The gloss-finished, solid alder body guitar sports a 25.5″ scale maple neck with 22-fret, 7.25″ radius rosewood fretboard, and Mayer’s signature single-coil pickups. As the guitar’s product description on Musician’s Friend notes:More than two and half years in the making, the Silver Sky is a vintage-inspired instrument that is at once familiar but also newly PRS through and through. This model was based off of Mayer and Smith’s favorite elements from 1963 and 1964 vintage instruments, resulting in an idealized version of a vintage single-coil guitar. The attention that was paid to every detail sets this guitar apart.Some of the more distinctive specifications include the headstock shape, tuners, neck and fretboard, bridge, and pickups and electronics. The headstock shape is based on PRS’s trademark design, but inverted to both accommodate Mayer’s playing style and also to keep a consistent length of string behind the nut, which makes staying in tune easier. The tuners are a traditional vintage-style, closed-back tuner, but with PRS’s locking design. The neck shape was modeled after 1963/1964 vintage instruments, and the fretboard has a 7.25” radius. The moment your hand grabs this neck, it just feels right.Like the tuners, the steel tremolo takes a classic design and incorporates PRS’s trem arm and Gen III knife-edge screws. The bridge on the Silver Sky is setup flush to the body in the neutral position so that the tremolo bridge only goes down in pitch. By keeping the bridge in contact with the body, the guitar itself is acoustically louder, which improves the signal to noise ratio of the single-coil pickups. The 635JM single-coil pickups are very round and full, with a musical high end that is never “ice-picky” or brash.Other high-quality specifications include a bone nut, a molded metal jack plate that is curved and makes plugging and unplugging a guitar cable hassle-free, retooled knobs, fretwire that is slightly smaller than what you’d find on most PRS electric guitars, and PRS’s double action truss rod (accessible from the front of the headstock for ease of use).Of course, even those with a cursory knowledge of guitars will notice the PRS John Mayer Silver Sky’s resemblance to Fender‘s iconic Stratocaster. Mayer has played a Strat throughout most of his career, and in the early 2000s, he partnered with Fender to make his own John Mayer Signature Stratocaster Series, released in 2005.As Reverb explains, The John Mayer Signature series became a mainstay of the Fender Artist series lineup. Many customers particularly praised the “Big Dipper” single-coil pickups that came standard with the Mayer model Strats, as they sold for a premium on their own.However, Mayer had a falling-out with Fender in 2014 due to his perception that the quality of their products had declined. In a pair of tweets, he explained,Heads up to anyone thinking about owning my signature Fender Stratocaster, they’re no longer being made and I’m no longer a Fender artist. … I love Fender guitars and will continue to play them, but the fact is that the company as it is today isn’t the same one I started with.Mayer gave the world an early taste of his custom PRS build during his solo tour stop in Boston last spring. You can see/hear Mayer in action on his new PRS model below:John Mayer – “Moving On and Getting Over” – 4/9/17[Video: Matt Frazier]The PRS John Mayer Silver Sky is available now in Onyx (black), Tungsten (silver), Horizon (red), and Frost (white) finishes. You can purchase one here. John Mayer and Paul Reed Smith have officially released the “PRS John Mayer Silver Sky” for public consumption. The new custom-model electric guitar is the result of an extensive collaboration process between the multiple Grammy-winning solo artist/Dead & Company guitarist and the renowned master luthier.
