Fender’s Tom Morello Soul Power Stratocaster is available now!

Ya gotta hand it to Tom Morello: the guy has great taste in creating iconic guitars for himself. His ‘Arm The Homeless’ guitar, his black Tele, and his Fender ‘Soul Power’ Stratocaster, an instrument which is synonymous with his time in Audioslave. You can now own your own reproduction of this instrument, complete with ‘Soul Power’ decal among the case candy if you want to really Morello it out. But this is a very workhorse-worthy instrument in its own right, not a piece of Morello memorabilia (Morellomabilia?), with plenty of cool features to help you unlock your own self expression.

Here’s the press release.

HOLLYWOOD, Calif. (March 31, 2020)—Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC) today released the all-new Tom Morello “Soul Power” Stratocaster. Tom Morello collaborated with Fender on his first artist signature Stratocaster which features unique customizations from the original “Soul Power,” like a kill switch that helped shape his radical sound and riffs from the Audioslave era and beyond. Morello takes a creative approach to playing, infusing feedback, unconventional picking and tapping, in addition to heavy guitar effects that all inspired his new signature guitar.  This past year the original “Soul Power” was recently featured at The Metropolitan Museum of Art® and currently resides in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame®. The “Soul Power” Stratocaster is one of the most iconic guitars of the modern rock era and allowed for Tom to create a new sound after his time with Rage Against The Machine. Morello has pushed the boundary of guitar to new limits through his innovative style of playing and heavy metal and punk hybrid riffs.

“This Fender Soul Power signature guitar is made to my exact specifications and is an authentic replica of the instrument that forged my sound in Audioslave,” said Tom Morello. “That was a period of renewed artistic freedom and limitless expression on the guitar for me and Soul Power was the sonic divining rod leading the way. Just as important as getting the specs right however is the charitable/social justice component of my collaboration with Fender. Together we are giving away hundreds of guitars to underprivileged schools and to the Jail Guitar Doors prison rehabilitation program to help unlock creative doors and create better (and louder) futures.”

The Tom Morello “Soul Power” Stratocaster features a bound-top alder slab body, originally a limited run Strat®, a “Deep-C” maple neck with a 9.5″-14″ compound radius rosewood fingerboard with 22 medium-jumbo frets and matching painted headstock. Tom’s unique, powerful sounds – from gentle rhythms to screaming feedback, chaotic stutters and more – inspired every detail of the guitar. From a Kill Switch that creates the “Stutter” effects emulating DJ scratching that he is known for, to a Seymour Duncan® Hot Rails™ bridge humbucker pickup that delivers power and dynamics and a Floyd Rose® Locking Tremolo System that allows for radical Tremolo effects while staying perfectly in tune – this Strat was built to rock.


“We are extremely honored to have worked with Tom on this project and embark on a long-term partnership throughout 2020,” said Justin Norvell, EVP Fender Products. “Tom’s iconic original “Soul Power” guitar sound created a monumental impact on rock at the time and we’re looking forward to players today being able emulate those unique sounds with the Tom Morello “Soul Power” Stratocaster. Collaborations like these continue to keep Fender’s legacy in rock ‘n’ roll alive and inspire the next future rockers of our generation.”

The launch of Morello’s guitar marks the start of his and Fender’s 2020 collaboration in association with the Fender Play Foundation designed to equip, educate and inspire the next generation of players, alongside Tom’s other charitable efforts with Jail Guitar Doors.

In true tradition, the Fender’s Artist Signature Series honors iconic musicians through product progression and storytelling, creating instruments inspired by the unique specifications of the world’s greatest guitarists and bassists. Learn more about the Tom Morello “Soul Power” Stratocaster and access product description here; product photos and images of Tom Morello with his Signature Stratocaster can be found here.  

For technical specs, additional information on new Fender products and to find a retail partner near you, visit www.fender.com. Join the conversation on social media by following @Fender.

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Tom Morello “Soul Power” Stratocaster – $2,699.99 is based on the modified Designer Series Strat used during his time in Audioslave and features an alder slab body with binding and a Deep “C”-shape maple neck with 9.5″-14″ compound radius rosewood fingerboard and 22 medium-jumbo frets. Other features include: a recessed Floyd Rose® locking tremolo system, Seymour Duncan Hot Rails bridge humbucker, two Fender Noiseless™ pickups in the neck and middle positions, a chrome pickguard, kill-switch toggle, locking tuners, matching painted headcap and iconic “Soul Power” body decal and a black Fender case.

