Welcome to the home of Mojo’s Army music, where heavy grooves rule. Here you’ll find my music, my blog of music & gear recommendations, plus a chance to sign up to receive some freebies and advance listens of new releases. Thanks for visiting!

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Mojo’s Pick of the Week – Creative Pep Talk Podcast

Andy PizzaI’m just blown away by this guy and his podcast. Andy J Miller, aka Andy J Pizza, a silly name for a amazingly insightful creative, has been running his Creative Pep Talk podcast for 5 years now. I found out about it through the also brilliant Six Figure Home Studio podcast, and between the two I’ve had my mind blown and direction corrected more times than I can count in the short time I’ve been listening.

Andy wears his soul on the outside, his heart on his sleeve, and he simply bleeds his creative insightful brain raw into the microphone. He’s a master of metaphors, and somehow twists verbal images into profound truths with disarming regularity. I’ve literally gasped at some of his insights. He’s a man capable of spinning a thought thread that starts with acting and illustrating being similar, moving through bands creating albums for the right or wrong reasons, and ends up with altering Indian food recipes to please a friend in the right way, that lands smoothly with the feeling of a blinding light bulb going off.

The podcast started out – in theory anyway – as a touchstone for fellow illustrators, but quickly became what it really was all along, a creative career cultivation podcast that applies to musicians, actors, photographers, and really anyone who struggles with the existential and actual jungle of pursuing a creative career. What the Six Figure Home Studio podcast is to the business side of a creative career, the Creative Pep Talk podcast is to the creative side. And like the 6FHS podcast, you don’t need to be any particular type of creative to benefit from the wisdom falling off the tree like ripe fruit.

Start right here with this recent episode, man, he cuts right to the bone of what it’s like to struggle as a creative and then, well, pep talks you into feeling great about it all!

Creative Pep Talk on the web

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Mojo’s Pick of the Week – Judas Priest

Firepower Tour LogoThe Metal Gods are back! The almighty Judas Priest is out on tour to promote their 18th studio album “Firepower”, easily their best since 1990’s classic “Painkiller”. I had the pleasure of seeing them this week in San Francisco with the equally venerable and hard rocking Uriah Heep.

The opening song “Necromancer” was one of only a few select cuts from Firepower, as the rest of the set drew from the band’s 50 year history and included deep cuts like Starbreaker, The Sentinel, Tyrant, and the classic Victim of Changes. Yes, the Metal God can still hit those high notes!

The faces may not be the same but the Priest still rocks hard and rides free. Founding member K. K. Downing retired from the band in 2011, replaced by Richie Faulkner who fills the role with new energy. Glenn Tipton announced his retirement from touring in 2018 due to development of Parkinson’s Disease, with guitarist/producer Andy Sneap rocking that studded leather jacket in his place. Drummer Scott Travis (ex-Racer X) has been around since Painkiller and brings the heavy. Only bassist Ian Hill and frontman Rob Halford remain of the original lineup, but this is still a show not to be missed.

Halford still hits the high notes and the low growls, and turned the set into a metal fashion show with his jacket changes for literally every song. Openers Uriah Heep, on the verge of their own 50th anniversary, played a retrospective set of their own Deep-Purple-ish proto metal with great energy and good vibes.

Rumor has it that the Priest is going to be working on another studio album, if it’s anything like Firepower it should be great!

Catch Judas Priest on the Firepower tour! More info at http://www.judaspriest.com

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Mojo’s Pick of the Week – String Butler

String ButlerString Butler is a small but mighty device whose sole purpose is to correct the angles of your guitar strings as they pass through the nut. This isn’t an issue on certain models of guitars – most Fenders, for instance, where the string passes straight through to the machine head. But on Gibson Les Paul type headstocks, the center strings are at a steep angle to the nut, causing binding which in turn causes tuning issues. Ever wonder why you can’t get that G string to stay in tune on your LP? It’s the fact that it’s unwound and the angle is steep heading to the tuner. String Butler corrects this issue in a very clever way. No more G string binding (ouch)!

It’s one of those products that you can’t necessarily tell right away how much impact it’s having. But now that I’ve had it for a few months, I can say It’s definitely one of those products I wish I’d known about sooner!

String Butler LP

I was initially surprised at the size of the device for the $, but I can attest that it’s very well made, light enough to be unobtrusive, and well designed enough that you’ll want one on every LP type headstock in your arsenal. Especially if you do a lot of high string bends.

String butler is designed and assembled in Germany, and I got mine on Amazon for about $47. It comes in several color options to make it easy to match your guitar. If you have an LP type guitar and have either center string binding or tuning issues, check this little guy out. Very clever solution to a very common problem.

String Butler
Mfr Dietrich Parts
Approx $47 US at Amazon

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