Music conductor Matt Butler led an all-star band under the moniker Everyone Orchestra during the late-night portion of the Major Rager Music Festival in Augusta, Georgia, over the weekend. For this edition of Everyone Orchestra, Matt Butler was joined by a cast of stellar musicians, including of Kris Myers (Umphrey’s McGee), Jeremy Schon (Pigeons Playing Ping Pong), George Gekas (The Revivalists), Craig Brodhead (Turkuaz), Shira Elias (Turkuaz), David Loss (Aqueous), and Mike Quinn. Though the main show took place down the street from the outdoor portion of the day-long festival, the funky vibe created by the earlier acts carried on, at least in spirit, during the late-night jam.Butler picks and chooses players with a keen eye for compatibility and improvisational skill, helping shape the musicians’ disparate musical energies and focusing and fusing them into something wholly new. He weaves and winds his way through the semi-circle of musicians he faces, keeping everyone involved while allowing jams to develop naturally. The fact that he does this with a new cast each night makes his shows even more impressive. You may never know what you’re going to hear at an Everyone Orchestra show, but you know it will be original, dramatic, and fun.Friday’s show got going around 12:30 as the room filled up with post-Rager folks eager for more. With Dave Loss and Jeremy Schon on guitar, there was a solid foundation of players with licks for days to take the lead. The rhythm section of Kris Myers on drums and George Gekas on bass proved themselves capable of forming a pocket and sauntering out of it at will. Craig Brodhead leaned more on his keyboard skills during the Major Rager set, while his Turkuaz bandmate, Shira Elias, proved more than capable of lyrical inspiration at any given moment. And as Mike Quinn blew his horn over the top of this mass of musicianship, Matt Butler deftly used hand signals and a dry-erase board to steer the ship to new sonic shores.You can watch the first three movements from Everyone Orchestra’s late-night set during the Major Rager below. We have more coverage from the Augusta, Georgia festival coming soon, but for now, you can also check out videos from the spectacular Dumpstaphunk opening set here.
Jeff Beck has added a number of summer tour dates, including three shows with Ann Wilson of Heart. The influential English guitarist will head to North America following a series of June and July shows in Europe. Beck will get started in West Valley, UT, on July 18th before wrapping up his outing in Tampa, FL, on August 26th.According to Rolling Stone, Beck’s touring back will feature drummer Vinnie Colaiuta (Frank Zappa, Sting, Herbie Hancock), vocalist Jimmy Hall, bassist Rhonda Smith (Prince, Chaka Khan, Beyoncé, George Clinton), and cellist Vanessa Freebairn-Smith.Beck is also the subject of Still on the Run: The Jeff Beck Story, a forthcoming rockumentary on his life and career. Slated for release on May 18th, the film includes interviews with other guitar greats like Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, David Gilmour, Slash, and Ronnie Wood.Tickets for Jeff Beck’s summer tour are now on sale.Jeff Beck North American Tour Dates:July 18 West Valley City, UT – USANA AmphitheatreJuly 20 Irvine, CA – Five Point AmphitheatreJuly 21 Phoenix, AZ – Celebrity Theater *July 22 Chula Vista, CA – Mattress Firm AmphitheatreJuly 24 Houston, TX – Smart Financial Centre at Sugar LandJuly 25 Dallas, TX – The Pavilion at Toyota Music FactoryJuly 26 Austin, TX – ACL Live -Moody Theater *July 28 St. Louis, MO – Hollywood Casino AmphitheatreJuly 29 Chicago, IL – Huntington Bank Pavilion at Northerly IslandJuly 31 Clarkston, MI – DTE Energy Music TheatreAugust 1 Toronto, ON – Budweiser StageAugust 3 Boston, MA – Blue Hills Bank PavilionAugust 4 Camden, NJ – BB&T PavilionAugust 5 York, PA – Appell Center *August 7 Lewiston, NY – Art Park ^August 8 Cincinnati, OH – Riverbend Music CenterAugust 10 Indianapolis, IN – Ruoff Home Mortgage Music CenterAugust 11 Pittsburgh, PA – Heinz Hall ^August 12 Holmdel, NJ – P.N.C. Bank Arts CenterAugust 14 Wantagh, NY – Northwell Health at Jones Beach TheaterAugust 15 Port Chester, NY – Capitol Theatre *August 17 Nashville, TN – Nashville Municipal AuditoriumAugust 19 Charlotte, NC – PNC Music PavilionAugust 20 Vienna, VA – Wolftrap ^August 22 Atlanta, GA – Chastain Park AmphitheatreAugust 23 Jacksonville, FL – Daily’s PlaceAugust 25 West Palm Beach, FL – Coral Sky AmphitheatreAugust 26 Tampa, FL – MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre* Jeff Beck performing solo^ with Ann WilsonView All Tour Dates
Recently, the beloved bluegrass staple, Yonder Mountain String Band, detailed their upcoming New Year’s Eve run, which will see the band perform two nights at St. Louis’ Delmar Hall. The bluegrass quintet will be joined by Old Salt Union as support for each show, with the first show falling on December 30th ahead of a New Year’s Eve proper performance on December 31st. Tickets for Yonder Mountain’s upcoming 2018 New Year’s Eve run go on sale on Friday, September 14th, at 10 a.m. (CT) via Ticketmaster, with tickets for the 30th available here and tickets for the 31st available here.
