381

Author Archives: Michael Dregni

Heil Talk Box

 
HEILBOX_HOME_MAIN_THUMB

When Peter Frampton began using the Heil Talk Box in 1974, he remembers it being viewed with skepticism as an “alien effect.” Similar contraptions had been around since 1939, but few people recognized them or their otherworldly capabilities. Frampton had yet to record with it, so when he used it onstage, it caused a furor. […]

Posted in Classic Instruments | Tagged | Leave a comment

Larry Campbell & Teresa Williams

Larry Campbell & Teresa Williams
 
Larry-Campbell-and-Teresa-Williams

Multi-instrumentalist Larry Campbell is the consummate hired gun. He picked his licks as part of Bob Dylan’s eight-year-long Never Ending Tour, led the Levon Helm Band’s Midnight Rambles, and served as a sideman with Sheryl Crow, Paul Simon, and many (more…)

Posted in Music | Leave a comment

The Cash Box Kings

Holding Court
Blues Mission
 
The-Cash-Box-Kings

The Cash Box Kings are on a mission. This hard-working ensemble is committed to keeping the spirit of 1940s and ’50s Chicago blues alive and well. Their style and sound is gloriously retro, with an inspiring eloquence and grace to their (more…)

Posted in Music | Leave a comment

Furry Lewis, Sleepy John Estes, Mud Boy and the Neutrons, and more

Beale Street Saturday Night
 
Lewis,-Estes

These days, Memphis’ Beale Street is a blues-lover’s Disneyland in all the worst ways. It’s been sanitized and sanctified, then thoroughly commercialized. Once upon a time, however, it was the “home of the blues,” as Memphis was officially – if somewhat dubiously – (more…)

Posted in Music | Leave a comment

The Bellfuries

Workingman’s Bellfuries
Blue-Collar Cool
 
The-Bellfuries

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 (more…)

Posted in Music | Leave a comment

The Rolling Stones

Sticky Fingers Deluxe Edition and From the Vault: The Marquee Clube Live in 1971
Dead Flowers Bloom Again
 
Rolling-Stones-Sticky-fingers

If you ever forget how good the Rolling Stones really were back in their heyday, the new edition of Sticky Fingers with outtakes and live recordings and this live shot from the Marquee Club should set things right all over again. (more…)

Posted in Music | Leave a comment

Cry, Baby!

The Story of the Vox Wah
 
CRYBABY_HOME_MAIN_THUMB

Beyond being crowned “Album of the Century” by Time magazine, Marley and the Wailers’ 1977 LP Exodus is a wah-wah masterpiece thanks to Junior Marvin and his Thomas Organ Cry Baby. Others – from Earl Hooker to Jimi Hendrix, Frank Zappa to Sly Stone – made their mark with the pedal, but never has (more…)

Posted in Classic Instruments | Tagged | 2 Responses

Maestro Fuzz-Tone

 
FUZZTONE-HOME-MAIN-THUMB

Fuzz. It’s the sound of fury, aggravation, indignation, and – considering the history of the most famous fuzzbox of all time, Maestro’s Fuzz-Tone – dissatisfaction. It’s also fitting as some of the first recorded electric fuzz guitar was heard via Howlin’ Wolf guitarist Willie Lee Johnson, (more…)

Posted in Classic Instruments | Tagged | Leave a comment

Steve Cropper

Homage to Lowman Pauling
 
COOPER-HOME-MAIN-BIG

All but forgotten today, with his low-slung guitar, stylish rhythm licks, and tasty leads, Lowman Pauling was one of the great guitar heroes of the ’50s. Guitarist for the R&B doo-wop band the 5 Royales, not only did Pauling pick melody lines and play leads, (more…)

Posted in Artists | Tagged | Leave a comment

ToneTron’s Billy-Rocker

Best Amp You've Never Heard of
 
BILLYROCKER_HOME_MAIN_THUMB

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 (more…)

Posted in Gear | Tagged | Leave a comment