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Archive for Rock Art


Hacking The Satch

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There are just some people out there that can make you laugh, and the dumbest of things just hit home.. whether you get caught by the cops doing something dumb in public,  give your best buddy a barbie cell phone because her cat gave her a real phone a bath or you give her crayons for her birthday!

These folks get you to the core, they ingrain themselves to you and can even get Rosa’s to smile! My husband lost 5.00 on that bet, but the leftovers they forgot where delicious.

I know you know who you are, and thanks for giving me the inspiration to draw again, BEEN a little busy! But well deserved kick in the butt.. that now sports a glittery butterfly pasty tattoo.. !

THANKS for a great birthday.. ELVIS has now left the building!.

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Artist In Residence – Jon Bon Jovi

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jon-bon-jovi-pencil-sketchThe man behind the glasses is Jon Bon Jovi.

This was done about 3 years ago, for Jilly, my little sister that I never had.

I ran across Bon Jovi on MSN this morning and this is a guy that has extreme talent and shares his gifts with the world, making a difference.

Bon Jovi’s new We Weren’t Born to Follow is a must see, must listen, it’s got spunk, but more so it has a clear message in it and has a heart of it’s own full of  meaning.

We were not born to follow, we were born to be part of a team, any team you desire, it’s at your fingertips.  There is always someone out there that needs help.  There are no problems, there are only solutions.

We have to hold onto what we believe!! Why is it that we stray from that so often.  Finding our voice and using it, that’s a real tough thing to do.  With singers and musicians, it comes through so clearly, that’s why we find so much peace within the music.  They say often times what it is that we can’t.

Follow what you believe! Stand tall, stand strong, stand up for someone who needs your help.  Stand up for someone who just needs to hear that they have someone in their corner!.

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The Never Ending Quest To Play The Blues

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The following article has been provided to me by Reed Terry and as I sat and read his words the passion for blues came screaming through as if there was a line up of musicians sitting behind me.

Reed knows his players and knows the music scene, check out his link at the bottom of the article for concert news and tickets.

The first time I can remember hearing a guitar lick, in my parents car most likely, I knew that I had to learn how to play. From that moment on, anytime I heard a great guitar player I would become obsessed with having to know what they were doing and how they were doing it. alpine-valley-sketch-guitaristsInstantly after hearing a guitar solo that would stand out as exceptional I would record it in my mind and try to think about where on the guitar it was being played, then rush home to my guitar and spend hours trying to figure it out. Great guitarist just have a way of standing out from the others, you hear them and it is like they are one of the best storytellers writers or painters, there is just something magical about those who play the instrument the best.

Coming from the “Generation X” age group I certainly do not have stories of rushing around to find vinyl 45’s and wearing the grooves out as some of my favorite guitarists tell, but with the great technology of the generation it was easy to hop on the computer and quickly have access to all the best blues albums and guitarists at my fingertips. This lead to endless hours spent finding the best albums and playing them over and over again till I could play every song as perfect as possible. This seemed to have caused an overload because there was no end to the great guitar players and albums that had to be learned, each day I was discovering more and more and just had to learn them all. To say guitar is addictive is an understatement but reading the interviews with my favorite guitarists they all had done the same thing to learn their instrument, lock themselves in a room with their guitar and favorite guitarist’s albums.

Over the years I have developed a certain love an respect for the Blues. From the different styles, guitars, pick ups and techniques. There have been a handful of what I would consider the most influential and important Blues albums for any guitar player to listen to and study. I know for my playing just learning these albums was the best teacher I could have had.

To learn the Blues and all of it’s history one must start at the beginning and perhaps one of the most important blues albums ever would be King Of The Delta Blues by Robert Johnson. The influence of the album is still heard today in most guitar players and one listen should provide an instant lesson into the history of the Blues, a must have for any Blues guitarist’s collection!

Another album which made me fall in love with the Blues would be Born Under A Bad Sign by Albert King. Albert King has had huge amounts of influence on many great blue guitar players including Jimmy Hendrix. King played a Gibson Flying V through a solid-state Acoustic amplifier which was unorthodox for the era but is considered today to have produced one of the greatest blues tones of all time.

