a street called straight.I asked Roy if he believed Jimi really appeared, or if it was just the acid. Roy said he wasn’t entirely sure, but he thought it was real … or at least real enough.I’ve told you that story because, well, that’s what I’ve done my entire life—told stories. One of the great joys of interviewing musicians and gear makers is finding interesting stories and passing them along, but only after you’ve relished them yourself for a while. And if you love chasing musical adventures like I do, then you also create a few stories of your own along the way.Every page of PG—even regular features like Gear Radar and Tools for the Task—is a story. What’s new, what’s good, what’s useful? We want to tell you what we’ve found. And some of our best storytelling is in our reviews, which are really accounts of musical explorations, where our writers share the memories, references, and sonic triggers they experience and, when the gear is good, the very tangible joy they feel in playing.We can all relate to that, because there might be nothing better than picking up a guitar and letting the stories—or the angels and demons—inside it talk. In that sense, we’re all deep storytellers … and if the ghost of Jimi Hendrix happens to appear, well, that’s a bonus!

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SLIPKNOT Announces First-Ever 'Knotfest Italy'

SLIPKNOT has announced the inaugural Italian edition of Knotfest. Joining the Iowa masked metallers on June 25, 2023 at Bologna Arena Parco Nord will be ARCHITECTS, AMON AMARTH, I PREVAIL, LORNA SHORE, NOTHING MORE and DESTRAGE.
General on-sale for Knotfest Italy begins at 10 a.m. CET on Wednesday,…

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Former QUEENSRŸCHE Singer GEOFF TATE Underwent Aortic Valve Replacement

Former QUEENSRŸCHE singer Geoff Tate has revealed that he underwent an aortic valve replacement this past summer.
According to NHS, an aortic valve replacement is a type of open-heart surgery used to treat problems with the heart’s aortic valve.
The aortic valve controls the flow of blood out from t…

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Billy Strings Announces 2023 Spring Tour

Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter and musician Billy Strings will continue his extensive headline tour through the spring with 22 newly confirmed shows, including eight arena dates. Upcoming stops include Mobile’s Mobile Civic Center (two nights), Tampa’s Yuengling Center, St. Augustine’s St. Augustine Amphitheatre (three nights), Phoenix’s Arizona Financial Theatre, Los Angeles’ Greek Theatre, Austin’s Moody Center (two nights), Tulsa’s BOK Center, St. Louis’ Chaifetz Arena and Chicago’s Huntington Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island among many others. Tickets for the tour will be available for pre-sale starting tomorrow, December 7 at 10:00am local time through Thursday, December 8 at 10:00pm local time. General on-sale will follow this Friday, December 9 at 10:00am local time. Registration for pre-sale tickets is now open, full details are available at www.billystrings.com/tour. The spring dates follow Strings’ winter tour, which includes 15 additional arena shows with stops at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena (two nights, both sold out), Atlantic City’s Hard Rock Live at Etess Arena (three nights), Charlottesville’s John Paul Jones Arena (two nights), Atlanta’s State Farm Arena (sold out) and Charleston’s North Charleston Coliseum (two nights) among others. Additionally, Strings will return to the historic Ryman Auditorium on February 26 for a third sold-out Nashville show. See below for complete itinerary. Billy Strings released Me/And/Dad, the first album he’s recorded with his dad, Terry Barber, last month via Rounder Records (pre-order here). The product of a longtime dream, the record features new versions of fourteen bluegrass and country classics that the two have been playing together since Strings was a young child. In celebration of the release, Strings and Barber were recently featured on NPR’s “All Things Considered” speaking with host Ailsa Chang, while Strings was also featured on “CBS Sunday Morning” earlier this fall speaking with correspondent Conor Knighton.BILLY STRINGS CONFIRMED TOUR DATESDecember 7—London, UK—O2 Forum Kentish Town (SOLD OUT)December 8—Manchester, UK—O2 Ritz Manchester (SOLD OUT)December 9—Dublin, Ireland—The Academy (SOLD OUT)December 11—Glasgow, UK—Galvanizers Yard (SOLD OUT)December 30—New Orleans, LA—Lakefront ArenaDecember 31—New Orleans, LA—Lakefront Arena (SOLD OUT)February 2—Denver, CO—1STBANK Center (SOLD OUT)February 3—Denver, CO—1STBANK Center (SOLD OUT)February 4—Denver, CO—1STBANK Center (SOLD OUT)February 16—Atlantic City, NJ—Hard Rock Live at Etess ArenaFebruary 17—Atlantic City, NJ—Hard Rock Live at Etess ArenaFebruary 18—Atlantic City, NJ—Hard Rock Live at Etess Arena (SOLD OUT)February 21—Charlottesville, VA—John Paul Jones ArenaFebruary 22—Charlottesville, VA—John Paul Jones ArenaFebruary 24—Nashville, TN—Bridgestone Arena (SOLD OUT)February 25—Nashville, TN—Bridgestone Arena (SOLD OUT)February 26—Nashville, TN—Ryman Auditorium (SOLD OUT)March 3—Winston-Salem, NC—Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum – Doc Watson’s 100th Birthday ShowMarch 4—Winston-Salem, NC—Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial ColiseumMarch 7—Athens, GA—Georgia Theatre (SOLD OUT)March 10—Atlanta, GA—State Farm Arena (SOLD OUT)March 11—Charleston, SC—North Charleston ColiseumMarch 12—Charleston, SC—North Charleston ColiseumMarch 16—Cincinnati, OH—The Andrew J Brady Music Center (SOLD OUT)March 17—Cincinnati, OH—The Andrew J Brady Music Center (SOLD OUT)March 18—Cincinnati, OH—The Andrew J Brady Music Center (SOLD OUT)April 13—Southaven, MS—Landers CenterApril 14—Mobile, AL—Mobile Civic Center ArenaApril 15—Mobile, AL—Mobile Civic Center ArenaApril 18—Tampa, FL—Yuengling CenterApril 20—St. Augustine, FL—St. Augustine AmphitheatreApril 21—St. Augustine, FL—St. Augustine AmphitheatreApril 22—St. Augustine, FL—St. Augustine AmphitheatreMay 11—Morrison, CO—Red Rocks Amphitheatre (SOLD OUT)May 12—Morrison, CO—Red Rocks Amphitheatre (SOLD OUT)May 17—Phoenix, AZ—Arizona Financial TheatreMay 19—Los Angeles, CA—Greek TheatreMay 20—San Diego, CA—Cal Coast Credit Union Open Air TheatreMay 21—San Diego, CA—Cal Coast Credit Union Open Air TheatreMay 24—Las Vegas, NV—Brooklyn BowlJune 2—Austin, TX—Moody CenterJune 3—Austin, TX—Moody CenterJune 7—Tulsa, OK—BOK CenterJune 9—St. Louis, MO—Chaifetz ArenaJune 10—Indianapolis, IN—TCU Amphitheater at White River State ParkJune 11—Indianapolis, IN—TCU Amphitheater at White River State ParkJune 13—Cleveland, OH—Jacobs PavilionJune 14—Cleveland, OH—Jacobs PavilionJune 16—Clarkston, MI—Pine Knob Music TheatreJune 17—Chicago, IL—Huntington Bank Pavilion at Northerly Islandwww.billystrings.com

