NEWS: News for March 12, 2009

I Heart Guitar news – sifting through a whole bunch of websites cos you’re too busy.

Australia’s Rock Out Festival postponed
Australia’s Rock Out festival has been postponed until around September or October after promoters MTD4 and Blade Promotions held talks with the venues and major stakeholders, including the international artists.

The Rock Out festival was supposed to include performances by the following artists, among others:

Twisted Sister
Rose Tattoo
Diamond Head
Crimson Fire
Scarlet Sins
The Radiators
Mortal Sin
Vanishing Point
Double Dragon
The Amenta

I think the postponement’s a great idea because the planned dates were in April and I only heard about this a few weeks ago – certainly not much time to build up a buzz, sell all the tickets, and allow concertgoers to sort out schedules if they’re travelling from interstate.

Source: Blabbermouth.
More info:

Interview with Queensryche’s Michael Wilton
Steve Black of the “Chop Shop” syndicated guitar show recently conducted an interview with guitarist Michael Wilton of QUEENSRŸCHE. Listen to the three-minute chat below.

Man, I can’t wait for this album. I guess I’m one of those guys who likes everything Queensryche has done, from the metal stuff to the rockier things, and also Geoff Tate’s somewhat Bowie-like solo album.

Source: Blabbermouth.
More info:

Steve Vai to remaster Flex-Able
In celebration of the 25th anniversary of his debut solo album, Flex-Able, Steve Vai will release a special remastered version, including Flex-Able Leftovers in its original form, and special deluxe packaging. While I think this is cool, I’d kinda rather see him release a new original studio album. Ya with me?

Source: Guitar World.
More info: May 2009 issue.

RIP David Williams
Guitarist David Williams, whose recording and touring credits include Michael Jackson, Madonna, Paul McCartney, Marvin Gaye and The Temptations among countless others, died last Friday at age 58.

Source: Music Radar.
More info:

New iPod Shuffle
The new iPod Shuffle appears to be about the size of a pinkie finger. It has no buttons or screen, and is instead controlled by buttons on the headphone cord. Cool.

Source: Music Radar.
More info:

NEWS: Dream Theater new album teaser

Check out this 1-minute teaser of the forthcoming Dream Theater album on Roadrunner Records. This was played on the Eddie Trunk show on Sirius (channel 19) / XM Radio (channel 53), on February 27. Yeah I know, I only just heard about it, I’m totally slipping.

The album is due early in the US summer.

CLICK HERE to buy Dream Theater’s ‘Official Bootleg: The Making of Scenes From a Memory’ from

NEWS: Faith No More tour may come to Australia

Woohoo!!! Aussies, rejoice! Faith No More bass player Billy Gould (username MRGOULD on Twitter) just tweeted this:

“In answer to your questions of shows outside the EU, especially from Brazil and Australia, yes, we are thinking of coming there.”


If you’re not already following me on Twitter, here I am. I use my Twitter feed to publish links to each new blog story, but I also use it to discuss music-related stuff, link to stories from around the web, and sometimes to ask for question submissions when I’m interviewing someone. And of course I also use it for the same random observations as everyone else.

NEWS: Joe Bonamassa signature amp

Cool! Joe Bonamassa and Carol-Ann Amplifiers have teamed up to offer a new signature amp, and while the first 10 will be used and signed by Joe, they will also be availabe in a non-signed version.

Here’s the press release. And kudos go to Premier Guitar for the heads-up.

North Andover, MA (March 11, 2009) — Blues-rock guitar virtuoso Joe Bonamassa has teamed up with Carol-Ann Amplifiers on the new JB-100 signature amp. The JB-100 is a 100-watt 6L6-based amp with two channels and a tube FX loop.

Limited to only ten amps over the next 12 months, each JB-100 will be played by Joe at an actual gig. After each show Joe will sign a certificate of authenticity listing where he used the amp and when. Logistics permitting, the actual end user buyer is welcome to see Joe at the show playing through the amp and have him present it to them at the end of the night.

The JB-100 series will also be available in a 100-watt EL34 version, though they will not be signed by Joe. All Carol-Ann dealers can order the JB-100 signature head and the first one is currently at Make’n Music in Chicago. The next amp will be heading out to Eddie’s Guitars in the near future.

For more information, and a list of dealers, visit

CLICK HERE to buy the Gibson Custom Joe Bonamassa Glossy Les Paul Goldtop Electric Guitar for $3,865 from Musician’s Friend.

NEWS: Heaven and Hell album pre-oders begin

Whoa. Check out that cover. I haven’t seen anything that evil since …well, since the last time I ate cheese before bedtime then had nightmares. So this is the new Heaven & Hell album (otherwise known as Black Sabbath’s Ronnie James Dio line-up with a different name).

CLICK HERE to pre-order The Devil You Know.

Here’s the press release:

After finishing several heralded world tours as HEAVEN & HELL last summer, Ronnie James Dio, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler, and Vinny Appice were tighter than ever before, both musically and personally.

Agreeing that it would be a shame to stop making music together at tour’s end, the quartet began writing, first in England at Iommi’s home studio and later in Los Angeles at Dio’s studio. “The band had gotten too good to just walk away,” Dio says. “We wanted to show people that we were still capable of giving them new music that measured up to what we’d done in the past.”

With that goal in mind, the band once again converged on Rockfield Studios in Wales last winter, the same place they used 17 years earlier to record their last album, “Dehumanizer”. The result is the long-awaited new album, “The Devil You Know”, featuring 10 soon-to-be-classic tracks from the Dio-fronted version of BLACK SABBATH. The highly anticipated set arrives on April 28 from Rhino for a suggested list price of $18.98 (physical) and $9.99 (digital).

It took less than three weeks to finish the album, with most of the songs only needing a couple of takes. “It was good to play them live in the studio. It keeps you on edge,” Iommi says. “I mean, somewhere along the line we were gonna have to play them live; might as well start in the studio.” Butler adds: “We’ve learned from the past that you can kill a song doing it over and over. The first SABBATH albums were done in two or three days. Technically they weren’t great, but vibe-wise they were great. If you capture that feeling, that’s all you need.”

“Bible Black”, the epic first single, begins with Iommi on acoustic guitar behind Dio’s plaintive wail before the rhythm shifts to a menacing stomp for the rest of this dark tale about a book of sinister scriptures. One of the first songs written for the album, Dio says it established a tone for the rest of the album. “When you start off with a blockbuster like that, it makes the rest of the album so much easier because it gives you a benchmark to measure the other songs against.”

Iommi proves he hasn’t lost the ability to inspire six-string envy, unleashing riffs like a pack of rabid hellhounds on “Atom And Evil”, “Fear”, “Neverwhere”, and “Eating The Cannibals”, a tune about doing more than biting the hand that feeds. Butler and Appice slow the pace while ramping up the intensity on “Follow The Tears” and “Double The Pain” and “Breaking Into Heaven”, the latter diverging from its glacial procession for Dio’s majestic chorus about fallen angels planning an attack on paradise.

“The Devil You Know” track listing:

01. Atom And Evil
02. Fear
03. Bible Black
04. Double The Pain
05. Rock And Roll Angel
06. The Turn Of The Screw
07. Eating The Cannibals
08. Follow The Tears
09. Neverwhere
10. Breaking Into Heaven

CLICK HERE to pre-order Heaven & Hell’s ‘The Devil You Know’ from