When it comes to amazing Blues guitar then Buddy Guy certainly comes to mind. The amazing album “A Man and The Blues” has enough lessons within it to last a lifetime. Long considered the best Blues guitar player among his pears such as Eric Clapton. His influence runs deep into many of the greatest guitar players on earth and though considered mainly a “Chicago Blues style” guitar player his techniques, sounds and playing go far deeper then such a stereotype.

Probably the most important album for me personally as well as the most influential guitar player to me personally would have to be Texas Flood by the late great Stevie Ray Vaughan. Considered to be the album which saved the Blues, Stevie was able to bring the heart of Blues Rock to the mainstream at a time when it seemed the Blues would never get mainstream attention again. Heavily influenced by Albert Collins and Jimi Hendrix all one needs to do is listen to the title track to hear and understand the true beauty of the Blues. Texas Flood is still today my favorite song to play on the guitar, a true masterpiece from a man who could make a Stratocaster sing, cry and moan at will.

Probably not in most guitar players top 5 but for me Roy Buchanan is one of the greatest and most underrated Blues players of all time. When I throw in the self titled album around friends they always ask “who is that?” and when I reply with “Roy Buchanan” they have never heard of him. After a listen I do not believe one person I know has not run out and bought the album. A true master of the Telecaster with some of the most beautiful, soulful and just downright amazing guitar songs ever recorded. For any one who has not heard Roy Buchanan I would have to insist that you take a listen to “The Messiah Will Come Again” as well as “Sweet Dreams”.

One final note on great guitarists and great albums would have to be Jeff Beck, not a Blues player and more of an all around guitar virtuoso his impact on guitar playing is not to be understated. Today I would have to put Jeff Beck in my top 3 guitar players of all time and perhaps he gets the number one spot. Beck’s abilities to truly understand the instrument and music are amazing. His understanding that less is more on the guitar is a lesson that most guitar players need to learn, myself included. The first time I heard “Blow By Blow” I realized I discovered something very special and twenty years later that album still blows my mind. The sounds that Beck effortlessly pulls out of his Strat (with heavy use of the whammy bar” are definitely some of the coolest and most beautiful ever to be played on the guitar and many of his latter albums still push the evolution of great guitar playing further.

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Roy Orbison – You Got It

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roy_orbison_pencil_sketchEvery time I look into your lovely eyes,
I see a love that money just cant buy.
One look from you, I drift away.
I pray that you are here to stay..

Topping out the charts on April 15th, 1989 was You Got It – posthumously – Roy Orbison, 24 some years after hitting it big with Pretty Woman in 1964.

Roy passed away in December of 1988, I remember hearing the news and could hear his voice resonating and thinking, yet again, we lost another great.

Every time I look into your lovely eyes… followed up by.. you got it.

Do we get it? Or have we forgotten it?

Remember after 9/11 when a compassion emerged from the American People, one that made time stand still, a time when we were all  grateful for the people in our lives,  when a stranger held the door open for you, when someone helped you pick up your fallen groceries.

We don’t “got it” anymore – and it’s really not that hard to “get” back either, but no one seems to be willing to take the time to get back to basics.

Orbison is remembered for his many songs of “lost love”, let’s hope we can learn from Roy Orbison, the feelings that are buried within us, the compassion that we know others deserve and let’s get back to the basics..

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Let's Put Some Laughter In The Day

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Think about that good old  belly laugh the one that makes your face hurt.   Do you remember the last time you laughed like that?

Let’s put some laughter in the day, share your stories of gut busting laughter! (mine is below)

Just Smile! It increases your face value and releases endorphins.

We go through life with the weight of the world on our shoulders, and forget that we need to laugh and make others laugh.

Let your hair down, and take off your hat.  This moment in time can never be relived.

No wasted time, we’re alive today
Churnin’ up the past, there’s no easier way
Time’s been between us, a means to an end
God it’s good to be here walkin’ together my friend.

By: Doyle Bramhall

stevie-ray-vaughan-with-no-hatStevie sang these lyrics on The Sky is Crying, no wasted time, we’re alive today.

Stevie had one of the most vibrant smiles and facial expressions – so I decided to share this image of him, with his hat off, the sparkle in his eye and a huge smile.  If you are not aware of his crazy alter ego – Brady – I will have to share that some day as well.