ABOUT TOM MORELLO:

Incendiary rock guitarist and acoustic troubadour Tom Morello, known for his innovative guitar solos and thunderous chords, is a groundbreaking artist whether in his solo career or as an original member of the rock bands Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave, two acts responsible for multiple Grammy Awards and a combined 30 million albums sold worldwide. He’s released four solo albums as The Nightwatchman and formed the band Street Sweeper Social Club with Boots Riley of The Coup in 2009. Morello has also been recognized by Rolling Stone magazine as one of the “100 Greatest Guitar Players of All-Time (#26).” Morello has produced or collaborated with artists of diverse genres including Johnny Cash, Tool, John Fogerty, Anti-Flag, Public Enemy, Joe Strummer, Crystal Method, Calle 13, Dave Mathews Band, Johnny Cash, Linkin Park, Travis Barker and Pete Seeger. In addition, he joined Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band for their 2014 world tour in support of Springsteen’s studio album High Hopes (Columbia Records) on which Morello is featured on eight tracks. In 2016, Morello joined forces with fellow Rage Against The Machine bandmates Tim Commerford and Brad Wilk, as well as Cypress Hill’s B-Real and Public Enemy’s Chuck D and DJ Lord to form the band Prophets of Rage. The band’s debut self-titled album was released in 2017 and scored top chart entries in multiple countries across the globe in its first week. On his latest solo album, The Atlas Underground, Morello transformed his sound, blending Marshall stack riff-rock with the digital wizardry of EDM and hip-hop to create the most ambitious artistic effort of his storied career. The Atlas Underground includes collaborations with Marcus Mumford, Portugal. The Man, the Wu-Tang Clan’s RZA and GZA, K. Flay, Big Boi, Gary Clark Jr., Pretty Lights, Killer Mike, and Whethan among others. Morello is also a valiant activist across issues of homelessness, poverty, hunger, and social justice, among other causes. Tom is embarking on a reunion tour with Rage Against the Machine in 2020. 

ABOUT FENDER MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS CORPORATION:

Since 1946, Fender has revolutionized music and culture as one of the world’s leading musical instrument manufacturers, marketers and distributors. Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC)–whose portfolio of brands includes Fender®, Squier®, Gretsch® guitars, Jackson®, EVH® and Charvel®–follows a player-centric approach to crafting the highest-quality instruments and digital experiences across genres. Since 2015, Fender’s digital arm has introduced a new ecosystem of products and interactive experiences to accompany players at every stage of their musical journey. This includes innovative apps and learning platforms designed to complement Fender guitars, amplifiers, effects pedals, accessories and pro-audio gear and inspire players through an immersive musical experience. FMIC is dedicated to unlocking the power of musical expression for all players, from beginners to history-making legends.

NAMM 2020: New Fender artist models including Tom Morello Soul Power guitar!

I can’t be the only one who has utterly craved a production version of Tom Morello’s ‘Soul Power’ Strat as used in Audioslave, right? Or a replica of Eric Johnson’s legendary ’54 Stratocaster named Virginia. And Slipknot’s Jim Root is a man of great taste when it comes to designing new guitars with Fender. So read on!

FENDER® EXPANDS ARTIST SIGNATURE SERIES LINEUP WITH ROCK AND HEAVY METAL LEGENDS, ERIC JOHNSON, JIM ROOT, TOM MORELLO

Eric Johnson “Virginia” Stratocaster® – The First Model Added to Fender’s Stories Collection – Jim Root Jazzmaster® V4 and Tom Morello “Soul Power” Stratocaster® Debut at Winter NAMM 2020

HOLLYWOOD, Calif. (January 16, 2020)—Fender Musical Instruments Corporation (FMIC) today announced three new additions to its Artist Signature Series electrics offering – the Eric Johnson “Virginia” Stratocaster, Jim Root Jazzmaster V4 and Tom Morello “Soul Power” Stratocaster – all debuting at Winter NAMM 2020 in Anaheim, Calif. Developed with rock, blues and heavy metal players in mind, these all-new Artist Signature Series models add performance-ready features and stylistic touches hand-selected by some of the industry’s most iconic players – from Grammy®-winner Eric Johnson and Slipknot guitarist Jim Root to Audioslave and Rage Against The Machine legend Tom Morello. 

