Monday, April 30, 2012

Jimmy Page Digitized

England's National Portrait Gallery began digitalizing it's collection in 1996, and began making it's portraits available online a year later.

By 2009 the Gallery had digitized 70,000 images. Today, the figure stands at over 100,000 images.

The 100,000th portrait digitized by The National Gallery was a picture of Jimmy Page, taken by acclaimed rock photographer Ross Halfin.

The photograph was taken in 2009 and was donated to the gallery by Dave Brolen. Both Page and Halfin have signed the limited edition print, and it is part of a collection of five photographs of Page signed by photographer and artist. The other pictures in the portfolio are by Jorgen Angel in Copenhagen in 1970, Dick Barnatt at Earls Court Arena in 1975, Neal Preston at Chicago Stadium in 1977, Baron Wolman at Oakland Coliseum in 1977.

Page appears in six pictures in total at the portrait gallery, including one of him with the Yardbirds in 1966.  The gallery also has single  Robert Plant picture, as well as a Sandy Denny portrait.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Heart Zeppish

Heart is releasing a box set of demos and live versions of their materials over the course of their career. Included in the box set, Strange Euphoria, will be a 5 song bonus disc of Led Zeppelin material.

Sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson have been very upfront about the Zeppelin influence in their music, and have covered a number of Zeppelin songs during their live sets through the years.

The "Zeppish" disc will include Going to California, Battle Of Evermore, What Is And What Should Never Be, Immigrant Song, Misty Mountain Hop.

Heart's Strange Euphoria will be available June 5th.

Led Zeppelin Guitar Method

I wish I had this when I was learning to play guitar.

For eons, beginning guitar students have sat in front of books plinking away to the civil war standard Aura Lee (Love Me Tender is based on Aura Lee), Jingle Bells and the big closer, Guitar Boogie. 00-33568Starting on the 1st and 2nd strings and advancing to all six strings within mere weeks. Chords get introduced around the time sharps and flats do, and soon you are playing with friends to learn the songs you really want to play.

Fun! Wow!

Now, beginning students have the Led Zeppelin Guitar Method: Immerse Yourself in the Music and Mythology of Led Zeppelin as You Learn to Play Guitar, Book & Enhanced CD from Alfred Music to immerse themselves in:
The highly anticipated Led Zeppelin Guitar Method teaches the essentials required to play guitar right away, applied to 26 time-honored songs from the iconic band, written in standard notation and TAB. Beginning with the vocal melodies, the method book quickly moves on to teach authentic-sounding guitar parts of such classics as “Stairway to Heaven,” ”Immigrant Song,” “Whole Lotta Love,” “Misty Mountain Hop,” “Over the Hills and Far Away,” “Babe I’m Gonna Leave You,” and many more. Zeppelin songs are used to illustrate and teach concepts such as popular chord forms, major and minor scales, power chords, hammer-ons and pull-offs, and much more. Carefully arranged to capture the essence of their original recordings, some song arrangements have been simplified to facilitate a faster, more enjoyable learning process.

The book includes much of the traditional method - including Aura Lee and something called Rock'n Rhythm. It is supplemented, however, by Led Zeppelin music throughout, and by the end is entirely Led Zeppelin music. By page 13, after such complex subjects as holding the guitar, notes on the first string, notes on the second string the Led Zeppelin Guitar Method has you playing "Stairway to Heaven (melody)" on the first two strings.

By the end, you have played the Heartbreaker riff, Stairway to Heaven (intro), Good Times, Bad Times (lick), Over The Hills and Far Away and fingerpicked Babe I'm Gonna Leave You and Bach's Bourée in Em (which Jimmy Page often played during live renditions of his Heartbreaker solo).

A review copy has been sent and I will do a more in depth review once I've seen the actual product. As a guitar player, and former teacher, I'll know if this is a decent product or not, but I'd love to see it in action with a real student.

Led Zeppelin Guitar Method comes with a CD that plays in a regular CD player and can be played in a computer, where you can slow down the tracks to play along.

Led Zeppelin Guitar Methodcan be purchased at most music stores, or online retailing for $24.99

Page previews:

Title Page
Speed Drill
The F Chord and Communication Breakdown
Triplets and You Shook Me
The Em chord and When the Levee Breaks

Monday, April 16, 2012

Robert Plant to Unveil the Sensational Space Shifters

Looks like Robert Plant is going back to the Black Country, as he's announced his new band, The Sensational Space Shifters, will play the Guildhall in Gloucester on May 8th. robert-plant-led-zeppelin-signing-jody-craddock-print1This is the earliest of the announced concerts for the Sensational Space Shifters. They are also scheduled to play Womad Festival in Malmesbury, Wiltshire on
July 29th and the Sunflower River Blues and Gospel Festival in Clarksdale, MS in August.

The Sensational Space Shifters feature Plant and his "wife" Patty Griffin, Justin Adams, who played with Plant with Strange Sensation Days from 2001 - 2007, Adams collaborator Juldeh Camara, and bassist Billy Fuller, also formerly of Strange Sensation.

Tickets for the Guildhall shops go on sale this Friday, April 20th (maximum of 4).