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I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!

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Showing posts with label Paul Gilbert. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Paul Gilbert. Show all posts

Thursday, November 17, 2022

Kings County Blues artist: Emanual Casablanca - Blood On My Hands - New Release Review

 I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Blood On My Hands, by Emanual Casablanca and it's solid rocker with a blues base. Opening with Afraid of Blood, a dark rocker with heavy overtones, Emanual Casablanca on vocal and guitar sets the tone joined by Paul Howells on guitar, Julian Chobot on bass, Teddy Sideropolous on drums and Paul Gilbert on guitar. Title track, Blood On My Hands is really a cool track with a strong, lumbering blues bottom, emphasized by Maximillian Sebastian on bass, Theodore Augustine on drums, Brother Dave on guitar and some of Casablanca's best vocals on the release. I really like blues based, Bloodshot Eyes with it's relentless thumping bass line by Chobot and solid guitar riffs by Albert Castiglia. Driving boogie, Testify is one of my favorite tracks on the release with a grinding guitar riff by Howells and it's simple blues feel. Wrapping the release is Rottenpockets with a heavily distorted guitar vamp by Sebastian and tight drum pulse by Poyraz Aldemir. This is a metal flavored track with melodic vocals by Casablanca. 

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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Paul Gilbert to release new album "Vibrato"

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Music Theories Recordings, a division of Mascot Label Group, is pleased to announce the 15th October UK release of Paul Gilbert’s new and exciting 12th solo album “Vibrato”.

The album includes four new guitar and vocal compositionss, four instrumentals, plus three live cover songs from Gilbert’s 2010 “Fuzz” tour including Yes’ Roundabout, Muddy Waters’ I Want To Be Loved and AC/DC’s Go Down.

The album will follow Gilbert’s appearance at Marshall Amplification’s "50 Years Of Loud" concert at London Wembley Arena on Saturday 22nd September. The concert celebrates 50 years of Marshall Amplification’s musical innovation and the life of the late Jim Marshall. Get tickets here.

As a member of both the '80's premiere guitar band Racer X, and the million selling Mr. Big, Gilbert has gained the reputation as one of the most melodic and powerful guitarists in rock.

Determined not to be pigeon-holed as a guitar shredder, Gilbert's solo work has allowed him to exercise his deep appreciation for the more song-oriented side of rock music.

The "Fuzz" live tracks includes guitarist and singer Tony Spinner, who adds some amazing vocals, and some killer guitar battles and harmonies. Roundabout is especially impressive in that all the keyboard parts are played on guitar. Jeff Bowders (drums) and Craig Martini (bass) also perform on the live tracks.

One of the instrumental tracks on the album is Dave Brubeck’s Blue Rondo A La Turk. Its groundbreaking odd-time instrumental classic from the 60s is supercharged by Gilbert’s electric guitar playing the saxophone parts, backed by his ridiculously tight band.


Paul Gilbert (born November 6, 1966 in Illinois) is an American musician, best known for his technical guitar work with Racer X and Mr. Big, as well as many solo albums and numerous collaborations and guest appearances with other musicians.
Gilbert has been voted number 4 on a list in GuitarOne magazine of the "Top 10 Greatest Guitar Shredders of All Time", as well as a spot in Guitar World magazine’s "50 Fastest Guitarists of All Time" list.

Gilbert was raised in Greenburg, Pennsylvania. In 1981, he first contacted Mike Varney, founder of Shrapnel Records, asking for a gig with Ozzy Osbourne. At the time, Varney couldn't think why Osbourne would want a 15 year old guitarist, but after listening to his demo he changed his mind. At the age of 15, Gilbert was featured in Guitar Player magazine. They talked for the next 3 years, until Paul went to LA and enrolled into the Guitar Institute of Technology, where he soon began recording Racer X's debut album Street Lethal.

