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Guitar Musician e-zine     10/12/05

In This Issue:

  "... I just didn't know what direction people want, you know music was going down a path, and I couldn't turn on a radio without being disgusted completely. And now it's just gotten to the point where I can't listen to anything, it's trashy. It's just a hundred channels of garbage all over. And not just here, it's in England as well. It's almost just like a global effort to knock the sense out of you if you're a musician (laughs). There's not any little morsel for musicians to latch on to. It's all glossy, lipstick s--t. More tits and bare midriffs. Unless you go to a blues club, or some outrageous, hip dive somewhere that nobody knows about until the night before, the pickings are slim for inspiration... I still listen to Django Reinhardt, his catalog. I'm just catching up with that after several years of not really listening to him proper. You know he's the greatest... it's the fear thing. ... but now I'm getting used to it... He (Django Reinhardt) was God. Just amazing"

                                                            - Jeff Beck / Yardbirds / Jeff Beck Group

Some Humor

  This sign is posted at a Golf Course in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

1. Back straight, knees bent, feet shoulder width apart.
2. Form a loose grip.
3 . Keep your head down.
4. Avoid a quick back swing.
5. Stay out of the water.
6 Try not to hit anyone.
7. If you are taking too long, please let others go ahead of you.
8. Don't stand directly in front of others.
9. Quiet please .. while others are preparing to go.
10. Don't take extra strokes.

Well done! Now flush the urinal, go outside, and tee off.

A Lesson For The Learning
by Andrew Koblick

I want to share a story with you.

The Karate Kid

Recently I was with my 8 year old son who is really into Karate. Not just watching it. He is taking lessons and recently won two first place trophies in competition. Proud Papa. We were watching the movie The Karate Kid

I imagine most of you have seen one of those 'Karate Kid' movies. Do you remember the part where the Sen sie (teacher) tells him to wax the car? At first he waxes nonchalantly but the teacher shows him how to make each stroke count. 'Wax on wax off'. The kid thinks he is being picky. He makes him wax 3 cars. The next day the Sensie tells him to paint the fence with only up strokes and down strokes.

The kid just wants to learn the Karate moves. The Sensei makes him do other chores each one he shows the exact movements he wants the kid to make. The kid still doesn't get it. Finally after a week the kid is ready to quit. Then sensei, as the kid is about to leave confronts him with a blow to the face. The kid blocks with the waxing motion. The sensie then tries to kick the kid. The kid blocks with the painting motion. Again the Sensie attacks and each time the kid uses one of the motions, he learned doing ordinary chores, to block the sensie.

Now the kid gets it.

And thats when it dawned on me why my Amazing Guitar Video gets such great results . The video takes each of the CORE FUNDAMENTAL MOVEMENTS and teaches the user to MASTER each movement with


No Wonder I have been comments like:

I've got to say, I wasn't sure if it would work. I thought there was no way I would be able to notice an improvement in my playing in only seven days.

I was wrong!

The first day the excersises were a little tough but I stuck with them. I practiced about an hour everyday and the excersises started to flow together. Today when I completed the video and my final practice session I decided to just jam out for a little while and see how I improved. I could tell that my picking was alot stronger then it had been and when I started to play 'Sweet Home Alabama' the song just came together. I didn't have to stop 20 times to correct my hand postition, everything just seemed to flow. I could tell then that something pretty amazing had happened in the past seven days that I didn't expect to. I actually improved!!!

I want to thank you so much, your email's kept me motivated and your step by step instruction made the excersises easy to follow.

I will definetly tell all my friends about your wonderful product. I plan using your excersises in all my practices as long as I can hold a guitar. You have made me a believer!!! Thanks again... Not just I did it... We did it!!!!

Thank you,'

Noel Camron White - St. Louis, MO.

Another one from the U.K.

'The Amazing Guitar Video was great. I'm glad I did stick with it, because it helped with parts of guitar playing that I was having serious problems with prior to watching the Amazing Guitar Video. Problems like down stroke up stroke. Which I find improves the sound of scales massively as opposed the down stroke, down stroke sound. This links in with speed, which also became much easier.

Thank you very much, glad I heard about the video, and i just can't wait to show it off to everyone!'

Dave Troule - U.K.

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The Karate Kid became a champion in one week because of these principles and you can make fantastic progress on your guitar using these powerful techniques.

