Tag Archives: Guitar

Aaron Keylock: All The Right Moves Video Release

Teenage guitar sensation Aaron Keylock will release his highly anticipated debut album Cut Against The Grain on 20th January 2017 via Provogue/Mascot Label Group (Black Stone Cherry, Monster Truck, Big Jesus, Vola, Joe Bonamassa)

Before releasing an official single he has already been highly touted as one of the UKs hottest acts to watch out for; Kerrang! declared him the “New Solo Superstar” in the 2015 Fresh Blood List (Alongside PVRIS, Slaves, SHVPES, Qween Kwong & Knucklepuck); at Bloodstock 2014 Metal Hammer wrote “It’s ludicrous that someone as talented as Aaron Keylock is a mere 16 years old but if anyone can shred like Gary Moore, this young buck can.” Total Guitar called him one of 2016s ‘Ones to Watch’ after seeing him at Dot to Dot saying “TG caught his set and we walked away with our brain thoroughly melted”, Classic Rock included him in the Sounds of and Class of 2015 and have called him “blistering” and a “precocious talent”.

 

He picked up the guitar aged 8 and by the age of 11 he was rocking the clubs in his hometown, Oxford. Already a young road rock warrior with hundreds of shows under his belt; at age 12 he was arguing with club doormen who wouldn’t let him into venues he was booked to play, he performed at the historic Jazz Café and Alexandra Palace in London as well as the Ace Café. He’s played Biker rallies across the UK where Harley Davidsons would screech on the stage around him, filling the room with smoke during the gigs.

 

By the time he was 13 years old he was playing every night of the week and met modern guitar icon Joe Bonamassa who gave the young Aaron advice from his time as a young guitar hero; aged 14 he was bundled out of the backdoor of the Camden Blues Kitchen as the London Riots raged across the city; at 16 he supported US rockers Blackberry Smoke on their ‘Leave A Scar’ UK tour, bedding down in shops after each show with one night sleeping in a workshop surrounded by motorbikes, rifles, snakes and a 9 foot python.

 

The Bloodstock Festival crowd head-banged to Against The Grain in 2014 and at Download 2015 he played to a squeezed to capacity tent. Since then, he has gone back on tour with Blackberry Smoke for the 2016 ’Like An Arrow’ tour, been on the road with The Answer, The Cadillac Three, The Graveltones, Wilko Johnson, Joanne Shaw-Taylor and Dan Patlansky as well as blistering sets on the 2015 festival circuit at Dot to Dot and Ramblin’ Man.

 

The young gunslinger headed to LA to record Cut Against The Grain in 2016 with producer Fabrizio Grossi who has previously worked with Alice Cooper, Dave Navarro, Slash, Ice-T, George Clinton and Zakk Wylde.  The album highlights a prodigious young British rock talent completely at one with his guitar, blasting out his first songs with a raw and powerful attitude. He showcases Americana tinged slide rock guitar in tracks such as Against The Grain, Down and Sun’s Gonna Shine whilst flashes of Gary Moore haunt the epic Just One Question and All The Right Moves.

 

Talking about the album Aaron reflects; “Just One Question was probably the first song I ever wrote when I was 13. Musically and lyrically it was just a blues song and it’s funny to think it’s still with me and that I’ve been playing it for almost 5 years!” Continuing he adds “Against the Grain was penned about 3 years ago now and has grown on the road; I had a Led Zeppelin style riff, mixed it with some Johnny Winter vibe and stamped my own style on it.”  Crowd favourite Medicine Man was the first song he ever demo-ed whilst the hints of Rory Gallagher on All The Right Moves is a lightning rocker that’s fast becoming a live favourite.

 

Down has 3 different time signatures and oozes positivity about keeping strong and believing in yourself, That’s Not Me was inspired by The Faces and No Matter What The Cost is an expressive nod towards the Allman Brothers . “I guess what I’ve always loved about Rock n’ Roll is that you’re free to express yourself in many ways and to use many guitar techniques to convey different emotions…My influences really vary!” he adds.

 

Falling Again was a song I wrote about trying to find my way through rock n roll as a 16 year old kid and Try is about feeling lost and trying to find somewhere that felt like home. I guess growing up in a small village in Oxfordshire and being the one 70’s inspired long haired hippie kid kind of influenced me as songwriter trying to find something to say.”

 

Things have been building momentum and in Cut Against The Grain, Aaron Keylock is set to launch himself on the world full throttle.

