Saturday, July 31, 2010

Ryan Reid

The College Bar
Stillwater, OK
Show at 10:30AM

Red Dirt Rangers

We'll be at the Mercury Lounge, 18th and Boston, tonight (Saturday). We are gonna raise the roof, burn down the barn and torpedo the battleship.(Whatever that means) Steel guitar virtuoso Tommy Spurlock will be sitting in. Hear ye, hear ye! Come one, come all.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Many have contacted us about Brandon Jackson wondering what is going on... here in a nutshell is ... Brandon Jackson!

Brandon Jackson has been singing and performing since the age of 5, so it was no surprise when he decided to break out on his own to record an album.  Brandon discusses how he came to this decision.  “After 5 very successful years with No Justice, I just felt like it was time to explore a solo career in the Red Dirt/Texas Music scene,” Brandon says.  “I had a blast with No Justice and wrote and creating some great music with those guys. Being a songwriter, I had a bunch of songs that I thought were really good and just wanted to get them out there. A lot of the songs didn't really fit the No Justice sound so that, along with just feeling ready to get out on my own, lead me to where I am now. Bottom line it just felt right, and I couldn't ignore it anymore and let the opportunity pass me by!”  Since leaving the band No Justice in 2009 he has been writing and performing his own music at several acoustic shows throughout Oklahoma and Texas.  He also has a regular Monday night show at Dirty’s in Stillwater, OK.

Brandon will begin recording his album at Reel Time Studio in Denton, TX with Eric Delegard on August 10th.  He will be in the studio for 3 weeks to record 12 to 14 songs.  The untitled album should be released around the end of 2010.  During this time you can still catch Brandon on the road.  

You can get a full list of his tour dates by visiting his website at




Abby Gibson provided content, Thanks Abby!

American Graveyard "Common Ones"

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Red River Mudcats Change Name to Mitch Cason & Red River Junction

Red River Mudcats Change Name to Mitch Cason & Red River Junction


Lead Vocals taken Over by Cason as Former Lead Singer Liz Calendar Departs

NASHVILLE, TN (July 27, 2010) – Mitch Cason & Red River Junction is the new name of the Oklahoma and Texas "Red Dirt Country" band formerly known as the Red River Mudcats, who broke on the music scene with their debut single, "Texas Eagle," which hit the Texas music charts in 2009.

In addition to the new name, the band is also changing key personnel as Stephenville, Texas native, Mitch Cason takes over lead vocal duties formerly held by female vocalist, Liz Calendar, of Dallas, who will continue to perform on her own. Fans can keep up with her schedule at 

"Liz and I have had a special musical relationship since 2006," states Jeff Parker, guitarist and producer of Red River Junction. "She is an amazing singer and performer, and I am very proud of the accomplishments that we achieved in the face of adversity. She's always had my back, and she will be missed. I love her dearly. I would also like to send a very special thanks to all who have supported and encouraged us. We could not have done it for so long without you. I hope you'll continue to support the new band and our new music."

"Much love and appreciation goes to all of our fans who have supported the Red River Mudcats and who continue to support Red River Junction!" states Calendar. "I so enjoyed the music and memories that I have made with Jeff Parker, I wish him love and prosperity and am proud to call him my friend."


The debut Texas show for Mitch Cason & Red River Junction will be at the Rockett Cafe and Club (7 miles north of Waxahachie, Texas on FM 813) on Sunday, August 1st.  The show will be broadcast live on 106.9 "The Ranch" from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m., and on their "Worldwide Ranch" at

The band will also use the show to release their latest CD, Mitch Cason & Red River Junction - Acoustic 6 Pack.

A new single, "Jumpin' Barbwire Fences" will be released by the band in mid-August, from the group's forthcoming studio EP release, scheduled for Fall 2010 release.

For more information, visit Mitch Cason & Red River Junction online at:


# # #


For CD, hi-res photos and interview requests, contact:

Clif Doyal, CDA Promotions-Nashville/OKC
(a division of the Clif Doyal Agency, LLC)
Office: 615.885.5998 Cell: 615.319.1863

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Camille Harp - Music Thursday - Saturday

Music Thursday - Saturday

Hey friends!...Here's the skinny!...Come see me at....