Keep on Pickin,

Andrew Koblick
Amazing Guitar

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Peavey Valve King Combos

Versatile tube tone you can afford

By Andre LeChamp Peavey Valve King

Before I'd ever picked up a guitar, I was a sucker for sweet tube tone. It was the identifying factor in the sound of my favorite guitarists: Van Halen, Hendrix, Slash, Clapton . . . the list goes on and on. As I became a player and began to learn more about what defines a guitarist's individual sound, I learned that not all tube amps are created equal. Different power structures dramatically affect the way an amplifier sounds. Peavey has created the ValveKing series of amplifiers to give guitarists the powerful, scorching tone of a Class A amp and the lush, warm sound of a Class A/B. Best of all, they are priced for the masses. I couldn't wait to get my hands on one and put it to the test!

First impressions

Musician's Friend sent me both the 50W 112 and the 100W 212 ValveKing combos. I immediately took note of the front panels and their many controls-something I wasn't expecting from such value-priced tube amps. Both amps have Lead and Clean footswitchable channels, each with its own volume and three-band EQ. Reverb with a level control also comes standard on both combos, as well as Resonance and Presence controls to further hone your sound. And if that wasn't enough, there are also footswitchable gain and volume boosts on the Lead channel.

Inside, the 212 has three 12AX7 preamp tubes and four 6L6GC power tubes. It's armed with two specially voiced 12" ValveKing speakers, but it will happily accept external cabs via the dual parallel outs in back. The 112 uses three 12AX7 preamp tubes and two 6L6GC power tubes. As its' name suggests, it has a single 12" ValveKing speaker.

In addition to the 112 and 212 combos, Peavey also has a ValveKing 100W head and 4x12" ValveKing cabinet if you want to go the half-stack route. The ValveKing 100 head has the same power and features as the 212 combo.

The best of both worlds

One knob that piqued my interest was the Texture control. In their natural state, the ValveKings are true Class A/B amps. As you move the Texture knob, half of the power tubes are phased out and the gain of the driver tube (the last preamp tube in the circuit) is increased. This results in killer distortion and breakup without the need for increased volume.

I plugged my guitar into the 112 first to get an idea of what the smaller combo was capable of. Its 50 watts created an incredible amount of volume, and the ValveKing speaker responded well to everything I threw at it. In fact, it sounded better than the 2x12" 65W British combo I normally play (which doesn't have the amount of controls a ValveKing does, I might add).

With my guitar favoring the high end, I found that by tweaking the Resonance and Presence settings and turning the Texture knob more to the A/B side, it de-emphasized the squeal and delivered a rich, warm tone that I was surprised to get from single-coil pickups.

Big brother

Peavey ValveKing 212

After thoroughly rocking the 112, I couldn't wait for rehearsal to see what its larger sibling could do. I play in a power trio, which requires me to wear a lot of different hats as a guitarist. Using the aforementioned Brit combo puts me in the position of settling on tones that aren't always ideal. I love the fat crunch it delivers for something like a Fu Manchu cover, but the clean sound I use on SRV's "Lenny" sounds muddy compared to Stevie's legendary original.

As we worked through our set, I made minor tweaks to accommodate what we were playing. For our 10-minute long, King Crimson-inspired original "Eternal Serpent," I turned the Texture more toward the Class A setting and it immediately gave me the bright, biting tone I'd always wanted to use for that particular tune without drowning out the other players. Whether it was full-on rock or atmospheric jazz, I was able to coax the appropriate tone from the ValveKing. And when I needed a quick burst of gain, a simple tap on the footswitch engaged the Lead channel's boost and took things to the next level. Having such a flexible amp really made playing more enjoyable. Instead of thinking how much better things could sound, I was able to focus on my playing knowing that the audience was hearing exactly what I wanted them to hear.

The final analysis

The ValveKing combos perform at a level I would only expect from tube amps costing much more. Both combos pack a major punch, and the versatility provided by the Texture control creates a huge array of tones to fully express your musical ideas. Combined with features like separate EQs per channel, external speaker jacks, reverb, and very friendly price tags, the ValveKings are a no-brainer for any guitarist who wants to experience a new level of tube power, tone, and control.

