So, at last here i am at the keyboard.
Usual apologies for the long overdue site visit.
I do have lots to tell.
Most of this year i have been in the studio recording a brand new album.
Working at Abbey Road studio in London with producer Rob Cass has been a delightful and rewarding experience.
Just working at A Road is an inspirational thing, the place has so much history.
I recorded in Studio 3, the studio The Beatles used for "Revolver", probably my all time favourite Fabs album.
It was also the studio Pink Floyd recorded Dark Side of the Moon in, and in June there was a forty year celebration in S3 with Floyd drummer Nick Mason, I was there and it was a very interesting evening.
Sir Paul was in the fabled Studio 2 whilst i was recording there, and I was able to attend a great afternoon in Studio 2 to hear a history of A Road itself, including old four track machines in working order, Abbey Road still have almost all of their old equipment, it's amazing to see it all.
I was in India at the start of the year, had a great few days working with Indian musicians and playing in Delhi and Mumbai, I recorded with Susmit Sen, a fine guitarist and played with his band Chronicles, I had a really good time in India and hope to go back soon, thanks to Vineet Sharma and Adrian Garner by the way, and to Emirates Airlines.
I traveled to Mississippi in February to complete filming for the blues documentary, this time driving from the legendary Peabody Hotel in Memphis down to Clarksdale, my adopted town in Miss, then a day out on Dockery Farm near Ruleville, this was a great day, Charley Patton grew up here, and Howlin' Wolf and Big Joe Williams watched him perform at the very spot i film at, great day out.
The "A Day in the Delta" film is pretty much finished now, time to get it aired!
Due to recording not much live work this year, we originally expected the album to be out end of this year, but it was not to be, so some UK shows were postponed until 2014, my apologies to those who bought tickets for London, Banbury, Basildon and Southampton, but i will be on the road in the spring with the new album.
The new record will be released by the Mascot Label Group next year, I am very pleased with the result.
To spend an extended amount of time recording is something i have not experienced for some time, I made decent demos before going into A Road, chose the musicians carefully and most of all allowed a producer to take over the job!
Rob Cass and I go way back, he was the singer in my Alaska band for a short time, he moved to England at that time and has stayed here ever since, building a good reputation as a producer, now firmly entrenched at Abbey Road.
The album will be called "SHINE" and will feature none other than David Coverdale, Joe Bonamassa, Ian Paice, Don Airey as guests, alongside my new favourite girl Cherry Lee Mewis.
Jimmy Copley, Damon Sawyer on drums, Ian Jennings and John Gordon play bass guitar, Dave Baldwin, Simon Webb, harmonica by 9 Below Zero's Mark Feltham.
Working with David Coverdale again, both on stage with Whitesnake and having him sing on the album has been just fabulous, we have recorded a new version of "Trouble" and you will be very happy with the result, he is singing as well as ever, and the new version is a revelation to all that hear it!
Whilst on the Whitesnake front, thanks for the great receptions i received at Newcastle and Manchester this summer, I had a fab few days with Doug, Reb, Michael, Brian and Tommy, as well as running into my good friends from Journey, Neal, Jonathan et all, always a blast to play with the guys, and DC is still the master of his craft on the stage, awesome as they say.
Add Ian Paice, the guvnor drummer and we have created a unique piece of Whitesnake history, Ian never played on the 1978 version, there is a homage to our late friend Jon Lord in the chorus, and I also played bass guitar on it!!
To have Joe Bonamassa on this album was a great joy, we have become very good friends over the last couple of years, I often play with him on stage and always enjoy it, Joe plays on the title track "Shine" and is, well quintessentially Joe Bonamassa, he plays wonderful lead guitar, it is so great to work with the younger guys, Joe has such passion and power in his playing, and he plays The Beast on the track as well for good measure, guitar Heaven, I think is the phrase,
I will do a track by track thing when the album is close for release, I am very much looking forward to working with all the people at Mascot label group.
Guitars now, the reissue of my 1959 Gibson Les Paul by Gibson was a total success, a limited edition of 300 guitars sold before they left the factory!
I had to wait for my #1 for ages, if you see UK Guitar and Bass this month there is a fine feature on The Beast and the reissue CC8 "The Beast"
My PRS guitar continues to be a great seller all over the world, I am told it is the best seller in the UK still, although flattered, I am not surprised the guitar is doing so well.
It really is a great guitar for the price, I have yet to see a bad top on a guitar, the UK upgrade of 50 pieces sold out almost straight away, American 53/10 PRS pick ups added and an "out of phase" feature, I still use a standard Korean version, and i have a customized US version with the classic PRS 57/08 pick ups as well, I have used the guitars on my recording sessions a lot.
I will be playing in a special event in Milton Keynes next month, November 9 at Campbell Park, The MK Rose, I will play at the "Father of Loud Pillar" which is dedicated to the late Dr Jim Marshall, I of course knew Jim personally for many years, in fact he sold me a guitar when i was about 17!
I am proud to be asked to be involved with this event.
Look out for some new CD's on the shop site, reissues of my first two solo EMI albums, remastered, you get a free "Stages" live album if you purchase, and the "Stages" live is on offer at £6.50, I like this CD, just a good blues band playing live, I rather endorse that!
There is other stuff going on, but I have promised the Mascot people that I will attend the website more often, and I fully intend to do so.
See you out there good people,
On a sad note, I would like to remember my good friend Gary Pickford Hopkins, he passed a couple of months ago, Gary was the singer with Wild Turkey, he reached some fame with Rick Wakeman's band after WT, a very gifted songwriter as well, we lived in the same house in London in the 1970's, a good singer, and a lovely man.
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Dino McGartland has had a petition up and running for just over a year now to get Rory Gallagher inducted into the Rock'n'Roll Hall Of Fame. It has already had great support from fans and musicians around the world including Rory's brother, Donal.
If you would like to sign the petition, you can find it at: