My band The Upperhand reunites for Melbourne gig

Hey! So if you’re in Melbourne on September 2, why not come down to the Gershwin Room at the legendary Espy in St Kilda to see my band, The Upperhand, play a special reunion show? That’s me and Rohan Drew rocking out in that pic up there.

How would I describe The Upperhand? Well okay: I approach the guitar work kinda like I would imagine Nuno Bettencourt and Vernon Reid would if they were playing in Rush Counterparts-era tribute band with Les Claypool on bass. There’s lots of groove and funk, a few heavy moments and some cool unison guitar/bass riffage. Your lower half can dance while your upper half headbangs. If you’d like a presale ticket for $10, lemmie know and I’ll hook ya up.

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REVIEW: Xotic Effects BB Preamp

Xotic Effects USA pedals are used by some of the most respected guitarists in the biz, including jazzer and sometimes bluesman Scott Henderson, Andy Timmons, and the nicest shredder in rock, Paul Gilbert. These boutique pedals are highly desired for their roadworthy construction and transparent tone. On the surface, the three most well-known Xotic pedals seem to be quite similar. The AC Booster, RC Booster and BB Preamp all feature volume, bass, treble and gain controls in the same layout. In particular, the RC Booster and BB Preamp may look similar on paper, but there are key differences.

The RC Booster (favoured by Paul Gilbert) offers a super transparent 20db+ clean boost and a +- 15db 2 band active EQ. The BB Preamp ups the stakes in terms of available clean boost, with up to 30dB+ available. The BB also has a pre-gain stage which allows the pedal to more closely mimic the characteristics of an amplifier. The pedal includes true bypass, so the circuit is completely removed from your signal chain when the effect is disengaged.

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REVIEW: Gibson Limited Edition Les Paul Studio ’60s Tribute

Gibson unveiled their collaboration with guitar pioneer Les Paul in 1952, but it took a few years for the guitar to find its feet. In fact, despite the release of now-coveted models in 1958 and 1959, the Les Paul was – gasp! – discontinued by Gibson during 1961, not to resurface until 1968. The very idea of discontinuing the Les Paul is utterly unfathomable now, so it’s hard to think of it as just …gone. After its 1968 introduction, the Les Paul kicked around in various forms, and has done so ever since. The Les Paul Studio model was launched in 1983 to offer a cost-conscious alternative to the fully kitted-out Paul, and now there are several versions. While all are still made in the USA, a few clever little cost-cutting methods are used, particularly in the finish and cosmetics areas, to keep the price low while maintaining USA construction.

[geo-out country=”Australia” note=””]CLICK HERE to buy the Gibson Limited Run Les Paul Studio ’60s Tribute from Musician’s Friend.[/geo-out]

The Les Paul Studio 60s Tribute is a limited run which pays tribute to, obviously, 60s Les Pauls, particularly the P90-loaded models that came out when the run resumed in 1968 – an often overlooked part of Les Paul history. The unbound chambered mahogany body has a carved maple top, but the finish is a rough matte affair rather than a thick glossy finish like some other Studios. Read More …