Features & Specs:

  • 50W/100W (112/212) tube power
  • Texture� variable Class A/B simulation control
  • 2 footswitchable channels
  • EQ and volume for each channel
  • Footswitchable gain/volume boost on lead channel
  • 12" Valve King speaker (2x12" for 212)
  • Reverb with level control
  • Buffered effects loop
  • Resonance and presence controls
  • External speaker jack
  • 2/4 (112/212) 6L6GC power tubes
  • 3 - 12AX7 preamp tubes
  • 21-2/5"W x 18-1/4"H x 10-1/4"D, 45 lbs. (112)
  • 26-1/2"W x 20-3/5"H x 11-1/10"D, 69 lbs. (212)



Relative Minor Scale 101

Randy Harper; West Virginia

Q: Okay, I have discovered something that is probably apparent to most experienced guitar players and probably alluded to in other explanations of theory but I think this could help beginners understand the importance of scales and how they're used. I look at scales mostly in terms of patterns not key. I say this because I would like some feedback from you on how this observation can be related to other things I have not thought about. Here it is:

Our old friend the A Pentatonic Minor Scale has the same "pattern" as the C Pentatonic Major Scale

The E Pentatonic Minor Scale has the same pattern as the G Pentatonic Major Scale.

If the song I am playing has C and Am in the chord progression, like many of the songs I play, then there is a good chance that the Am scale will sound good played over the song. The same goes for Em and G.

Side note:
I don't play many songs that have the B chord in it, I really don't know why, other than the fact I have a hard time changing to the B chord.

Observation and comments please:

A: Great observation man! You just discovered an important theory component by yourself and you don't even know it. It is that every Major scale has a relative Minor scale. This means that for every Major scale there will be a Minor scale that has the same exact notes in it sort of like its sister. The main difference is the root note or target note.

In your question you stated that the A Minor pentatonic scale and the C Major pentatonic scale are the same, this is because the relative Minor scale is built from the 6th note of the major scale. Like this example:

C Major scale - C D E F G A B C

A Minor scale - A B C D E F G

Both scales contain the same exact notes with no sharps or flats they are just in a different order, the root note or main target note is the big difference. In the A Minor pentatonic scale the A note is the root note and in C Major the C note is the root.

Many songs are written with one section being in each of the Major and relative minor keys because they work and sound so good together.

So to answer your question, yes, there is a direct connection with these scales and their patterns and you can use this to help memorize your scales and use them to improvise more creatively.

And last but not least... learn your B chord you will need it even though it is a difficult one!

Hope this helps!

Yours in Music
John McCarthy
Rock House


Musician's Friend Exclusive Interview
with Joe Satriani, Part III

Last week the affable guitar wizard provided us with unique insight into his prodigious musical education, how he developed his own style, and how he got too high for comfort onstage with Mick Jagger. This week he gives us the lowdown on rock star etiquette, tells us what to practice when you know everything, and lays out the development of his Ibanez JS guitar series. Be sure to join us for the final installment next week when Joe gets down to the nitty gritty on his new Peavey JSX Joe Satriani Amp Head and his high-powered recording rack.

Musician's Friend: A few minutes ago you talked about meeting Billy Gibbons and being star-struck. That happens to a lot of people�they get a chance to meet their hero and they say stupid things or they make them uncomfortable. What can a fan say when they meet you that doesn't put you in an odd position?


Musician's Friend Exclusive Interview with Joe Satriani, Part III

Joe Satriani: In my experience with the stars I've met, they're the ones who make the difference. Mick, Brian May, Billy Gibbons�these guys that I've met and played with�they're unique human beings, they're so nice. They probably could sense that what they needed to do was to put Joe at ease. And they quickly do that. It's natural when you've followed somebody as a static image or on a video and finally you meet them in the flesh, you just can't help but stare at them for a while. And it throws you off balance and you forget what you really wanted to say and you say something else.

But the response from the star is really what sets the pace. All it takes is a gesture from the artist, a hand on the shoulder, a smile. Wait; just give the fan some time. If they say, "I'm really nervous," just say "That's OK. I can wait; I'm not in a rush."

MF: Is a compliment about something specific you've done easier to deal with than if somebody comes up and says you're the greatest guitar player in the world?

JS: Yeah, I think all artists are suckers for a compliment [laughs]. And usually if it's an obscure one we like it even better. And sometimes it can be a criticism that makes you think this guy's really listening. But you can never be prepared for the variety of comments, feelings, and anecdotes that fans talk to you about. Some of them are funny, some are so tragic you feel like bursting into tears when they tell you�stuff about how your music has somehow worked into their life.

I try not to impose any conditions on fans, other than they don't physically just start freaking out [laughs].