7-29 Thursday-Bourbon Street Jazzmo's 6pm-9pm (All ages)
7-30 Friday - Othello's Norman 9pm-12am
7-31 Saturday-The Mantel Bricktown 8pm-11pm (All ages)

Hope to see your face out there!


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

photos taken by Mr. Dick Giles - SpiderDome Fire...

photos taken by Mr. Dick Giles - SpiderDome Fire... Stillwater venue and club lost to fire yesterday about 930AM

Monty Harper

It's working! My minions are gathering, strengthening, marching forth and conquering, and soon... so soon... it is inevitable... we will seize control! We will rule the Earth!
Ahem, sorry.
What I mean to say is, huge thank-yous to everyone who responded to last week's email with a pledge to my "Songs From the Science Frontier" project!
It's working!!!
You have given my project the momentum it needed to get off the ground. Many unfamiliar new names are showing up now on my backers list - generous people who stumbled across the project, found it compelling, saw that others were supporting it, and jumped aboard!
As I write this I am 52% funded! And with more than half my time left, that's looking really good! If we can just keep the energy going, I think we're going to make it!

Check it out!

Catch me on Stillwater's TV31 (Suddenlink Channel 3) Monday August 2 at 7:00 AM on "The Morning Edition"!

New video featuring the "Super Scientist"
I wanted to give you a chance to meet some of the scientists who inspired my songs, so I took lots of video footage last month. I've put together my first attempt at a "Mini Documentary" about how Dr. Marianna Patrauchan inspired the song "Super Scientist."
Please check it out and let me know what you think. Would you like to see more of these?

Success for this project now totally depends on people telling other people!
Do you have a few moments to help spread the word? Here are five ideas, quick things you might be able to do:
1. Click the facebook link below my pitch video here. Add a few words and post to your facebook page.

2. Think of someone you know personally who might be interested - a parent, a teacher, a science buff, a musician... Someone you've been wanting to catch up with anyway. Call them up and tell them about SFSF.

3. Find the website for your favorite science news source (Scienceblogs? Science Fridays on NPR? Podcasts? Magazines?), look for their "report a story" link, and send them a link to my kickstarter page.

4. Are you part of a group that meets regularly within an hour's drive of Stillwater, OK? Check with me - maybe I can come pep up your August meeting with a song or two!

5. Are you on any email lists, yahoo groups, meetups, or the like? If you can find a way to make it relevant, post a link to your list. Science, parenting, music, business, and environment all represent possible angles.

The link is:
I deeply appreciate you doing whatever you can. I know you are busy!!

BAM Radio Music and Learning Channel

Here's something I wanted to share with you. My friend Maryann “Mar.” Harman introduced me toBAM! Radio the other day.
If you are a parent, educator, or anyone who works with kids, you'll want to check out this fantastic resource! It gives you free access to hundreds of short radio interviews with experts on parenting and education, and it's very well organized - you can easily find dozens of topics of interest. I'm having to tear myself away to finish writing this newsletter!
Maryann is a music teacher, recording artist, educational consultant, and founder of Music with Mar. And she's the host of BAM Radio's Music and Learning Channel. Her page is full of interviews about the importance of music for kids' education and development, including a great interview with Sesame Street's Bob McGrath!
Maryann invites you to write to her if you have a suggestion for a show:  
Hey, Mar, how about music and science education???

It'll soon be over!
If you've already been passing the word around about "Songs From the Science Frontier," thank you thank you!

I appreciate your patience as I work through this campaign - I know I'm filling your inbox more than usual. I will go back to my usual once a month mailings after August 21.
Thanks for your support!

- Monty

P. S.
I can already smell the chocolate icing!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Americana Chart Americana Music Top 40

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Monty Harper... Chocolate Cake....