Formed in LA in 1985, Racer X originally comprised Paul Gilbert (guitar), Juan Alderete (bass), Harry Gschoesser (drums) and Jeff Martin (vocals). They were heavily influenced by Judas Priest and Gilbert's playing was reminiscent of Yngwie Malmsteen, displaying fast-driven solos with extreme-level technique. Gschoesser was replaced by Scott Travis (later known for being the drummer for Judas Priest) in 1986, and Bruce Bouillet was added as a second guitar player.

Paul Gilbert gained recognition as one of the fastest guitar players around due to incredibly technical pieces like Technical Difficulties, Frenzy, Scarified, Y.R.O. and Scit Scat Wah.

Gilbert left Racer X in 1988. Racer X carried on for a short time with guitarist (and fellow GIT alum) Chris Arvin and vocalist Oni Logan (later of George Lynch's Lynch Mob) when singer Jeff Martin departed to play drums in Jake E. Lee's Badlands, in which he replaced Eric Singer who left to join Alice Cooper. Shortly thereafter, the members of the re-invented Racer X went their separate ways. The original band would eventually reform (although without Bruce Bouillet, who in-turn did produce the first reunion record).

Paul contacted the members of Racer X, and all agreed to return, with the exception of Bruce Bouillet. In mid-1999 the band recorded the album Technical Difficulties which went gold in Japan. In late 2000, the band released another album entitled Superheroes, mixed by former Racer X guitarist, Bruce Bouillet.

To capitalise on their new-found success in Japan, Universal Japan requested that the band record a live show for another live CD and DVD. On May 25, 2001, the band played their first live performance in thirteen years to a sold-out crowd at the famed Whiskey A Go Go in Los Angeles. The show was recorded for both audio and video, and in 2002, both the CD and DVD were released under the name Snowball of Doom.

In January 2002, in support of Superheroes and Snowball of Doom, Racer X toured Japan and Taiwan. The band performed these shows in their Superheroes costumes, and the final show, in Yokohama, was hastily recorded in two tracks on the sound board and was to be later released as Snowball of Doom 2. Later that year, Universal Japan pushed for another Racer X album. In October 2002, all four members of Racer X gathered at Gilbert's house in Las Vegas to record Getting Heavier, which was sold alongside Snowball of Doom 2 in a package deal. Although the album was a successful release in Japan, some fans were disappointed with the lighter tracks, which resembled a Paul Gilbert solo album more so than a traditional Racer X album.

Racer X performed at the 2009 NAMM show at the Anaheim Convention Center in California. Andy Timmons and his band opened the show, followed by a solo set from Paul Gilbert, and finally Racer X which featured Paul Gilbert, Scott Travis, Jeff Martin and John Alderete.

When Billy Sheehan left David Lee Roth’s band in 1988, he joined with Paul Gilbert, who had left his former band, Racer X. They founded Mr. Big, with Pat Torpey on drums and singe Eric Martin. The band was initially a huge success in Japan, and became famous internationally in 1991, with the release of their second album, Lean Into It. This album featured the ballad To Be With You, which received strong media play and reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Gilbert continued playing in Mr. Big until the late 1990s. He left the band in 1997 to pursue a solo career, and was replaced by Richie Kotzen. Mr. Big disbanded in 2002.

In June 2009, Paul Gilbert reunited with original Mr. Big members; Eric Martin, Billy Sheehan, and Pat Torpey, for a worldwide reunion tour. They recorded a new album with producer Kevin Shirley titled “What If”. The album was released in Japan on December 2010, in Europe in January 2011, and in the USA in February 2011. A tour to support the album kicked off at Hollywood’s House of Blues on April 2, 2011, followed by several dates in Japan, China, Korea, the Philippines and Europe.