MF: Don't jump on you.

JS: Yeah. That would be dangerous. Because there's always security nearby and the fan could get hurt. But I've had a lot of really good experiences hanging out with people that I used to admire from the back of album covers and concerts. I remember when I was about 16 I went to see Humble Pie at, I think it was, Gallic Park up in the Bronx. I used to go to these concerts with a friend of mine who was a really big, strong kid. He looked like Arnold Schwarzenegger, except he was in high school. He was great to go to concerts with because he would always get us backstage as extra roadies.

So at the end of the concert we'd go to the back gate. I was just a skinny little kid, but I'd stand next to my friend Jeff. And he'd say, "Hey, you guys need some help?" They'd let us in and we'd find ourselves onstage wrapping cables or something. It was very exciting for us. I remember walking up the ramp towards the stage and there's Steve Marriot from Humble Pie looking at me like 'Who's this kid? What's he doing here?'

I said "Steve Marriot!" and that was about all that could come out of my mouth. He must have known I was petrified, but I was a big fan. I remember him giving me a pat on the shoulders and saying, "Hi. Thanks for being here and listening to the music," and walking off. And that gesture remains with me today. Because he could have turned to someone and said, "Get that kid out of here!" or "Bug off, kid, I'm busy." He could have said anything, and some stars do�they're so impersonal it's disheartening. But he was the first star that I ever met, and that brief encounter made me think 'A star can take the time to be genuine with a fan. And they do appreciate it and they never forget it.'

MF: How much do you practice now and what do you consider practice?


Click to Enlarge

JS: The second part of that is a very good question. I think that anytime someone has gone through intense woodshedding and has played for a couple of decades, the question 'What do you practice now?' kind of looms over your head. Because once you know all the chords and you know all the scales in every key and you've harmonized them in every harmonization, and there isn't a chord that you hear coming out of the radio that your brain doesn't say, 'Oh that's a minor 13th chord,' you realize that what you need to practice is not written down anymore. It's not the kind of stuff that's based on theory that's been sitting around for a couple of hundred years. When you start out you're basically trying to play catch-up with a couple hundred years of Western music.

If you decide not to drift into music outside of your culture�because you could spend another lifetime studying Indian music or Arabic music or other forms of music from around the world�you start to think more about what it is that you want to play. If you're a writer like I am, then it's all about the writing. It's always been more about the writing. When I was younger there was a bit of a conflict when I would have to spend four or five hours a day practicing scales and it would leave me no time to work on my writing, which I really love doing.

MF: Four or five hours a day?!

JS: Yeah, that was nothing. I started with a half hour, then worked up to an hour, worked up to two, worked up to three. I started waking up before school and practiced for two hours, and then I'd practice after school. Then when I was out of school and touring with top 40 bands, between tours I'd spend two months practicing literally 13 hours a day. Then I'd have to go out and find a job again.

It was really about discovery: 'How fast can I play? How slow can I play? How many different key signatures can I play exactly the same?' You just keep pushing yourself to every boundary, whether it's intellectual or physical, that you can think of.


Click to Enlarge

You learn�especially when you reach the mid-twenties�'This is the body that I've been given [laughs]. And I've put it through every possible pace with this instrument, so now it's time to pull it together.' Some of us walk faster than others; have a larger stride than others. And it's the same with the way we approach our instruments. With guitar it's pretty obvious. But that speed or that stretch really doesn't apply to success or to genius or the ability to write great music and perform it to move millions of people.

Year after year we see fascinating new guitar players come along. They may not have the skills of this guy or they may have a little more skills than that guy, but what they give us is something very unique. That's why there's no way to say who's better: Jimi Hendrix, Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page�all the guys that came from that era. They're all equally amazing for what they accomplish and they're all completely different. Their fingertips make a different sound. They go about playing things rhythmically quite differently. It's like comparing apples and oranges.

MF: Getting back to the question, do you practice now, and is it anything that the rest of us guys would recognize as practice?

JS: Yes. Absolutely. Just about every day since I was 15 years old I've done a series of simple chromatic exercises that I've published in magazine articles and in my book Guitar Secrets, simple exercises to warm up with. Some people pick up an instrument and try to play their fastest or most strenuous stuff right away. Your muscles and tendons are not ready for that. So you do need to warm up, just like a singer or a drummer or any other performer. You've got to somehow sort of warm up and stretch before you ask yourself to do something really intense.