Fewer than 1 in 5 people on my mailing list ever actually open and read any given MontyNews!
My friend, Mindi, suggested I lead with chocolate cake in the subject line; we'll see if that improves my numbers!
What does chocolate cake have to do with anything? My birthday is coming up August 21. That also happens to be the deadline for my fundraising campaign. If we make our goal, I will throw a live online video birthday bash for all my supporters, and Lisa has promised to celebrate by smooshing a chocolate cake in my face!! You want to see that, don't you!
Fundraiser? Goal? What am I on about?
I'm trying to raise $9,000 to record a new CD of fun science songs for kids. These are unique songs because they focus on what every-day scientists actually do! I want to treat these songs right, take them to a professional studio with a producer and fantastic musicians, and make a CD families will want to hear over and over again. That takes a lot of money! $9,000 is actually a very very modest budget when it comes to commercial quality recordings.
Right now I stand at only 9% funded ($790). I have only 32 days left. If I don't reach my goal in pledges by August 21, I'll get nothing! I'll have to find another way to fund the CD, and the project will be put on hold indefinitely.
Please take a few minutes to view my pitch video and read about the project on my page here: 
Then please consider making a pledge to support this project. The most popular amount is $20. This will get you a signed copy of the CD as soon as it comes out (in October). I know $20 may be a bit more than you'd usually spend on a CD, but you will be helping bring this CD into the world! This is your chance to become a patron of the arts!
Also keep in mind this is only a pledge. No actual money changes hands unless and until the project is fully funded.
Some of my friends have told me they are holding back to see how the campaign goes before deciding how much to pledge. Please don't wait!
I'll need a crazy number of people to back this project - way more than I'll get from my email list. I need to be building momentum right now. The Kickstarter website won't feature my project unless many many people are already supporting it. Once I seem to be picking up steam, they may feature it, and that will bring in even more supporters. 

When I get a significant percentage of my goal covered, and it looks like I might make it, this becomes a much more interesting news story, and I'll be able to get more coverage. But that needs to happen while there's still time!
So it's important for me to collect lots of pledges as soon as possible!!
Note that you can always log in and edit your pledge. So if you are hanging back thinking about how much you want to contribute, please go ahead and make a small pledge now. You can always add to it later if you want.
Again, the link is:

For those who have pledged already, thank you thank you! For those who read this whole thing, thank you thank you!! It's great to have fans like you. I really do appreciate every little thing, including the mere fact that you are on this list!
- Monty

P. S.
Come see me perform my science songs at the Stillwater Public Library August 17 at 6:30 PM!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Kind of a Texas/Oklahoma Thursday night August 5th...

Poncho Cochran, guitarist extraordinaire,  will be playing with Jake... 
and Sarah is truly a remarkable talent...
This will be one sweet thing you will not want to miss!!
July 13, 2010


Evan Michaels discusses the new album and the band

Evan Michaels' debut album "One More Friday Night" was recently released. Michaels and bandmates such as Steve Lovell are excited to finally release their record.

"One More Friday Night" took a week to record and 8 months to finish. The band has toured in Oklahoma, Texas and Tennessee to promote the album. Michaels says his band's biggest offer is live shows.

"There's nothing better than the feeling of playing live," said Michaels. "All our eclectic styles make it a different sound of our own that no one sounds like."

The band is preparing for a show in Sturgis, S.D., in September. More information can be found at

Stay Gold CD & Vinyl - Fall Tour Dates - Live Show Recordings & Reviews

     We are currently enjoying a little R & R following a first half of the year that has found us touring both the West & East Coasts here in the States, as well as a month in Europe.  In June we premiered our  'Ludwig' project to an ecstatic audience & rave  reviews for our reinterpretations of Beethoven's 3rd & 6th alongside a full orchestra.  We also released our 20th album, Stay Gold, on our record label  Kinnara Records.

     If you have yet to pick up a copy of Stay Gold, you can  click here to grab it from iTunes.  If you'd prefer a hard copy  click here for the CD and/or the double vinyl, and Tulsa residents can pick up a copy at the Whole Foods Market .  If you want a taste before you buy, listen to the title track here, and watch the video here.  

      Alarm Magazine says that "...the soaring melodies of keyboardist Brian Haas remain front and center, with the rest of the band offering eloquent accompaniment and robust grooves and beats.  Stay Gold is another compelling chapter in the storied history of JFJO."

     Congratulations to Tyler Miller & Caswell James, who have tied for 1st place in the The Sensation of Seeing Light remix contest.  Thanks to everyone who submitted an entry.   Click here to listen to their excellent remixes.  Visit our Facebook  page for more contests & easy ways you can score free JFJO goods by doing things like replacing your profile picture & inviting friends to events.

