Guests At The Table

The Thanksgiving story tells us that great things happen when unlikely allies come together in the spirit of sharing. That’s the inspiration for this week’s episode of The Pickup, when Matt and Joe talk about the studio magic that happens with some outstanding guest guitarists. May your Thanksgiving guests this year be as memorable!

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Muddy Waters Run Deep

Just about every blues fan agrees on Muddy Waters. He wrote amazing tunes. He sang with voice that cut to the core. He played guitar like nobody else. This week Matt and Joe talk about why they love Muddy and share three of his greatest recorded moments. You’ll hear his command of the stage at Newport, his unique approach to slide and maybe the greatest “Mannish Boy” ever captured on tape.

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Joe Bonamassa, Name That Guitar #3

Joe Bonamassa is a walking guitar encyclopedia and once in a while we put that knowledge to the test. Every few weeks on the Pickup, Matt asks Joe to name the guitar used on a particular track. Joe doesn’t know any of the songs ahead of time, so it’s do or die. This time on Name That Guitar, the secret code word is, “Gibson SG.”

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SLIDE RULES!

You could play slide guitar just by putting an empty glass bottle or copper pipe up against your strings. Looks easy, right? But the paradox of the slide is that it’s both the simplest thing to use and one of the hardest to get right. On today’s episode, Joe and Matt talk about some of the best slide players and what makes them great: from Elmore James and his cranked up reverb to Sonny Landreth who is just, in Joe’s words, “a freak of nature.”

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Scary Blues For Halloween

Halloween is just around the corner and it’s the holiday when the blues really comes out to play. Think of all the songs about bad luck, death and meeting the Devil at the crossroads and you realize that the blues is just naturally spooky. On this week’s episode, Matt and Joe talk about scary blues for Halloween and for once the conversation doesn’t start with electric guitar. It begins with the most haunting instrument: the human voice.

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Please, Sir, May I Have Some (Gary) Moore?

“Blues had a tendency to aim low,” says Joe Bonamassa, “but Gary Moore proved you could play the blues in front of a big audience. It inspired me in a big way.” On this week’s episode, Joe explains how Gary Moore inspired him and continues to shape his own playing. You’ll hear Moore’s crossover hit, “Still Got the Blues,” as well as other moments that show off his guitar mastery.

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To Wah Or Not To Wah?

When Joe Bonamassa was eight years old, he saved up his birthday money from his family and bought his first guitar effect: the wah-wah pedal. Designed in the 1960s to imitate the sound of a muted trumpet, the wah-wah quickly became guitarists go-to effect, especially when they heard Jimi Hendrix play “Voodoo Child (Slight Return).” On this episode of the Pickup, you’ll get a bit of history about the wah-wah, meet some of the masters of the pedal and hear a warning from Joe about what happens when it falls into the wrong hands. Or feet.

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