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Talking Guitar by Jas Obrecht (2017)

Talking Guitar Jas Olbrecht

Talking Guitar: Conversations with Musicians
Who Shaped Twentieth-Century American Music

by Jas Obrecht
University of North Carolina Press, 2017

Guitarists love to hear other guitarists talk about their craft. Jas Olbrecht, former editor of Guitar Player magazine, has had the honor of speaking with some of the most famous guitarists in history from diverse genres, and a number of those interviews are collected in the volume Talking Guitar: Conversations with Musicians Who Shaped Twentieth-Century American Music. From the blues guitar of Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown to the rockabilly stylings of Ricky Nelson, the philosophy of the Grateful Dead’s Jerry Garcia to the two-handed tapping of Eddie Van Halen, Talking Guitar has a little bit for everyone.

The Van Halen interview is especially interesting as it was an unscheduled sit-down with the up-and-coming guitarist after Olbrecht was blown off by Pat Travers. After playing a game of one-on-one basketball and explaining his predicament, Van Halen said, “Why don’t you interview me? Nobody has ever wanted to interview me?” He introduced himself, Olbrecht started recording, and Eddie Van Halen’s “first major interview” was underway.

Johnny Winter went on record about open tuning and slide technique, Carlos Santana speaks to the importance of tone and emotion, while Tom Petty talks about understanding rhythm guitar and how important Mike Campbell’s lead work was so important in Petty’s success. Talking Guitar also features interviews with Nick Lucas, Ry Cooder, Barney Kessel, Roebuck “Pops” Staples, Carol Kaye, Stevie Ray Vaughan, James Gurley, Gregg Allman, Neil Young, Eric Johnson, Joe Satriani, and Ben Harper.

Also included is an audio CD that includes excerpts of the interviews, including Eddie Van Halen explaining how “Eruption” ended up on the debut Van Halen record, and James Gurley explaining how John Coltrane influenced psychedelic guitar.

Talking Guitar is a fascinating collection of interviews, highly recommended for aspiring rock stars.

Learn more about University of North Carolina Press.

Purchase Talking Guitar by Jas Obrecht.

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R.I.P. Johnny Winter

(February 23, 1944 – July 16, 2014)

Legendary guitarist Johnny Winter passed away Wednesday at the age of 70. He was inducted into the Blues Foundation Hall of Fame in 2003.

Johnny Winter 1976 “Captured Live” Guitar Gods Limited Edition Collectible Figure Announced

Numbered limited-edition 7-inch figure with rocking head

Arriving in late June is the next figure in the GUITAR GODS series… The Johnny Winter 1976 “Captured Live” edition.

Johnny Winter figureThis is Guitar Gods 2nd version of legendary master blues guitarist. Representing him in full on 1976 “Captured Live!” mode, the figure is limited to 2000 numbered units, stands at 7 inches tall, and is made of a lightweight polyresin. Displayed in a full color collector’s box, here Johnny is accurately sculpted right down to his signature locks, platform shoes, and red arm bands.

Suggested retail price is $24.95. The item can be pre-ordered at the Guitar Gods website or at See of Sound. US orders are shipped via FedEx and will arrive in several days. International order could take up to 3 weeks to arrive. All Guitar Gods figures are available at many independent retailers, comic shops, tattoo parlors, etc via distribution by MVD Entertainment Group – a company specializing in music-related distribution since 1986. (Also available from MVD are several Johnny Winter DVDs: Live Through The ’70s, Live Through The ’80s, Live Rockpalast 1979, and Live From Japan.)

The previous edition has SOLD OUT and has been praised by fans and the press alike. About.com Blues said, “Holding his guitar and topped with his familiar black hat, this Johnny Winter figure would look great standing guard by your stereo.”

Johnny Winter has been a guitar hero without equal. Signing to Columbia records in 1969 called largest solo artist deal of it’s time, Johnny immediately laid out the blueprint for his fresh take on classic blues a prime combination for the legions of fans just discovering the blues via the likes of Jimmy Page and Eric Clapton. Constantly shifting between simple country blues in the vein of Robert Johnson, to all-out electric slide guitar blues-rock, – Johnny has always been one of the most respected singers and guitar players in rock and the clear link between British blues-rock and American Southern rock (a la the Allman Brothers and Lynyrd Skynyrd.) Throughout the ’70s and ’80s, Johnny was the unofficial torch-bearer for the blues, championing and aiding the careers of his idols like Muddy Waters and John Lee Hooker.

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