The debut album (2022): Shiny Side Up

"Instrumental Guitar Rock with a 1970's Vibe"

When describing the band, Ellett, says "I formed this group because of my great love for guitars and the joy I get from playing guitar. I wanted to focus on the style that was popular back in my teenage years: the 1970's. I wanted to spend more time writing melodies and stretching out as a player, pushing myself to improve as a composer and producer, trying my hardest to capture the best tones possible. And luckily, I'm working with Craig Kahn and Mark Cook, who are a great fit for this group. They are super talented, highly motivated, and really easy to work with. Craig is a really talented and aggressive drummer, and Mark is a amazingly creative bass player. Making this album with them has been really fun!"

Located high in the mountains of Topanga, California, this new group is focused on creating instrumental hard-rocking guitar music.  Utilizing a collection of 10 electric guitars and 5 vintage tube amps, their music has a traditional yet modern sound. Except for the occasional wahwah or phaser, no guitar pedals were used in the creation of this music. Just great guitars, plugged straight into classic tube amps ... and turned up unbearably loud!

"My #1 goal was to make an album that featured me wailing lots of guitar solos and playing memorable melodies," adds Ellett. "My other goal was to write really interesting and enjoyable music, surrounding those solos with lots of cool and evolving changes." He goes on to explain "I'm not trying to re-create the sounds of the '70's, but I am very inspired by the music of that era. I started playing electric guitar back in 1973, and albums like Jeff Beck's Blow By Blow and other Classic Rock records have greatly shaped my tastes in music. That's why I play in phrases, it's an older style that was popular back then. I've never written Rock songs before, and I've never made a 'Gayle Plays Guitar Solos' album, so all of this is rather new to me. And so far, I am really happy with the results!"

The band gets it's name from the electromagnetic pickups that are present on all electric guitars. These electromags capture the guitar's sound, and transmit it down a wire to the amplifier. Unique to electric guitars, they are not found on other instruments.

The album's title "Shiny Side Up" is from the common saying among motorcyclists "Keep the shiny side up!" which means "Have fun riding, and don't crash!"

In order to maintain a more lively and dynamic sound, no compression was used in the mixing of this album.

Master musician Mike Keneally (who has toured the world with Frank Zappa, Steve Vai, Joe Satriani) said of this music "Once again, what a journey! Gorgeous playing and it takes me to places I didn't expect at the top of the song - appreciate your willingness to wantonly change tempo as you see fit super fun! Yeah Gayle!"

The artwork on the album is by the award-winning artist Matt Mahurin, who has created numerous album covers for groups like: Peter Gabriel, U2, Metallica, R.E.M., Tom Waits, Muse, T-Bone Burnett, Soundgarden, Motley Crew, Def Leppard, Scorpions, Joe Satriani, Cher and many others. And he has also illustrated the cover of TIME Magazine more then 40 times.

 CD now available for purchase at:


TRACK LIST for the album Shiny Side Up:

1     No Deposit, No Return   (6:15)
2     Highway 27   (4:14)  
3    The Old Canyon Road   (5:26)
4    Southern Slide   (4:48)
5    Hardtailed Knucklehead   (5:45)       
6   Donuts & Fishtails   (5:18)
7   Beyond The Milky Way   (1:23)
8    Brass Saddles & Steel Trees   (2:26)    
9    Three Way Switch   (5:31)
10  Crash Bar   (5:26)
11  Trail Dust   (5:10)
Total Time 52:17

All music composed, produced, mixed & mastered by Gayle Ellett 
Album art by Matt Mahurin 
Recorded in Topanga, California and Arlington, Texas

Gayle Ellett: Electric & Acoustic Guitars, Hammond B-3 Organ, Rhodes Electric Piano 
Craig Kahn: Drums  & Percussion  
Mark Cook: Bass

Band Name: Gayle Ellett & The Electromags    
CD title: Shiny Side Up 
Release Date: June 2022 
Catalog Number: PSR-1-009 
Licensed & Distributed by PeacockSunrise Records




The follow-up album (2023): Friends

Gayle Ellett & the Electromags are back with a vengeance and a vibrant, hard rockin’, road-trippin’, tail-pipe busting, monster of second album. A follow-up to their guitar-focused, Shiny Side Up, this sophomore offering is a tour de force of global Prog stars dubbed Friends. 

