This post originally appeared on my weekly guitar newsletter, Six String Sunday. It's something I've been doing each week for over 2 years! If you want the best guitar lessons, videos, reviews, album recs and way more, you should subscribe.
The 5 album recommendations below went out to my list this Sunday, but they're so awesome, I couldn't just share them there. Hope you dig one of these albums. If you do, reach out to me on social. I'm Chasing Sound everywhere.
The Aristocrats - You Know What…?
Alright, if you’re looking for new music, here we go. I have 5 albums to share with you. The first one is the brand new album called You Know What…? from the Aristocrats. If you’re a fan of Guthrie Govan, Marco Minnemann or Bryan Beller, you’re going to love this album. It has the vibe of previous Aristocrats albums, but you can tell they’ve definitely matured as a band.
The album starts off with tons of wah playing, moves into some very hypnotic riffs on Spanish Eddie, and has all the country stylings on When We All Come Together. Most songs clock in at over 6 minutes! I can’t get over Guthrie’s tone on Spiritus Cactus, especially on the outro riff - it’s just unreal. I also really dig the heaviness of Terrible Lizard.
I’ll be the first to admit, this album took me a couple of spins before it really stuck with me, but I’m glad I gave it a bunch of chances, because now I’m really starting to appreciate it. Guthrie has long been my favorite player, and I’m happy to say I’m finally seeing the band in August. I’ll report back after the show!
Oh, and if you want even more recommendations of great guitar players, this week Guthrie sat down with MusicRadar to talk about 10 guitarists that blew his mind.
Greg Koch - Acoustic Gristle Soup
If you want an amazing album for relaxing, you need to check out Greg Koch’s Acoustic Gristle Soup. What can’t Greg do? If you haven’t heard his playing yet, you need to listen to his trio and solo albums, and if you’re reading this newsletter, you’re likely to have seen him on YouTube reviewing hundreds of guitars for Wildwood Music.
Greg’s playing is always incredibly tasty, whether that be on an album or even if he’s just streaming to his fans on Facebook. As far as I know, this is his first acoustic album, and it’s done extremely well. The acoustic tones are beautiful, and the album has 14 great tracks that all fit in 38 mins.
If you’re an acoustic blues fan, a fan of 12 string playing, or just a fan of great slide guitar playing in general, you should check this out. Words can’t explain how great the playing and songwriting is on this album. Greg hit it out of the park.
Gov’t Mule - Bring on the Music: Live at the Capitol Theater
I couldn’t talk about great slide playing, without bringing up Gov’t Mule’s new live album, Bring on the Music: Live at the Capitol Theater. Warren Haynes playing is on fire in this 21 song, 2 hour 38 minute album. Whatever role he’s in, whether it be leading the band in Gov’t Mule, or having played in the Allman Brothers (side note, go check out the Allman Betts Band’s new album), or guesting on countless tracks and live shows, Warren’s playing always slots right in.
This double disc has lots of regular album cuts, but some of my favorites are the extended jams on songs like Time to Confess and Dark Was the Night, Cold Was the Ground. They recorded the show on video as well, with 9 cameras!
Gov’t Mule is about to hit it’s 25 year mark as a band, and I think Haynes said it best when speaking about them, “We've been consistently feeling great about our shows, and it's quite amazing that a band that's been together this long still gets along as well as we do. In a lot of bands that just doesn't happen. But since the beginning it's been important for us to keep evolving and changing with each release, and we keep adding new influences or different influences. I think that keeps it always interesting for us.”
Oz Noy - Booga Looga Loo
Oz Noy’s new album came out in Februrary, but now it’s finally on streaming. Booga Looga Loo is 8 tracks of what Oz Noy is known for - awesome bluesy jazz music. His clean tones almost always have a Leslie rotating speaker effect on them, and his lead tone is super clear, with a little bit of grit.
Even though most of the album is pretty straight ahead in terms of playing, Oz is known for his weird use of effects. Just listen to the wild sounds of Bemsha Swing, where it sounds like he’s using a delay to make all sorts of spacey sounds.
In addition to being an incredible player himself, Oz always has great guest musicians back him up, and this album is no different. You have drummers like Vinnie Colaiuta and Dave Weckl, bass players John Patitucci and James Genus, and many more. If blues, jazz or R&B is your thing, you should give this album a listen. If you dig it, go check out his two albums called Twisted Blues.
Chris Shiflett - Hard Lessons
I grew up listening to Chris in punk rock bands No Use For A Name and Me First and the Gimme Gimmes. So, it was a surprise years ago when he joined the Foo Fighters. People in the indie punk scene never really graduated into these big national rock bands, but Chris got that chance, and has been with the band ever since.
We don’t need to talk about how awesome his contributions in the Foo Fighters have been. Everyone knows about that! This week we’re talking about his new solo album, Hard Lessons, which is phenomenal. This album came out of left field for me, because it’s just so good. The 11 songs are short, catchy and great.
The album ranges from bluesy rock to country, and it has a ton of hooks. I’m a huge fan of Liar’s Word, Welcome to Your First Heartache, and Weak Heart, but really, all these songs are fun to listen to.