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Celebrating 100 Years Of Les Paul And The Births Of Other Guitar Pioneers

Monday, June 1: In an unlikely career move David Bowie formed the band Tin Machine in 1988 with the rhythm section of Hunt (drums) and Tony (bass) Sales and guitarist Reeve Gabrels. Bowie had already worked with the Sales brothers in Iggy Pop’s band and was forming a strong friendship with Gabrels. The band recorded two studio albums and issued one live recording during its short lifetime (1988-1992) and was an especially divisive moment in Bowie’s career. We’ll hear selections from Tin Machine’s self-titled debut album as well as from Iggy Pop’s 1977 release, Lust For Life, featuring Bowie and the Sales brothers. 

Tuesday, June 2: In 1972 the British progressive rock band Yes was at a commercial height. The band had released a series of increasingly adventurous albums, culminating in Close To The Edge. Just as the band was to embark on a tour in support of the record, drummer Bill Bruford left the band to join King Crimson. The group quickly found Alan White, whose credits included sessions with John Lennon and went about its North American tour. A new massive boxed set chronicles seven shows from that tour—in October and November 1972. Called Progeny, the release is considered by some fans to be the Holy Grail of live Yes recordings. We’ll hear selections from it as well as from the 1982 self-titled debut by the band Asia which featured Yes guitarist Steve Howe as well as former members of Emerson, Lake and Palmer, King Crimson and UK.

Wednesday, June 3: Although he was preparing to issue a new studio album in 2014 guitarist Jeff Beck’s plans were temporarily placed on hold and instead the guitar legend has issued an album that finds him in the place he seems to do his best, the stage. Titled Live + the record does feature two new studio compositions as well as some unexpected gems. We’ll hear from that record as well as from Only Sky the latest recording by acclaimed experimental guitarist David Torn.

Thursday, June 4: We celebrate the 59th birthday of June featured artist Reeves Gabrels with selections from his work as a solo artist, with the bands Tin Machine, The Cure, and the Rolling Stones and in collaboration with David Bowie.

Friday, June 5: It’s our New Month, New Music feature with selections from the latest by Paul Weller, Andre LaFosse, Jeff Beck, Joe Satriani and Faith No More.

Saturday, June 6: We celebrate the 55th birthday of guitarist Steve Vai. Vai, who had his greatest visibility in the 1980s as guitarist for David Lee Roth and, later, Whitesnake, joined Frank Zappa’s band when he was barely into his twenties. We’ll hear selections from throughout Vai’s career and his work as sideman on a variety of projects.

Monday, June 8: Released in 1975, roughly one year ahead of the British punk explosion, Down By The Jetty by Dr. Feelgood was as much a giant step forward—away from the extended solos and classical motifs of progressive rock—as it was a magnificent step backward—to the simplicity of ‘50s and ‘60s R&B and rock ‘n’ roll. We’ll hear selections from that classic album as well as music from Minnesota musician Slim Dunlap’s 1996 album Times Like This and from the Kansas band The Del-Rays.

Tuesday, June 9: It’s our centennial celebration of Les Paul’s birth. The Wisconsin-born musician was a pioneer in the world of electric guitar and studio recording as well as being a gifted songwriter and performer. We’ll hear selections from throughout his career on this episode of the show as well as music from some of the many guitarists influenced by his work.

Wednesday, June 10: Kansas-based guitarist David Lord has performed in a number of different musical settings over the years, from the post rock of Solagget to his inventive guitar musings under the name Francis Moss. We’ll hear selections from throughout his decade-plus recording career on the episode of the show, as well as from experimental guitarist Andre LaFosse.