So I'll do two or three of these things that I've picked up over the years. I'll do some intonation exercises to get in touch with whatever instrument I happen to be playing. Because some of my guitars have nines on them, some of them have tens. Although I probably do most of my practicing on my Ibanez guitars, I have a small group of vintage guitars that I have set up differently. Your Tele and your SG are going to have a very different string tension than your JS1000. So sometimes I'll just spend an hour getting used to a guitar.

I'll play along with records. There are some records that are really great to play with. Like Eric Clapton's From the Cradle. It's a great blues record to play along with. You can just put that thing on and play through the entire album. That's the greatest warm-up. Or sometimes I'll bring out my seven-string and put on a Linkin Park record and play along with that. I'll be like the annoying soloist that they decided not to have in the band [laughs].

Then I have quite a few of my own records that I've made mixes of without the solos or the melodies. That usually helps when I'm preparing for a tour. I'll make sure to run through an entire set at least twice a day for about two or three weeks before a tour.

I come up with most of my techniques as I'm writing the song. And then I teach myself the technique well enough to record it. And then if I don't play that song the technique fades. So sometimes I have to rekindle the technique behind a song.

I have some recordings of unusual progressions that I'll sometimes play melodies and solos against. And I'll specifically say, 'OK, I'm going to try to do this thing using the whammy bar every possible way,' and that's all I'll do for hours�just go whammy crazy. Other times I may take the bar off or just not use it or pick up a JS6 or one of my other Ibanez prototypes that doesn't have a vibrato bar, like the JS1200, and then I'll play for hours without any bar, just as a discipline. That's pretty much it, though.

MF: That's pretty much more than most people ever do.

JS: You'd think there'd be more time. But when you're a professional musician and you've got records you'd be surprised how many hours a day are spent doing stuff without your guitar around your shoulders. But those hours are necessary to keep the band together, keep the record going, press appearances...

MF: It's a business.


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JS: It is. And there's a lot of waiting around. I remember that quote from Charlie Watts of the Rolling Stones on that 25-year anniversary video they put out. And they said, "So, Charlie, what's it been like playing with the Rolling Stones for 25 years?" He took a long pause and said, "Well, five years of playing, and 20 years of just waiting around." [Laughs.] Because that's what he was doing. He was just sitting outside a rehearsal place drinking a coffee and having a cigarette. There's a lot of that, where you can't do anything because you're removed from an environment where you could do something constructive and you're forced to wait. Backstage, in the dressing room, at an airport, on a bus�there's a lot of waiting around.

MF: You've mentioned various instruments you play, how much of a role did gear play in the development of your personal tone?

JS: I would think quite a bit. I wound up gravitating toward a Fender-scale guitar with Gibson-style pickups�humbucking pickups on a 25-1/2"-scale instrument with a locking vibrato bar. So that's pretty specific. That's not like my '56 Tele or my 1960 Strat or my 1960 Les Paul or my '58 Junior. Those guitars are different worlds compared to modern instruments that people play today.

I spent most of my formative years playing a Telecaster. I owned a late '60s Telecaster with a Bigsby on it that I bought used from some guy in the paper. I really loved that instrument but the thing would go out of tune constantly and it was a little shrill in the high end. Even though it was the instrument of choice for Jimmy Page when he started out and made those first two records�it features into a lot of Jimmy Page's stuff, and the band I was in in high school played a lot of Led Zeppelin�it still wasn't quite cutting it.

I eventually moved into a Les Paul, but then I had the problem that it was chunky, but it didn't really poke through and it also went out of tune constantly. Of course, being a fan of Hendrix and Beck I wanted to use that vibrato bar. But just the thought of playing a Strat with a bar and dealing with the tuning was even more daunting. I just couldn't stand not being able to play good chords and keep them in tune while doing the soloing.

And this all stems from the fact that I was an aggressive player. I would bend the strings when a more sensible guitar player would say, "I'm not going to bend that string because my guitar will go out of tune." Every measure of music I'd just be going for it and by the end of it I'd destroy the instrument. So when the Floyds came out I thought, 'This is a great idea. This thing will stay in tune. I can do all those bends and make all those noises and still go back to playing the chords.'

By then I started building my own instruments. There was a company called Boogie Bodies. I don't think they're still in existence. But they were the first company to start offering body parts for Strats and Teles and things. So I bought two Strat bodies of hard rock maple, and I got an ESP neck that was a real V shape, late '50s style with an ebony fingerboard. I put humbucking pickups on there and I had a universal route on it. So eventually as I got more money I would buy different pickguards with different pickup configurations.