In May 2003 he played in an only twice-performing project called Yellow Matter Custard, a Beatles cover band consisting also of Mike Portnoy (ex-Dream Theater), Neal Morse (ex-Spock’s Beard), and Matt Bissonette. In February 2011 Yellow Matter Custard re-formed for 3 Nights Across America. Kasim Sulton (Meatloaf, Todd Rundgren) replaced Matt Bissonette in the 2011 shows. They took their name from a Beatles lyric in the song "I Am The Walrus" - "Yellow matter custard, dripping from a dead dog's eye.”
He rejoined Portnoy along with Dave LaRue and Daniel Gildenlow for a Led Zeppelin tribute band called Hammer of the Gods in November 2003. The same year, he toured Japan with Linus of Hollywood, TJ Helmerich, and Scot Coogan in support of his solo albums Burning Organ, Paul The Young Dude/The Best of Paul Gilbert, and Gilbert Hotel.

In September 2005, he joined Portnoy, Sean Malone and Jason McMaster in the Rush tribute band Cygnus and the Sea Monsters. In May 2006, he joined Portnoy, Gary Cherone, and Billy Sheehan to form Amazing Journey: A Tribute to The Who, playing three shows. The band (excluding Sheehan) destroyed their equipment after the show in homage.

He was also revealed to be the guest guitarist on the Neal Morse solo album, Sola Scriptura. In 2007, Paul Gilbert toured with Bruce Bouillet for promotion of his first instrumental album, Get Out of My Yard (2006). Also joining him was his wife, Emi Gilbert, on keyboards. Gilbert also joined Joe Satriani and John Petrucci in the 2007 G3 tour. This was the 5th North American G3 run and the 12th tour worldwide since its inception.

In early 2008, Paul released his second instrumental album Silence Followed By A Deafening Roar. On October 22, 2008, Paul released an album with vocalist Freddie Nelson entitled United States. The collaboration has been described as a cross of Queen and Mr. Big.

Paul with Racer X performed at the 2009 NAMM show at the Anaheim Convention Center in California. Andy Timmons opened the show, followed by a solo set from Gilbert, and finally Racer X. The Racer X line-up featured Gilbert, Scott Travis, Jeff Martin, and John Alderete.

Gilbert also joined George Lynch and Richie Kotzen on the Guitar Generation tour.
In June 2010, Gilbert's third instrumental solo album Fuzz Universe was released in Japan, with a release in America and Europe soon after. A cover of Johnny Cash's Leave That Junk Alone is featured as a Japanese bonus track

Talking about his influences, Paul cites many influences including: Randy Rhodes, Kim Mitchell, Eddie Van Halen, Yngwie Malmsteen, Tony Iommi, Alex Lifeson, Jimmy Page, Ritchie Blackmore, Michael Schenker, Gary Moore, etc. Paul was influenced by his uncle Jimi Kidd who was instrumental in getting Paul interested in playing the guitar. He is also a great fan of The Beach Boys and The Beatles. He states on the Space Ship Live DVD that George Harrison is one of his favourite guitar players. Guitar World magazine declared him one of 50 of the world's fastest guitarists of all time.

Gilbert composes music in a wide variety of styles including pop, rock, metal, blues, funk and European classical music. He is best known for his versatility and speed. He is noted in particular for his efficient picking and his tendency to pick many notes rather than relying on legato for fast passages.

Paul Gilbert wrote his own section for the British guitar magazine, Total Guitar, where he demonstrated guitar techniques in the magazine and accompanying CD. He also contributed instructional articles in Guitar Player Magazine. His period of working with Total Guitar spanned thirty-one issues until the November 2006 issue.

Paul teaches at the Guitar Institute of Technology, and is also an honorary dean of the GIT division in Japan. Gilbert is known for his instructional videos, which are often comical in nature. One of his instructional videos includes him pulling a rabbit out of his guitar, putting his guitar in a straightjacket and having presents thrown at him by members of the film crew. Paul also was, for a short time, the guitar teacher of Buckethead, Joey Tafolla, Russ Parrish (aka Satchell from Steel Panther), Michelle Meldrum (the late wife of Europe guitarist John Norum) and Nicole Couch of Phantom Blue. Gilbert now writes a column for Premier Guitar magazine entitled Shred Your Enthusiasm.


Paul Gilbert: Official Website

Paul Gilbert: Facebook

Mascot Label Group: Official Website

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