 

 

AARON KEYLOCK UK TOUR DATES

 

Wed 16th Nov Southampton, Talking Heads w/SIMO & Federal Charm (Planet Rock Roadstars Tour)
Thu 17th Nov Brighton, The Haunt w/SIMO & Federal Charm (Planet Rock Roadstars Tour)
Fri 18th Nov Cardiff, The Globe w/SIMO & Federal Charm (Planet Rock Roadstars Tour)
Sat 19th Nov Leek, Foxlowe Arts Centre w/SIMO & Federal Charm (Planet Rock Roadstars Tour)
Mon 21st Nov Nottingham, The Bodega Social Club w/SIMO & Federal Charm (Planet Rock Roadstars Tour)
Tue 22nd Nov Wolverhampton, The Robin w/SIMO & Federal Charm (Planet Rock Roadstars Tour)
Wed 23rd Nov Bristol, The Tunnels w/SIMO & Federal Charm (Planet Rock Roadstars Tour)
Fri 25th Nov York, Fibbers w/SIMO & Federal Charm (Planet Rock Roadstars Tour)
Sat 26 Nov Crewe, The Box w/SIMO & Federal Charm (Planet Rock Roadstars Tour)
Sun 27th Nov Norwich, Waterfront w/SIMO & Federal Charm (Planet Rock Roadstars Tour)
Mon 28th Nov Sheffield, The Greystones w/SIMO & Federal Charm (Planet Rock Roadstars Tour)
Wed 30th Nov Newcastle, The Cluny w/SIMO & Federal Charm (Planet Rock Roadstars Tour)
Thu 1st Dec Glasgow, O2 ABC w/SIMO & Federal Charm (Planet Rock Roadstars Tour)
Fri 2nd Dec Edinburgh, The Mash House w/SIMO & Federal Charm (Planet Rock Roadstars Tour)
Sat 3rd Dec Manchester, The Deaf Institute w/SIMO & Federal Charm (Planet Rock Roadstars Tour)
Wed 7th Dec London, O2 Academy Islington w/SIMO & Federal Charm (Planet Rock Roadstars Tour)

[Featured image by austin_hargrave]

Richard Thompson – Thats How To Play Guitar

As some of you know I play very bad guitar.  How I would love to be able to play like this man.  Richard Thompson is simply one of the greatest ever guitarists.

Not only is this the most beautiful song but they way this video is shot is amazing.  Check out Thompson’s finger speed as he plays.  It is simply incredible.

Funke and the Two Tone Baby

Funke And The Two Tone Baby – ‘I’m Not Well’ [Video]

Funke and the Two Tone Baby is the non-de-plume of the one man tour-de-force that is Kent based Dan Turnbull.

Funke plays the blues but man this is the blues like you never heard it before.  Combine a guitar led blues shuffle with harmonica, beatboxing, loop and effects pedals, add powerful vocals and mix it all together with an energy that leaves you exhausted just watching him and you get close to understanding Dan’s sound.

I’m Not Well” is taken from Dan’s forthcoming album “Balance” check out this taster and then get ready to buy the album when it’s released.  If this track is anything to go by we are in for a treat.

Pocket Apocalypse – Under Our Sky – Album Review

I confess that I may be a bit of a dinosaur, I am certainly getting long in the tooth but I like to think I know a good tune when I hear it.  I also tend to think that there is nothing new under the sun and frankly I don’t really understand the need some music fans seem to have to tie down a band into a genre or sub-genre.

Pocket Apocalypse have been described as post-rock, math-rock and even prog!  Wow.  I even logged into wikipedia to find out what the hell math rock is.  Apparently it means a band that used unusual time signatures (anything other that four beats to the bar) in their music.  Seriously?  Bob Dylan was doing that on folk tunes in the early 60’s.  Woody Guthrie did it long before that and Jazz musicians have been doing it since god knows when!

Anyway, back to Pocket Apocalypse, what can I say about them.  Well lets start with them being a 4 piece from Liverpool and they are good.  Well actually they are better than good, they are excellent.  I was hooked from 30 seconds into the superb album opener, Glass.  

What you get is high energy, unapologetic guitar based rock.  Two guitars, bass and drums.  If you are an old fart like me I was at times reminded of Steve Hackett era Genesis, at other times of 2112 era Rush.  If you are a whippersnapper like my 16-year-old you  might come up with a description something like “A mix between The Killers and Enter Shikari.”

At times there is a prog-rock feel to the songs check out ‘The Missing Piece‘ as a taster.  It was released earlier last year with an official video which you can watch here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HWGZPQxyeRA

At times the songs are riff driven and at times Chris Catterall’s lead guitar picks out some lovely little melodic riffs.  Listen to the album closer “Whats Left Behind” and you will see what I mean.  There delicate little riffs underpinning the whole track.  What is lovely to my ears is that is all fits together beautifully, these guys are tight, and I mean “Camels ass in a sandstorm” tight.  There is not a dropped note or a missed beat through the piece.

