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Author Archives: Michael Dregni

Eric Clapton and Friends

The Breeze: An Appreciation of JJ Cale
After Midnight
 
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Eric Clapton has worn many a hat during his career. English bluesman, psychedelic guitar god, downhome roots rocker, even ’80s big-suited popmeister. In recent decades, he’s added another chapeau to the curious collection: tribute artist. We all owe a debt to those who came before (more…)

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Big Star

#1 Record, Radio city, Live In Memphis
Shining Even Brighter
 
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Big Star’s star shone only briefly. The band formed in Memphis in 1971 around guitarists-songwriters Chris Bell and Alex Chilton, and then blazed out by ’74 despite rave critical reviews and two stellar albums. But the band’s renown has only ascended from (more…)

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ToneTron’s Billy-Rocker

Best Amp You've Never Heard of
 
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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…)

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Mike Beigel

Resurrection of the Mu-Tron III
 
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Mike Beigel is no guitarist. But that never held him back in crafting one of the most legendary of all guitar effects pedals, the famed Musitronics Mu-Tron III envelope filter. When players think “funk,” they recall Beigel’s masterpiece stompbox. Bootsy Collins plugged in his Space Bass to craft (more…)

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DeArmond Tremolo Control

 
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Even now – four decades on – Billy F Gibbons remembers the first time he heard a DeArmond Tremolo Control work its peculiar magic. “We first heard the effect not knowing what it was,” he says, speaking in the royal plural and summoning up recordings including Muddy Waters’ (more…)

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Gizmotron

Most Bizarre Guitar Effect of All Time?
 

Led Zeppelin’s final studio album, 1979’s In Through The Out Door, opens with an eerie, otherworldly drone that weaves and winds its way before segueing into the searing Stratocaster riffs of “In The Evening.” In the past, Jimmy Page played his Les Paul with a violin bow and waved his hands like a wizard over […]

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Tom Feldmann

The Guitar of Robert Johnson
No Need to Sell Your Soul
 
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“And the Oscar goes to…” If they gave out Academy Awards for the best guitar instructional film, Tom Feldmann’s latest on Robert Johnson would be a shoe-in. We rarely review instructional videos, but this one is something special. And it’s more than just a how-to guide: it’s (more…)

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Lucinda Williams

Down Where The Spirit Meets The Bone
Exile On A Gravel Road
 
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There’s that old saw about a good double album being a better single album if it wasn’t for an artist’s hubris. But Lucinda Williams’ first doubleheader doesn’t fit that bill. If anything, it’s too much of a good thing. Williams has never been in a hurry (more…)

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Selmer Modele Jazz and Stimer M.10 Amp

Electricfying Early Jazz
 
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In the 1930s, the quest for volume was the Holy Grail of guitar construction, as guitarists sought instruments to slice through the sound and fury of a jazz band. And when Django Reinhardt began playing his revolutionary jazz, he played it on a revolutionary new jazz guitar.

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Steve Lowenthal and James Cullingham

Dance of Death: The Life of John Fahey, American Guitarist and
John Fahey’s Blues
 
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John Fahey is to the solo acoustic guitar what Jimi Hendrix was to the electric. Endlessly inventive, pioneering, and genre-defining, he was the player whom all subsequent guitarists had to listen to. Many of the 40 albums Fahey cut between 1959 and his death in 2001 are available in one form or another. But his […]

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