Pro File: Exclusive Interview with LA based touring & session player, Erik Himel

Pro File: Exclusive Interview with LA based touring & session player, Erik Himel

Erik Himel has established himself as a versatile, in-demand live and studio session guitarist for artists like Alan Parsons, Kevin Martin [Candlebox], Jesse Hughes [Eagles of Death Metal], Mark McGrath [SugarRay], and more. Himel’s chops were put to the test this past year when the COVID-19 pandemic shuttered live music around the world and increased demand for remote studio work. Operating out of his private home studio in Los Angeles, Erik opens up about playing live, sessions, guitars, gear, studio monitoring, life in the times of Covid and his hopes for 2021.
Duration: 25:53

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Exclusive Interview with Jack Ryan Sullivan
AGN Pro Files
LessonsNewsVintageJazzCountryRockBluesAcousticRecording

Exclusive Interview with Jack Ryan Sullivan

Jack Ryan was born in Clemson, South Carolina and was the guitar and mandolin protege of Jimmy Rogers, who was known as the fastest guitar player in the southeast. While Jack’s background is a mix between Jazz and Bluegrass, he is also well versed in Blues, Country, Rock and Roll, Metal, Classical, and Pop music and he's also an amazing five-string and plectrum banjo player In 2013, Jack moved to Nashville, Tennessee, where he became the house guitar player for many of Nashville’s world-famous honky tonks including Tootsie’s, Rippy’s, Honky Tonk Central, Second Fiddle, The Stage, The Valentine, and during this time, Jack became known as having the “Fastest Fingers on Broadway” .While in Nashville, Jack played on stage and toured with Steven Tyler, Kid Rock, Vince Gill, Montgomery Gentry, Dierks Bentley, The Swon Brothers, Hank Williams III, Rhonda Vincent, and Larry Gatlin of The Gatlin Brothers. Jack Ryan’s band was the featured band for Jason Aldean and Luke Bryan’s private CMA Party in 2016. These days, through his amazing business, Jack Ryan Music Jack plays and teaches acoustic guitar, electric guitar, mandolin, violin/fiddle, viola, cello, upright bass, electric bass, five-string banjo, plectrum, banjo, tenor banjo, ukulele, dobro, lap steel guitar, accordion, piano, and drums. Jack is also producing several new and upcoming national and local artists that he feels has a shot at making in the music industry.  Jack was able to keep the studio afloat with ALL of his teachers still employed during the worst part of the COVID19 Pandemic, and has managed to grow his studio, teachers, and student roster by 50% since June of 2020 and he prides himself in 'always finding a way' and giving back to the community as much as he can.
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Pro File: Exclusive Interview with Andrew Kastner
AGN Pro Files
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Pro File: Exclusive Interview with Andrew Kastner

Andrew Kastner, guitarist, songwriter and founding member of the great LA band, Jack Mack And The Heart Attack opens up about the time as a 15 year old kid back in 1965, he called The Beatles hotel in Boston and somehow managed to get through to John Lennon's room. After Paul McCartney hung up on him, he called back and had a casual conversation with John Lennon for 15 minutes.
09:0447 days ago
Pro File: Exclusive Interview with Spanish Guitarist/Composer, Russ Hewitt
AGN Pro Files
NewsAcoustic