“I wanted to capture that feeling of hanging out on your deck, playing music with your friends under the stars all night long”, says Ellett of his lockdown inspired desire to jam with pals. Only Ellett, the acclaimed Prog musician of Djam Karet, took the “Friends” concept one step further, inviting pals from all corners of the globe to make music together, virtually. 
Still based on the core group of Ellett (guitar), Craig Kahn (drums) and Mark Cook (bass), Friends features twenty-two guest musicians including members of BARAKA (Japan), Minimum Vital (France), Aisles (Chile), Electric Swan (Italy), Shylock (France), Edhels (Monaco), and California Guitar Trio (USA). The result is a late-night jam session full of fire and passion. 

The track “Via Valencia” features 5-time Grammy Award winner Alfonso Rodenas on guitar, bass and Rhodes piano creating a stately, flowing, cinematic piece of music. You can almost see the coastline, and feel the warm sea breeze in your face on this excellent song. On “Splitting Hairs” award winning Blues guitarist Dudley Taft (with four #1 Songs on the HIT TRACKS TOP 100 Chart) brings to us some really high powered wailing guitar solos, as Ellett holds down the fort with his massive Hammond B3 organ. “Guitar City” features Paul Richards from the California Guitar Trio, but on this track he turns in his acoustic guitar for a rare chance to fire up his electric guitar, and the results are amazing. “Maximum Connection” with it’s bouncing keyboards played by Thierry Payssan from the group Minimum Vital (France) is another real treat, and includes contributions from high school friend Bill Polits and Topanga local Aquinas Magana playing tasty guitar solos. Issei Takami and Shin Ichikawa, from the Japanese band BARAKA, are featured on the track “TransPacific Highway”. Says Ellett, “I met them when my progressive group Djam Karet was head-lining a 3 day festival held on the beach in France about 15 years ago. They are amazing players and really nice people too! That is also where I met the guys from Electric Swan (Italy) and Aisles (Chile) who deliver killer solos on the track “Sons Of Sebastien”. 
When asked how Ellett rounded up so many greats for one album, the musician points to his 50 year career in recording, “Some of these folks I met back in the 1980’s while networking with bands from other countries: asking them to trade me their lists of DJs, distributors, and local music magazines. Others I met in high school and college, and some are my neighbors here in Topanga (Calif.).” He goes on to explain that his process was straight-forward, “After I composed these songs, we then recorded my rhythm guitar and Craig’s drums, and Mark recorded his bass at his studio. Then I would send those basic elements along to my friends, and they over dubbed their parts at their own studios.” 
Now that the album is finished, Ellett says he’s proud to have achieved his goal, “I always wanted to get all my friends together to play. And even though we didn’t get to be in the same room, when I put on this album, it’s like we’re all playing together under the same late night sky.”


The 22 guest musicians on this new album are (in no particular order): 
Issei Takami & Shin Ichikawa - BARAKA - Japan   
Thierry Passan - Minimum Vital - France   
Marc Ceccotti - Edhels - Monaco   
Frederic L’Epee - Shylock -France  
Lucio Calegari - Electric Swan - Italy   
German Vergara & Juan Pablo - Aisles - Chile   
Alvarez Ortega Bianchi - Los Pencales - Argentina   
Paul Richards - California Guitar Trio - USA   
Alfonso Rodenas - Blue Dolphins - USA   
Carl Weingaren & Walter Whitney & David Udell - Delay Tactics - USA   
Dudley Taft - USA   
Barry Cleveland - USA   
Joee Corso - USA 
Aquiles Magaña - USA   
Brian Chapman - USA   
Jim Crawford - USA   
Ted Price - USA   
Bill Polits - USA

CD is available for purchase at:


TRACK LIST for the album Friends:

1 Viewer Discretion Advised (Featuring Ted Price) 
Ted: Hammond organ 
Gayle: electric guitar, minimoog, mellotron 
Mark: bass 
Craig: drums (USA) 

2 The Many Moods of Morgan (Featuring Brian Chapman) 
Brian: electric guitar 
Gayle: rhythm guitar, minimoog, rhodes, hammond, mellotron 
Mark: bass, soundscapes 
Craig: drums (USA) 

3 Via Valencia (Featuring Alfonso Rodenas) 
Alfonso: electric guitar, rhodes, bass 
Gayle: rhythm guitar, mellotron, hammond 
Craig: drums (Spain) 

4 It’s all San Andreas’ Fault (Featuring Marc Ceccotti & Joee Corso) 
Marc: electric guitar (first & last solos) & synthesizers 
Joee: electric guitar (middle solo) 
Gayle: rhythm guitar, minimoog, hammond 
Mark: bass 
Craig: drums (Monaco) (USA) 