     In September we embark on an album release tour that will stretch from New Orleans to Louisville to Seattle.  If you live in one of the tour markets listed below and are interested in helping promote the show in exchange for a guest list spot & free JFJO goods please email us.  You can see and hear recent live recordings by  clicking here or here for video as well as  here for audio of our June show at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art.

Stay Gold,

                  -the Fred

Sun. Aug. 1st Wicker Park FestivalChicago, IL
Thurs. Sept 2nd - Maple Leaf - New Orleans, LA (w/ Johnny Vidacovich!)
Fri. Sept 3rd - Chelseas - Baton Rouge, LA (w/ Johnny Vidacovich!)
Sat. Sept 4th - Boom Boom Room - Ha
ttiesburg, MS (w/ Johnny Vidacovich!)
Facebook - Tickets
Wed. Sept 8th - Centenary College - Shreveport, LA
Fri. Sept 10th - The Parish - Austin, TX
Facebook -  Tickets
Sat. Sept 11th - Boiler Room - Denton, TX
Facebook -  Tickets
Tues. Sept 14th - Skully's - Columbus, OH
Wed. Sept. 15th - Canal Street Tavern - Dayton, OH
Thurs. Sept 16th - The Blue Wisp - Cincinnati, OH
Facebook -  Tickets
Fri. Sept. 17th - Hideaway - Louisville, KY
Sat. Sept 18th - Rex Theater - Pittsburgh, PA
Facebook -  Tickets
Sat. Oct. 9th
- Jardine's Jazz Club - Kansas City, MO
Facebook - Tickets
Fri. Oct. 15th - Tost - Seattle, WA
Facebook -  Tickets
Sat. Oct. 16th - Mt. Tabor Theater - Portland, OR
Sun. Oct. 17th - Culture Works - Ashland, OR
Sat. Oct. 23rd - Cafe Du Nord - San Francisco, CA
Facebook -  Tickets
Fri. Oct. 29th - The Mint - Los Angeles, CA
Fri. Dec 31st - Cain's Ballroom - Tulsa,OK*
*playing the music of Beyonce, Madonna, & Lady GaGa


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

100,000 Watt Night Ride USA looking for new music Country, Roots/Americana, Bluegrass & Southern Rock

Broadcast with 100,000 watts: NightRide USA is looking for new music for the show.
Artists and Labels discover the Nightride.

This isn't just a radio show. It's a moment-by-moment happening six hours per night six nights per week beginning at 11:06 PM US Eastern Time. It's a family experience. It's life as it happens with music and perspectives that assist the NightRide USA family in understanding and coping with life as it happens. The media? Old and new country music, humor, inspiration and interaction. Radio that reaches out internationally to give rather than take; To find in-roads for listeners to feel a part of something important and unify in hope and trust in a world full of opportunists who wish only to increase and exploit fear and ignorance. NightRide USA is NOT political, but it is patriotic. It is NOT religious, but it is spiritual.

 The NightRide Family is made up of individuals all over the world who are in love with life and with the imperative that spans all races, nationalities, creeds, societal norms and mores and most major religions.. HELP EACH OTHER!!

NightRide USA spins only the best in country, roots/americana country plus some bluegrass and a bit of southern rock music ranging from the well-known songs and artists to the many independent and launching talents who may be unknown but wish to have their quality work heard, loved and recognized.

For over eight years, NightRide USA has covered an entire region (including North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia and Tennessee USA) with this message through terrestrial radio, and internationally through live stream. Visit the website at

Send your music for airplay to:
Bruce Hodges
CEO NightRide International
1673 Old Highway 601 Mount Airy
North Carolina 27030
Phone 336-648- 5823
The Nightride USA also uses
Radio Submit to download new broadcast quality music.

ATT: Radio Stations:
"The Most Unique Ride On Radio!"

Are you the owner of a radio station, general manager, programming director,
or up and coming artists
wanting to expand your marketability, we invite you to climb on board one of the best and most unique
radio shows currently on the air.

The Nightride currently launches from studios located in Galax, Virginia. We broadcast with 100,000 watts and covering a four state area which includes markets in Roanoke, Martinsville, Lynchburg, Danville and Blacksburg, Virginia;  Mount Airy, Winston-Salem, Greensboro, High Point, Burlington, and Charlotte, North Carolina;  parts of southern West Virginia and eastern Tennessee. The show airs six nights a week from 11:00 pm to 5:00am eastern standard time, and has become the favorite for millions of late night listeners. People who live, work or drive in our coverage areas, have grown accustom to hearing, " You're On The Nightride. The Most Unique Ride On Radio. Getting You Safely Through The Night."  