I don’t recall the latest gut buster – but hope you enjoy the story

I was 17 – drove a car with no air conditioning, came out of work, got in the Sunbird, and wiggled – at that time I could easily wiggle out of my upper undergarment, and the girls were free.  I threw the undergarment in the passenger seat, and was off on my errands.  The local grocery store was the first on the list.

What an ego boost when a bunch of guys whistled at me onto my way in the store – I strolled through the grocery store, and as I went to pay for my purchases.. just guess what was hanging off my purse straps.. yeah..that easily wiggled out of undergarment, how do you explain that to the cashier!.


Pride and Joy Stevie Ray Vaughan

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pride_and_joy_stevie_ray_vaughan1Well you’ve heard about love givin sight to the blind

My babys lovin cause the sun to shine….

Well who would have guessed there was a picture of Stevie that I hadn’t seen..this was a commissioned piece for Barry in New Jersey, and after doing the pre-lim concept, I realized that I was drawing the wrong dang picture.

Getting so fired up because I found a fellow SRV lover, I didn’t read the fine print.. if I would have, I’d have realized that the Album “In Step” was re-released and held other photo’s.. after running to the library, Best Buy, Walmart,  and countless other stops along the way, I have to thank to my friends at Musician’s Plaza & The Stratocaster Forums, for sending me the picture from the re-issue of In Step…Barry sent one, but it was to grainy to see the detail.

This drawing was a pleasure to do, In Step has the song  “The House is A Rockin”… one of the best lines is…

Walkin up the street you can hear the sound
Of some bad honky tonkers really layin it down

Not knowing the man, but knowing some that did,  we could all learn from him the lesson of love.. he says in Pride and Joy…

My babys lovin cause the sun to shine…

Put into perspective that we all are here on loan, not knowing when that loan will expire.  There are little annoyances that happen to us on a day to day basis, there are struggles and issues, no matter who we are.

If we learn to live within our means, and within our boundaries, we will be a much better person and the music that we create from being here, will cause the sun to shine.  It will make an impact on someone, you may not get instant gratification from it, but your memory, kindness, legacy and the music that you created within someone’s heart and mind will forever “dance across their soul” .


Stir Your Creative Juices

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Inspiration that has grown wings – that’s how I view Danny from Guitar Players Center

I’ve gotten to know Danny through our passion for Stevie’s Music.

One of the most unique traits about him is his dedication.

We all have angels that sit on our shoulders, and I did this drawing of Danny with two of his musical angels, because I believe that somewhere in a cosmic way, Danny had to have crossed paths with the essense of Stevie & Jimi.

Somehow these two immortalized musicians feed his ability and he continue’s to write and help others that have not obtained the level of knowledge on guitar repair and playing.

Finding something that feeds our ability and stirs the our creative juices is a healthy way of living.  Living for what and who we love is lacking in our society, that was pretty evident last night as I flipped channels and the only thing on were reality shows, when in reality, they are not reality at all.

People striving to be like the so called “reality stars” when in real life there are so many people that we could idolize much easier and with greater returns of self improvement.

A strong backbone in Danny’s life are his parents, oddly enough my parents are as well to me.   As grown adults we can still learn from our parents.  My parents apparently have done something right,  they raised 4 kids, all of us married, to our first and only spouse…. my parents will celebrate their 57th wedding anniversary in May.

That reality creates a strong bond – dedication to family and to keeping the basics on track.   The Bachelor or The Bachelorette – who really thinks this can make for a strong marriage?.

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Finding yourself in Muddy Waters

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Muddy Waters is considered “The Father of Chicago Blues

Following suit of some of the greatest Blue’s Artists, Son House, Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters was playing guitar at the yearly age of 17.

Having an appetite for all genres of music, blues, jazz, rock and country gave this blue’s man a fully rounded arsenal for music.

When you “Muddy the Waters” so to speak, you are making a situation less clear to yourself and to those around you.

When you need help, do you ask? When you screwed something up, do you come clean? These situations can be two-fold, but are necessary in your own success.

