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Gibson Recommends Raising Sand by Robert Plant and Alison Krauss (Free Album Stream!)

Sylvie Simmons
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10.25.2007

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Who would have thought that collaboration between one of hard rock’s living legends and the young queen of bluegrass could make such astonishingly beautiful music together? On the surface, the pairing of Robert Plant and Alison Krauss seems like an oddity, but on the authentic endearing Raising Sand, the two sound as if they’ve been building up to this moment their whole lives.
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Underoath’s Tim McTague Gives a Sneak Peek of Upcoming Documentary

Jonah Bayer
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10.25.2007

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These days, it seems like nearly every band has a DVD—and in many cases, the end product feels more like an afterthought than a full-fledged release. Underoath guitarist Tim McTague wants to change that. “We wanted to do something different, so we came up with the idea to take a film crew on this entire tour and make it a real story instead of just taking out the camera when someone’s throwing up or being an idiot,” he explains, adding that the DVD will be shot in high-definition widescreen and include a live set that will be shot at the Electric Factory in Philadelphia later this month.
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Director Paints Vivid Panorama in New Stars-Packed, Beatles-Themed Film

Jerry McCulley
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10.25.2007

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The history of Beatles-inspired media projects is a decidedly spotty one, a canon that stretches from the shrewd, burnished nostalgia of Beatlemania! to outright cheese (ABC-TV’s 1977 Beatles Forever) and the mega-miscalculations All This and World War II and The Bee Gees as Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Yet that didn’t stop director Julie Taymor from bringing the visual sense that’s enlightened work as diverse as her wildly successful Broadway adaptation of The Lion King and Oscar-honored Frida to a Beatles’-centered narrative Across the Universe, which is being hailed as one of the year’s most artistically ambitious films.
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It’s a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock and Roll): Real Life on the Road

Jonah Bayer
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10.25.2007

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The van reeked of stale socks and Chinese takeout food—and we were still two hundred miles from Minneapolis. My band the Lovekill were hurtling down the freeway at 70 miles per hour on our way to play the biggest show of our career, opening for Thursday and Milemarker at the Fine Line Music Café. But first we had to get there in time for a ridiculously early 3 p.m. soundcheck and it wasn’t looking good. Traveling with us was our friend/photographer Adam and our largely unnecessary 19-year-old merch girl Julie, who despite sporting two intimidating sleeves of tattoos, was a sweetheart at her core. The night before we had played a set in Chicago at the Empty Bottle, which was so sparsely attended that it had had prompted my sister to muse, “Empty Bottle? More like empty club!” Morale was low, but we had been looking forward to this show ever since we got an email from Thursday’s booking agent while we were at a dirty punk house in Germany months earlier. There was a palpable frustration in the band: some of us weren’t getting along, our record had been pushed back for almost a year, and the amount of money we were dumping into gas, merch, and van payments was starting to wear on us all.
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Bluesman Stacy Mitchhart’s Treks in Tennessee (Free MP3 Download!)

Sean McDevitt
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10.25.2007

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It’s about a 200-mile drive from Nashville to Memphis, and Stacy Mitchhart knows the journey better than most. The guitarist and vocalist holds down a regular, twice-weekly gig at B.B. King’s in Nashville, his home base, skipping town every two weeks or so to play the club’s Memphis location. “Moving to Nashville has been fantastic,” says Mitchhart, who set up shop in Music City in 1996 and became the artist in residence at the Bourbon Street Blues and Boogie Bar in historic Printer’s Alley. “I lived in Los Angeles and New York and made a good living, but I’ve played with cats here that I wouldn’t have been able to perform with anywhere else—James Brown, Keb’ Mo, Stephen Stills, Gatemouth Brown, Joe Sample. I even played with John Entwistle of the Who,” he says with a chuckle. “I’m a Yankee in Nashville doing the most non-country thing I can do.”
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Chambering the Les Paul: A Marriage of Weight and Tone

Dave Hunter
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10.25.2007

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Not many players today like to struggle with the back-breaking weight of an overly heavy guitar, but relatively fewer realize that relieving the load can very often also have positive consequences on an instrument’s sound. Gibson first put unseen routes, or “chambers,” in some Les Paul bodies purely as a weight-reduction measure at a time when adequately light stocks of mahogany were difficult to come by. Today, however, the craftsmen at Gibson USA take a more holistic view of the construction process, with the awareness that every change to the formula will have repercussions on an instrument’s sound. The result is a synchronicity of weight and tone that benefits the customer from whichever angle you approach it.
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Mick and Keith: Longtime Producer Don Was Dishes On The Rolling Stones’ High-Voltage Chemistry

Russell Hall
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10.24.2007

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Fine album though it is, Mick Jagger’s just-released solo compilation serves to remind that nothing the singer has recorded on his own matches his work within the Rolling Stones. The secrets to the Stones’ chemistry are elusive and multi-faceted—tomes have been written on the subject—but no one’s gotten a view of the band’s inner workings quite like record producer Don Was. Beginning with 1994’s Voodoo Lounge, Was has occupied a producer’s seat for each of the Stones’ studio albums. In the following interview, he shares some insight into how the world’s most legendary band achieves its distinctive sound.
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Gibson Tone Tips: Pick A Winner

Dave Hunter
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10.24.2007

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There’s a little tidbit of tonal tweakage that is entirely within every player’s power to modify at will, without risk to guitar, amp or effects, without voiding any warrantees, and at very little expense. Simultaneously, this item is one of the most underappreciated tools in the tone arsenal. I’m talking about the humble pick, brothers and sisters, that little triangle of semi-rigid material that sets your strings a-humming. Picks—or plectrums—of different sizes, shapes, and thicknesses, and which are made of different materials, all exhibit different sounds. Gibson Gear offers a wide selection of Gibson picks, all of which are available through your authorized dealer, and of course you can experiment with a myriad of other makes and styles of picks to alter the tone of your Gibson guitar. And flesh—bare fingertips—offers a different sound alternative still. Since the pick or fingertip’s contact with the string or strings is where it all begins, this is really the first ingredient in the sonic stew.
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On the Road with KISS: Guitar Tech Francis Stueber Talks to Gibson (Podcast!)

Sean McDevitt
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10.24.2007

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“If Paul goes out of tune, it’s not his fault, it’s my fault,” says Francis Stueber, referring matter-of-factly to one of his many responsibilities as guitar technician for KISS’s Paul Stanley, with whom he’s worked closely since 2002. “Usually I change his guitar every four to five songs so he doesn’t have to worry about going out of tune. It’s pretty straightforward with KISS; Paul only plays one tuning and he plays no more than six guitars. Really the only reason I change guitars is for aesthetics.”
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Gov’t Mule and Grace Potter Rock Nashville (Free MP3 Download!)

Ted Drozdowski
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10.23.2007

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Warren Haynes looks like his guitar sounds: big and burly with no shortage of fuzz. But like an NFL linebacker who studies ballet to improve his game, the Gov’t Mule frontman tempers his sonic brawn with plenty of flexibility and grace. He pushed those virtues to the fore during the Mule’s concert with openers Grace Potter and the Nocturnals at Nashville’s War Memorial on October 18, 2007—a wild improvisational journey that ricocheted between the past and present of his band’s boundless catalogue by roving from brass-knuckled rock to unfettered psychedelia to reggae to hard-core blues.
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