So, if you're interested in knowing more about how you can air one of the fastest growing shows on radio, or get your music heard to an all new market area, give us a call at 336-648- 5823 or email us at

Then you too, will be on
The Nightride. The Most Unique Ride On Radio!



Click Here To Become a Reporting DJ or Station.
Roots Music Report
Wimberley Texas & Moab Utah
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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

TONIGHT! Singer-Songwriter Night featuring Joel Rafael...

Crow Creek Tavern


Pre-Woody Guthrie Festival



Joel Rafael

Tuesday, 13 July 2010, 8:30 pm

Open Jam to Follow

You come, too!
3534 South Peoria, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Jeff Beck Interview from Guitar Center

Jeff Beck

Jeff Beck is one of the world's greatest guitar legends—his peers Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page both are certainly better known and more commercially successful—but he's undeniably one of the most fascinating, dedicated, enigmatic and influential artisans that ever played guitar.

During his Sixties stint in the Yardbirds Beck helped define the new sounds of hard rock and heavy metal. Then when bands like Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath rose in popularity during the Seventies, he radically shifted directions, blazing a new path as a jazz-rock fusion pioneer. In the late Eighties and early Nineties when the instrumental shred-rock guitar phenomenon was at its peak, he released the eclectic Jeff Beck's Guitar Shop, a note-for-note tribute to rockabilly guitarist Cliff Gallup of Gene Vincent and the Blue Caps (Crazy Legs), and an Asian-inspired original score to a television drama about the Vietnam War (Frankie's House). At the dawn of the new millennium he released three albums that went in a decidedly more electronic direction, although these efforts also dug deep into modern blues and Celtic airs while Beck expanded his unique lyrical, vocal playing style.

Jeff's latest album, Emotion & Commotion, casts aside much of the electronic/club-inspired rhythm tracks of his most recent efforts in favor of lush orchestral arrangements and naked synth pad beds, but his extraordinary guitar voice continues to break new ground. "What's behind it is a love of different styles of music and my natural absorption of them," says Beck. "It's amazing that the guitar can interpret so many genres of music. I've dabbled in Irish, Indian, techno—basically anything that I can lay a sound onto. I never really was the sort of player that only wants to show one side."

With the exceptions of the raucous Hendrix-inspired wah workout during the intro to "Hammerhead" and a blasting rave up in the middle of "There's No Other Me," the new album leans more towards deep emotion than actual commotion. At times Beck's guitar resembles plaintive horn instruments or sounds uncannily like human voices, particularly on introspective works like "Nessun Dorma," "Elegy For Dunkirk," and "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." A cover of Screaming Jay Hawkins' "I Put a Spell On You" featuring vocals by Joss Stone is appropriately eerie, while the aforementioned "Hammerhead" is reminiscent of Guitar Shop's futuristic "big band" raveup "Big Block."

"I've been fortunate not to have had any huge hit records, which would have led me to automatically do what sells," Beck explains further, without any hint of irony. "I've been very free from that standpoint. It's difficult to turn your back if you sell 30 million copies of an album. You would be really foolish not to try to do more of that, but I haven't ever had that problem. All of my albums have been fun to make. I have the freedom to do what I want."

Although Beck is somewhat modest when discussing his level of success, he hasn't exactly been a commercial failure and he has earned considerable respect and accolades. His Seventies fusion albums Blow By Blow and Wired have both enjoyed multi-Platinum sales worldwide and are considered essential listening by dedicated guitar fanatics. He has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice—first in 1992 along with his bandmates in the Yardbirds and again in 2009 for his solo work. He's also received five Grammy awards for "Best Rock Instrumental Performance," including the award he won this year for his cover of the Beatles' "A Day in the Life." That recording also received worldwide exposure at the 2010 Winter Olympics when US figure skater Jeremy Abbott chose the song for his first-place performance in the Men's Short Program.

"Before my mother passed away, she said, 'Don't you dare get delusions of grandeur!' and I said, Why not?" Jeff laughs. "She kept me well planted on the ground. But winning five Grammys is not too bad, so that certainly means a lot to me. And being recognized twice by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is not a bad deal, either."

