Friday, December 15, 2006

Halton Blues Society Logo!

I do Logo's on the side, and I'm proud to annouce that I did the logo for the newly formed 'Halton Blues Society'. I think it's going to be a very popular club that will be getting alot of exposure in the new year. So when you see this logo...thinka me!

Blues me or Lose me...

Sunday, December 10, 2006

My DeArmond JetStar: 10 out of 10!

DeArmond Jetstar Guitar Review.
By Bob Craver
Bob say's of the DeArmond Jetstar "It's a fun and unique backup for pros and would make an awesome guitar for beginners or those on a tighter budget."

DeArmond Jetstar

Features: 7
Sound: 10
Action, Fit, & Finish: 8
Reliability/Durability: 8
Overall Rating: 10

The DeArmond Jet-Star guitar is a Korean-made wonder from a name owned by Guild, who is now owned by Fender. It costs US $475.00 with hardshell case, an at least 3 piece solid mahogany body and set mahogany neck. Mine is "transparent red", which looks sorta like an old SGs' finish. The body shape is that of the old Guild Thunderbird of Muddy Waters and Zal Yanovsky fame, but without the flip-out stand in the back. It has an S-100 style tailpiece and a tune-o-matic style bridge. The pickups are U.S. made DeArmond Gold Tone humbuckers. The tuners are generic and merely okay. The neck (and fretwork) is a dead ringer for a higher quality late-70's style MIJ Les Paul copy.

There is a space of about four inches from when the strings leave the tailpiece to when they reach the bridge, this gives the guitar a distinctive ring/rattle in its' sound. When combined with the generally brighter than Gibson sounding DeArmond humbuckers the guitar takes on a curiously Gretschy kind of sound, but a bit thicker and harder hitting, like an SG. It's clean sounds can twang and swing with the best of them. When you crank up the overdrive it seems to take on a more Gibson-like character. They should offer the pickups as a product in their own right. (I'll vote for that idea Ed.)

The woodwork for this relatively budget-priced instrument is fairly cool. There's definitely a few different pieces of wood making up the body, and two pieces making the neck. The fretwork is okay, but not spectacular. One of the bridge pins was bent, but that was easily corrected. While the action was okay for the tens that came on it, it needed tweaking for my usual 11-50 set. The truss rod was also cranked way too tight and the pickups just a tad too low for my occasionally pernickety tastes. Ultimately it set up fine, though.

Once it was all set up, I had what felt like a good LP-like copy with some great pickups on it. The tuners aren't great, but they are doing an okay job now that the strings are settled in. I bought this guitar as a backup, but I recently used it as my main guitar at a gig with no problems. People who can't recognise a budget axe right off ooh and aah over it's looks. As the body style is based on a guitar with a built-in guitar stand, it leans up against amps better than most guitars (Flying Vs and Bo Diddleys' square guitars excepted) Comes with a Fender lifetime warranty. I haven't had to use it yet...

This guitar reminds me of the various Gibson copies my friends had in highschool, only it already comes with better pickups. It's definitely a fun guitar and very versatile as well. While the workmanship isn't top of the line, the sound is. I bought it because I needed a backup for a band with a more "hard rock" sound. As it turned out, it makes a great rockabilly sound too! (which has been more of my focus stylistically for the last nine years or so) It's a fun and unique backup for pros and would make an awesome guitar for beginners or those on a tighter budget. It plays passably well, but I wouldn't trade my Hamer for it. As it comes in an oddball shape, I recommend buying a case thru yer dealer as well.

Submitted by: Bob Craver

New ZZ 2007 Tour Dates and a possible new home!

11 - Hollywood, California - House of Blues

MARCH 2007
18 - Houston, Texas - Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo

APRIL 2007
20 - West Wendover, Nevada - Wendover Resorts - O/S January 29
21 - Kelseyville, California - Konocti Harbor Resort & Spa o/s 12/17 @ 10a
27 - Laughlin, Nevada - Aquarius Casino Resort
28 - Laughlin, Nevada - Aquarius Casino Resort


The Austin American Statesman has reported that ZZ Top has signed the Sanctuary Group to be their new management. Sanctuary Records is the home of Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath, Anthrax, and Lynyrd Skynyrd. Seems like ZZ will be in a good home and here's to the next 35 years hopefully!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

The James Anthony Band!

Attention Fans of Blues in Burlington!

You must check out The James Anthony Blues band! This guy plays one hell of slide, and has an open night acoustic jam at the Carrington Arms here in Burlington every Thursday.

This past weekend, Saturday November 11, 2006, The Carrigan Arms (Corner of Brant St and Upper Middle Road in Burlington),James Anthony, and the Halton Blues Society held a blues benefit for the CHML/Y108 Childrens Fund. Bands will play from 2pm-12am.