For albums like Not of this Earth, Surfing with the Alien, and Flying in a Blue Dream, that black guitar was the Les Paul sound and the Strat sound for every one of the records. After I'd do a chunky rhythm part, I'd tell the engineer to take 20 minutes and I'd take off the strings, change the pickguard, put the strings back on, and do the Strat part [laughs]. Because I couldn't afford to have a whole bunch of guitars so it was like, 'this guitar will be great.' And I started to see the benefit of the longer scale with the humbucking pickups.

I could see where it wouldn't work�like maybe when I was layering and you just really wanted that shorter-scale sound�but I found myself playing more melodically and it seemed like the longer scale allowed you to put out a melody and have it be more expressive.

After Surfing when DiMarzio approached me about helping me with pickup stuff, we really got closer to what I was looking for, which was to really create a special tone with the use of the pickup. Then Ibanez that same year was willing to build me a guitar based on what I was looking for. So over the years we've been refining it: the wood, the size of the frets, the kind of pickups, the potentiometers, the bar. We get more and more detailed. Every year we release a new model or a variation of an existing model.

And that has a lot to do with it. As painful as it is, I actually watched myself on the Live in San Francisco DVD. I was trying to get a perspective on the difference in the production and my playing versus the G3 DVD we just released. The San Francisco concert is 2-1/2 hours of me playing guitar and I realized I could never play that stuff if I just had a Telecaster or a Les Paul or an SG or a Les Paul Junior or a Strat. I'd never be able to do half of it. So it has become my modern tool that allows me to play vintage as well as to play the latest techniques.

And it keeps it together. There's like 99% accuracy in the tuning, which I think is really great. With the other ones it's a certainty that you will be out of tune by the end of the song [laughs]. That's if you play in that aggressive style.

MF: What about pedals? Being a Hendrix fan, Hendrix had cool gadgets; you must have been through quite of few of them.

JS: The first pedal I ever bought�when I was about 15 I sent away for an Electroharmonix Big Muff Pi through an ad I found in Circus magazine. I think it was 40 bucks. And I still have that pedal. I had to have the little germanium thing replaced. But like most people from that generation, we fell in love with distortion and it has been a great part of music to this day. You could write a thesis on why people like distortion.

But that was a big deal. Having that distortion was like opening up a new creative world. I started collecting as many of these little funny things as I could. And it eventually led me to using a Boss DS-1 as my main source of gain for a couple of years while I was touring. Because it was the most reliable and the widest-sounding source of distortion that was also the quietest. These days I use Fulltone effects on tour.

And Ibanez has been reissuing their original Easter-egg-color pedals, I call them�the Fanger, the chorus pedal, and they're coming out with a delay that's really good. And their original Tube Driver, which doesn't have a lot of low end. But if you play it through, let's say, a Fender amp that's got a ton of low end they can sound really great and give you that Stevie Ray Vaughan kind of tone.

Recommended Listening - A Must For Your Collection!

Iron and Wine/Calexico, In the Reins
By Judith Edelman
Borders shiver and fade as Iron and Wine (the name singer-songwriter Sam Beam uses for his Appalachia-meets-Nick Drake solo career) collaborates with Southwestern shape-shifters Calexico on an EP that features seven of Beam�s previously unrecorded early songs. Beam�s soft, velvet voice wafts across the seven tracks, leaving Calexico cofounder and vocalist Joey Burns to sing lovely backup and concentrate with the rest of the band on imbuing Beam�s songs with the wide, cinematic sound Calexico fans love. Beam�s voice and memorable writing lend a gentle, poetic quality to the recording, while Calexico�s dramatic and experimental sensibilities widen Beam�s usual palette of sounds and contribute a vibrating and palpable energy. True to both acts, lovely acoustic guitar moments�folky fingerpicking and mariachi strumming alike�abound on In The Reins, surrounded by Calexico�s bevy of southwestern border sounds: trumpet, pedal steel, and percussion. It�s a great alchemical mixture of folk, jazz, rock, and blues, and while both Calexico and Iron and Wine have been defined (rightly or wrongly) by the geographies their respective sounds suggest, this is an album about dissolving boundaries, not defining them. (Overcoat,

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Until Next Time,
whistle while you work,

Guitar Musician

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