Indie rock singer and guitarist Jenny Lewis has announced her plans to return with new music and a spring headlining tour in 2019. The former Rilo Kiley member will release her follow-up studio effort to 2014’s The Voyager this spring with On the Line, an 11-track album scheduled to arrive sometime next spring, although the official release date wasn’t revealed.According to Pitchfork, her first solo album in five years will feature contributions from Beck, Ringo Starr, Ryan Adams, Wolf Bros bassist and producer Don Was, Benmont Tench of Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, and drummer Jim Keltner.Fans can assume the new album will arrive sometime ahead of, or during the spring months, as that is when Lewis will head back out on the road for a run of North American shows which are scheduled to begin in late March. The 25-date headlining tour starts on March 26th in Bloomington, Illinois and continues over the next two months before wrapping with a show in San Diego on May 26th. Notable stops on the spring tour includes scheduled shows at The Riviera Theatre in Chicago, IL (3/30); Canton Hall in Dallas, TX (4/5); Variety Playhouse in Atlanta, GA (4/12); Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles, CA (5/11); Ogden Theatre in Denver, CO (5/16; And Moore Theatre in Seattle, WA (5/21), just to name a few. The full list of spring tour dates can be referenced below.Lewis had previously worked with Ryan Adams on producing her Voyager LP, which would go on to crack the top 10 on the Billboard 200 album sales chart in the U.S., peaking at number nine. Lewis would also make a point to hit the North American festival circuit in the months that surround its July release that summer, so fans should be on the lookout for her name to appear on major festival posters when lineups begin arriving in the coming months.In the years since her Voyager album cycle, Lewis also teamed up with Au Revoir Simone‘s Erika Forster and The Like‘s Tennessee Thomas to form an all-female rock trio named Nice As F*ck. The trio released their debut, self-titled LP in June of 2016. Lewis also appeared on a St. Vincent single in 2017 titled “Pills”.Tickets for Lewis’ newly announced spring tour will be going on sale starting December 7th at 10 a.m. local time, and can be found on the tour page of her official website.[Image: Jenny Lewis]Jenny Lewis Spring 2019 Tour Dates:March 26 – Bloomington, IL – The Castle TheatreMarch 27 – Madison, WI – The SylveeMarch 29 – St. Paul, MN – Palace TheatreMarch 30 – Chicago, IL – The Riviera TheatreMarch 31 – Nashville, TN – Ryman AuditoriumApril 2 – Iowa City, IA – Mission Creek Festival at Englert TheatreApril 4 – Oklahoma City, OK – The Jones AssemblyApril 5 – Dallas, TX – Canton HallApril 6 – Austin, TX – ACL Live at The Moody TheaterApril 7 – Houston, TX – White Oak Music HallApril 9 – Baton Rouge, LA – Varsity TheatreApril 10 – Jackson, MS – Duling HallApril 12 – Atlanta, GA – Variety PlayhouseMay 10 – Las Vegas, NV – House of BluesMay 11 – Los Angeles, CA – Hollywood PalladiumMay 13 – Tucson, AZ – Rialto TheatreMay 14 – Albuquerque, NM – KiMO TheatreMay 16 – Denver, CO – Ogden TheatreMay 17 – Bellvue, CO – Mishawaka AmphitheatreMay 18 – Salt Lake City, UT – The Commonwealth RoomMay 20 – Vancouver, BC – Commodore BallroomMay 21 – Seattle, WA – Moore TheatreMay 22 – Portland, OR – Crystal BallroomMay 25 – San Luis Obispo, CA – Fremont TheaterMay 26 – San Diego, CA – House of BluesView All Tour Dates
