Each month guitar picker and Webmaster BOB HOWE covers a different topic, as well as bringing you the latest Country Music happenings on the Internet. You can surf your way from month to month, or why not bookmark the main index for the complete contents!
By Bob Howe © 1998
"Pickers of the World, Unite!"The World Wide Web is a wondrous place for musicians and music fans. Almost every instrument manufacturer and music magazine has their own Web site, and the number of sites devoted to individual players and bands grows steadily every day. Country guitar and bass players could start by checking out some home-grown axes made with handcrafted care by Allan Tomkins. With over 30 years of experience playing country music Tomkins Guitars know a thing or two about a string or two! For excellence in acoustic guitars, why not peruse the range on offer at Maton guitars. At the Experience Music Project site you can view a selection of vintage American guitars and hear the sounds they make by running your mouse-pointer across their strings! Over at Fender you can type in the serial number of your Fender guitar and find out what year it was made. The long running magazine Guitar Player is an excellent place to read up on the latest guitar trends, while OLGA, the "On-Line Guitar Archives" provide a bottomless source of links and information for pickers of all levels. "Tip of the Month" - the TAB here doesn't take bets! Our favourite guitar hero Albert Lee is the subject a very comprehensive site based in Ireland, and locally, guitar ace Michael Fix's site has grown and now includes details of his very popular "No Secrets" video. Several sites pay homage to the manual dexterity and musical genius of Emmanuel Brothers, including The Official Tommy Emmanuel Web Site and Tommy Emmanuel and Phil Emmanuel - The Unofficial Pages.
Keyboard sites abound on the Internet. Keyboardists have always been at the cutting edge of the computer/music interface. Synthesizers and music software can be easily found. Cowboys in Cybersp@ce recommends the wonderfully simple yet surprisingly powerful Band-in-a-Box program from PG Music, and for more flexible sequencing and score-based editing, don't overlook the excellent Music Master software from the Australian programmers at Datasonics. They produce a world-class product from their base in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales. At Guitar Player's sister publication Keyboard, many piano hints can be found, including a Country Master-Class.
Many and varied are the instruments and styles of music you can find on the 'Net. Local stringed instrument aficionado Alan Wood pointed us to the Bernunzio Vintage Instruments site where all manner of exotic banjos and such are on offer. Harmonica enthusiasts can find a collection of interesting links on my own Harp page, including BassHarp's HarpBase. Pedal Steel fans can visit our old friend DeWitt Scott at the Scotty's Music site, home of the International Steel Guitar Convention. Check out the Picture Quiz page and see how many Australian faces you can recognise (send me your answer in an E-mail - no prize!). Last but not least, drummers will find the Drums and Percussion Page a good launching pad for their journey.
Before we close for this month, a quick round-up of new and interesting sites. Hot on the heels of her Tamworth appearances, Queensland singer Keri McInerney has a page promoting her debut CD "Fool's Game" that features a Who's Who of Australian pickers such as Michel Rose, Michael Vidale, Rod Coe, Mark Marriott, and producer Mike Kerin. Rebecca Gracie's page dedicated to The Wheel is now on-line and features some photo's of the boys pickin' and grinnin'. Newcomer, singer-songwriter Mark Anthony Abbott , has a site that promotes him as Australia's answer to storyteller Tom T. Hall. He also has a site under construction called Monk Music, which is for Independent Country Music Singer Songwriters to advertise their products. In South Australia John Callaghan is "Spreading the Word of God Through Music", while in Melbourne "Quiet Girl With A Credit Card", Lisa Miller is featured at the W. Minc site. A familiar voiced boomed out of our speakers recently. "Hello, I'm Johnny Cash, and welcome to Johnny Cash dot Com." The opening titles relay a message of thanks from Johnny to all his fans for all their prayers and concern during his illness. One of his old duet partners Bob Dylan has an official site now open that is a beacon of excellence in the normally drab world of corporate Web sites. View video clips, listen to audio tracks, and search by word, phrase or title, a huge database that contains all of his song lyrics. The times certainly are a-changin'.
If you want to share the location of an interesting site you’ve seen or request a topic for discussion in future columns, why not E-mail me. Don't forget to listen out for Cowboys in Cybersp@ce each month on the radio waves with Belinda Miller of Murri Country , 4AAA-FM (98.9 in Brisbane). Until next month, happy surfing.
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