Fab's Music Café: An interview with Keyboard genius; Otmaro Ruíz
Otmaro Ruíz began his formal musical studies at the age of eight on piano, classical guitar, harmony, history and aesthetics. His formal musical studies were done in the Juan Manuel Olivares Music School in Caracas. In the meantime, he also was exposed to other artistic activities such as drawing and acting. At the same time, he studied organ and pursued a scientific career as a biologist at the Simón Bolívar University, but kept playing keyboards on the side, landing his first professional work in a pop group in 1980. Decided to focus entirely on music, Ruíz dropped out of school in 1983 while playing in his native Venezuela, where he toured and recorded with local and visiting musicians, and also became a busy studio musician as a jingles composer and arranger. In 1989 Ruíz moved to Los Angeles, California, where he finished his academic training at CalArts, obtaining a master's degree in jazz performance in 1993. In between, he was also playing with percussionist Alex Acuña, appearing in two albums during the early 1990s. and later recorded with Arturo Sandoval, which was followed by a world tour supporting Gino Vannelli in 1996. Perfectly at ease at both the acoustic piano and electric keyboards, and keeping versatility as one of his biggest assets, Ruiz marked the transition into the new millennium performing / recording with Rock icons Jon Anderson and, Robbie Robertson, Latin Crossings Project, featuring Latin legend Tito Puente, Steve Winwood and Arturo Sandoval, Herb Alpert and Fusion giant John McLaughlin, also taking part in recordings and multiple World tours with multi Grammy Award winner vocalist Dianne Reeves, Frank Gambale, Alain Caron and Lee Ritenour. Ruiz also participated in an international jazz group named JB Project, along with American bassist Brian Bromberg and Japanese drummer Akira Jimbo. This group released three studio albums: Brombo (2003), Brombo II (2004) and Brombo III (2017). Additionally, he appeared on Akira Jimbo's CDs projects for eleven consecutive years as member of a Trio/Quartet format. In 2012, the Cornel School of Contemporary Music of Shepherd University awarded Ruiz with an Honorary Doctorate in Music Arts. Then, in 2016, he was nominated for the Best Arrangement Instrumental & Vocals at the 58th Annual Grammy Awards for his version of the tune Girl from Ipanema, which was part of his production Catina DeLuna and Lado B Brazilian Project, featuring Otmaro Ruiz. This CD also got raving international reviews, including four stars by DownBeat magazine and also was included in their issue Best of 2016. Furthermore, Ruiz has worked extensively by conducting workshops and lectures worldwide and formed part of the faculty of USC Thornton School of Music for five years. Otmaro also worked as a member of the Cornell School of Contemporary Music based at Shepherd University faculty, as part of a team that includes long time friends and collaborators Abraham Laboriel and Jimmy Branly. In recent years, Otmaro Ruiz released his long dreamed "electric" CD in Trio format with famed musicians Jimmy Haslip and Jimmy Branly entitled "Elemental" to amazing international reviews, also became a member of Simon Phillips' influential Jazz Rock Fusion Band "Protocol" and Toured with SoulBop, a Modern Electric Jazz ensemble conducted by Randy Brecker and Bill Evans. In addition, Ruíz remains active up to the present day, generally recording and touring with L.A.-based groups and vocalists, as well as commanding his own projects.
