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In the late ‘90s, Rodrigo Sánchez and Gabriela Quintero (of acclaimed guitar duo Rodrigo y Gabriela) were playing in the streets of Dublin, Ireland, busking for passersby and slowly honing their sound. It’s a sound they describe as fusion music; “It’s mainly got Latin harmonies and rhythms but the structure is rock. It’s not jazz because it’s structured, and we don’t improvise; our solos are exactly what’s on the record.” Six albums later, today Rodrigo y Gabriela are headlining all over the world and bringing their unique synthesis of musical styles to historic venues like The Hollywood Bowl. Mettavolution, the duo’s newest album, represents their latest…

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“What’s the Joker doing in the Met?” guitarist Steve Miller, who was instrumental in helping put the show together, joked after seeing the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s new exhibition “Play It Loud: Instruments of Rock & Roll,” which showcases some of the most iconic instruments in the history of rock and roll. “Well, the first time I saw the exhibit assembled together, and I walked through, I was stunned by the power and the elegance and the intelligence of this assembled collection of musicians and instruments. It’s really why we all love the Metropolitan Museum so much, and why they’re…

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Slash is probably the last of the guitar heroes of the Golden Age of rock and roll. Following in the footsteps of the rock god’s who inspired him — Joe Perry, Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton — he almost singlehandedly made the Gibson Les Paul cool again, after Guns N’ Roses broke through via MTV in the late-1980s. After the break-up of his band, and the death of Velvet Revolver frontman Scott Weiland, which Slash co-founded after Guns N’ Roses imploded, Slash set out on a long and fruitful solo career. “It’s been a little bit crazy, but, you know, it’s…

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Larry “Ratso” Sloman has been a fixture on the New York City music scene since the 1970s. Along the way he was befriended by Bob Dylan, The Byrds’ Roger McGuinn, Nick Cave and many others. He was given his moniker “Ratso” by Joan Baez herself, chronicled Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Revue tour — which has been immortalized in a Martin Scorsese-directed film and 14-disc box set (and vinyl reissue package) — in his must-read, instant classic book On The Road with Bob Dylan. And, of course, he collaborated with the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Anthony Kiedis on his amazing memoir, and…

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Back in the early ‘80s, Men At Work owned the radio airwaves with a flurry of insidiously infectious hits, “Who Can It Be Now?,” “Down Under, “Overkill” and “It’s A Mistake.” The deadly combination of consummately crafted hook laden songs built for radio and their emergence as video stars on a new burgeoning network known as MTV set the stage for a remarkable run on the charts. Since Men At Work called it quits in 1986, the group’s chief songwriter, Colin Hay, has carved out a respectable career as solo artist, his considerable gifts as a songwriter undiminished. A current…

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Stewart Copeland is always game for an intellectually-stimulating conversation. He’s proved it time and time again over the years, and roughly a year after he was featured on these pages as a Rock Cellar TV interview subject (conducted at his beautiful home studio in Southern California), Jeff Slate caught up with him about some exciting new releases in his world …  Stewart Copeland, the drummer for The Police, is one of those larger than life rock and roll personalities who lives up to his reputation. Known as whip smart, opinionated, and, of course, one of the most distinctive drummers to…

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Whether you know it or not, you hear Curtis Mayfield’s influence every day. Sure, his grooves have been endlessly sampled, but the gorgeous soul music he created, especially after he split with the Impressions, the groundbreaking group, whose unique blend of gospel and soul made him famous, have inspired countless artists, from Paul Weller and Johnny Marr to Alicia Keys and Kendrick Lamar. “I discovered Curtis Mayfield in the 1970s, and his music really opened my mind as to what was possible, rhythmically and stylistically,” Paul Weller, who has covered the legend several times over the years, most notably in…

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Along with Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann was the heartbeat of the Grateful Dead for more than thirty years. After more ups and downs than any band should have to endure, it all came to a crashing halt when Jerry Garcia, the band’s guitarist, heart and soul, and titular leader, died in 1995. But far from retreating or retiring, Kreutzman is as busy as ever. His recent book, Deal: My Three Decades of Drumming, Dreams and Drugs with the Grateful Dead, recounts the history of the most famous jam bandv in the world, as well as the many adventures and career…

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The “Canyon” referred to in the title of Andrew Slater’s Echo in the Canyon is Laurel Canyon. The co-writer/director’s 82-minute nonfiction film explores the music scene that emerged out of this mountainous enclave in Los Angeles and the impact “California Sound” had on a subsequent generation of musicians. For a brief moment in music history, Laurel Canyon was the epicenter of the folk-rock sensibility. Despite being located inside one of America’s largest cities, the Canyon boasts exquisite surroundings captured onscreen with splendid cinematography, picturesque environs that appealed to countercultural residents with their return-to-nature vibe. As record producer Lou Adler relates:…

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Having penned the ultimate snarling garage rock song, “Wild Thing,” songwriter/artist Chip Taylor set forth a legacy that would be assured for decades to come. A seasoned, gifted songwriter logging over 50 years of experience in the trenches —  he also composed the hits “I Can’t Let Go,” “Angel Of The Morning,” “Try (Just A Little Bit Harder,” “Julie,” among others — Taylor continues to be a vibrant participant in music, writing songs and issuing his own studio albums. His latest, Whiskey Salesman, is a rootsy slice of Americana. He’s also building a whole new fan base of younger generation…

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