Tag Archives: Guitar

Quick Artist Profile: Reignwolf

Jordan Cook sounds like an average name. You could probably open up the phone book and find multiple Jordan Cooks (do People even Have Phone Books anymore.) But Jordan Cook has an alter ego, and that is Reignwolf the name of his sometimes one man sometimes three piece band. Reignwolf is definitely an artist to keep an eye out for, as he takes the garage rock thing and makes it his own using amazing showmanship and musicianship to create a sonic brew that can only be described as mesmerizing.

I found about Reignwolf while cruising the internet last week, and started watching his videos and was sucked into my computer screen for hours watching his performances of him. I was stunned by the level of talent and the awesomeness of the music that just came from one man and a bass drum. Truly amazing.

Checkout Reignwolf NOW!

-B. Harlow


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Quick Artist Profile: Graham Dechter

Born into a musical family it was no surprise Graham Dechter went into music. His mother, Maureen came from musical theater and his father, Brad is an orchestrated and composer who has worked on 250 film scores and arranged pieces for many famous artists including Johnny Mathis and Barbra Streisand. He credits his parents for exposing him to the music that he eventually would later work with, jazz. But Dechter did not start out playing jazz, originally Dechter’s muse was classical music which he also composed.  This changed however when Dechter met with bassist Marshall Hawkins who exposed him to improvisation, and thus directed the young musician towards playing jazz. In 2005 and at age 19 Dechter was invited to join the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra and has been touring with them since, as well as working on sessions, and playing with many singers and musicians including working on Michael Bublé’s, Christmas.

Along with being a fantastic studio musician, Dechter is also a solo artist that has put out two fantastic records. His first record was released in 2009 and featured many great tracks that feature his smooth sounding swing based leads it also featured the tremendous bass playing of John Clayton. Dechter’s second album featured the same smooth playing that will make him a force to be reckoned with within the guitar community.

-B. Harlow



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Artists You Should Hear: Tak Matsumoto

Tak Matsumoto is one of the most amazing musical minds that is out there today. He is a Grammy Award-winning Japanese guitarist, producer, arranger, composer, singer and songwriter. But you’ve probably never heard of him, and that’s because he plays in a band that mostly plays Japan. In Japan, Tak and his band B’z, which aslo features singer Koshi Inaba are extremely successful. To date they’ve released 46 consecutive No. 1 singles, 25 No. 1 albums, and sold more than 80 million records worldwide! Tak is also a true virtuoso with a very successful solo career.

Tak started out as a session musician, but would soon find himself playing in one of Japan’s biggest bands, B’z. B’z was formed in 1988 as a duo featuring Koshi Inaba on vocals. Together they’ve released 19 studio albums including their most recent, 2011’s C’mon. Stylistically the band has changed many times, but consistently they put out an excellent product focused around Tak’s excellent guitar playing.

Tak as a solo artist has released 13 albums. Most recently Tak released his album Strings of My Soul which came out in June of 2012. He has also done some amazing guest spots including appearance with the Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra.

Tak is an amazing guitar player who you should hear! Check him out!

-B. Harlow



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Rush Is Back With Prog Tour de Force “Headlong Flight”

Rush will be releasing their 20th studio album to eagerly waiting fans on June 12th . The album is going to be released on Roadrunner Records and was produced by the amazingly talented Nick Raskulinecz (Foo Fighters/Stone Sour/Trivium). Yesterday (via rollingstone.com) Rush fans got to hear the first single from the album Clockwork Angels entitled “Headlong Flight” which is a  seven and a half minute prog rock opus.

When listening to “Headlong Flight” one will be very impressed with the musicianship and skill that went into making the song. You can also hear the tremendous production skills of Raskulinecz as the track weaves in and out of peaks and valleys. The song is a true journey that starts off with atmospheric noises that lead to a killer riff that is doubled by the bass. You can actually hear the bass in the mix which is one thing I really like about the song and Raskulinecz’s production style in general. Geddy Lee’s screeching vocals come in next. This is when you hear the traditional Rush sound that is so familiar to fans worldwide, yet this time it’s a little heavier and darker. At the 2:10 mark you get an interesting bluesy sounding break that is quickly comes to a close with the massive attack of Mr. Peart and Mr. Lee. The 4:20 mark comes next with an interesting vocal part that is followed by a quick drum solo this then then gets a heavy bass put over it. The final touch to this odd solo midsection is a guitar solo from Alex Lifeson. This is all followed by a giant chorus section, and an outro that leaves fans wanting more.

After listening to the seven and a half minutes of “Headlong Flight” I have to say that I will be excited to hear the rest of the album (which will feature the previously released “Caravan” and “BU2B”). Also fans should be prepared to expand the concept of the album with a book penned by Kevin J. Anderson. Be sure to check out “Headlong Flight” and the album when it is released.

-B. Harlow

Check Out the stream of “Headlong Flight” HERE

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Multi-Talented Musician Andrew Bird’s New Album: ‘Break it Yourself’

Many people can call themselves Multi-instrumentalists, some of the notable multi-instrumentalists are Prince, Stevie Wonder, and the great Madman Frank Zappa. But none are more unique in this generation than, Andrew Bird. Bird’s technique on violin and guitar are truly his own, and add a certain flare mostly seen in bluegrass and country music. Did we also mention Bird is an excellent whistler, yes that kind of whistler. Bird who got his start in Chicago, found himself a career that has lasted sixteen plus years. His career has included work with his band Bowl of Fire, a vast Catalogue of solo work, and numerous appearances as a session musician. Last week Bird released his seventh studio album entitled ‘Break it Yourself’ (Mom+Pop). ‘Break it Yourself’ is a tremendous effort featuring fourteen truly unique tracks.

The album starts with the track ‘Desperation Breeds…’ which has a very odd intro, that consists of atmospheric noises and a violin that is being plucked. Around the two minute mark of the track, we see a really interesting musical break, which includes a syncopated beat and tremendous guitar, violin, bass, and drum work. The bass in the song is truly driving and moves throughout. One of my favorite parts of the track is the violin solo which features a great deal of trills, which add an aspect of suspense. This aspect of suspense is only increased when what sounds like a Theremin is added into the mix.  The next track to take note of is entitled ‘Danse Caribe’ which literally translates to: ‘Caribbean Dance’. The song itself follows a traditional folk sound till about the 2:06 mark when Bird’s violin imitates the sound of the traditional Caribbean steel Pan or Drum. We also get the first taste of Bird’s whistling talent in this song. The next track to take note of is the seventh track ‘Near Death Experience Experience’. The track starts out with the plucked violin, which sounds doubled by either an electric violin or guitar. The rest of the instruments eventually kick in and Bird’s vocals take an interesting turn around the 2:15 mark, when they are harmonized with a very sweet sounding female voice.  The album is finished off by the three minute piece ‘Belles’. The song is very atmospheric and draws the listener in with a soft ambient background, while bells are played over top.

Overall I love this album because of its uniqueness. It truly is a must listen! Eventually, I think you’ll see more of Bird, but for now he’s one of music’s best kept secrets.

-B. Harlow

Check Out the Track ‘ Near Death Experience Experience’ Below:

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