Carolyn Wonderland's Telecaster Blues

OurStage, Guitar Player magazine, and Ernie Ball are teaming up this summer to offer aspiring guitarists a chance to win the ultimate Grand Prize. Enter the Guitar Player “Take The Lead” Competition by August 17 for your shot to win your very own feature in Guitar Player magazine, a year’s supply of strings and accessories from Ernie Ball, and more! Throughout the competition, we’ll be bringing you exclusive editorial content fresh from guitarplayer.com”enjoy!

“When Carolyn Wonderland took the stage at Yoshi’s in Oakland, California, the crowd didn’t know exactly what to make of her at first. She appeared somewhat shy and unassuming, armed with a Tele, a lap-steel, and a tiny Fender combo. As the band went into the opener, the first thing listeners were struck by was her singing voice, an amazing instrument unto itself, with uncommon power, dynamics, and range. Comparisons to Janis Joplin are inevitable, but Wonderland possesses a purity of tone that is all her own.”

Read more: http://www.guitarplayer.com/article/carolyn-wonderland/148795

Published by Matt Blackett, Guitar Player Magazine

Lita Ford Cuts the Crap

OurStage, Guitar Player magazine, and Ernie Ball are teaming up this summer to offer aspiring guitarists a chance to win the ultimate Grand Prize. Enter the Guitar Player “Take The Lead” Competition by August 17 for your shot to win your very own feature in Guitar Player magazine, a year’s supply of strings and accessories from Ernie Ball, and more! Throughout the competition, we’ll be bringing you exclusive editorial content fresh from guitarplayer.com ” enjoy!

THAT HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH ME, exclaims Lita Ford when I mention her previous album, 2009’s Wicked Wonderland. It was out of my control. There are so many devices and plug-ins and all kinds of crap on everything. That’s not who I am. When I first started playing, I figured if I couldn’t cut it as a guitar player just plugging straight into an amplifier, then I should stop playing guitar. Effects, layering, stacking”f**k that! Just plug in the damn guitar and play it.”

And that’s just what Ford and producer Gary Hoey did on her new release, Living Like a Runaway [SPV/Steamhammer].

Gary got me immediately, says Ford. So this album was all about what I love about pure and basic rock music. We did vocals and guitars first, to ensure we captured the bare emotion of the songs, and then we cut bass and drums. If playing to a click track took away from the feel I wanted, then we didn’t use one. The other musicians had to play to my time.

I’m a real feel person, and it was so great to get back to that. In fact, seeing a Pink Floyd documentary on VH1 Classics really inspired me while we were recording. Their stuff was so real”they just went with what was in their hearts and laid it down. That was it. And they’d come up with this beautiful journey of music. After watching that show, I was even more determined that nothing fake or calculated get on this album.

Ford used mostly comfy old friends while tracking Living Like a Runaway.

My BC Rich ˜Black Widow’ Warlocks are so damn powerful, she says. Nothing beats those. They’ve got the beef for big crunch power chords and long, sustaining solos. I’ve got preamp switches built into some of them, and when you click on the preamp, it will blow your ass through the freaking wall. I also used my BC Rich Stoli vodkabottle guitar”which sounds like death”a new DBZ Bolero, and a Taylor Grand Symphony acoustic. My favorite strings are GHS Boomers, gauged .009-.042, and I use this bizarre-looking pick that Ritchie Blackmore once gave me. I loved that pick so much I used it exclusively for three months during a Runaways tour with the Ramones. Happily, Pickboy makes them now”they used to be so hard to come by. For amps, we used Marshall JCM 800s, Peavey 5150s, and old Soldanos. My cables are Monster Cable and custom models from guitarcables.com with kill switches on the jacks.

After a recent and ugly divorce (I left with the shirt on my back) ” as well as suffering through career decisions made mostly by her former husband ” Ford views Living Like a Runaway as a heartfelt manifesto of freedom and empowerment.

I’m free to pursue my dreams now, and answer to no one, she says. What’s so great about rock music is that there are no rules. You can do whatever you want. So, right now, I’m just being Lita.

Published by Michael Molenda, Guitar Player Magazine

 

Five Tips for Enlightened Soloing

OurStage, Guitar Player magazine, and Ernie Ball are teaming up this summer to offer aspiring guitarists a chance to win the ultimate Grand Prize. Enter the Guitar Player “Take The Lead” Competition by August 17 for your shot to win your very own feature in Guitar Player magazine, a year’s supply of strings and accessories from Ernie Ball, and more! Throughout the competition, we’ll be bringing you exclusive editorial content, fresh from guitarplayer.com”enjoy!

Certain people are very mental, ” says legendary guitarist Carlos Santana, “they need to have rules and concepts and directions and scales and theory in order to play. But that’s not what music is about. Music has the same significance as beams of light coming out of the clouds and giving information to plants. Every note should be like a beam of light. You’re giving information to the listener, and you’re reminding them they also have light and significance. That’s improvising to me. The other stuff is just like going ˜da-da-da-da-da.’ It’s nothing.

Read more: http://www.guitarplayer.com/article/five-tips-for-enlightened-soloing-by-carlos-santana/148513

-Published by Matt Blackett, Guitar Player magazine

 

Wrangled Up & Bruised

Ula Ruth

Brothers Nicholas and Lucas James may have had a wholesome upbringing”home school, Quaker school, Connecticut suburbs”but they didn’t let that corrupt their rock and roll souls. The brothers stood by their hot sauce-lovin’, God-fearin’, skinny jeans-wearin’ values, joining up with likeminded brethren Kevin Clymer and Dean Miller to form Ula Ruth in 2011. Their rock is steeped in distortion, with banged up and bruised grooves. Exhibit A: Empty, a stylish and subversive rocker with zig-zagging guitars engulfed in feedback. Exhibit B: Call To The Lonely, where handclaps, reverb riffs, guttural bass lines and throaty hollers combine for the New England version of Kings of Leon. I always open my mouth instead of walking away, Nick laments. Be glad he does”Ula Ruth’s rebel yell is worth the listen.

Party Patrol

DaCav5

Prepare to sweat your weaves out, people. Coming straight outta the city of brotherly love is DaCav5, an electro-pop band armed with its own party rock anthems. Like LMFAO, DaCav5 specializes in crazed, pitch-bent beats that burrow down into your brain and command your body to move. Dirty Style has a whiff of Party Rock Anthem, kicking off with a big, fat, bassy beat. Add defiant mantras like I don’t care what people say, Ima party anyway, with a sexy female refrain and you’ve got yourself a hit. David Guetta, eat your heart out. Party Started does exactly what it proposes to do. The track gets underway with orchestral pulses and edgy vocal stylings. Bitch get back, you know the kid got swag. The kid definitely has swag. Make that all five kids. Now if you’ll excuse us, we have some partying to do.

 

Rabble Rousin'

Jules Larson

Jules Larson used to be front-woman for the LA band Overnight Lows before striking it out on her own a few years ago. And so far, singledom’s been good to Larson. Her songs have made their way onto Kellogg’s commercials, shows like Army Wives, One Tree Hill and Grey’s Anatomy. There’s something about her soulful pop that works just as well on the army base as it does in the emergency room. My Little Drum is an easy and lithe melody reminiscent of the music of Brett Dennan or Jack Johnson. But don’t let the sunshine fool you, Larson is a bit of a hellcat. In the slinky, soulful Raise A Little Hell, she purrs, You’ve gotta raise a little hell to get to heaven. And on I Want It All she does just that, conjuring up a ˜60s rock-soul revival with reverb drenched guitars, tambourines and bleating sax. Raising hell never sounded so heavenly.