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Author Archives: Michael Dregni

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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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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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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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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Echoplex EP-2

 
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Sam Phillips didn’t invent tape echo with his mid-’50s recordings of Elvis, but he just as well may have. So influential, so inspirational were those songs – with their warm, glorious slap-back echo created in Sun’s control room by two jerryrigged tape recorders – that budding rock-and-rollers everywhere had to have it. With the arrival […]

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Gibson 1928 L-1 Blues Tribute

Blues Time Machine
 
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Gibson 1928 L-1 Blues Tribute Price: $4,255 retail; $3,299 street Info: www.gibson.com. The Gibson L-1 boasts the kind of intriguing history that makes it a legend. In the late 1920s, it was the company’s low-end model. But Mississippi Delta blues man Robert Johnson happened upon (more…)

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Jerry Douglas

Slide Ruler - Jerry Douglas’ Love Affair with the Dobro
 
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You know, it’s the coolest-looking instrument that ever was made!” It should come as no surprise that Jerry Douglas is speaking about the Dobro and the various other resonator-equipped guitars in orbit around the Dopyera brothers’ creation. As probably the world’s most famous dobroist – and certainly the most recorded – he knows a thing […]

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