NEWS: Gibson Dark Fire makes Robot Guitar look like tin toy

Just saw this one on the guitarsite.com mailout. Gibson has refined its Robot Guitar technology to create the Dark Fire, which combines the self-tuning capabilities of the Robot Guitar with various connectivity options including regular analog, firewire or, oh sweet jebus, a hex connector that carries the outputs of each string and a composite piezo output. An optional adaptor connects this hex output to MIDI guitar interfaces such as those made by Roland and Axon, or allows you to divide out the six individual signals to their own balanced one-quarter inch connectors.

So it pretty much looks like this guitar is a hi-tech chimera combining elements of Gibson’s Robot Guitar, HD.6X-Pro, and BFG models. That’s a hell of a lot of firepower. Now all it needs is a Floyd Rose, hehe.

Here’s the press release from Gibson:

Gibson has released its new Dark Fire guitar. Analog or digital, the Gibson Dark Fire gives you a number of tonal possibilities to let you change the tone of the Dark Fire to match your environment. And it begins with a guitar’s most basic element — the pickups. The Gibson Dark Fire combines two of Gibson’s most popular pickups — the P90h in the neck position and a Burstbucker 3 in the bridge position. Both are capped with new carbon fiber-like pickup covers, impeccably designed to match the Dark Fire’s advanced fade.

Each of the Gibson Dark Fire Limited Edition First Run guitars features a dramatic Dark Fire nitrocellulose finish created especially for this exclusive run. It is one of the most striking finishes ever to leave a Gibson factory and is achieved by combining the time-tested techniques of applying a standard nitro finish with several new procedures that help bring out the natural beauty of the wood. The result is a stunning, deep gloss color that naturally highlights each piece of wood’s distinctive grain patterns. The mahogany back and neck of the Dark Fire are given a satin finish, while the top and peghead face are sprayed with a gloss finish.

Other exclusive design elements limited to the Dark Fire are a distinct nut made from a special Teflon-based material that allows for smoother and faster tuning action, a truss rod cover made from anodized aluminum, black top hat volume and tone knobs with chrome inserts, and a super fast and comfortable compound radius neck with Gibson’s PerfectSetupª, which is made possible by the revolutionary computer-controlled PLEK system, acknowledged as the most precise guitar set-up technology in the industry.

The original Robot Guitar took the guitar world by storm when it was first introduced in December ’07, but the new Dark Fire from Gibson is simply the most advanced guitar system ever developed. In fact, many of the technological advances on the Dark Fire were virtually inconceivable just a few years ago. The new Dark Fire is a virtual upgrade in every respect. The powerhead tuners, the tuning brain, the battery functions, and even the unprecedented sonic capabilities of a fully digital guitar and Chameleon Tone Technology. Imagine the ability to change your guitar’s tone to better match your environment. Everything is here to give you a new, stunning level of tonal and functional freedom that allows you the uninhibited release of your creative potential.

Gibson is also running a competition where you could win a Dark Fire and a Trip for 2 to New York City visit here for more details.

For more information, please visit www2.gibson.com/Products/DarkFire.aspx

Are you reading this and spitting with terror cos you just forked out for a Robot Guitar? Never fear! The Gibson website states:

These incredible advances are not limited to owners of the new Gibson Dark Fire. Gibson players who bought the original Robot will be offered an opportunity to convert their guitars to Dark Fire specs with an upgrade kit that will be made available at a price significantly lower than its standard retail price (in fact, very close to cost). In both scenarios, Gibson’s aim is to keep all Robot products current and cutting edge, for all Gibson customers.

NEWS: New Jeff Beck live CD preview!

The new Jeff Beck live CD, ‘Jeff Beck: Performing Live This Week At Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club,’ will be released on November 25 on Eagle Records. Especially exciting is the news that the CD will be followed up with a DVD in 2009.

Fun fact: Jeff Beck’s ‘Blow By Blow’ album was one of the very first CDs I ever bought (I think it was purchased after a Black Sabbath best-of and before a Racer X CD – I had ecclectic tastes for a 12 year old).

I’ll post a review some time soon, but in the meantime, CLICK HERE for a stream of the first single, ‘Cause We’ve Ended As Lovers.’

Here’s the press release: 
Eagle Records Set To Release

JEFF BECK: PERFORMING THIS WEEK LIVE AT RONNIE SCOTT’S JAZZ CLUB

~On CD November 25~

New York, NY (October 20, 2008)—Eagle Records, the wholly-owned subsidiary of Eagle Rock Entertainment, will release on November 25 a sensational live album from Jeff Beck: Performing This Week Live At Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club. A new Jeff Beck release is always an event and these concerts in particular are eagerly awaited by his fans.

Jeff Beck is a true rock legend. From his time with The Yardbirds in the ‘60s, through The Jeff Beck Group and his solo career, his unique guitar style and constant desire to explore new musical sounds have won him the admiration of peers, critics and fans alike.

This sterling ’07 live gig at the famed British jazz club Ronnie Scott’s in London features the legendary guitarist in a 16-song career-spanning set that incorporates Rock, Jazz, Ballads, Beatles, Blues, Boogie and Bolero. Beck raved it up so much with bassist Tal Wilkenfeld, drummer Vinnie Colaiuta and keyboardist Jason Rebello that the usually sedate London Times gushed, “…perhaps the greatest living guitar virtuoso…combining astonishing technique with a blissful nuance he exercised an almost supernatural control of his fretboard.” Jazzwise called it “an absolutely jaw-dropping display of the most exciting, imaginative and inspirational jazz-rock guitar witnessed in years.” And London Lite added, “…the kind of visceral, fluid music-making that other guitarists can only dream of.”

Recorded over a series of gigs with standing-room-only crowds, the electricity was bouncing off the walls as Beck was clearly inspired himself and egged on by the perfect complement of band mates. A DVD of the event, the first such live concert DVD as authorized by Jeff Beck, will be available in 2009.

Track Listing
1) Beck’s Bolero
2) Eternity’s Breath
3) Stratus
4) ‘Cause We’ve Ended As Lovers
5) Behind The Veil
6) You Never Know
7) Nadia
8) Blast From The East
9) Led Boots
10) Angels (Footsteps)
11) Scatterbrain
12) Goodbye Pork Pie Hat/Bush With The Blues
13) Space
14) Big Block
15) A Day In The Life
16) Where Were You

CLICK HERE to buy Jeff Beck’s ‘Performing This Week…Live At Ronnie Scotts’ from Amazon.com

NEWS: More new Sammy Hagar stuff

I just got an advance copy of Sammy Hagar’s new album, ‘Cosmic Universal Fashion,’ and I’m cranking it up right now (the title track kicks much ass).

The album, released November 18 in the US and November 22 in Australia on Roadrunner/Loud & Proud, features Sammy’s parner in ex-Van Halenism, bass player Michael Anthony, as well as Billy Duffy from the Cult, Matt Sorum from Guns N’ Roses, Billy Gibbons from ZZ Top and Neal Schon from Journey.

I’ll have a review online by the end of the week, but in the meantime here’s the track ‘Loud’ for your listening pleasure, and that huge Sammy scream at the end of the quiet section that follows the tasty classic rock wah solo.