Last Week First: Music News From #1

I tell you, nothing is as satisfying as spending a long weekend writing and recording your own songs on acoustic guitar. While my fingertips look chewed and stained right now, I can hear crisp, focused fingerpicking on playback. Now, if I could get my voice to not sound like an injured goat, I’d be golden. Enough of that, though. Let’s get down to business.

Here’s a brief look at all the music and guitar news that rose to the top of the stacks last week at

Ozzfest and Knotfest merge to create ultimate metal festival. If you’re a metalhead like me, then you’ve probably looked at both the Ozzfest and Knotfest lineups each year and become sick with envy. I remember Ozzfest ‘99 like it was yesterday (not almost 20-years ago, and Rob Zombie put on one hell of a show). But, I digress. In a recent press conference, Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne and Corey Taylor of Slipknot revealed that Ozzfest and Knotfest would merge for an insane weekend of metal mayhem in San Bernardino, California. With bands such as Black Sabbath, Megadeth, Children of Bodom, Slipknot and Anthrax taking the stage, you don’t want to miss it.

Eric Clapton releases a new album, I Still Do. In a return to his blues roots, Eric Clapton has put out a fantastic album, I Still Do, with legendary Slowhand and Backless producer Glyn Johns. Featuring covers of Robert Johnson’s “Stones in My Passway,” Leroy Carr’s “Alabama Woman Blues” and Bob Dylan’s “I Dreamed I Saw St. Augustine,” among many others, the album is chock full of awesome licks and impeccable solos.

Nick Menza, former Megadeth drummer and progressive jazz musician, dies on stage at 51. If you listened to any of Megadeth’s albums from 1989 to 1998, you were thrashing to the percussive pyrotechnics of Nick Menza. Known for his unique style and incredible jazz-infused chops, Nick attacked audiences with fast beats from the throne of his Greg Voelker Rack system. Sadly, while performing with his progressive jazz trio OHM, Nick collapsed on stage of a suspected massive heart attack. He’s survived by his mother and father, as well as two sons.

Inaugural Houston Open Air Festival brings top rock bands to Texas. If you’re looking for something with more edge than the usual tie-dye themed music festivals, then look no further than the Houston Open Air Festival. With more than 35 bands set to take the stage, including Alter Bridge, Anthrax, Pierce the Veil, Baroness, Buckcherry and many more, you can bet your sweet ass you’ll have plenty to rock out to.

In GuitarZoom news…

Steve Stine has been working hard on a brand new course to help you play arpeggios across the fretboard. And if you want to be one of the first to check it out, don’t miss this and this videos.