Beck's good friend and former Yardbirds bandmate Jimmy Page inducted Jeff into the Hall of Fame. "I learned a lot from Jim when we were young," Beck reminisces. "My sister went to the same college as he did, and she couldn't resist telling me that there was another nerd at school with similar weird guitar to the one I had. That led to a long, ongoing friendship with Jim. I had to travel quite a long way to see him—about a ten-mile bus ride—but it was worth it to be around someone who was also insane and had the same interests. He had all of this recording equipment and a magnificent record collection, which I didn't have. We used to have the best time."

Speaking of time, Jeff is sometimes notorious for letting several years pass between the release of his solo studio efforts. For example, 10 years transpired between Guitar Shop and Who Else! But the reason it took him seven years between his 2003 album Jeff and Emotion and Commotion was primarily due to his participation in a variety of different tours, highlights of which were captured on three live albums released during his studio hiatus. While Beck often writes material on the road, he had only a handful of songs and ideas when he entered the studio in the Fall of 2009 to record Emotion and Commotion.

"I had a really good demo of a classical piece that I recorded over a performance by the New York Philharmonic," he explains. "I laid my guitar part on top just to see if the melody would work, and it did. The people at my record label, Atco, flipped out when they heard it, and then they went, 'Where's the rest of the album? Let's go!' Unfortunately it took me quite a while to do that one song, and to get a real orchestra to play on the entire album would have cost a fortune. And what would I do with an album with 12 classical pieces on it? I couldn't afford to tour with a 60-piece orchestra. I decided to get a smaller orchestra just for a few pieces. Then we started to see the shape of the album building."

Once in the studio, Jeff quickly and easily found inspiration in an unusual manner and completed the album in six weeks. Beck explains, "When I went to the studio in London to record the album, I made the decision to walk there from my flat each day instead of taking a cab. That gave me time to think about what I was going to do. If I couldn't think of something to do by the time I got there we were in trouble. [laughs] Just the act of walking is amazing, because you're in a different frame of mind than you are when you're being thrown around in a cab. Each day I thought, Yeah, this'll be a good thing to do. I also let my moods each day come into play. I could never write my ideas down in a notebook and say that we are going to do this and we are going to do that."

Jeff invited several female vocalists—Imelda May, Olivia Safe, and Joss Stone—to sing lead vocals on several tracks. "I don't ever want to make an album that's full of one shred guitar song after another," he says. "I want to be part of something instead of having an album be 12 tracks of just me. I like to have talent around me, and you can't get better talent than the people on this record. When Olivia sings, get the Kleenex out. Imelda is divine. She can scream rockabilly one minute and then sing as pure as an Irish stream the next. Joss has that Tina Turner thing going on along with a little bit of Janis Joplin. I feel very proud that she chose to participate on this album."

As always, a familiar friend joined Jeff in the studio—his Fender Jeff Beck Signature Model Stratocaster. The Fender Strat has remained Jeff's favorite guitar since 1972, although he also played a Fender Esquire, Telecaster and Jazzmaster with the Yardbirds before switching to a Gibson Les Paul during his latter days with that band. The Les Paul was Beck's main guitar on his early efforts with the Jeff Beck Group, and he used it occasionally on his Blow By Blow and Wired albums.

Jeff's very first guitar was an acoustic that he borrowed from a friend: "On Friday nights I used to go to the home of a friend of mine who had a TV set. There always was a guitar with only three strings on his sofa, and I used to mess around with it. He loaned it to me. Somehow I got the rest of the strings and he never asked for it back. If it hadn't been for him, I may not have ever bothered to take up the guitar."

When Jeff was only 13, he attempted to build his first electric guitar: "It was bright yellow with all these wires and knobs. I used to carry it around without a case so everyone could see it. People just freaked out. Then I bought my first real electric for 25 pounds. It was a piece of rubbish, but it was good enough for me, and it felt great compared to the homemade one I had. The Esquire was the cheapest really great guitar you could get back then, and it was still way beyond what I had."