Fab's Music Café
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Fab's Music Café: Fab interviews Blues guitar legend, Josh Smith
In this episode, Fab interviews Blues guitar legend, Josh Smith. Blues rock guitar virtuoso, singer-songwriter and producer, Josh Smith, is hailed the world over as a master guitarist with raw talent and power to spare. Blending his signature mix of blues, rock and jazz into dynamic original songs, Smith is known for his incendiary live performances, whether at the Grammy Awards or the Kennedy Center Honors with Mick Jagger, Raphael Saadiq and others. Born in 1979, Josh started playing guitar at age six. Praised as a blues prodigy by the time he was 12 years old, he began playing at professional blues jams in South Florida, sitting in with such greats as Jimmy Thackery, Tinsley Ellis, Kenny Neal, Lucky Peterson, Matt “Guitar” Murphy, Johnny “Clyde” Copeland, Double Trouble, Joanna Connor and Kim Simmonds, among others. Jimmy Thackery said of the 14-year-old, “Josh is three heartbreaks away from being a true blues guitar genius.” That insight from Jimmy Thackery proved true as Josh began releasing CDs at age 14. His first national tour with his power trio, Josh Smith and the Frost, featured Josh as bandleader, vocalist as well as guitarist. The legendary producer Jim Gaines (Santana, SRV, Luther Allison, Steve Miller, Jimmy Thackery) produced Josh’s third CD, Too Damn Cold and Woman. By 1998, he had completed four national tours with his band. Josh was then asked to support the great B.B. King on a number of shows. Opening for B.B. King was just the beginning for this in-demand artist and lead guitarist for artists such as Taylor Hicks, Ricky Fante (Virgin Records), Raphael Saadiq, actress Taryn Manning, Universal Music Group hip-hop artists Benny Cassette and Tara Ellis, and more. He has the distinction of inducting Neil Diamond into the Kennedy Center Honors with Raphael Saadiq’s band and honoring Solomon Burke at the Grammys with Mick Jagger. Within a year of moving to L.A. in 2002, Josh was retained by Virgin recording artist Ricky Fante and performed nationally and internationally with Ricky for the next two years. In 2006, Josh recorded his fifth CD, Deep Roots and continued to play with a variety of artists such as actress Taryn Manning, Universal Music hip-hop artists Benny Cassette and Tara Ellis, to name a few. In 2007, Josh was hired by 2006 American Idol winner Taylor Hicks to be his lead guitarist. They completed two national tours before Josh was hired as lead guitarist by Grammy Award winner Raphael Saadiq. Josh continues to tour with Saadiq. In 2009, Josh released his 6th studio CD, Inception and in 2010 he was signed to Crosscut Records based in Germany. Crosscut re-released Josh’s breakout album, Deep Roots as I’m Gonna Be Ready. In 2013, Josh’s CD Don’t Give Up On Me was also released in Germany, followed by Over Your Head in 2014. In 2016, Josh’s jazz album, Still was released to critical acclaim as was Burn To Grow in 2018. Along with touring the world, recording and performing with renowned artists such as Joe Bonamassa, Eric Johnson, Andy Timmons, Kirk Fletcher and others, Smith is also a producer and owns Flat V Studios in Los Angeles. He has produced artists Reese Wynans (Joe Bonamassa), Artur Menezes (winner of the Eric Clapton 2019 Crossroads Festival) Seth Rosenbloom, Jamey Arent and many more. Josh’s latest and 11th album, Live At The Spud, was released January 8, 2020 on Flat V Music, and features Smith and his power trio recorded live over two nights at the legendary Baked Potato in Los Angeles. The new album features Smith on guitar and vocals, Gary Novak on drums and Trevor Carlton on bass. The goal was to present an unedited look at a normal night at the Baked Potato. Compelling, improvisational and explosive. Josh is currently touring worldwide in support of the live album. Josh lives in Los Angeles with his wife and son.
'Sidemen: Long Road To Glory' : Exclusive Movie Package
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Sidemen: Long Road To Glory: Movie Trailer
Sidemen: Long Road to Glory: the movie package with over 40 minutes of bonus never before seen interviews is available NOW to rent or buy in Fab's Movie Night in AGN On Demand: Sidemen is an intimate look into the incredible lives of three of the last Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf sidemen, piano player Pinetop Perkins, drummer Willie 'Big Eyes' Smith and guitarist Hubert Sumlin. These legendary bluesmen, who performed and recorded into their 80's and 90's, played a significant role in shaping modern popular music. The film features some of the last interviews conducted with all three men as well as their final live performances together. These memorable live performances, vividly capture these blues legends with the blues and rock stars they have inspired including, Robby Krieger of The Doors, Elvin Bishop (recent rock ‘n’ Roll Hall inductee with The Paul Butterfield Blues Band), and Tim Reynolds of The Dave Matthews Band. Personal insights from artists such as, Bonnie Raitt, Gregg Allman, Derek Trucks, Shemekia Copeland, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Joe Perry, Joe Bonamassa and Johnny Winter offer heartfelt accounts of how these three legendary sidemen helped shape their careers as well as rock ‘n’ roll. Sidemen takes us on the road with Pinetop, Willie and Hubert, three of our last direct links to the origins of the blues, as they share the