Pro File: Exclusive Interview with Spanish Guitarist/Composer, Russ Hewitt

It has been quite a year for guitar virtuoso Russ Hewitt with his current CD, ‘Cielo Nocturno’, showing all the signs of becoming a run-away success. Shimmering with the rumba flamenco rhythms and lightning guitar runs that have become trademarks of Hewitt’s distinctive style, the album includes a stellar line up of returning musicians including percussionist Raphael Padilla (Miami Sound Machine, Chris Isaak), drummer Walfredo Reyes Jr. (Santana, Steve Winwood, Chicago), bass player Bob Parr (Cher, Barry White), guitarist Alfredo Caceres (Gipsy Kings All-Stars) and most notably Larry Carlton who features on the delightfully easy grooving ‘North of Home’. The radio single featuring Larry Carlton was a mainstay on stations worldwide. The recording was mastered by Chris Bellman who, in his time, has worked with the likes of Van Halen, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson and Elton John while completing the lineup are guitarist Ardeshir Farah (Strunz & Farah) on the fiery ‘Persian Sky’ and accordion player Vladimir Kaliazine. Bellman mastered Hewitt’s two previous releases, ‘Bajo el Sol’ and ‘Alma Vieja’ which not only garnered outstanding reviews from around the world but also drew fulsome praise from his peers. Accolades are coming from all over the world in forms of press and reviews including making the ballot for the 59th Grammy Awards (Best Contemporary Instrumental Album, Engineered Album, Instrumental Composition ‘Persian Sky’); Two silver medal’s from the Global Music Awards in the instrumental category for the song ‘Presido’ and album category for ‘Cielo Nocturno‘; Nominated for ‘Best Acoustic Guitar Album 2016’ from One World Music Awards; Nominated in the Best Jazz Single category from RoundGlass Music Awards (‘Samba Sao Paulo’). The latest CD also made several ‘Best of’ lists including #2 by Vincent Furnier at Soundcheckdfw.com, #4 by Travis Tutwiler at at Soundcheckdfw.com (‘Persian Sky’ featuring Ardeshir Farah was at #6 for his song of the year), #5 by Michael Debbage at MainlyPiano.com, Kathy Parsons at MainlyPiano.com (She did not put number orders to her selections) and honorable mention from Scott Itter at Dr.Music.org. In addition to the ‘Best of lists’ several reviews added their own score rating: 9.5 of 10 by Arthur Gonzales at Rock N Roll Industries; 8.1 of 10 by James McQuiston at NeuFutur; a (perfect) “EQ” (energy quotient) rating of 5.00 by Rotcod Zzaj at Contemporary Fusion Reviews; 4.0 out of 5 by Matt Jensen at Divide and Conquer; Five Starz by Scott Thomas at Guitarz Forever. In fact the favorable opinion gained from Hewitt’s debut CD, ‘Bajo el Sol’, rapidly translated into prolific airplay and a ten-week stay at #1 on Music Choice. It took up residence on the Smooth Jazz indie charts for 16 weeks and the first track to be released to radio (the dazzlingly Latin flavored title cut) climbed rapidly into the Top 20. The follow-up single, ‘Lydia’, enjoyed similar success, peaking at #15 and storming into the Billboard’s Top 40. Not content with that, Hewitt then made it three for three with ‘El Beso’ which also made it onto that same Top 40 listing and was named as one of the top smooth jazz tunes of 2009 by www.smoothjazznow.com. In addition, ‘Bajo el Sol’ was generously acknowledged by the music industry. It was included on the ballot for the 52nd Grammy Awards in the categories Best Pop Instrumental Performance, Best Pop Instrumental Album, Best Instrumental Composition, Best Instrumental Arrangement and Best Engineered Album whilst elsewhere Hewitt gained an ‘Honorable Mention’ for the album’s title cut at the 2009 International Songwriting Competition. When Russ’s sophomore project, ‘Alma Vieja’ came long in 2011 it delivered two more Top 40 smooth Jazz singles, ‘Pacific Sunrise’ and ‘Samba Samba’. Not surprisingly, Russ has endorsements from a wide spectrum of suppliers and manufacturers. These include Godin guitars, Radial Engineering (Tonebone), Analysis Plus Cables, Morley Pedals, V-Picks, Neunaber Audio Effects, Voodoo Lab, BBF Pedal Boards, Primacoustic, Mission Engineering and DLS Effects. Always striving to extend his boundaries into sound tracks and commercial work, Russ contributes artist interviews and a monthly guitar lessons column to ‘The Sound’ magazine whereas his prowess as a composer has resulted in five Telly Awards (for ‘Parent Compass’) and the DVD companion to the New York Best Seller ‘The Harbinger Decoded’ by Jonathan Cahn. Russ has written the music for the upcoming feature film ‘Thirst: Mission Liberia’ which has already won a Silver Telly in the Spiritual – Faith category and a Bronze Telly in the Documentary category.
37:5349 days ago
Pro File: Exclusive Interview with master shredder, Mike Campese
AGN Pro Files
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Pro File: Exclusive Interview with master shredder, Mike Campese

