John Halo: Strings and Things

On this episode, John Halo of the hard-rocking NYC quartet Downtown Equipment is here to work on his Les Paul Standard, while our host, Patrick Grant, changes the strings on an old friend, his sea-foam Fender Jaguar

We’ll find out how many guitars John actually owns and how he names them, and of course, he and Patrick will boot up and plug in for a special year-end jam.

John handles guitars, composition and vocals in Downtown Equipment, and the band is working on a follow-up to their most recent EP, Calls for Chaos, which you can listen to right here:

By day, John molds young minds as a program coordinator in the New York City public school system. He creates courses and projects for junior high students in the science and the arts, from 3D printing to aeronautics to producing musicals. He also teaches a lot of math and music theory, which was the focus of his post-graduate studies.

This is our last episode of 2016! A huge shout-out to all of the guitarists who have joined us this year and a big thank you to all of you who have stuck around and listened to the show.

Happy New Year!

Sudeip Ghosh: Strings and Things

This time on the Strings and Things podcast, super-shredder Sudeip Ghosh is here to change the strings on his Dean Zelinsky guitar while our host, Patrick Grant, works on his trusty Les Paul. Sudeip grew up playing and singing Indian classical music, but a chance encounter with a hard rock mixtape ignited his dreams of power chord glory.

Sudeip will tell us how a one-string acoustic and a scarcity of guitar magazines tested his determination, and how he’s come into his own as a metal guitarist, a film composer, and a Bollywood musician. As always, we’ll put the new guitar strings through their paces when Patrick and Sudeip plug in to record some rollicking riffs.

Let’s take this opportunity to check out some of Sudeip’s many musical projects. First off, he is the lead guitarist for the band Meaxic, a progressive rock/metal trio which also includes Jeet Suresh Paul on vocals and guitar, and John Stallings on drums. Here’s a video for their song, “Back On”:

Next up is Akramon, Sudeip’s instrumental project with band-mates Hirak Sen on lead/rhythm guitar, and Rishabh Natarajan on bass. The band’s name means “attack”, which describes their approach to taking metal styles and techniques and adding some Indian classical or eastern musical flavors. Here’s a piece from them called “Graviton”:

And here’s the great video for “Stay” which Sudeip talks about in the podcast. Manas & Sudeip is more of a rock/grunge project with Indian influences, and their new EP, The Remote Collaborations, is available on iTunes:

To find out more about what Sudeip is up to, find him on Facebook or visit his YouTube page for more music!

Strings and Things Episode 11 Trailer

Computer programmer, film composer and supreme shredder Sudeip Ghosh joins us on the next Strings and Things podcast. He’ll be here to change the strings on his Dean Zelinsky guitar, while our host Patrick Grant works on his trusty black Les Paul. Sudeip will tell us how he discovered heavy metal while growing up in India, and we’ll hear how totally underwhelming his first guitar was.

This is the Strings and Things podcast, where guitarists come by to change their strings, swap some stories and play some music. Look us up on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play and YouTube or visit our website at stringsandthingsshow.com.

Jeremy Nesse: Strings and Things

Bass player Jeremy Nesse‘s initial reaction to seeing a Chapman Stick was one of surprise. “When I first saw it, I thought this looks like a board of wood from a picket fence or a two by four.”

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Despite that first impression, Jeremy was inspired to add the 12-string tapping melodic bass to his arsenal of instruments by listening to Tony Levin‘s work with King Crimson and Peter Gabriel‘s solo albums. On this episode of Strings and Things, he relates to host Patrick Grant how his style of playing has developed over the years, from early childhood explorations of his Dad’s vast vinyl collection, through his years listening to British new wave and to his interests in progressive rock and world music.

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photo by Erick Gonzales

Jeremy has recorded and performed with a variety of bands and ensembles, including Moving Picture Show in LA, Humble Lion, the punk rapper Hyro Da Hyro and High North. You can find him at ReverbNation or on his Facebook page.

And before you go, watch Jeremy play the Chapman Stick here:

Strings and Things Episode 10 Trailer

On the next Strings and Things podcast, bass player Jeremy Nesse is on tap to tell us about the albums and musicians who inspired him to pick up the Chapman Stick, and he’ll describe the pitfalls of playing such an unusual instrument. We’ll find out how his Dad handed down his deep love of music…and why Jeremy’s own son hasn’t quite caught the musical bug just yet.

This is the Strings and Things podcast, where guitarists come by to change their strings, shoot the breeze and play some music. Look us up on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play and YouTube or visit our website at stringsandthingsshow.com.

James Moore: Strings and Things

Above photo by Isabelle Selby.