The last day of Jam Cruise is a doozy. Music runs from noon through the night and into the morning. Within an hour or two of things winding down, you’re pulling back into the Port of Miami as the sun rises. Then, the Jam Cruise faithful, joyously sequestered for the better part of a week, scatters to the four corners of the Earth once again.Now that we’re back on dry land after Jam Cruise 17, it all feels like a blur, in the best possible way. One big, happy blur. But before we take a step back and reflect on the voyage as a whole, we still have to recount the highlights from the final day of festivities.Jam Cruise 17’s last stand featured performances by Jon Stickley Trio, a Sunday gospel set with Melvin Seals & JGB, Everyone Orchestra, Fruition, the Jennifer Hartswick Super Jam, Monophonics, Turkuaz, Southern Avenue, Kamasi Washington, Naural Selectah, Spafford, Galactic, a Jam Room Session hosted by TAUK’s Isaac Teel, a Pickin’ Lounge hosted by Leftover Salmon’s Vince Herman, a late-night set from DJ Soul Sister, and much more.You know the drill: With multiple sets running simultaneously from 12:00 p.m. on Sunday through 5:00 a.m. Monday morning, it was impossible to catch it all. However, here’s just a few of the most memorable moments from the final day of Jam Cruise 17. You can also check out recaps from Jam Cruise 17 day 1, day 2, day 3, day 4, and day 5 now to relive the magic that went down aboard the Norwegian Jade.Melvin Seals Takes Jam Cruise To ChurchEarly Sunday afternoon, the great Melvin Seals and his present-day JGB lineup got drowsy day-six spirits soaring with their joyful set on the Pool Deck. From the uplifting Karl Denson sit-in on Staple Singers classic “I’ll Take You There” to the set-closing cover of Eric Clapton‘s “Lay Down Sally”, Melvin and his crew were the perfect jolt of soulful energy to kick off Jam Cruise’s final day. As Seals mused after Denson’s appearance, “That’s what Sunday morning’s all about.” Preach, Brother Melvin…Fruition Makes A Statement On The Pool DeckUp against an all-star Everyone Orchestra session and a wild “BamBOOZIN” party with Andy Frasco & The U.N. and Leftover Salmon, Fruition’s Sunday set on the Pool Deck had some difficult schedule competition. However, those who stayed the course saw an incredibly talented band of musicians and songwriters play a standout set, even among all the many great sets played aboard the Norwegian Jade. In addition to a diverse crop of originals old and new, Fruition enlisted Turkuaz trumpeter Chris Brouwers for a remarkably true-to-form cover of The Beatles‘ “Magical Mystery Tour”. They were also joined by Jon Stickley and Lindsey Pruett of Jon Stickley Trio for some dark and dirty rock and roll improv, an impressive show of stylistic range for both of the Americana-steeped acts.After A Week Of Collabs, Jennifer Hartswick Hosts The Baddest Jam Session Of Them AllThe Jennifer Hartswick Super Jam was a highly anticipated Sunday schedule highlight throughout the week, but the actual performance exceeded even the loftiest of expectations. Over the course of the set, Hartswick’s band was rounded out by a continuous stream of Jam Cruise artists including Lyle Divinsky (The Motet), Drew Sayers (The Motet), Parris Fleming (The Motet), Skerik, Big Sam, Nikki Glaspie (The Nth Power), Kevin Scott (The Cleaners), Brandon “Taz” Niederauer, Joey Porter (The Motet), Nick Cassarino (The Nth Power) Adriyon de Leon (Matador! Soul Sounds), Shira Elias (Turkuaz), Rob Marscher (Star Kitchen), Isaac Teel (TAUK), Joel Gonzalez, Nate Edgar (The Nth Power), Nick Cassarino (The Nth Power), Garret Sayers (The Motet), Kim Dawson (Matador! Soul Sounds), Chris Littlefield (KDTU), Craig Brodhead (Turkuaz), Chris Spies (Matador! Soul Sounds), Michelangelo Carubba (Turkuaz), Sammi Garett (Turkuaz), George Porter Jr., Ryan Jalbert (The Motet), Eddie Roberts (Matador! Soul Sounds), Danny Mayer (Star Kitchen), Roosevelt Collier, Chris Chew, Leslie Mendelson, Mary Corso, Melvin Seals, Dan Lebowitz (ALO), and more. The star-studded dance party featured funky renditions of “Shake Your Booty”, “Ain’t Nobody (Loves Me Better)”, “Give It To Me Baby”, “Magic Man”, “Love The One You’re With”, “This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody)”, “If I’m In Luck”, and a moving, set-closing rendition of “I Shall Be Released”. It’s a set no Jam Cruiser will surely ever forget.Southern Avenue Some Serious Guests In The Spinnaker LoungeAfter showing Jam Cruise what they could do on day two, the Memphis-based powerhouse soul-rock quintet recruited a slew of high-powered guests for their second and final