Essentially a one man band, Test Tube Rhino is the brainchild of guitarist Joe Pinnavaia. The first self-titled album from Test Tube Rhino is a real curious affair. All instrumental, the sound is a pure sonic guitar feast in the timeless musical spirit of Robert Fripp and even Norwegian guitar god Terje Rypdal but Pinnavaia often replaces the shock and awe of those masters with some subtle acoustic effects and assorted guitar atmospherics that balance out the electric guitar onslaught. Very uniquely packaged, the silver disc CD features modern and cutting edge guitar sounds while echoing some familiar progressive rock edges. The upstate NY-based Pinnavaia cites influences from Angus Young and Hendrix to shredders like Greg Howe and Van Halen while also paying respects to guitar icons like Allan Holdsworth and Eric Johnson. Always tasteful, yet always rocking on the cutting edge, Test Tube Rhino are clearly on the path to bigger and better things. Let’s hope Pinnavaia gets to further realize his guitar mission. www.myspace.com/TestTubeRhino

Guitars Center Stage - Guitarists making waves in the music world, their new recordings and gear!

Musical Background

I've been playing for almost 25 years. I started taking private lessons when I was 13 years old learning solos from my favorites like Eddie Van Halen, Gary Moore and Joe Satriani to name a few. I was a slow learner with music theory but I graduated from Villa Maria College where I studied theory with Jim Kurzdofer (Spyro Gyra) and then went to the University at Buffalo and studied under Joanne Castellani from the Castellani-Andriaccio Duo. She was tremendous in opening my eyes to the way that I practiced and performed. Basically I listen to everything from Bach to Meshuggah!

New CD

The CD InVitro started as an experiment in just getting used to recording in the digital world. With other groups I was in we always went to a studio to record and I wanted to do it myself to see what the possibilities could be. InVitro was recorded in various pieces of time between 2004 to 2007 in my apartment in downtown Buffalo, NY. Basically I used a Pro Tools LE M-Box (the original), Reason software to make up some different layered loops, a V-Amp which is a digital amp modeler, some different pedals such a Digitech Whammy, Cry Baby Wah, a Marshall VST combo that I wound up selling - but I got a killer tone on the outro solo on "High." As well as some other assorted pedals delays and distortions. I have some Keeley moded pedals as well. Basically what I like to do is get a loop up that I find interesting and start improvising over it. When I get on to an idea that I like I record just that idea. Then I might add some other parts over just that part and then move on doing the same thing. It's inspiration that drives these tunes. However I make no apologies in the fact that I focused only on playing and not song-writing. I wanted to be selfish in recording this disc. For future projects I plan on developing more interesting compositions.

Favorite Guitars

I used several different guitars on this disc. I tried to pull as many different tones as I could so here's the list: Anderson Guitarworks Droptop 7 string, Schecter 007 Seven String (my fave), G&L ASAT (Tele) and Legacy (Strat guitar synth enabled), Fender Strat 50's reissue, Brune hand made classical. For amps live I use a Mesa/Boogie Mark IV and a FJA moded Laney GH 100L head. I used mainly models of amps on the CD and the only amp I used was the Marshall VST combo. Generally for guitars the lower the action the better. I use mainly 10 gauge strings from D'Addario and Ernie Ball 7 string sets. I prefer mainly the mahogany wood guitars because of the weight factor and they seem to have a the best overall sound characteristics. I just picked up an SG which I love. For pedals I use a Tube screamer, BOSS BD-1, DS-1 Distortion, MXR Phase 100, Digital Delay from BOSS, Digitech Whammy Pedal, Digitech Bass Chorus, BOSS Flange and Tremolo. My pedal-board changes from week to week.

Musical Influences

Angus Young, Jimi Hendrix, Gary Moore, Tony Iommi, George Lynch, Eddie Van Halen, Allan Holdsworth, Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Buckethead, Eric Johnson, Paul Gilbert, Shawn Lane, Steve Morse, Greg Howe, Stevie Stevens, Mick Mars, Alex Skolnick, Pat Martino, Mike Stern, Larry Carlton, Randy Rhoads, Dimebag Darrell (RIP), Scott Henderson, Jeff Beck, Robin Trower, Ty Tabor, John Petrucci, Michael Brecker, Oscar Peterson, Sonny Rollins, Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, Samuel Barber, Anton Bruckner, Beethoven, Bach, Mozart, Chopin, Liszt, Haydn. Most influential albums: Van Halen 1, Van Halen - Fair Warning, AC/DC - Back In Black, Michael Brecker - Now You See it... Now You Don't, Joe Satriani Surfing With The Alien and Engines of Creation, Jeff Beck - Wired, JEFF, Who Else?, You Had It Coming, Buckethead Bucketheadland Vol 2. and all of anything that Allan Holdsworth has ever put out there. There are many more of course but these are the first to pop into my head.

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