For the first time, Fender has replicated and released Eric Johnson’s beloved ’54 “Virginia” Stratocaster, the instrument he used to record hit song “Cliffs of Dover,” the Tones record (1987 Grammy® nomination for Best Rock Instrumental Performance) and the Platinum Ah Via Musicom (1991 Grammy® for Best Rock Instrumental Performance) albums that made him a hero to music fans and guitarists alike. Built in Corona, California, this extremely limited-edition model combines extraordinary history and exceptional tone. Its rare sassafras body, custom switching and special set-up will thrill players and collectors by showcasing its unique silky tone and distinct fine grain appearance. The Eric Johnson “Virginia” Stratocaster will be the first model in Fender’s all-new Stories Collection, a celebration of the guitars that shaped history’s most iconic music and the details that made them unique. 

Both beautiful and beastly, the Jim Root Jazzmaster V4 is the fifth Fender artist signature model for Slipknot guitarist Jim Root; it features active humbucking pickups, a 12″ radius, jumbo frets ideal for heavy playing styles, an ebony fingerboard, block inlays and striking white finish that makes the guitar stand out on stage. Fender worked hand-in-hand with Root to deliver crushing detuned tone with an all-new bold look, culminating in a brutal-sounding signature Jazzmaster model that complements his heavy playing style.

The Tom Morello “Soul Power” Stratocaster is based on the modified Designer Series Strat, which Morello used during his time in Audioslave. Featuring an alder slab body with binding, a recessed Floyd Rose® locking tremolo system, Seymour Duncan Hot Rails bridge humbucker and two Fender Noiseless™ pickups, this Strat delivers powerful and unique effects from gentle rhythms to screaming feedback, chaotic stutters and more.

“We are excited to continue to work with such legendary players to help share their story through music,” said Justin Norvell, EVP Fender Products. “Whether it is their first Artist Signature model, or fifth, we continue Fender’s legacy by helping artists showcase the versatility of our instruments. Each Artist Signature model that we reveal at Winter NAMM this year will showcase a variety of exceptional, legendary tones that made music history.” 

Product Details: 

Eric Johnson “Virginia” Stratocaster – $4,999 (Launching February 2020) joins the Fender Stories Collection. Eric Johnson already had his 1954 “Virginia” Stratocaster when he recorded Tones and the Platinum Ah Via Musicom, groundbreaking albums that made him a hero to music fans and guitarists alike. To this day, Eric continues to release brilliant music, tour constantly and is, to the electric guitar community, a savant and widely followed tastemaker. In 2020, for the first time, Johnson’s 1954 “Virginia” Stratocaster will be replicated by both Fender Custom Shop and the Fender Corona Production line in limited numbers. With its rare sassafras body, lacquer finish, custom wiring and more, the Eric Johnson 1954 “Virginia” Stratocaster will thrill players and collectors alike with its distinctive look and exceptional tone. 

Jim Root Jazzmaster V4 – $2,699 (Launching March 2020) delivers detuned tone with a bold new look. Fender worked closely with the towering Slipknot guitarist to create a brutal-sounding signature Jazzmaster model that complements his heavy playing style—right down to its signature Daemonum™ open-coil EMG® active pickups, shred-worthy 12” radius fingerboard with jumbo frets, sparse control layout and more. The Jim Root Jazzmaster V4 dispenses with frivolities such as a vibrato, rhythm circuit and tone control. Only crucial essentials remain: a volume control, a 3-way switch and a hardtail bridge. Featuring a mahogany slab body for pronounced lows and mids, brilliant Polar White satin finish, maple neck with bound ebony fingerboard and pearloid block inlays, this powerful machine delivers brutal tone with a striking new look.