In a few short words I think this is a real stunner of a debut.  Well written, unapologetic and passionate guitar rock.  I can see the anthem nature of the songs going down an absolute storm  with festival crowds and I hope that I can catch these boys at a festival or two over the summer months.  I would love to see them out on tour with someone like Enter Shikari, Kasabian, Muse, Queens Of The Stone-age or Marillion to expose them to a bigger audience who would appreciate their musical style.  Prog Magazine hailed “Under Our Sky” as an “excellent take on melodic post-rock fusion” and that seems like a fairly sound analysis.

“Under Our Sky” is Released 23rd March 2015

You can download a song for free at http://www.pocketapocalypse.bandcamp.com

Take note of Pocket Apocalypse, I suspect you will be hearing more from them in the near future.

Pocket Apocalypse are:

Nick Jones – Vocals, Guitar
Chris Catterall – Lead Guitar
Lee Cuzzocrea – Bass Guitar
Phil Dunn – Drums
UK Tour Dates:

Wednesday 1st April – Stag & Hounds, Bristol
Thursday 2nd April – Old Blue Last, London, w/ Lost in the Riots & Polymath
Saturday 4th April – The Ferret, Preston, w/ Waking Aida &  Jekyll
Friday 10th April – The Flapper, Birmingham, w/ Samoans
Saturday 11th April – The Live Rooms, Blackpool, w/ Go Around Captain
Thursday 16th April – The Thirsty Scholar, Manchester
Wednesday 22nd April – Bar Bloc, Glasgow
Friday 24th April – Opium, Edinburgh
Saturday 30th May – alt:made Micro-Festival, Sheffield
Friday 21st August – ArcTanGent Festival, PX3 Stage, Bristol

Iceland Geysers,

Weekly Writing Challenge – Ice, Water Steam

This weeks writing challenge is to consider what it mean to be the same thing, in different forms?  To explore different facets of ourselves.

This challenge through up a host of ideas, past, present & future perhaps.  Maybe, school, work & retirement or single, married & divorced or child, youth & adult.  So many choices, so many ideas.  I eventually settled on three aspects of my love of music. the three facets of which are musician, listener and critic.

I love to play music, as a child I played flute and tin whistle to a reasonable standard.  I was self taught and learned mostly by ear.  I enjoyed playing, mostly for my own pleasure.  When I joined the Navy I stopped playing, the lack of somewhere to practice in the confines of Her Majesties war ships was a major factor and whilst I never lost my love of music I did stop making my own.  Many years later I decided to learn to play guitar.  Initially I took some lessons but in all honesty I found lessons too restrictive.  I wanted to play and sing songs I knew, I had no intention of going for grading exams, I just wanted to have fun.  Once again I developed a passion for playing and over the past 18 months I have taught myself to play a long lust of songs.  I play most days and really enjoy it.

My major passion in life has always been music (after my family and dogs of course).  I have built up a huge collection of CD’s and Vinyl though the Vinyl has been packed away for many years.  These days I love the simplicity and the accessibility of streaming and downloads.  My iPod is a constant companion and with a 160Gb drive it has  over 16000 songs on it with plenty of room for more 🙂  The only downside with digital is it is far too easy to spend a fortune on music every month 🙂  Any regular reader of this blog will know how much time and effort goes into my music.  In 2014 my festival programmes and ticket stubs revealed that I have seen at least 270 bands and artists this year, quite a haul in anybodies book.  I am looking forward to having an attempt to surpass that record in 2015.

The final facet of my musical self is as a music critic.  The primary reason for the existence of this blog is that I wanted to share my thoughts, feelings and experiences of my music listening with anyone who cared to listen (or read).  Creating this blog has been a massively uplifting experience.  I have gained over 1200 followers, have written almost 500 pieces and reignited my love of photography.  My career as a reviewer is still very much in its infancy but it has lead to me writing for an online music magazine (echoesanddust.com) and even to paid writing work with U.S. based online magazine Inquisitr.com.  All this in six short months.  I find the WordPress community incredibly helpful, sharing and caring but above all they inspirational.  That inspiration has driven me on to use my creativity as a means of coping with my depression and it has even lead to me earning some cash to supplement my pension.

They say that if you can earn some money from doing something you love then you are really in a good place.  So thanks to my music and thanks to the WordPress community the three facets of my musical personality have come together in a hugely positive way.  Happy days.

Goodbye 2014, Thank You, And What A Ride It Has Been

So it is here, the end of yet another year and what a year it has been.  It is traditional to spend a little time reflecting on what has gone in the past year as we make our way into the new one to come.  So often we reflect on the sad or bad things that have happened and we think about how things will be better in the year to come.  As I sit here I cannot think of a single bad thing that has happened to me or my immediate family this year, it has been a year of almost constant highs.