5 TransPacific Highway (Featuring Issei Takami & Shin Ichikawa) 
Issei: electric guitar 
Shin: bass 
Gayle: rhythm guitar, minimoog, hammond 
Craig: drums (Japan) 

6 Splitting Hairs (Featuring Dudley Taft) 
Dudley: electric guitar 
Gayle: rhythm guitar, minimoog, mellotron, hammond 
Mark: bass 
Craig: drums (USA) 

7 Maximum Connection (Featuring Thierry Payssan & Bill Polits & Aquiles Magaña) 
Thierry: synthesizers 
Bill: electric guitar (first solo), EBow 
Aquiles: electric guitar (last solos) 
Gayle: rhythm guitar, mellotron, hammond 
Mark: bass 
Craig: drums (France) (USA) 

8 Three Parsecs from Tucson (Featuring Carl Weingarten & Walter Whitney & David Udell) 
Carl: electric guitar 
Walter: synthesizers, percussion & gongs 
David: electric guitars 
Gayle: rhythm guitar 
Mark: bass 
Craig: drums (USA) 

9 Maria’s Lakeside Drive (Featuring Barry Cleveland) 
Barry: electric 6 & 12-string guitars, bowed and bowhammered electric guitars 
Gayle: rhythm guitar, acoustic guitar, minimoog, mellotron, hammond 
Mark: bass 
Craig: drums (USA) 

10 Guitar City (Featuring Paul Richards) 
Paul: electric guitars 
Gayle: rhythm guitar, minimoog, mellotron, hammond 
Mark: bass 
Craig: drums (USA) 

11 Sons Of Sebastien (Featuring Lucio Calegari & German Vergara & Juan Pablo) 
Lucio: electric guitar (first solo) 
German: electric guitar (second solo) 
Juan: synthesizers (third solo) 
Gayle: rhythm guitar, minimoog (intro & outro solos), hammond 
Mark: bass 
Craig: drums (Italy) (Chile) 

12 Bueno Sanga (Featuring Alvarez Ortega Bianchi & Jim Crawford) 
Alvarez: electric guitars (first solo) 
Jim: electric & slide guitars (second solo) 
Gayle: rhythm guitar, hammond 
Mark: bass 
Craig: drums (Argentina) (USA) 

13 1960 Ocean Front Walk (Featuring Frederic L'Epee) 
Frederic: electric guitar 
Gayle: rhythm guitar, rhodes, mellotron 
Mark: bass 
Craig: drums (Germany)


All music composed, produced, mixed & mastered by Gayle Ellett 
Album cover photography by Carl Weingarten 
Recorded between in Topanga, CA., and Arlington, TX., and at numerous studios throughout the world.

Gayle Ellett: Electric & Acoustic Guitars, MiniMoog, Hammond B-3 Organ, Rhodes Electric Piano, Mellotron 
Craig Kahn: Drums  & Percussion 
Mark Cook: Bass
And 22 Guest Musicians


Band Name: Gayle Ellett & The Electromags     
CD title: Friends 
Release Date: October 20th 2023 
Catalog Number: PSR-1-011 
Licensed & Distributed by PeacockSunrise Records


Band Bio

Gayle Ellett (Guitar & Keyboards):
Gayle has been playing electric guitar for more then 50 years, he started playing back in 1973. He is a multi-instrumentalist who has performed on over 130 albums, scored music for numerous feature films and 60 different TV series worldwide, and currently plays in 9 bands. One of these bands is Djam Karet, a Progressive Rock group formed in the 1980's that has released 20 albums so far. When he’s not busy in the studio, he can often be found wandering the mountain trails near his home in Topanga, California.

Craig Kahn (Drums):
Besides playing in The Electromags, Craig has been recording drums with the Kelp Dwellers, a Surf band  he was in with Gayle Ellett and their friend Todd Montgomery (Fernwood). Craig is also involved with a band consisting mostly of pediatric cardiology doctors from around the world, the BBSC, who donate all proceeds from album sales to pediatric health care.  Craig spends his free time running in the mountains surrounding his home in Topanga, California.

Mark Cook (Bass):
Mark is a multi-instrumentalist based in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. He has recorded and performed with the progressive rock bands Herd of Instinct and Spoke of Shadows, the psychedelic crew Liquid Sound Company, and the art pop/downtempo unit Nocturne Blue. When not chained to the recording console, Mark spends time wrangling his dogs.

Press Photos

Gayle Ellett

Craig Kahn

Mark Cook

our namesake

Electromagnetic Pickup

More Guitars In The Studio ...