Mike Campese is a New York born guitarist that started playing guitar at the age of 13, and was exposed to music around the house, with his Father being a virtuoso violinist and his brother playing guitar. Mike, the youngest of the family, was heavily into Black Sabbath. Their music inspired him to learn the guitar and he began lessons with a Jazz guitarist. Mike was also heavily into Jimi Hendrix and other artists like Ozzy, AL Di Meola, Van Halen and many more. Mike was very obsessed with the guitar and he played it day and night, hours on end. When he was very young, his Dad encouraged him to listen to all types of music including classical music. He said, “if you want to be a great guitarist you must be open to all types of music.” Mike began listening to the virtuoso violinist Niccolo Paganini, admiring his incredible speed and techniques. He was also listening to Beethoven, Mozart, Yngwie and Vivaldi. Mike was in bands playing clubs, writing and performing at a very young age. After high school, Mike packed up and moved to Hollywood, California to attend one of the world’s top guitar schools, the Musicians Institute (GIT). Mike was studying with many great players such as Paul Gilbert, Scott Henderson, Norman Brown, Keith Wyatt and many others. Attending this school opened up many new doors that exposed Mike to many styles of music. Mike graduated with top honors. Mike returned to New York to hone his skills, he put together and began playing in the areas top band, Mister Strange. The band was touring the northeast, playing in many known clubs like, CBGB’s, Lamoure’s and many big venues. They released a few Cd’s and they where opening for many national acts. After Mike left the band he formed the group, Jeckyl and Hyde, which was an all original project playing the northeast clubs. Mike began writing intensely for his own solo projects. He formed his own band and recorded his first album “Total Freedom.” Mike got the call to be the opening act for the B-52’s, playing an all acoustic show to a sold out crowd and receiving a standing ovation. Mike released his second Cd “Full Circle,” which incorporates several styles of music. It was played on NPR radio across the U.S. Mike’s music and his guitar playing was growing and he was getting a following overseas. Mike continues to hone his skills by studying with guitar legend Stanley Jordan. He has also studied with NY guitarist Wayne Krantz off and on for many years and with Bill Connors of Chick Corea. Mike is a very versatile guitarist. He has played in a African band, pop group and a Jazz band. His main writing style falls in a rock fusion category, that mixes rock, blues, jazz and classical into a single style. Mike appeared on the Jason Becker tribute Cd “Warmth In The Wilderness,” on the Lion Music label, which was an international release. Mike’s band continued to perform and open for many national acts such as Yngwie Malmsteen on 3 tours, Michael Schenker, The B-52’s, Lou Reed, The members of Yes and Asia, KC and the Sunshine band, Spin Doctors, Sebastian Bach, Dokken, Kip Winger, Rik Emmett Of Triumph, Vinnie Moore, Joe Bonamassa, Jon Oliva, Geoff Tate of Queensryche, Avatar, Michael Angelo Batio and many more. Mike played the National Anthem at hockey games at the Pepsi arena and for a local baseball team for thousands of fans. Mike has worked with Jimi Hendrix’s best friend Mike Quashie, writing and arranging and later led to Mike playing “The Max’s Kansas City” Benefit at the bowery ballroom, with Rob Stoner from the Bob Dylan band on bass and Dennis Diken of the Smithereens on drums. Headlining the show was Little Steven of Springsteen, Lou Reed, Garland Jeffreys and Sylvain Sylvain of the New York Dolls. Mike performed at the Cruefest 2 show which featured Motley Crue, Godsmack, Drowning Pool, Theory