My lovely wife has as always been a source of constant love and support, she recently left her job and is looking forward to an exciting new chapter in her life in January.  My son is doing well at school and is developing into a caring, happy, pleasant and well adjusted young man.  My nieces have made us all proud this year, Erin is doing well at Cambridge University, Dani did well in her GCSE exams and continues to develop her love of horses and her equestrianism.  Kirsty and her husband Clint have brought a new member, baby Lucy, into the family and her sister Karlyn and partner John will be bringing another new arrival in 2015.

I retired from work as a result of my depression back in February.  I confess I was a little apprehensive about this but it has been wonderful.  Only by leaving the police service behind have I come to realise how much it dragged me down, how deeply unhappy it made me.  Retirement has allowed me to leave behind the people who drained me and left me so unhappy.  I made a resolution last year to break away from negative people and to make more effort to spend time with friends, family and people I care about.  I have managed to do this and it has been a hugely freeing experience.  I was concerned about how I would spend my time, a concern that was totally unfounded, my days now are filled with creativity and things I enjoy doing.

I have written well over 400 articles on this blog, had well over 50k visitors and close to 1200 followers in 6 short months.  The blogging community is friendly and supportive and my blogging has lead to me waiting articles for an online music magazine and an online news outlet.  I have developed my interest in photography, completed a University short photography course and upgraded my camera equipment.  I look forward to undertaking more courses and developing my skills in the year to come.

Musically my year has been off the scale.  I have seen at the very least 270 live bands at the gigs and festivals I have attended.  I have continued to learn to play guitar, I am far from great but I do love to play and I look forward to continuing to learn and improve in 2015.  Over the course of the summer the weather was even kind with just one festival being a wet one.  I have my fingers crossed for similar in 2015.

Over the course of the past year I have made so many new friends and acquaintances, people who expect nothing from you other than to share your company and a beer.  people who want to share good times, spread happiness and enjoy life.  Thank you one and all, you know who you are.

So 2015 arrives with so much to look forward to, new lives to welcome, weddings to attend and no doubt numerous more happy experiences with friends, new and old.

So come on 2015, bring it on, we are ready and waiting.  Happy New Year to all my friends, old and new, to my family, but most of all to my wife and son.  it is going to be another great year.

75 Essential Albums – Day #50 – B.B. King

Here goes with day 48 of my countdown of 75 Albums that in my opinion should have a place in everyones music collection.  They are not in any particular order though the top 10 will be my personal take on the top 10 albums ever released.  You might be surprised at some of my picks and some of my omissions.  Feel free to chime in with your comments and let me know if you love (or hate my choices).

BB. King – Live at the Regal

Just as any music collection of music should contain a little jazz so too should it contain a little blues.  The blues after all provided the blueprint that rock bands worked from.  When it comes to blues guitarists BB King is one of the greatest of them all and Live at the Regal is widely held to be his greatest recording.  Recorded at the Regal theatre in Chicago in 1965 the album shows up near the top of just about every list of great blues albums you can find.  Artists like mark Knopfler and Eric Clapton have acknowledged King as a major influence on their careers and indeed Clapton recorded an album with King in ‘Riding with the King’ (2000).

In a career lasting over 65 years King has played in excess of 15,000 shows and was still performing just last year at the age of 88.  He is a timeless singer and guitarist who regularly appears in the top 5 of lists of the top 100 guitarists.

In ‘Live at the Regal’ he demonstrates that he is also a natural entertainer as he treats his audience to to some of his greatest hits and to some of the best Blues songs ever written.  You can feel the connection with the adoring audience as he runs through huge hits like ‘Everyday I got the Blues’ , ‘How Blue can you get’ and ‘Worry, Worry’.   The audience goes nuts when King plays his trademark ‘single note’ guitar licks and his voice has rarely sounded this good as he shifts effortlessly from grumbling gravel to falsetto, hitting the microphone hard for emphasis.

The band is razor sharp, picking up cues, changing tempo and pitch, the sounds rising and falling with Kings voice with an almost telepathic understanding.   “How Blue Can You Get,” is the highlight of the piece, you can feel the drama and tension as it builds to it’s climax when the venue almost explodes in ecstasy.  Of course the highlight throughout is Kings guitar but have a listen to the way Bobby Forte & Johnny Board play a supporting role with the  tenor saxophone on “How Blue can you get” and how Duke Jethro’s piano underpins every track.  Sonny Freeman on drums and Leo Lauchie on bass hold the whole thing together with jazz timing.

Live at the Regal is an absolutely necessary recording for anyone who has even a passing interest in the Blues.  This is a seminal recording, a highlight of Kings long career and for Chicago Blues.  The only disappointment with this record is that it is only 35 minutes long, it is over all too soon, I could listen for days.  Check it out, its wonderful.

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