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Epiphone Launches Adam Jones Les Paul Custom Art Collection

The limited-edition collection of seven Silverburst Les Paul Custom art pieces, which feature the artwork of five visual artists curated by Adam Jones of Tool.The first model to debut in the Adam Jones Les Paul Custom Art Collection is Mark Ryden’s “The Veil of Bees.” This guitar displays acclaimed artist Mark Ryden’s piece “The Veil of Bees” on the back of the guitar, in addition artwork on the rear headstock is designed by world-renowned artist Korin Faught. Blending themes of pop culture with the techniques of the old masters, Mark Ryden blurs the traditional boundaries between high and low art in a new genre of “Pop Surrealism.” Ryden’s “The Veil of Bees” originally premiered at Art Basel – Hong Kong in 2018. Explore the artwork of Mark Ryden, HERE.The Epiphone Adam Jones Les Paul Custom Art Collection has a bound mahogany body with a maple cap, a three-piece bound maple neck with an Adam Jones Custom profile, and an ebony fretboard. It is equipped with a reverse-mounted Epiphone ProBucker Custom humbucker in the neck position and a Seymour Duncan Distortion in the bridge; both are wired to CTS potentiometers and Orange Drop capacitors. A Marquee Back Plate with the Mark Ryden’s name and the title of the artwork, “The Veil of Bees” is also included. The guitar is finished in Antique Silverburst as an homage to Adam’s beloved original Silverbust 1979 Gibson Les Paul Custom, a Protector hardshell case is also included.Adam Jones Les Paul Custom Art CollectionThe Epiphone Adam Jones Art Collection consists of seven, Silverburst Les Paul Custom models, each featuring reproductions of different works of fine art on the back. Adam curated all of the featured artwork, and selected five distinguished artists Mark Ryden, Frank Frazetta, Julie Heffernan, Korin Faught, and Ernst Fuchs for the collection; additional artwork designed by artist Korin Faught, adorns the back of the headstock of each model. Only 800 guitars of each model from this extremely limited edition run will be produced.Adam Jones Les Paul Custom Art Collection: Mark Ryden’s “The Veil of Bees”

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FIT FOR A KING Announces Winter 2023 Headline Tour Of North America; BLABBERMOUTH.NET Presale

FIT FOR A KING has announced the winter 2023 headline tour of North America.
The “Hell We Create” tour kicks off on February 16 in Tempe, Arizona and runs through March 19 in Dallas, Texas. All dates are below. The band will be joined by NORTHLANE, ALPHA WOLF and KINGDOM OF GIANTS on this run.
A spe…

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Family Of Late RUSH Drummer Raises Money For Cancer Center In Ontario

This past October, “A Night for Neil – The Neil Peart Memorial Celebration” was held at Meridian Centre in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada. A tribute to the RUSH drummer, who born in Hamilton and raised in St. Catharines, the event’s proceeds benefited St. Catharines hospital and Walker Family Cance…

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LYNYRD SKYNYRD-Headlined Hurricane Ian Benefit Concert Generates Over $1.5 Million For Relief

The sold-out Hurricane Ian benefit concert at Hertz Arena in n Estero, Florida generated over $1.5 million for Hurricane Ian relief.
The December 1 concert was headlined by Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame group LYNYRD SKYNYRD and featured showstopping and heartfelt performances by Ira Dean, Gavin DeGraw,…

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PAPA ROACH And FALLING IN REVERSE Announce Second Leg Of 'Rockzilla' Tour With HOLLYWOOD UNDEAD

Following their wildly successful co-headline “Rockzilla” tour, PAPA ROACH and FALLING IN REVERSE are back and bigger than ever, bringing fans a thrilling sequel. The second leg of the “Rockzilla” tour, featuring special guest HOLLYWOOD UNDEAD and opener ESCAPE THE FATE, will kick off in Rochester,…

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SKID ROW And BUCKCHERRY Announce U.S. Co-Headline Spring 2023 Tour

To welcome in 2023, SKID ROW and BUCKCHERRY will team up for a co-headline “The Gang’s All Here” tour in the spring. Performances kick off on March 9 in Bowler, Wisconsin and continue throughout the month, with special guests NO RESOLVE providing support on select shows. All tour dates are listed be…

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