I am still here, very much so!

Its been a long time since I last updated this website news section, I have been so busy recently that its been hard to find time to do it myself! I am here now however and I shall give you a summary of what I have been up to and what I have planned.

First of all what I have been up to…

Mask of Judas  are currently wrapping up the debut album, its taken some time however I really do believe that the wait has been well worth it. Some of these songs may be almost 4/5 years old and feel a lot like old friends to me however Jacob Hansen is currently in the process of mixing and mastering them to his incredibly high standard. I am so happy with how things are sounding and I can’t wait to unleash this album to you. The whole band has done an astounding job of bringing these songs into the fourth dimension! Jof’s drums are linking all the divides with crazy poly-rhythms and intense grooves. Jo’s vocal work is incredible from her signature pitched screams to low guttural growls she has as also contributed LOTS of amazing melodic and soulful vocal hooks that complete the songs. George is pummeling away on bass, I have no idea how he does what he does on that 6 string bass, but its amazing. And of course Reece Fullwood has contributed two songs to the album and some epic solo work! Once we have some extra stuff done (Artwork, PR and Tour Plans) I will be able to impart some more information. One thing I can say however is there may be an exclusive play through of one of the tracks coming soon to Focusrite Academy. I recently headed up to their HQ to film some educational clips on extended range songwriting. Watch this space!

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In other news I have just finished a 6 month contract with an amazing show band at Butlins. We played 5/6 shows a week and performed from an absolutely huge stage every night to big audiences. I was able to play everything from Rock, Pop, RnB, Soul and Funk. This band was named ‘The Southcoast Showband’ for the Butlins contract, however we are continuing as a high quality professional function act in the UK. The band features some incredible musicians, featuring Mitch Glover on Drums, Ash Stork/Samer Shawawi sharing bass duties and Rachel Hawker and Alex Turney on dual vocal duties, keys and extra guitars. They have all inspired me to push my own musicianship to the next level and hopefully with more gigs, far beyond! I have never met such hardworking musicians before, I really enjoy playing with these people! Here is a photo of me making a strange face, credit to Danny Inwood Photography (he was on his holidays at Butlins and took this snap!)

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You may notice I am playing a lovely surf green s-type guitar, this guitar is hand built by a local guitar builder under the name of ‘Eternal Guitars’. They have made guitars for many amazing session musicians and artists. Jess Lewis has had a signature model in the past and even Guthrie Govan has used some of these guitars on his JamTrackCentral releases. Dave at Eternal kindly spent time working and building  a custom guitar for me, this is my signature guitar ‘Arista’…more information coming soon…all I can say is it plays amazingly and of course looks incredible. Eternal Guitars really make some magical instruments.

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Talking of Guthrie Govan, I managed to meet him at a recent guitar masterclass he did in Horsham last month. I think this photo will put a lot of LickLibrary YouTube comments about me ‘looking like Guthrie’ to rest… He played amazing of course, one day I would love to jam with him…

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I had the absolute pleasure of jamming with and interviewing British Blues Legend Robin Trower for Guitar Interactive Magazine a few months back. His tone was stunning and he was kind enough to impart some very wise words of wisdom. You can check it out in the back issues of the free online guitar magazine ‘Guitar Interactive’.

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And on another note, I saw Paul Gilbert in Brighton recently, he played an amazing show for his 50th Birthday. I managed to find a spot right at the front, directly in front of his 4×12 speaker…it was only a few moments before he came on that I realised I had forgotten a very important accessory that all musicians should carry with them..my ear plugs…it was LOUD and my ears are still ringing (Look after your ears seriously) but I managed to fully experience all the notes and aggression that Paul plays with, it was amazing.  A friend and follower of mine attended a Paul Gilbert VIP lesson. He kindly printed a photo of me when I met Paul last year at a meet and greet to have signed it for me by PG. Apparently when my friend asked Paul ‘ If he could sign it to his friend Sam’ Paul looked at the picture and replied saying ‘Ah Sam Bell right? Terrific guitarist’. It feels surreal. Thank you friend who did this, you know who you are! I’m not going to look too much into this but I am thankful it happened!

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There are probably some other things I have forgotten to mention…I have lots of projects on the go at the moment, I have already mentioned Mask of Judas of course. The Session/Function work makes me very happy and of course I am working away for Guitar Interactive Magazine, Lick Library and Premier Guitar magazine regularly…I have a new column for Guitar Interactive coming soon on Modern Advanced Guitar Technique and there will be some new DVD’s coming out next year…I did manage whilst being busy with all the rest to release a new Jacketrock tune, you can watch a play through here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4DCzorgVyQU
On top of this I am actually taking Nick Johnstons advice from the last time I met him to ‘get out there and release an instrumental album’ very seriously…and I am working on something…not sure whats going to happen with it or what direction its going, but I am enjoying the process so far!

One last thing I should mention is that I have started teaching at a local music school in Chichester by the name of Chichester Music Academy. I currently have some slots available there so get in touch with them for more information (Click the picture below!) I already have some fantastic students who are thoroughly enjoying the learning experience.

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Regarding my regular postings you can get all the updates on my Instagram (click picture below), so give me a follow for exclusive up to date clips and news 🙂

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