Author Archives: Michael Dregni

Maxon Fuzz Elements Pedals

Elemental Fuzz
Maxon Fuzz Elements Pedals

Maxon Fuzz Elements Pedals Price: $189 to $199 Contact: www.maxonfx.com Classic fuzz pedals are some of the fine wines of the vintage guitar world. Guitarists talk like Frenchified sommeliers when discussing Fuzztones, Tonebenders, and Tube Screamers as if they were hundred-year-old bottles of (more…)

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Tom Waits, Lucinda Williams, Luther Dickinson, and others

God Don’t Never Change: The Songs Of Blind Willie Johnson
Falling Out And Hollerin’

Blind Willie Johnson – the Texas preacher, slide guitarist, and gospel singer – may seem a tough artist to pay homage to in a tribute album. His music is so singular, so extraordinary that it defies characterization. The only hope? (more…)

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Paul Burch

Meridian Rising
Blue Yodelin'

Meridian, Mississippi, was Jimmie Rodgers’ birthplace and the starting point for Paul Burch’s “imagined musical autobiography” of the Father of Country Music. In these 20 songs and musical interludes, he draws a rich, vibrant portrait of Rodgers that’s a worthy companion to the (more…)

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The Bellfuries

Workingman’s Bellfuries
Blue-Collar Cool

Just as rockabilly back in the ’50s was largely a regional phenomenon, many of the best bands today remain local heroes. Witness Austin’s Bellfuries, with guitar man Mike Molnar. The band’s debut was the stellar ’01 album Just Plain Lonesome, featuring “Your Love (All That (more…)

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Xotic Effects’ Wah XW-1

State-Of-The-Art MousEtrap
Xotic Effects’ Wah XW-1

Xotic Effects’ Wah XW-1 Price: $295 (list); $249 (street) Contact: xotic.us/ The chase for tone sometimes seems like never-ending “Tom and Jerry” reruns. Enter Xotic Effects and their better mousetrap: the XW-1 wah. That wily rodent Jerry just saw his life pass before (more…)

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ToneTron’s Billy-Rocker

Best Amp You've Never Heard of

ToneTron’s Billy-Rocker Price: $1,200 Info: www.tonetroamps.com. On a quiet residential street in Minneapolis lives a mad scientist. Erstwhile rockabilly guitarist Jeffrey Falla is the brains behind ToneTron. And from his laboratory come some of the best-sounding amps you’ve never heard of. Falla began modifying and building (more…)

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Lucinda Williams

The Ghosts of Highway 20
Ghost Stories

From Bobby Troup’s “(Get Your Kicks On) Route 66” to Bob Dylan’s “Highway 61 Revisited” and more, the roads we’ve traveled have inspired our music. Enter U.S. Highway 20, stretching 1,500 miles across Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, and points beyond; Lucinda Williams calls (more…)

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Scotty Moore’s Gibson ES-295

First Guitar of Rock and Roll
SCOTTY MOORE's GIBSON ES-295 Vinatge guitar Magazine

Like a hound dog hit by lightning, the first notes of rock and roll blasted out of radios across the country in July of 1954, courtesy of Elvis Presley’s supercharged-hillbilly singing on “That’s All Right” and “Blue Moon Of Kentucky,” backed by Scotty Moore’s guitar. It was the twang heard ’round the world. That guitar […]

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The Cactus Blossoms & The Pines

You’re Dreaming & Above the Prairie
Old Souls

These two albums are stunning collections of country and folk music taking different forks in the gravel road. The Cactus Blossoms is an all-new batch of old-souled country, whereas the Pines delve into ancient themes with a uniquely modern voice. The Cactus Blossoms (more…)

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Durham Electronics’ ReddVerb

’Verb, Extra Saucy
Durham Electronics’ ReddVerb

Durham Electronics’ ReddVerb Price: $219 (list) Info: www.durhamelectronics.com Take it from Redd Volkaert; good reverb is hard to find. And that’s especially true if you’re gigging on the road and don’t want to lug an amp with a built-in spring reverb, let alone a (more…)

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