Hello, Old Friend…

Today I was over at Davis Music Centre in Footscray, Melbourne to return a lovely FGN J-Standard Odyssey I’ve been reviewing, and I got to visit the very same Ernie Ball Music Man Albert Lee MM90 guitar that I reviewed a few months ago. It was really cool to see it again! It’s a beautiful guitar, and whoever ends up taking it home will be very, very happy.

Here it is on the wall at the store…

ebmm albert lee mm90

And here it is back when it was visiting my house…

Music Man Albert Lee MM90

And here’s what it sounds like!

Dream Theater – Melbourne, October 29, 2014

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I first started listening to Dream Theater with A Change Of Seasons – back then the albums weren’t released locally here in Australia, so we had to pay huge prices for imports – and I immediately had that feeling of ‘This is the band I always wished existed!’ My brother and I soon went back and checked out Images And Words and Awake and I was blown away by the scope of the music, the intensity of the performances, the creativity of the arrangements and the depth of the lyrics. It took a long time for Dream Theater to finally tour Australia (0n the Chaos In Motion tour) and this brief run of two Australian dates was only their third ever tour down here, and first with Mike Mangini behind the kit.  Read More …

Behold! The Mighty Bass VI

Squier Vintage Modified Bass VIBack in the early days of the electric bass, nobody quite knew what the hell a bass should be. Should it be an electric version of an upright? No, not everyone has the lower back strength to really, truly rock out on stage with one of those things. Leo Fender’s Precision Bass set a precedent that was followed by pretty much everyone pretty much instantly, and almost all basses today are descendants of that design. But in the late 50s a few companies started messing around with something else. Some call it the bass guitar. Some just call it a six-string bass. But although Danelectro were the first to bring one to the mass market, Fender also took the idea and ran with it. Picture this: an oversized guitar with six strings, but tuned a full octave down, and with string spacing that’s much more guitar-like than bass-like.

Click Here to find a Bass VI of your very own in eBay stores Read More …

REVIEW: Ernie Ball Music Man Albert Lee MM90


Have you seen the movie The Grand Budapest Hotel? You have? Right. Well y’know how Zero Moustafa can’t bring himself to talk about his fiancé Agatha because it makes him too emotional? That’s how I feel about this guitar. Just writing about it now – knowing that it’s not mine and I’ll probably never get to own it or one like it because frankly they’re priced at what they’re worth and they’re worth a lot – brings a bittersweet tear to my eye. I’ve played other Music Man Albert Lee models over the years and quite liked them (St. Vincent does too – look for her playing a twin-humbucker version). I’ve even reviewed them here. And of course Albert Lee himself is an absolute guitar master who can hand no less a player than Steve Morse his ass – just look at this footage of Lee and Morse at the Ernie Ball 50th Anniversary party for proof – but there’s something magical about this particular version of Albert Lee’s signature model Music Man, even compared to the single coil and humbucker versions. Read More …

NAMM: Ernie Ball Music Man Majesty

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Here it is: the Ernie Ball Music Man John Petrucci Majesty 6 and 7-string models in all their unorthodox glory! These guitars caused quite a stir when they first surfaced but once you see them in person they make a whole lot more sense. Everything flows beautifully, the workmanship is beyond incredible and the proportions don’t seem as weird in person as when you see pics. I’ve tried to snap a few angles that show off the guitars’ many best sides. And with the Game Changer system this is one crazily versatile instrument.

maj1 maj2 maj4 maj5 maj6

 

Behold! The Ernie Ball Music Man Majesty!

Mystic-Majesty_ShieldSterling Ball has just posted the following on the Ernie Ball Music Man forum…
“Its really too early but it has been seen by a few so I wanted the rest of you to see it…the ones who dont spy on me….enjoy….
The guitar is super super light…the ‘carbon fiber’ is not what it seems….it is laser etched maple that is finished to resemble carbon fiber the guys did an amazing job. the access is absolutely crazy good….the ergonomics were the primary deal and it balances really well…. It has a gamechanger in it and is set to just be a switch but as we introduce the gc incrementally you can activate if you choose but it is not manditory. The guitar has been voiced by di marzio and we have done sonic thumbprint matching….I will tell you about it someday. The design and construction techiniques are cutting edge and like I could only have imagined ten years ago. Enjoy” Read More …

INTERVIEW: Periphery’s Mark Holcomb

Mark HolcombIt seems like just yesterday that Periphery was in Australia – and it pretty much was, if you count ‘March’ as yesterday. Whereas last time around they travelled the country as part of the huge Soundwave festival juggernaut, they’re heading back in January and February for their own tour with like-minded proggy djenty iconoclasts Animals As Leaders. And what better way to prepare for the tour than to have a chat with guitarist Mark Holcomb? I caught up with Mark yesterday ahead of the second-last Periphery gig of the band’s current US tour. And right around the time I’m typing this, they’re onstage playing their very last show before taking some much-needed time off. But it won’t be long before we hear some new Periphery music, as you will see…  Read More …