of a Deadman, Rev Theory and more. Each year Mike performs at the NAMM show in Anaheim, California for the companies that he is endorsed by. The NAMM show is the largest trade show in the world and Mike has been playing there since 2007. Also, Mike is a regular performer at “First Night” in Saratoga Springs, NY on New Year’s Eve and he is the first person to ever play along with a fireworks display in Saratoga. Mike released his 3rd Cd “Vibe” that has a classical influence, as well as other musical varieties. By this time Mike’s following overseas earned him radio play in several countries. In 2004, Mike was hired by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra and received a Gold record for his work. In 2005 Mike released his fourth release “The New” which features some of Mike’s best playing and writing. By this time Mike’s music is featured all over the internet and all over the world. Mike has been featured in many national guitar magazines such as Guitar Club in Italy, Guitar One and writes writes 2 page lessons for Guitar Player magazine, Guitar World magazine and Guitar Club Magazine. Check out the February issue of the Guitar Player Magazine, Mike has a 2 full page guitar lesson as well as the April issue of the Guitar World mag and in the January 2014 issue of the Guitar Club magazine. In Italy, Mike has been writing 2 page lesson columns for Guitar Club each month and has a 3 page interview feature in the October 2013 issue. Also, Mike writes for Axe magazine, which is Italy’s top guitar magazine. Mike has his own guitar column each month. Mike teaches over 70 students a week, and is one of the top teachers in the NY area. He has a constant waiting list and some of Mike’s students are from or went to successful bands. Mike has been judging the Guitar Center, Guitarmageddon and the “King of the Blues” contest for over 5 years now. Mike has released 3 instructional DVDs for Chops From Hell, “Virtuoso Rock Fusion Concepts”, “Creative Speed-Building Picking Techniques” and “Melodic Shred.” Mike also writes lessons for several online sites such as Guitar9.com, Ibreathemusic, Chops From Hell, Shed Academy, Premier Guitar, The Sound Guitar Magazine and many more. Mike’s 5th solo release “Hidden Treasures” is mainly an all acoustic release. This is the Cd Mike always wanted to do to express his passion for the love of the acoustic guitar. This is not your ordinary acoustic guitar Cd, it has a very colorful mix of different musical textures featuring Mike’s virtuosity on the acoustic guitar. Mike’s fan base is growing internationally and his music has appeared on national radio and TV. Mike’s music has been used for a Lions Gate movie and he even appeared in a Busta Rhymes MTV music video. “The Meaning Of Christmas” is Mike’s 6th solo release. This CD features some of Mike’s balls to the walls guitar playing with his own original arrangements of 10 holiday classics and 2 of his own original compositions. Mike released his 7th solo Cd “Electric City” in the summer of 2010. The 14 song, over 76 minute Cd is filled with some of the most blistering guitar work Mike has ever recorded. “Electric City” has been getting a lot of press and radio play all over the world. Mike’s 8th solo Cd was released in the fall of 2013 and it is called “Chameleon”. This 12 track Cd features some of Mike’s best compositions and Mike dials in his versatile writing skills that he is known for and there is a special guest solo on the cd by Vernon Reid of Living Colour. Mike continues to tour solo and with a 3 piece band. In the fall of 2013, Mike traveled to Italy to do a Italian guitar clinic tour that was very successful. In July 2016, Mike releases his 9th studio album, “Chapters”. 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An Interview with Sammy Boller
AGN Pro Files