I read and learn from experience, and have stumbled upon many people in the online communities as well in our every day lives, that are willing to help and willing to teach.  But, there is a flip side as well, there are many that do not have the tolerance for questions or do not understand if you make an error. B

Let us imagine if Son House, Robert Johnson, Howlin’ Wolf and Muddy Waters would have been unwilling to teach and to inspire.   Muddy Waters had a hand in getting Chuck Berry’s first record contract, because he was willing to help, teach & inspire!

If such greats allowed attitude and ego to get in the way, would we be minus “Johnny B Good?” if so what song would Michael J. Fox have jammed to in Back to the Future? Would the inspiration chain have been broken? Great inspirations, can lead to great success.

From it’s original release in 1958 to 1985 in Back to The Future –  Johnny B Good is a great example of the inspiration chain and how other’s can lend a hand in history.

Ask for help when you need to, and admit when you made a mistake, it will be more easy to be corrected.  If you are on the flip side of that, what is it going to hurt you to give 10 minutes of your time and or, give an empathetic ear?.

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Judging a Book by Its Cover

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We have all done it… that’s for sure.  Here is a quick 10 minute sketch of Alice Cooper, who could sum up, don’t judge a book by it’s cover.

I simply was amazed to learn, Alice Cooper has been married to the same woman for over 30 years. By just looking at the cover, I would  not have guessed that.

Known for his fake blood, electric chairs and goth before it even had a name.

30 plus years with his wife.  In the rock standards, that’s a flipping miracle.  Alice Cooper has entertained us for over 5 decades, some of which I was a wee one, but none the less, his appearance can be a little daunting.. but it doesn’t change the fact that he is a heavy metal icon.  Have you stepped out of your realm lately and listened to anyone’s music that by chance you wouldn’t have because the cover wasn’t appealing.

How quick do we form an opinion, solely on appearance?

I shutter at admitting this, but one day last week, in the wasteland of winter blues, I worked with my laptop from bed, that’s not what I am shameful to admit….. I watched Oprah..yeap..Oprah, will I again, not until Palm Tree’s Grow in Chicago Naturally.. “I’m just not into Oprah”

I sat sadly though, for the teens that were on this show, struggling with weight issues, quite an eye opener to how quickly opinions are formed on appearance.  Struggling through school to make friends, to gain self confidence.

How quickly we judge the book by the cover, I am guilty of it myself.  If we took the time to get to know the person behind the cover, we may find a unsuspecting friend, companion or even a great piece of music..

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Steve Marriott – Go On My Son

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Steve Marriott would have turned 62 tomorrow – January 30th.

A musician, singer, songwriter and guitar player,  known from Humble Pie and Small Faces.

When I think of Steve Marriott, I think of 30 Days in the Hole..and I also think of the Lukas Clan.. mainly Jack.  A guy whose life blood is the volume switch on the stereo.

One year, Jack invited us to a Marriott Memorial Birthday Party.. my son, thought this was awesome! Any reason to get together and listen to old rockers joke, laugh and give each other a rash of shit about times gone by and concerts they have seen together.

These are for Carol – Jack’s niece – who requested it! Rock on Little Sister, once the hair grows back, I know you will be tossing it around in that head banger fashion that I’ve grown to love!

In April of 1991, Steve Marriott lost his life at the age of 44 – having been born pre-mature and weighing in at 4 pounds 4 ounces..

I know of one person that will question those numbers after reading this.. I’ll wait for your 4:44 call! And I’ll love ya for 44 years

Having played in Moments, Small Faces & Humble Pie, his life intertwined with many names that we all know.  Whole Lotta Love by Zeppelin bares a similar sound to Marriotts version of a song originally written by Willie Dixon – apparently harboring no ill feelings for Plant, Marriott is quoted as saying.. “Go On My Son

Achieving greatness should carry with it a sense of “humble” – we don’t get places with out inspirations, we don’t get places without learning from someone.

No matter’s whose path you cross, you can learn at least one thing from them.

Here is a single line from “As Safe As Yesterday Is” by Humble Pie – I was in a meeting yesterday and there was a topic of the “fear” how our news broadcasts and how reading the daily paper is like an emotion blizzard-put on some good music today and eliminate a bit of your fear.

And you can’t be diseased by what you fear

Happy Birthday Steve Marriott!.

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