Beck first played a Stratocaster when he was a member of the Deltones in 1961. "I discovered the Strat when I saw Buddy Holly's first album, The 'Chirping' Crickets," he recalls. "Buddy was proudly holding a Strat, and I thought, 'I've got to have one of those.' The Strat was the icon. Then when I saw Jimi Hendrix play, I thought, 'that's it. He's making the right noises with that.' Then I went back to the Strat and stayed with it."

Fender still offers the Jeff Beck Signature Model Stratocaster, but a few changes have been made to the model since it was first introduced in 1990. The most significant difference is the replacement of the previous version's active Lace Sensor Gold pickups with Dual-Coil Ceramic Noiseless pickups. The new version also features a slim C-shaped neck instead of the chunky U-shaped neck found on the previous model and a straightforward five-way pickup selector and standard tone controls instead of the prior guitar's TBX tone circuit and coil-splitting functions. The latest version retains the LSR roller nut and locking tuning machines that help Jeff keep the guitar in tune when he gives the whammy bar extensive workouts, which is a pivotal element of his playing style.

Although Jeff bought a pair of 1956 Gretsch Duo Jets in the early Nineties to duplicate the tone of his hero, Cliff Gallup, he does not collect vintage guitars. "I love old guitars, but I don't really collect them," he admits. "I've only bought a handful of guitars. The others just sort of came down the chimney somehow." His attitude is a little different however when it comes to amplifiers, and he owns several classic Fender amps as well as a variety of Marshalls, some of which date back to his early days with the Jeff Beck Group.

With the exception of Crazy Legs, Beck has always maintained a fresh, exploratory attitude when working in the studio. This is particularly evident on his "new millennium" albums—Who Else!, You Had It Coming, and Jeff—which featured a lot of programming tricks and extensive Pro Tools editing. "I was aiming for a rave or house music sound on those three albums," says Beck. "I just wanted one of those tracks to take off in a club. I love the wildness and outrageous volume that you can get in dance clubs, but I never really heard any guitar playing on any of the tracks. I tried to dabble in it, and I had fun making those records."

Although Trevor Horn and Steve Lipson, the producers of Emotion and Commotion, relied on Pro Tools for this album as well, it was used in a more conservative and traditional manner to capture and enhance Jeff's performance. However, Beck admits that a preset in the SoundToys TimeBlender plug-in (part of the SoundBlender multi-effects TDM plug-in) provided the initial inspiration for the song "Serene": "The song started with me messing about with a reverb effect in Time Blender. I was playing through that effect to a drum loop and [keyboardist/programmer] Jason Rebello joined in. Before I knew it, we had a song."

Over the years Beck has gone on co-headlining tours with other legendary guitarists like B.B. King and Carlos Santana. This year he continued that tradition when he performed at a handful of very special concerts with his long-time friend, Eric Clapton. Audiences in London, Manhattan, Montreal, and Toronto were treated to special sets where the two guitarists traded licks on a variety of blues standards like "You Need Love" and "Shake Your Moneymaker." This summer Jeff will be one of many guitar legends performing at Clapton's Crossroads Guitar Festival in Chicago.

Joining Beck onstage for his current tour are keyboardist Jason Rebello, bassist Rhonda Smith, and drummer Narada Michael Walden, who has reunited with Jeff for the first time since he played drums and piano on Jeff's Wired album way back in 1976. Jeff's touring schedule extends through the end of the year, which means it may be a while before fans hear his next studio effort. While Beck has written a few songs on the road (most notably "Never Alone" on Emotion and Commotion, which he wrote with Rebello while on tour in 2009), he admits that he usually finds his best inspiration in the quiet environment of his country home in Surrey, England.

"I'm sort of an airhead," he jokes. "The luxury of living where I do is that it enables my thoughts to go wherever they will. I might just play four notes that day, and they mean a lot. I'll just put that idea away, and then I'll remember the order they came in and expand upon that." 
However, the daydream atmosphere of his household does have a few perils. Last fall he accidentally chopped off the tip of his left index finger while slicing carrots in his kitchen. Fortunately surgeons were successfully able to reunite the severed tip with the finger, but now Beck has insured his fingers for just over one million dollars each. 
While hopefully it won't take Jeff another seven years to complete his next studio album, that project is currently the least of his concerns: "I haven't had time to think about that. Let's just see how this album goes. If this album does well, then I'll get a clue as to where I should go or could go. And then I'll go the other way!"