incredible stories about each of their personal histories. From their upbringings on Delta plantations of the Jim Crow south to lives spent on the road in the shadow of two of the biggest figures in music history, their stories are not only a part of music history, but American history as well. As we ride along, we can’t help but fall in love with these three endearing men as we experience all the trials and triumphs of these remarkable lives. In the summer of 2008, a group of legendary bluesmen, some of the last surviving members of the Howlin’ Wolf and Muddy Waters bands, were brought together by director Scott Rosenbaum for a cameo appearance in his feature film, The Perfect Age of Rock ‘n’ Roll. Pinetop Perkins, Willie "Big Eyes" Smith and Hubert Sumlin were cast for their authenticity and ability to underscore the film’s critical subplot, the evolution of rock ‘n’ roll through the blues. During breaks in production, these bluesmen thrilled Rosenbaum with their tales of a lifetime spent on the road. Firsthand accounts of experiences with the mythical Robert Johnson, the larger-than-life Howlin’ Wolf, the seminal Muddy Waters and disciples such as Jimi Hendrix and The Rolling Stones got the director’s creative wheels spinning. Between takes, Sumlin called Rosenbaum over to the bandstand and prophetically told him of his feeling that they would be working together again. In an instant, an idea that had been germinating with the director for years took root. When the bluesmen’s booking agent, Hugh Southard approached Rosenbaum, asking him to lend the film’s name to help galvanize a world tour featuring these legendary musicians, a concept had fully blossomed. Having grown up on Martin Scorsese’s valediction to The Band, The Last Waltz, Rosenbaum wanted to make a film that similarly honored the life and musical legacy of these aging bluesmen. When Pinetop, Hubert and Willie "Big Eyes," along with Sugar Blue, Robert Stroger and Bob Margolin hit the road as The Perfect Age of Rock ‘n’ Roll Blues Band, Rosenbaum, along with producers Jasin Cadic, Tony Grazia and Joe White were determined to capture this important moment and fleeting history. Over the next three years they would follow these blues legends, shooting live performances, an historic Grammy win, dozens of intimate interviews, countless behind-the-scenes moments, and documenting their lives on the road. Sadly, the 2011 deaths of Willie, Pine and Hubert altered the film’s initial Last Waltz style vision; to capture these legends performing live versions of classic blues songs with the musicians they had so heavily influenced. Luckily, several of these performance pairings were filmed before their deaths. Those treasured moments are complimented by over two dozen subsequent interviews with some of blues and rock’s biggest names, demonstrating the true impact and tremendous respect that these men engendered over the course of their long careers. Members of The Doors, The Allman Brothers, The Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Aerosmith, The Dave Matthews Band, as well as artists like Bonnie Raitt, Johnny Winter, Bobby Rush and Shemekia Copeland share their personal and professional recollections of these men and the impact that they’ve had on their own careers. When asked how they hoped to be remembered, Willie, Pine and Hubert consistently expressed their wish to be known for both having kept the blues alive and to serve as an inspiration for the younger generations of musicians. Interviews with blues acolytes Joe Bonamassa, Eric Gales, Warren Haynes, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, and Derek Trucks affirm that their legacies are alive and well. Several of these musicians have even contributed searing on-camera solo performances in tribute to these late blues legends. Haunting imagery of the Mississippi Delta region, the birthplace of the blues and these legendary bluesmen, punctuates this powerful piece of history. This film succeeds in capturing the personal triumphs, tragedies and tremendous perseverance of three of the last original Delta and Chicago bluesmen while preserving a critical legacy that is nothing short of our last links to the origins of all popular music.
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AGN News: June 21st is "Make Music Day"
AGN News: June 21st is "Make Music Day"....For most of us, June 21st this year is Father’s Day, but it’s also the date for this year's lesser known, Make Music Day. Make Music Day was first launched in 1982 in France as the Fête de la Musique, when the country’s Ministry of Culture conceived an idea for a day where free, live music would be everywhere throughout the country and now nearly 40 years later, it's not only a national holiday in France, but it's celebrated in more than 120 countries around the world. Make Music Day is presented in the U.S. by the NAMM Foundation and is quote, “open to anyone who wants to take part. Every kind of musician – young and old, amateur and professional, of every musical persuasion – pours onto streets, parks, plazas, and porches to share their music with friends, neighbors, and strangers. All of it is free and open to the public.” June 21, the summer solstice, was chosen as the date for the event, and last year, more than 1,000 cities around the world threw citywide music celebrations to make the occasion. To find out about Make Music events in your city and how to get involved, click the INFO button and check out makemusicday.org.
Tim Pierce Essentials
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Subscribe to the Tim Pierce's Masterclass NOW
This program is unlike any other in the world because it combines ongoing guitar training with all the inside information that only a real world professional can provide. Tim Pierce has been a recording guitarist in Los Angeles for over 30 years. His list of credits is astonishing. With over 100 hours, over 1000 videos, you’ll hit the ground running. Tim adds new lessons, jam tracks and tabs throughout the year, so your collection will continue to grow. Click the info link and subscribe NOW... Tim’s recording discography includes Crowded House, Christina Aguilera, Seal, Avril Lavigne, Tracy Chapman, Joe Cocker, Ricky Martin, Meat Loaf, Rod Stewart, Elton John, Michael Jackson, Bruce Springsteen, Rob Thomas, Rick Springfield, Phil Collins, Madonna, Toy Matinee, Don Henley, Santana, Rascal Flatts, Chris Isaak, Jewel, Faith Hill, Celine Dion, Dave Matthews Band, John Legend, Gavin Degraw, Mika, Carolina Liar, Goo Goo Dolls, Uncle Kracker, Josh Groban, Mylie Cyrus, Demi Lovato, David Cook, Adam Lambert, Daniel Powter, Chris Allen, Jack’s Mannequin,The Band Perry,Shinedown, Jason Mraz, Kelly Clarkson,Il Volo,Lana Del Ray, Gloriana, Colbie Caillat, and many others. He works with producers such as: Rob Cavallo (Green Day, Goo Goo Dolls), Warren Huart (Augustana, The Fray), Matt Serletic (Santana, Rob Thomas), Eric Ross (Sara Bareilles), John Fields (Switchfoot, Jonas Brothers), Walter A (Mariah Carey, Marc Anthony, Josh Groban, Celine Dion, Christina Aguilera, Ricky Martin), Bill Bottrell (Sheryl Crow, ELO, Michael Jackson, Tom Petty), Tim James (Mylie Cyrus, Demi Lovato, Sick Puppies), Ron Nevison (The Who, The Rolling Stones, Meat Loaf, Bad Company, Led Zeppelin, Ozzy Osbourne), Michael Lloyd, Howard Benson (Gavin DeGraw, Daughtry, Chris Cornell), Patrick Leonard (Roger Waters, Bryan Ferry, Elton John, Anna Vissi, Rod Stewart, Madonna), Keith Olsen (Fleetwood Mac), Trevor Horn (Seal, Yes, Art of Noise), Dan Huff (Rascal Flatts, Keith Urban, Faith Hill), Randy Jackson (American Idol and others).
Alamo Music Center
Epiphone Muse Series Les Paul and SG Review and Demo
Epiphone Muse Series Les Paul and SG Review and Demo
Guitar Slingers with Jack Barksdale - Episode #13 - John Pedigo
Episode #13 features Dallas based producer, songwriter, singer and all around great musician John Pedigo. Thank you to the Kessler Theatre for letting us use their venue to film the episode. (Note: We actually filmed this episode in February 2020 before the pandemic)
108 Rock Star Guitars: The NAMM 2020 Interviews
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108 ROCK STAR GUITARS AT NAMM 2020: Ron Mancuso
Beggars and Thieves, Ron Mancuso drops by the NAMM booth and chats with Lisa and Lonn.
Grumps TV with Bruce Forman
GrumpsTV #49 They call the wind Corona!!!
Grumps and Gidget embark on a mining expedition...California: lost, found...and lost again!!!
The Guitar that Took 20 Years to Arrive!
David Grissom and the DGT. click the INFO button and check out the Tim Pierce Masterclass NOW...!
Grumps TV with Bruce Forman
GrumpsTV #48 Hulla Ballou!!!
Distressing times and a surprise result from '23 and Me" lead Grumps and Gidget down a smoky rabbit hole!!! The end of the sixth season (and I thought we were just a flash in the pan)
Josh Smith, 'Live' From Flat V
Josh Smith 'Live' From Flat V: My Guitars: Novo 'Serus'
One of Josh's 'go to' guitars.....his Novo 'Serus'
The SURPRISING #1 Reason Why the H9 is GREAT.
"The Eventide H9 pedal has more sounds in it than any multi effect unit I have ever heard. But that’s not even what I like the most about it. What I like most is the way the un-effected guitar SOUNDS - going through the device! Click the INFO button to take the 14 day free trial in the masterclass! We just added my 3 collaborations with Brett Papa... Making the Song, Full Spectrum Lead, and Full Spectrum Rhythm Guitar. 212 additional videos! Thanks for all your support," Tim
108 Rock Star Guitars: The NAMM 2020 Interviews
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108 ROCK STAR GUITARS AT NAMM 2020: Tom Draper
Carcass guitarist, Tom Draper drops by to chat with Lisa and Lonn.
Guitar Of The Day
Guitar of the Day 1992 PRS Custom 24 Kirk Fletcher at Norman's Rare Guitars
Fun Episode with Kirk Fletcher!!! Stay safe, be kind and hope you’re all well! Enjoy this new episode of #GuitarOfTheDay: Kirk playing a 1992 PRS Custom 24 here at #NormansRareGuitars! For any questions you may have or price inquiries about this #PaulReedSmith #PRS #Custom #24 #ElectricGuitar please give us a call at 818-344-8300.