Tom Morello Stratocaster – $2,699 (Launching March 2020) is based on the modified Designer Series Strat used during his time in Audioslave and features an alder slab body with binding and a Deep “C”-shape maple neck with 9.5″-14″ compound radius rosewood fingerboard and 22 medium-jumbo frets. Other features include: a recessed Floyd Rose® locking tremolo system; Seymour Duncan Hot Rails bridge humbucker; two Fender Noiseless™ pickups in the neck and middle positions; a chrome pickguard; kill-switch toggle; locking tuners; matching painted headcap and iconic “Soul Power” body decal, and a black Fender case.

In true tradition, the Fender’s Artist Signature Series honors iconic musicians through product progression and storytelling, creating instruments inspired by the unique specifications of the world’s greatest guitarists and bassists. Learn more about the Artist Signature models and access product descriptions here; images can be found here.  

For technical specs, additional information on new Fender products and to find a retail partner near you, visit www.fender.com. Join the conversation on social media by following @Fender.

Immortal Randy Rhoads – The Ultimate Tribute

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PRESS RELEASE: One of the most venerated guitarists ever to grace hard rock music, the late, great Randy Rhoads (heralded as the legendary lead guitarist for Ozzy Osbourne and Quiet Riot) will be celebrated in the truest of fashions with the release of Immortal Randy Rhoads – The Ultimate Tribute on March 3, 2015 via UDR Music.

A collection of 11 classic Rhoads co-written songs, Immortal Randy Rhoads – The Ultimate Tribute is performed by twenty top contemporary artists, including old friends and performing partners Rudy Sarzo and Frankie Banali, his brother Kelle Rhoads and more designated musicians like Serj Tankian, Tom Morello, Vinny Appice, Tim “Ripper” Owens, Chuck Billy, Alexi Laiho, George Lynch, Gus G., Bruce Kulick, Doug Aldrich, Dweezil Zappa and others.  Read More …

LESSON: How to sound like Tom Morello

From Rage Against The Machine to Audioslave and now Street Sweeper Social Club (download some free tracks at ninja2009.com), Tom Morello has redefined what it means to be a guitarist in a band, while using minimal equipment to forge a huge sound and some wild sound effects. This is good news for the guitarist on a budget because the trick to sounding like Morello is not necessarily to spend thousands on gear.

Let’s first look at Morello’s signal chain. While he’s often photographed with his ‘Arm The Homeless’ guitar (a home-cobbled custom using parts from various manufacturers), a large amount of his rhythm work is recorded using a Fender Telecaster through a Marshall JCM800 head. He also used a few Les Pauls in Audioslave and continues to do so in Street Sweeper Social Club. You don’t need huge amounts of gain – in fact, in the rock world probably AC/DC are the only band who use a cleaner rhythm sound as Morello. Much of the guts and oomph of Morello’s sound is from overdriven power tubes, which add crunch and compression, rather than preamp distortion, which adds fizz and grit. The Telecaster is a notoriously trebly guitar so Morello typically uses the neck pickup, which thickens up the tone considerably. You don’t need to spring for a Tele to completely cop Morello’s tone (although it helps). Any neck pickup, be it single coil or humbucker, through a clean-but-crunchy amp should get you at least in the ballpark.

Morello’s pedalboard includes a Dunlop Crybaby Wah direct into the front end of the amp (sometimes with a tremolo pedal too), and a few pedals in the effects loop: A Digitech Whammy, a digital delay, and a flanger. The Whammy is the effect most closely identified with Morello. He typically sets it for either one or two octaves of pitch shift when the pedal is pressed down. This is how you get those wild squeals in the ‘Killing In The Name’ solo, as well as the smooth pitch glides in Audioslave’s ‘Like A Stone.’

Morello has several guitars which feature Ibanez Edge series vibrato bridges. The Edge is considered one of the best Floyd Rose-style bridges out there, because of its balance, smoothness, and easily serviceable removable knife edge pivot points. He’s also known to install kill switches in many of his guitars, so he can perform ‘stutter’ effects. If you don’t have a kill switch but you happen to have a twin-pickup guitar with individual volume controls for each pickup, you can fake this sound by simply turning down the volume of one pickup. Now when you flick the switch to the turned-down pickup it will cut off the signal until you flip it back to the turned-up one. This trick was also a favourite of Randy Rhoads, and you can hear Eddie Van Halen do it in ‘You Really Got Me,’ which was recorded not with his famous ‘Frankenstein’ parts guitar but with a butchered Ibanez Destroyer, a copy of a Gibson Explorer. In fact, Morello has been known to use a few Ibanezes in his time, including an Artstar hollowbody for ‘Guerilla Radio’ live, and a Talman with an Edge bridge and three lipstick single coil pickups made for him by Ibanez’s LA Custom Shop.