An Interview with Sammy Boller

Detroit, Michigan. Rock City. It’s a perennial hotbed for the coolest new offerings in gritty, loud music. Falling in step with this notorious reputation, is guitarist and Candyrat recording artist, Sammy Boller. A former music student at the University of Michigan, Sammy catapulted onto the national radar in 2012, when Joe Satriani selected him as a winner in Guitar Center’s “Master Satriani” competition. Now, an internationally-acclaimed player, Sammy has amassed a large and loyal online following, and he earns his living as a full-time musician. Prior to embarking on his solo career, Sammy played guitar for the band, Citizen Zero, and Their State Of Mind album notched up multiple radio singles, including “Go (Let Me Save You)”, which cracked the Top 15 on Billboard’s Mainstream Rock Chart.  Sammy also spends time on the road riding shotgun with world-renowned amplifier wizard Dave Friedman (Friedman Amplification) and The two regularly embark on runs through the States and Europe to sponsor clinics and gear demonstrations.  Sammy is also a contributing columnist for Guitar World Magazine and His online column ("Secrets of Shred With Sammy Boller") has a loyal monthly following, regularly racking up view counts in the tens of thousands. When asked to describe his influences and approach, Sammy says, "My guitar playing has always been about plugging into an amp and blowing the walls down. I grew up wanting to be Eddie Van Halen and Randy Rhoads, but over time I've found my own dark and aggressive style. These days, my dream as a musician is to make people feel as connected to the cosmos as I feel when I play the guitar. I'd love nothing more than that."
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UPDATE: MARCH 3, 2021: DEAN GUITARS INTRODUCES MD24 FLOYD ROASTED MAPLE VINTAGE ELECTRICS
AGN News

UPDATE: MARCH 3, 2021: DEAN GUITARS INTRODUCES MD24 FLOYD ROASTED MAPLE VINTAGE ELECTRICS

TAMPA, FL — If you're looking for vintage appeal with modern playability and tone, look no further than the new MD24 Floyd Roasted Maple Vintage models from Dean. The MD24 F is now available with a roasted maple neck and fingerboard for improved stability and bright tones, in two new color finishes, Vintage Blue and Vintage Orange and they're loaded with a Floyd 1000 Series tremolo system and direct mount Seymour Duncan TB5/APH-1 sandblasted Zebra pickups. Like other series extensions in Dean’s collection of high-quality electric guitars, the fundamentals of the MD24 Select style carry over to the new MD24 Floyd Roasted Maple Vintage models. These latest additions feature a solid basswood body with a Flat Top and a contoured arm cut, and roasted maple neck. This tonewood combination provides a great blend of bottom end, sweet mids, and articulate highs. The Floyd Rose 1000 Series tremolo system keeps tuning stable during all your heavy riffing and blistering solos. These guitars offer bolt-on construction with a 25 ½’’ inch scale with a dual-action truss rod that provides an extra midrange punch. The C-shape neck is satin-finished with a roasted maple fingerboard with 12-inch radius and abalone dot inlays. The MD24 Floyd Roasted Maple Vintage has 24 jumbo frets, which widen to more than 2 ¼ -inchs at the last fret. Grover 18:1 tuners provide added stability with a dome black finish against the natural headstock. The exclusive Seymour Duncan TB5/APH-1 sandblasted zebra pickups serve the dual purpose of capturing natural tone as needed and transforming the MD24 Floyd Roasted Maple Vintage models into tone machines when desired. The custom trembucker at the bridge delivers high output crunch and lead tones, while the APH in the neck enables sweet, syrupy neck sustains. The simple controls of the volume knob and 3-way toggle switch provide ample possibilities and the dome black knobs match the black hardware to polish off the look. For more on the MD24 Floyd Roasted Maple Vintage Blue and MD24 Floyd Roasted Maple Vintage Orange, click the INFO button now.......
02:172 days ago
Exclusive Interview with Jack Ryan Sullivan
AGN Pro Files
LessonsNewsVintageJazzCountryRockBluesAcousticRecording