The podcast goes unplugged this week! Our host, Patrick Grant is in the front parlor with James Moore of the Dither Guitar Quartet. They’ve got National and Ovation acoustic guitars and they intend to use them. We’ll find out how James made it from the San Francisco Bay Area to the new music scene here in New York. He’ll tell us about the strange playing techniques he uses on his recent album of  solo guitar music by John Zorn, and we’ll hear an exclusive rendition of a Chet Atkins ballad.

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Dither is an electric guitar quartet that includes James,  Taylor Levine, Joshua Lopes, and Gyan Riley. They specialize in an experimental mix of “composed music, improvisation, and electronic manipulation.”  They’ve performed across the United States and overseas since forming in 2007, and produce a yearly festival of music and art called Extravaganza!.

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As a multi-instrumentalist and composer, James juggles a number of musical projects aside from Dither, such as The Hands Free, an acoustic quartet, and a rock band called Forever House. He recently put out another album of violin and steel-string resonator guitar called Gertrudes, with Andie Springer. The pair formed their duo when they were on tour with playwright Richard Maxwell’s “Neutral Hero”.

The CD for James’ version of the guitar etudes by John Zorn called “Book of Heads” includes a film featuring the crazy techniques involved in the making of the album. Here’s a sample of what you’ll see on the DVD:

James Moore plays John Zorn: The Book of Heads, Etude 13 from steve taylor on Vimeo.

Find out more about James at his website: http://www.jamesmooreguitar.com/

Strings and Things Episode 9 Trailer

On the next Strings and Things podcast, a new music guitar maven looks back on how his family helped set him on his career path. James Moore, a co-founder and director of Dither, the electric guitar quartet, will be here with his National steel string while our host Patrick Grant works on an Ovation Balladeer. James tells us what his grandmother taught him about composition, and discusses his recording of John Zorn’s Book of Heads, a set of eclectic etudes for solo guitar.

Strings and Things: Tilted Axes Album Release

Thanks to everyone who’s been listening to the Strings and Things podcast! We really appreciate you spending time with us and our talented guests while we do the glamorous work of changing our gummy guitar strings. But, we want to let you know about another project we’ve wrapped up here at Peppergreen Media:

It’s the new Tilted Axes album!

You may remember we’ve met some of the guitarists on the podcast through Patrick’s project, Tilted Axes: Music for Mobile Electric Guitars. It’s both a processional event and an ensemble of electric guitarists. They use portable amplifiers strapped to their sides as they criss-cross the urban landscape and play music for unsuspecting audiences. Anywhere from 9 to over 40 guitarists have performed in a Tilted Axes event, playing compositions that Patrick’s written specifically for the group, the project’s host city, or various cultural occasions.

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If you haven’t had a chance to see Tilted Axes on the streets of New York, Detroit, Germany or Brazil, here’s YOUR chance to check out the unique and intricate textures of the mobile electric guitar procession. Whether we’re out on the streets or in the studio, Tilted Axes is an eclectic ensemble of musicians, producing potent and polyphonic guitar music.

You can listen to the Tilted Axes album at Soundcloud and Spotify or download a copy at Bandcamp, iTunes, or wherever good digital music is sold. Thank you!

Daniel Reyes Llinas: Strings and Things

On this episode of Strings and Things, Daniel Reyes Llinas loosens the pegs on his custom Strat while our host, Patrick Grant tunes up a sparkly Danelectro.

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Daniel takes us back to his childhood in Colombia, where he sang in the choir until his godfather gave him money for his first guitar. He was self taught until beginning formal instruction with Carlos Castilla and he went on to study classical guitar at Andes University in Bogotá.

But like many young musicians, Daniel was also drawn to pop and rock and formed a couple of bands with frends. He points to his early love of the Beatles, his Dad’s Pink Floyd and ELO records, New Wave and Latin rock, and finally, the discovery of King Crimson, as signposts in his musical development.

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Proving that one does get to meet one’s heroes, for the last decade, Daniel has studied in Robert Fripp’s Guitar Craft courses, and performed in Fripp’s Orchestra of Crafty Guitarists. He released a first album called “Molino” and has worked on the scores for several films. He’s the composer and co-founder of Parias Ensemble, “an instrumental group dedicated to blurring the lines of improvisation and written music”.

Find out more about Daniel’s work at his website, llinasmusic.com.

Strings and Things Episode 8 Trailer

A Colombian-born, New York City composer brings in his custom Strat and looks back on his earliest musical influences.

Daniel Reyes Llinas, co-founder of the Parias Ensemble takes us back to his first 10 dollar guitar and traces his evolution as a musician through some of his favorite genres: classical, pop, new wave, metal, jazz and progressive rock. Then he’ll tell us what he’s cooking up when he’s not onstage or in rehearsal.

Join our host, composer/performer Patrick Grant, on the Strings and Things podcast, where guitarists come by to change their strings, tell some stories and play music. Look us up on iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play.