It was a truly amazing show! Be sure to visit the JAB's website for future gigs, and pick up one of his cd's! Well worth a listen!

Monday, October 30, 2006

fotos de las guitarras!

Just a few shots of my axes today. The light was perfect in the living room so I busted out my camera!

I thought the contrast of shapes between the cactus and the headstock looked kinda neat.

Monday, October 23, 2006

" Son...I have got to have me one a these!"

Gibbon's words still echo in my head when I look at this!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Me and Billy G! Indigo books - Nov.16th 2005

Billy G's book...his book has some really great shots!

16 years of fanhood - "D" finally meets the "G"

Nov 16th 2005 was a cold and rainy Wednesday morning like any other day in that time of the year here in Canada....except for one major difference...I was off to meet one of my personal guitar heroes- Billy Gibbons of ZZ TOP!

I awoke and left my house at 5am so I could be the first person in line to meet him at 12 noon. All the way I thought back over my 16 years of ZZ loyalty and how much fun I've had listening to their music, and how Billy's playing formed the way I play guitar to this day. My love of ZZ is so ingrained now that I cannot play guitar and not sound like him.

I arrived at 6am, and parked at the Eaton Center, which to my surprise was open, and sat down. Since I had purchased his book the night before, I sat and read it. I had even beat the staff of Indigo there, and upon their arrival assured me I would 'for sure' be the first person to meet him!

I had no idea how popular Mr. Gibbon's appearance would be, and wasn't sure how many, if anyone would venture out on this crappy day to meet the bearded legend.

By 7am there was no 9am there was about 5 of about 11 am the line went down the length of the mall and around the bend out of site! News teams had gathered outside to film and ask questions, Indigo started playing some ZZ, it was gettin to be a madhouse! Then, all of a sudden there was a hush over the crowd and through that hush emerged a tall man with a crazy skullcap, shades and that ever-fun trademarked beard.

It was bizarre to finally see Billy Gibbons in person. Weird to see those hands, the hands that had layed down what to me, was some of the coolest guitar riffs all time. All the photo's...all the videos...he seemed bigger than life. He is!

The crowd went nuts when he grabbed the mic and said in his baritoned, Texan growl: " Is everabawdy havin' a good tahm to-night?"

Then he sat down and motioned to me to come over so he could proceed to sign 1000's of books over the next 2 hours.

I had made a poster of him to add ot my collection of rock autographs, and when he saw it he drawled " Wow....SON...I have GAT to HAVE me one of THESE! "

I got him to sign it with my 'famous' blue marker...the same one used by James Garner, Eddie Van Halen, Ian Thornley, etc.

When I told who used it last ( Eddie Van HAlen ) Billy said: " Well...if it's good enough fo''s good enough fo' ME!"

It was pretty cool to give him something he liked after all the years of fun he's given me. We shook hands, he thanked me, and then I walked away still smiling...AND I forgot my famous blue marker until Billy said: " Hey't forget yo' marker...ya might wanna get dat backta Eddie!"

HA!Billy still is King of cool.....

Friday, August 04, 2006

the 5150 went under the knife and came out SWINGIN

S0... I finally decided after 2 years to take the 5150 Kramer EVH replica to the shop. It didn't have very good hardware so it wouldn't stay in tune very long(which is so annoying), and therefore couldn't really be used as one of my main axes. so I bit the bullet, toook it in to "Gear Music" on Oakville, and finally had all the pieces it needed installed so it matches Eddie Van Halen's original 5150 'Frankenstrat' Kramer. Here's the list of surgery she had done on her:

1.I had the body routed out to fit in a vintage Floyd Rose locking tremolo unit with matching neck locking nuts. Now she'll stay in tune no matter what I do!

2. To get some serious monster tones I had a Seymour Duncan " Pearly Gates" humbucker pickup put in. The "Pearly Gates" pickup is Billy Gibbons' ( ZZ Top) custom pickup, and since ZZ Top is the other reason I even play guitar, it seemed like the perfect match. Thick and beefy tones now...pure texas hot-rod!

3. The varnish used on this guitar dried in a yellow colour which made the white stripes look creme-coloured, so I took a very sharp knife and peeled most of it off. Since Eddie's guitar is supposed to look weathered and beat up, the result looks perfect!!! I actually dropped it and that furthermore added the scratches and dings needed to look like his!

4. I custom ordered the '5150' numbers that are identicle to his. Some dude on Ebay reproduces them and I bought them off him.

5. All the pickup wiring and selector knobs were redone.

All in all I think now this guitar looks and sounds like the real thing. I test drove her on a cruise boat in front of 350+ people, and afterwards when I listened to the recording of it I was BLOWN away at how SICK it sounded. LOVE IT!!