Moods & Modes


Best Of Moods & Modes: Guitar Rescue

Ep. 1

While Alex is out on the road with Testament and the Bay Strikes Back Tour, we thought we’d take you on a journey back to the early days of Moods & Modes. This week, we begin with the vey first episode, which was released in July 2020.

Alex visits Matt Umanov of Matt Umanov Guitars, a legendary guitar shop in New York City. Matt is a guitar dealer and repairman who’s been a fixture in Greenwich Village since the late 1960s and whose regular clients include the likes of Eric Clapton and Pat Metheny. Matt shares some great stories about some of his most notable customers, including an unlikely connection between Pat Metheny and J. Geils, and the two discuss the nightmare repair job that has brought Alex to the shop.

Stay tuned for upcoming Best Of episodes, including Carnatic Crash Course with guest Guitar Prasanna (5/17), and a tribute to Peter Green (of Fleetwood Mac) Part 1 (5/24) and Part 2 (5/31).

More Episodes


The Vault of Les Paul

Ep. 30
Les Paul was an inventor, an award-winning musician, an innovator and a creative genius. In this episode, Alex pays tribute by taking us on a journey through the life of Les Paul - his music, his inventions, and the recent recovery of one of his missing Gibson Les Paul prototypes.Alex visits Mahwah, NJ with Benny Goodman, host of The Neurotic Guitarist, and musician Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal, where they meet Jim Wysocki, mayor of Mahwah and longtime friend of Les Paul. Jim - a former police officer who befriended Paul in the early 80s - invites the group into his home, containing a vault of items that Les left behind, including instruments, journals, hand-wound pickups, memorabilia and more. The group also visits theLes Paul exhibit at the Mahwah Museum, home to select vintage guitars, artifacts and musical relics of Les’s. Mayor Jim shares incrediblestories about his time with Les Paul and helps identify Les’s long lost G5 prototype. Alex and Ron jam on Les’s personal guitars in the museum, some of which are available for visitors to play.Les Paul was best known as a skilled guitarist, and as one of the most important figures in the development of modern electric instruments and recording techniques. He was a pioneer in the development of the solid-body electric guitar (the Gibson Les Paul, which he helped design, is one of the most famous and enduring models), multitrack recording, and various reverb and echo effects.You can also see a video of their visit on The Neurotic Guitarist.Moods & Modes is presented byOsiris Media. Hosted and Produced by Alex Skolnick. Osiris Production by Kirsten Cluthe and Matt Dwyer. Editing and mixing by Matt Dwyer. Music by Alex Skolnick. Artwork by Mark Dowd.

Best of Moods & Modes: Peter Green, Part 2

Ep. 4
At the tail end of the 60s, an unlikely meeting took place in Chicago between some prominent traditional blues artists and a chart-topping rock band from the UK. The results would reverberate for decades to come. In this episode, you’ll hear a discussion on the importance of this session along with further insights into the impact of the late, great Peter Green with guests Dave Rubin (author of Guitar Method) and Andy Aledort (Guitar Magazine).Peter Green was a British blues rock guitarist and composer. As the founder ofFleetwood Mac, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998. Green founded Fleetwood Mac in 1967 after a stint in John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers and quickly established the new band as a popular live act in addition to a successful recording act, before departing in 1970. Green’s songs, such as “Albatross”, “Black Magic Woman”, “Oh Well”, “The Green Manalishi (With the Two Prong Crown)” and “Man of the World”, appeared on singles charts, and have been adapted by a variety of musicians. Green was a major figure in the “second great epoch” of the British blues movement. Eric Clapton praised his guitar playing, and B.B. King commented, “He has the sweetest tone I ever heard; he was the only one who gave me the cold sweats.” His trademark sound included string bending, vibrato, and economy of style.In 2015, Rolling Stone ranked him at number 58 in its list of the “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time”.Moods & Modes is presented byOsiris Media. Hosted and Produced by Alex Skolnick. Osiris Production by Kirsten Cluthe and Matt Dwyer. Editing and mixing by Matt Dwyer. Music by Alex Skolnick. Artwork by Mark Dowd.