set in the Spinnaker Lounge. The set saw Southern Avenue power through original numbers and crowd-pleasing covers with help from The U.N.’s Arno Bakker, Deshawn “D-Vibes” Alexander (The Cleaners, The Marcus King Band), Joe Marcinek, Roosevelt Collier, Galactic’s Shamarr Allen, and more. George Porter Jr. joined the fray to help hold down the low end on Stevie Wonder‘s “Superstition”, featuring an enthusiastically received “We Want The Funk” jam led by guitarist Ori Naftaly. Nikki Glaspie also hopped in for some dueling drums with Tikyra Jackson, who has previously noted Glaspie as one of her drumming inspirations. All told, it was a truly special set for the talented up-and-comers.Turkuaz Brings The Party To The Pool Deck, Featuring Members Of TurkuazEven though they played their first of two Jam Cruise sets back on night one, the name “Turkuaz” was on the lips of every artist and cruiser alike throughout the journey, as various members of the band lent their talents to seemingly every act on the schedule. By the time they took the stage for their Sunday evening Pool Deck set, seeing Turkuaz in their usual colors with their “home team” band was a refreshing return to form. Frontman Dave Brandwein even prompted a few laughs in commenting on the Turkuaz boat takeover, expressing his gratitude toward the musicians onstage: “We’ve got the Turkuaz Horns sitting in with us,” he joked. “We’re so grateful to have them. We weren’t sure if they’d be available, but…” Of course, it wouldn’t be a true Jam Cruise blowout without some noteworthy sit-ins, which Turkuaz delivered in kind with guest spots from Joey Porter (The Motet), Roosevelt Collier, and Brandon “Taz” Niederauer.Spafford Howls At The (Super Blood Wolf) Moon On The Pool DeckSpafford had the honor of closing down the Pool Deck on the final day, a slot with the added bonus of occurring in the open air with the Super Blood Jam Wolf Eclipse Party Moon (or whatever) going on directly overhead. The audience howled appropriately as the band took the stage in matching blue Jam Cruise windbreakers and visors and proceeded to make their improvisational intentions known with an adventurous reading of go-to cover “Mad World”. Next, Spafford welcomed young guitar prodigy Brandon “Taz” Niederauer to join in on “America”, pushing him to go further “out there” than his typically ripping though structurally boxed-in guest solo segments normally allow.After moving through “The Reprise” and “Backdoor Funk” under the glow of the moon, Spafford launched into a unique and exploratory rendition of The Grateful Dead‘s “Eyes of the World”, their first rendition of the song in more than three years. “All In” and “Minds Unchained” followed before the band welcomed out a guest horn section featuring members of The U.N., KDTU, and more for a set-closing cover of Van Morrison‘s “Cleaning Windows”.Isaac Teel & Company Tear Down The Jam RoomThe Jam Room was a nightly highlight on Jam Cruise 17 (surprise, surprise), but TAUK’s Isaac Teel raised the bar and then ripped it down with his incredible Jam Room session late Sunday night. The multitalented drummer/vocalist led a rotating band comprised of his TAUK, members of The Motet, Turkuaz, The U.N., The Nth Power, and more, propelled by the obscenely talented rhythmic one-two punch of himself and Star Kitchen drummer Marlon Lewis. The session also saw Teel welcome Kamasi Washington, Deshawn Alexander, Alison Shearer and more for soul-infused covers of pop and R&B favorites like Destiny’s Child‘s “Jumpin’, Jumpin’”, Justin Timberlake‘s “Señorita”, Thundercat‘s “Them Changes”, and more. Even after 6 days of fantastic performances, Isaac Teel’s Jam Room—the last “band” on the Jam Cruise schedule—managed to leave jaws on the floor.That’s a wrap on Jam Cruise 17. Thanks to the team at Cloud 9, to all the amazing performers and, of course, to the wonderful Jam Cruise crowd for creating an unforgettable weekend. Stay tuned for more post-event coverage and artist interviews from aboard this year’s Jam Cruise. See you next year!
