There is so much to say and tell about Arlen Roth as a musician and as a man, it would be impossible to write it in one short Bio. (He is, however, currently working on a real autobiography of his life!)
This guitar legend is considered one of the most influential guitarists of all time, Arlen has toured the world with countless acts and recording with them as well. This includes artists such as Simon and Garfunkel, Bob Dylan, John Prine, Phoebe Snow, Levon Helm, Ry Cooder, John Sebastian, Janis Ian, Eric Andersen, The Bee Gees and so many more. His teaching and creation of Hot Licks Video pioneered music and guitar education all over the world, and his videos have sold in excess of 2.5 million copies. His current online lessons and blogs for Gibson.com have over 1 million followers! Arlen was also the man behind the legendary Blues film, Crossroads, creating the guitar parts, directing the guitar scenes, and working alongside Ry Cooder and Ralph Macchio for seven months in Mississippi and in L.A. He was voted in the Top 50 Acoustic Guitarists of All-Time by Gibson.com, and in the Top 100 Most Influential Guitarists of All-Time by Vintage Guitar Magazine. He has 8 best-selling books to his credit, and his book Hot Guitar, is a compilation of 10 years of his wildly popular column for Guitar Player Magazine of the same name. From 2007 to 2012, Arlen was also the creator of over 1000 online lessons and blogs for Gibson Guitars.
Born in the Bronx, NY, Arlen quickly got turned on to the guitar at the age of 9, and was deeply encouraged by his father, New Yorker Magazine cartoonist, Al Ross, who saw that Arlen was learning very quickly by ear. He began to take classical guitar lessons in Greenwich Village, but was told to leave after he bought an electric guitar! From that point on, he simply learned in real life, in front of audiences, in studios and simply by playing and teaching. In 1970, his band Steel, from White Lake, NY performed for 8 hours at the 1st Anniversary Woodstock Reunion Concert at Yasgur’s Farm in Bethel, NY, and soon after, he moved to the actual town of Woodstock, NY, where he quickly jump-started his career. His 1st published book was Slide Guitar, on Oak Publications when he was only 21 years old, and has since published numerous well-known books such as How to Play Blues Guitar, Nashville Guitar, Arlen Roth’s Complete Electric Guitar, Arlen Roth’s Complete Acoustic Guitar, Rock Guitar for Future Stars, Heavy Metal Guitar, Hot Guitar and Masters of the Telecaster.
Photo Cred: Tom Gage
Photo Cred: Tom Gage
His first album Guitarist, won the Montreaux Critics Award for Best Instrumental Album of the year in 1978, and his 12th album, All Tricked Out! Garnered 4 Grammy Nominations. His prowess on the Telecaster has earned him the nickname “Master of The Telecaster” and also a master of Slide Guitar, he released a Slide Guitar Summit album featuring duets with many slide guitar greats such as Johnny Winter (Johnny’s last recording), Sonny Landreth, Cindy Cashdollar, Greg Martin, Lee Roy Parnell, Jimmy Vivino, David Lindley, Rick Vito, Jack Pearson and others! This album is similar to his classic and legendary album Toolin’ Around (1993) which featured duets with greats such as Danny Gatton, Duane Eddy, Brian Setzer, Duke Robillard, Albert Lee, Sam Bush Bill Lloyd and Jerry Douglas, and which also was a documentary. He followed up that album with Toolin’ around Woodstock with LEVON HELM, with special guests Sonny Landreth, Amy Helm, Lexie Roth and Bill Kirchen.
Arlen Roth with Steve Cropper
Arlen Roth with Steve Cropper
His latest album, for 2017 is TELEMASTERS, an album mostly recorded in Nashville, featuring Arlen in duets with other Telecaster Masters such as BRAD PAISLEY, VINCE GILL, STEVE CROPPER, STEVE WARINER, JOE BONAMASSA, BRENT MASON, ALBERT LEE, JOHNNY HILAND, JERRY DONAHUE, WILL RAY, REDD VOLKAERT, BILL KIRCHEN and JACK PEARSON. This album, as well as the Slide Summit are both Produced by the Grammy-award winning Tom Hambridge, who is also on the drums.
Due to be released in 2018 is a duet album Arlen is doing with the legendary JOHN SEBASTIAN, in tribute to John’s music, lead guitarist Zal Yanovsky, and to the LOVIN’ SPOONFUL who were a huge influence on Arlen when he was growing up as a guitarist! This album is part of an ongoing series of “tribute” albums he has done, including SIMON & GARFUNKEL, BOB DYLAN and The ROLLING STONES.
His current band features Eddie Denise on Bass, Lee Falco and Peter O’Brien on drums and Chris Foley on 2nd guitar. His daughter Lexie Roth also sings with the band, and she has become a wonderful recording artist, singer and songwriter in her own right, with many great credits to her name, such as singing “Vaya Con Dios” on the new Les Paul Tribute album and Documentary, plus having her song featured in the latest Karen Black film, “Maria my Love.” She also sang the blues classic “Night Life” on the album with Levon Helm, and has released a third album and 5 new videos of all-new material.
Arlen continues to record and tour all over the world, getting sell-out crowds and standing ovations wherever he appears!! Arlen is also the founder and CEO of the new International Guitar Hall of Fame and Museum, which has been a long-time dream of his that he hopes one day to become a reality!
Jedediah Parish has been the singer, organist and songwriter for The Gravel Pit from 1987 to the present. The Pit released five full-length albums including two produced by Mike Denneen (Fountains of Wayne, Aimee Mann) and one recorded in Memphis by Jim Dickinson (Big Star, Replacements, Scruffy the Cat), and shared stages with Cheap Trick, Guided by Voices, Morphine and Nada Surf. Their latest was Serpent Umbrella, released in 2015. He’s released three albums as a solo artist as well as performing & recording with rockers like Mike Viola, Miracle Legion, The Figgs, They Might Be Giants & electronic artist Pretty Lights. He’s also been part of “Essential New York” fixture Losers Lounge since 2002, sang at Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre and performed with the cabaret group Citizens Band, including a slot opening for White Stripes. He’s currently working on an album to be released on his 50th birthday in Spring of 2019.