CLICK HERE for my review of the DigiTech Whammy Pedal, CLICK HERE to buy one from Guitar Center and CLICK HERE to see them on eBay.

NEWS: News for March 26, 2009

Hammond-Suzuki G37 And G27 Guitar Leslies shipping

Hammond-Suzuki USA today shipped the first production units of their G37 and G27 Leslie speakers designed especially for the guitar. Hammond executive VP Dennis Capiga said “Today marks the fulfillment of a dream, and several years of hard work. I can’t wait to hear the music guitarists will make with our baby.”

The G37/G27 is roughly one third the size and weight of a traditional keyboard Leslie Speaker, but has many of the same components. Unlike the last Leslie designed for guitar in the late 60’s; the G37 and G27 have a ‘real’ horn spinning on the top and the traditional Leslie rotor on the bottom. A 100 watt channel-switching guitar amp with “tube pre” powers the G37 while the G27 is powered by the user’s own amp.
MAP pricing for the G37 is $1495.00, and the G27 is $1325.00.

Listen to the new Queensryche album now!


I got a copy of this to review the other day, but you can check it out for yourself now at the VH1 website! 
Source: Queensryche.
Buy: Amazon.com

Three quarters of Soundgarden reunite

Here’s one that’s bound to put the wind up Chris Cornell and his attempts to become the next Justin Timberlake or whatever: Soundgarden with Tad Doyle on vocals and Tom Morello on second guitar, rocking Spoonman at the Seattle stop of Morello’s Axis of Justice tour.

Source: Blabbermouth.net.

Bruce Kulick to release limited edish EP

Former KISS guitarist Bruce Kulick will make a “BK3” limited-edition EP available at his upcoming clinics for Allans Music in Australia. The CD features guest appearances by TOTO’s Steve Lukather and John Corabi.

The songs included are:

* No Friend Of Mine (feat. John Corabi on vocals)
* And I Know (vocals by Bruce Kulick)
* Between The Lines (feat. Steve Lukather)

The EP will be available to the general public in mid-April after Kulick’s Australia trip.

Bruce Kulick’s Australian Allans Music clinic schedule:

April 01 – Melbourne – 7:00pm
April 02 – Brisbane – 6:30pm
April 03 – Adelaide – 7:00pm
April 04 – Sydney – 5:00pm

NEWS: News for March 23, 2009

New free NIN, Jane’s Addiction, Street Sweeper tracks

In anticipation of the NIN/JA (Nine Inch Nails/Jane’s Addiction, geddit?) tour, the three bands have each contributed two tracks to a free downloadable EP. Along with two rather live-sounding NIN songs (‘Not So Pretty Now’ and ‘Non-Entity’), there are re-recorded, Trent Reznor-produced versions of early Jane’s tracks ‘Whores’ and ‘Chip Away.’ Street Sweeper is Tom Morello’s new band, combining rap and rock in a more straightforward way than Rage Against The Machine.

Source: www.ninja2009.com

Bedroom Philosopher: Songs from the 86 Tram.

While not necessarily the kind of high octane guitar geekery I Heart Guitar readers are used to seeing covered in these pages, I encourage everyone in Melbourne to check out The Bedroom Philosopher – Songs From The 86 Tram, part of this year’s Melbourne International Comedy Festival. I used to go to the same uni as this dude and we lived over the road from each other in Canberra for a while. If you can’t make it to Melbourne, look for his new album, Brown & Orange on iTunes.

Source: http://www.bedroomphilosopher.com/
Buy:
http://www.comedyfestival.com.au/season/2009/show/the-bedroom-philosopher-songs-from-the-86-tram/

8 Whammy Pedal moments you totally have to hear

Steve Vai – Touching Tongues (Sex & Religion)
Vai combines a whammy pedal and delay to create complex harmonies and countermelodies in the chorus of this track from 1993’s Sex & Religion album. Very musical, very creative and very cool.