Experimental electronic/hip-hop producer Flying Lotus has shared the latest single from his forthcoming album. The new track, “More”, prominently features fellow California native Anderson .Paak. The new track is set to be featured on Flying Lotus’ upcoming album, Flamagra, due out on May 24th via Warp.The new collaboration has been eagerly awaited by fans since the album’s sprawling tracklisting was revealed along with its initial announcement. Flamagra will also feature guest spots from George Clinton, David Lynch, Solange, Tierra Whack, Thundercat, Little Dragon, Toro Y Moi, Shabazz Places, and Denzel Curry.Related: Flying Lotus Releases “Spontaneous”, “Takashi” Off Forthcoming ‘Flamagra’ LP [Listen]The cosmic jazz of “More” begins with a roughly minute-long, snare-heavy, .Paak-led intro. From there, it shifts into a more typical hip-hop sound for the remainder of the track. As it goes on, more and more layers of spacey flourishes, synthed-out bass, and dreamy backup vocals are added to the mix. The result is a track that’s equal parts hip-hop, soul, jazz, and R&B, with a splash of Flying Lotus’ trademark surreal sonics. The track also features bass work from Thundercat and backing vocals by Georgia Anne Muldrow.“More” showcases a complimentary mix of Anderson .Paak and Flying Lotus’ respective styles. It wouldn’t have sounded too far out of place on .Paak’s soulful new solo LP, Ventura, yet the otherworldly quality of the beat is classic FlyLo through and through. Give it a spin below:Flying Lotus ft. Anderson .Paak – “More”[Video: Flying Lotus]You can pre-order Flamagra today via Flying Lotus’ website.Flying Lotus – Flamagra – Tracklisting01 Heroes02 Post Requisite03 Heroes in a Half Shell04 More [ft. Anderson .Paak]05 Capillaries06 Burning Down the House [ft. George Clinton]07 Spontaneous [ft. Little Dragon]08 Takashi09 Pilgrim Side Eye10 All Spies11 Yellow Belly [ft. Tierra Whack]12 Black Balloons Reprise [ft. Denzel Curry]13 Fire Is Coming [ft. David Lynch]14 Inside Your Home15 Actually Virtual [ft. Shabazz Palaces]16 Andromeda17 Remind U18 Say Something19 Debbie Is Depressed20 Find Your Own Way Home21 The Climb [ft. Thundercat]22 Pygmy23 9 Carrots [ft. Toro Y Moi]24 FF425 Land Of Honey [ft. Solange]26 Thank U Malcolm27 Hot Oct.View Tracklisting
The Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy, located at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, is pleased to announce its spring fellows.“We start the spring semester with, as usual, a very strong group of fellows, ranging from experienced journalists — foreign and domestic — to a distinguished journalism educator,” said Alex S. Jones, director of the Shorenstein Center.Five Shorenstein fellows will spend the semester researching and writing a paper, and interacting with students and members of the Harvard community.
John McDonough, director of the Center for Public Health Leadership, discusses his recent op-ed in the The Baltimore Sun that said repealing last year’s health care reform law would damage the potential to address the longstanding racial and ethnic health inequalities in the U.S.