Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Guitar Gods, Phil Salazar, and some Damn Good Rock and Roll!

Guitar Gods

Our favorite Finlander Elmo Karjalainen has released his first acoustic album, Where We Belong, on the 23rd of December 2015. It is a follow up to his previous critically acclaimed releases Instrumental releases.
If you were not convinced yet that he is not just a one trick pony he played most of the other instruments on the songs as well as the guitar: Elmo Karjalainen plays the acoustic guitars, special effects guitars, sustained electric guitar, elctro-acoustic bass, and percussion on the album. Drums on "Laiturilla" (On the Pier) by Christer Karjalainen.
The CD is a much mellower offering than his previous ones, but the crisp clear acoustic tone just allows you to hear the true finesse of his playing.

The thing to remember here is that this is from the same axeman that played the Guitar Gods Festival earlier this year. It goes to show the depth and diversity of his talent; he can both swoon and Rock out with equally gorgeous results.
Elmo said he got to meet got to meet Steve Vai and Yngwie Malmsteen, and "it was one of the best nights I've ever had." He was not the only Finn to represent that night, Janne Nieminen and Emil Pohjalainen, "kicked ass on stage."

The Guitar Gods Festival is the creation of April Malmsteen, Yngwie's lovely wife and manager. In fact, a portion of the proceeds from the Festival went to the April Malmsteen Foundation, a foundation that works to protect endangered species and their habitats around the globe.
During the online competition fans and a panel of judges chose the top few to play at the big show from videos uploaded to youtube for entry into the competition.  

 Brad Jurjens, Elmo Karjalainen, Tyler Morris, Jorge Almarales, Joey Lodes, Pareidolia, Robert Rodrigo, Janne Nieminen and Emil Pohjalainen were chosen as winners to appear on stage for the final showdown in Miami Beach.

In the end after a celebration of stellar six string riffs. Janne Nieminen and Emil Pohjalainen won the bragging rites to be known as the newest Guitar Gods. Even though I am sad that Elmo did not win I am incredibly happy that such a worthwhile Festival is giving guitarists from all over the world exposure, and the awesome opportunity to play on the same stage as  Yngwie Malmsteen and Steve Vai.

Check out Janne and Emil's video below, as well as Elmo on stage for the awards. Oh, and I had to add a little Yngwie and Steve.


Phil Salazar

Eden Burning is a dirty little group out of that great state of Texas. You know that don't tread on me, open carryin', ten gallon hat wearin', and no shit takin' state that gave us a kick ass little band named ZZ-Top.

Phil Salazar and the boys are making sure that Texas keeps on Rocking. They have been busy as hell playing right across the great state.

So if you like your Rock Sleazy and dirty like it is meant to be then keep an ear out for Eden Burning, and for Heaven's sake bug them to put out another album!

On Feb 27th Eden Burning opened for the legendary Ace Frehley from KISS at FITZGERALDS ROCK BAR in San Antonio Texas.
I was able to get a hold of Phil and got some of his opinions on Rock and Roll today, and his kick ass band:

Me - Do you see a lot of competition among bands out there today?

Phil - I don't see a lot of competition with bands like before , it used to be a whole you against me mentality which I have always disliked . That's a lot of the reason I never enter Eden Burning into battle of the bands or awards stuff , that's all about how many people you can pester to hit the like button on your vote page . I don't think bands need to be pitted against each other.

It should be like the old days a unified scene where everyone supports everyone.

Me - Eden burning has quite the history of opening for big acts such as:  Airbourne, Tesla, Dokken, Quiet Riot , George Lynch, and most recently Ace Frehley. What's it like working with such great acts?

Phil - It's funny people always say "man you guys have opened up for a lot of people , but let me tell ya people I've never meet half the bands I've opened for lol "

Me -  I guess that means that you didn't get to meet the Spaceman?

Phil - I was a little disappointed opening for Ace because he is my hero and charging an absurd amount of money to meet him is not cool in my book , i never understood how people can forget who put them there, he didn't put himself there, WE did, the fans .... Those who loved him and bought his records early on and stayed a fan no matter what! You should learn to be humble and not take advantage of the common man, I mean charging 500 bucks to the common man for a signature is insane. Who knows maybe he needs the cash, but to people like you and me, we have to scrap everything we got to have that privilege. Nonetheless he is Ace and I still love his music, it's what got me here today growing up loving rock n roll and being happy that people listen and support what I do. And that!!! Is priceless.

Me - How do you find Twitter as a marketing tool for your music?

Phil - Our Twitter followers have now gone past 110,000 followers . I have had lots success through Twitter , I have reached a worldwide fan base that demands us in there country , now I just gotta find the right promoter to pay the tab hahaha.

Me - What do you think of the direction of today's Rock and Roll scene?

Phil - I'm not sure what the direction of the future rock scene is right now, but I will say just have fun with it and don't lose sight of that fire that got you started. If you light it big and bright Enough people will see you and come.

Me - What made you want to get into the Rock and Roll business?

Phil - When I was a kid I dreamt of far away places like the Whisky a Go Go while flipping through rock mags and reading about Mötley Crüe. Later in life i was blessed enough to play the scene in LA a few times and actually headline the a Whiskey a Go Go. If you put your heart to it, it will happen, I don't let anyone tell me different. You can try and fail or you can sit on the sidelines and watch those that are trying.
Truthfully I'm not a couch potato type person, I need to be doing something to get my music out there all the time. It's hard for me to stay put most times . Rock n still is a bitch, that's why I gotta be superbitch, if you don't take control of your own destiny who is gonna do it for you?


When I am deciding, out of the many bands out there, what to listen to one of the things I look for is a group with an interesting name. 
Trippy Wicked and the Cosmic Children of the Knight looked like one hell of a cool name for a band so I ended up checking out this Hard Rock outfit out of the UK.
Bass heavy and distorted as fuck they crank out some sweet ass Stoner Rock. They were not bullshitting when they described themselves on their Facebook account as "A rolling, thundering mass of infectious riffs..."

I have been listening to their 2009 Movin On and I love it.  It is was the trio's debut effort and they nailed it. The fuzz and deep bass just envelop you as the arms of a long lost lover, and never let you go throughout the whole trippy ride.

The only problem, if you can call it that, with finding groups this good is that now I am going to have to get everything they have ever put out.

I guess what I am trying to say is there is not a clunker in this bunch of tracks, it is one hell of a kick ass album. 

You can get all of their music on Bandcamp and all the groups info from their Facebook page, so go and check 'em out.


Will Black is spending this month touring the UK and Canada. I highly recommend that you check out Will when he performs in a city near you, it is worth the price of admission. He has an amazing voice and gives a great show. I was fortunate enough to get to see him last year and thoroughly enjoyed the concert. 
If you do check him out you will get to hear one of the best rock voices you have heard and a rocking mix of great tunes.


I would like to thank: Phil Salazar for a great interview; Elmo Karjalainen for keeping me up to date on the Guitar Gods Festival; April and Yngwie Malmsteen for holding such an amazing event; and Finland for giving us such great Metal guitarists.

Thank you all for reading this blog, and keep the Rock and Roll coming.
Kevin Sweeney 

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