Exclusive Interview with Jack Ryan Sullivan

Jack Ryan was born in Clemson, South Carolina and was the guitar and mandolin protege of Jimmy Rogers, who was known as the fastest guitar player in the southeast. While Jack’s background is a mix between Jazz and Bluegrass, he is also well versed in Blues, Country, Rock and Roll, Metal, Classical, and Pop music and he's also an amazing five-string and plectrum banjo player In 2013, Jack moved to Nashville, Tennessee, where he became the house guitar player for many of Nashville’s world-famous honky tonks including Tootsie’s, Rippy’s, Honky Tonk Central, Second Fiddle, The Stage, The Valentine, and during this time, Jack became known as having the “Fastest Fingers on Broadway” .While in Nashville, Jack played on stage and toured with Steven Tyler, Kid Rock, Vince Gill, Montgomery Gentry, Dierks Bentley, The Swon Brothers, Hank Williams III, Rhonda Vincent, and Larry Gatlin of The Gatlin Brothers. Jack Ryan’s band was the featured band for Jason Aldean and Luke Bryan’s private CMA Party in 2016. These days, through his amazing business, Jack Ryan Music Jack plays and teaches acoustic guitar, electric guitar, mandolin, violin/fiddle, viola, cello, upright bass, electric bass, five-string banjo, plectrum, banjo, tenor banjo, ukulele, dobro, lap steel guitar, accordion, piano, and drums. Jack is also producing several new and upcoming national and local artists that he feels has a shot at making in the music industry.  Jack was able to keep the studio afloat with ALL of his teachers still employed during the worst part of the COVID19 Pandemic, and has managed to grow his studio, teachers, and student roster by 50% since June of 2020 and he prides himself in 'always finding a way' and giving back to the community as much as he can.
28:028 days ago
Update: Feb 23, 2021: FENDER 75 YEARS by author DAVE HUNTER.
AGN News

Update: Feb 23, 2021: FENDER 75 YEARS by author DAVE HUNTER.

Ubiquitous in the music world, Fender guitars and amplifiers are also icons in popular culture, their shapes and sounds instantly recognizable. Authoritatively written and lavishly illustrated, Fender 75 Years is the officially licensed anniversary celebration of the company and its legendary instruments. From Fender’s first instrument—a lap steel guitar produced in 1946—to founder Leo Fender’s groundbreaking early six-string “Spanish-style” guitar designs like the Esquire that set the standard for the electric guitar explosion to follow, author Dave Hunter traces Fender’s entire history to the present. All the innovations and landmark models are here, as well as legendary players who became synonymous with Fender instruments across musical genres. In addition to the instantly recognizable Telecaster and Stratocaster, Hunter examines Fender’s line of legendary offset guitars like the Mustang, Jazzmaster, and Jaguar, and bygone models such as the Marauder, Coronado, Bronco, and more. The Jazz Bass and Precision Bass also feature, as do Fender’s acoustic guitars and workhorse tube amplifiers like the Bassman, Twin Reverb, and Princeton, to name a few. Along the way, readers will get in-depth scoops on the relationships dozens of players have enjoyed with Fender: rock ’n’ roll pioneers like Hank Marvin and James Burton; classic-rock icons like Jimi Hendrix, David Gilmour, and Eric Clapton; blues legends Bonnie Raitt, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Buddy Guy; alt-rock gods J Mascis and Kurt Cobain…the list goes on. In addition, Hunter explores the work of the award-winning Fender Custom Shop and the wares produced there. Illustrated throughout with rare images from company archives, Fender 75 Years treats readers to rare behind-the- scenes views of the shop floor throughout the years, as well as studio imagery of the guitars, rare period advertising and brochures, and performance images of Fender players. It’s the definitive look at the Fender’s first three-quarters of a century and a must-have for any guitar enthusiast. Dave Hunter is an author, musician, and journalist. He is the author of several popular books about guitars, amps, and effects, including Voyageur Press's Star Guitars, The Fender Stratocaster, The Gibson Les Paul, and 365 Guitars, Amps & Effects You Must Play. A regular contributor to Guitar Player and Vintage Guitar magazines, he resides in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Fender 75 Years - Hardcover with slip case ∙ 224 pages, 300 color and b&w photos ∙ $50.00 US, $65 CAN - Publishing May 18, 2021 For more, click the info button now.
02:4510 days ago