Living Colour – Wall (Stain)
With a delay effect keeping the groove going, bass player Doug Wimbish picks out certain notes to emphasise with the Whammy pedal before shifting the whole friggin’ riff up an octave over the course of the final bar of the intro. Awesome.

Pantera – Becoming (Far Beyond Driven)
Dimebag stomps on the Whammy pedal on the second beat of each bar of this killer riff. Live he liked to rock out without having to worry about pedals, so his tech did all Dime’s Whammy squealing for him.

Audioslave – Like A Stone (Audioslave)
Tom Morello uses the Whammy Pedal almost like Eddie Van Halen sometimes does with the whammy bar, using it to slide into each note from below. Awesome.

Pink Floyd – Marooned (The Division Bell)
The Whammy Pedal usage in this song is pretty subtle on first listen. David Gilmour uses it to stretch bends out over an octave, but he blends it in with his regular playing style so seamlessly that you can be forgiven for not even noticing.

Joe Satriani – Cool #9 (Joe Satriani)
The Whammy Pedal had been available for a while when Satch released this track on his low key, live-vibed self-titled album, and he’s used the pedal a lot since, but the open space provided by the vamp of this track leaves plenty of room to hear Joe’s intuitive Whammy Pedal technique in detail.

Coverdale/Page – Over Now (Coverdale/Page)
Jimmy Page uses the original WH1Whammy Pedal’s ‘Down 2nd’ mode to slide an A5 chord down to a D5. This setting is still present in the WH1, but these days they call it ‘Drop Tune.’

The White Stripes – Seven Nation Army (Elephant)
What sounds like a bass on this track is actually a Digitech Whammy Pedal with the pitch dropped way down below the basement. While Jack White loves his vintage analog gear, he’s obviously not shy about the occasional digital chip either.

CLICK HERE to read my review of the DigiTech Whammy Pedal.

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CLICK HERE to buy the Digitech Whammy WH4 from Guitar Center for $169.95.

CLICK HERE to see Digitech Whammy pedals (all models) for sale on eBay.
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NEWS: New releases 29/9/08

Frank Zappa – Joe’s Menage (Vaulternative)
Cryptically, the only information about this one on the Barfko Swill website states: “Newest Corsaga – for NOW! Rare 1975 thrillingness. Be very afraid of being Danish. Or not. Rant & Roll.” However, with pre-orders open now and the first CDs to be dispatched around October 1, we shouldn’t have to wait too long to find out what this one’s all about.

Dream Theater – Chaos in Motion [2 DVD] (Roadrunner)
This release marks Dream Theater’s 12,000th live album and/or DVD. It captures the 2007-08 Chaos In Motion tour. The DVD includes 3 hours of live performance, a behind the scenes documentary, live screen projection films, music videos and a photo gallery. There’s also a 5 disc set limited to 5,000 copies which combines the DVD and 3 audioCDs.

Trivium – Shogun (Roadrunner)
I had the pleasure of hearing early mixes of this one at a listening party attended by the band a few months ago. Some very cool ‘evil waltz’ triplet grooves will invite a few comparisons to Slayer, while Trivium downplays the Metallica influences so prevalent on The Crusade. Lots of hardcore shredding and some very powerful drumming underscore Matt Heafy’s return to demonic screaming, in addition to the more melodic vocal style introduced on the last album.

Neal Morse – Lifeline (Metal Blade)
Former Spock’s Beard guy turned Christian prog artist Neal Morse’s new album features performances by guitarist Paul Bielatowicz, Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy and Ajalon bass player Randy George. Paul Gilbert makes a special appearance on a bonus track. The cover reminds me of Great White’s ‘Hooked’ album, which I’m sure was not the intention. It’s also the 3,057th rock album to feature a song called ‘Leviathan.’

Tom Morello (The Nightwatchman) Rise to Power (Red Int/Red Ink)
Morello’s second album of leftist protest songs, this one gets big points from me for having a song called “The Lights Are On In Spidertown,” and for adding full band electric songs to the acoustic stuff. Morello’s distinctive voice and stripped down song structures are an interesting and valuable departure from the grunt of Rage Against The Machine and Audioslave, and his forthcoming tour will feature both acoustic and electric sets.