1) Matt Schofield-Live From The Archive
Running on similar jazz meets blues ground as recent Robben Ford,British guitarist Schofield puts his own stamp on the style. For fans of Ronnie Earl and Albert Collins.
2) Halford-Crucible/Remixed and Remastered
Not just a remaster,this is an entire new mix of the 2001 album by the Metal God. The new mix is decidedly more modern sounding and will be sure to please fans who felt the music was great but the production was lacking. There are also four bonus tracks. More Halford is always a good thing!
3) Blue Oyster Cult-Setlist: The Very Best Of Blue Oyster Cult Live
What may,at first,seem like the record company scraping the bottom of the barrel,turns out to be very good stuff indeed! Classic BOC,recorded at the peak of their powers between 1974 and 1981. The Cd cover even sports a picture of the band doing their five guitarist shtick,where all five members of the band would don guitars in a six string spectacle.Take that Lynyrd Skynyd! The "Setlist" albums are part of a series from Sony Legacy and include Cd's from Judas Priest,Cheap Trick,Ted Nugent,Kansas and more. The best part? They're $7.99! Stock up on some classic guitar rock for dirt cheap.
4) Tim O'Brian-Chicken & Egg
Just off tour as backing guitarist for Mark Knopfler(a guy who might just be able to pick a note or two himself) Tim O'Brian heads in a decidedly more bluegrass direction on his thirteenth solo album.
5) Arsen Shomakhov-On The Move
His guitar tones might give away the fact that he's woodshedded the American blues greats but his excellent vocals give no clue to the fact that he was born in Russia!
6) Nobuki Takamen-Live At The Iridium
Japanese born guitarist Takamen urges absolutely HUGE,warm tones and lyrical melodies from his Gibson ES-335. Also a song writer,he puts his own spin on the classic jazz quartet.
7) Robert Cray-Cookin' in MobileThis CD+DVD release won't change any minds about Robert Cray. He still rides the middle between traditional and contemporary blues with bits of R&B and pop thrown in. This live album is so immaculately recorded it will add little benefit to those fans who find his studio albums too slick. Most songs clock in at over six minutes,leaving plenty of room for Cray's trademark Strat sound. Buy only if you're already a fan.
8) Masada String Trio-Haborym:The Book of Angels Volume 16
No guitar here kids,so you'll have to settle for the virtuosity and telepathic interplay between bassist Greg Cohen,cellist Erik Friedlander and violinist Mark Feldman. Feldman,recently heard in the new John Abercrombie Quartet is wonderful to hear in a different context. If you're unfamiliar with the Tzadik record label or are a bit leery of their avant guarde reputation,this is a great place to start. Melodic lyricism,intense grooves and beautiful ballads from one of the most acclaimed contemporary ensembles in the world.
9) Aquarelle Guitar Quartet Dances
Hailed by some as the "next big thing" in the classical guitar world,this album should turn some heads. There's a piece by Boccerini and some traditional music but the focus is decidedly modern. Works by Astor Piazzolla,Egberto Gismonti,Bireli Lagrene and a world premier from Andy Scott give the UK based quartet a very contemporary sound.
10) Mr. Big-Lean Into It/Expanded and Remastered
This reissue of one of the best hard rock albums of the 90's comes with four bonus tracks. Paul Gilbert and Billy Sheehan at their most successful attempt to cram that many notes into a rock context.
Well,what do you think? Did I miss one? Best list ever? Please leave a comment below. Thanks,Phil