Author Archives: Michael Dregni

Tom Feldmann

No Need to Sell Your Soul

“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 an in-depth, (more…)

Posted in Artists | Tagged | Leave a comment

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…)

Posted in Gear | Tagged | Leave a comment

Keith Richards

Crosseyed Heart
Still Happy

The old pirate may have just turned 72, but that doesn’t seem to have slowed him down. Welcome to Keith Richards’ third solo album – and his first in 23 years. The album arrived in the midst of the hoopla surrounding the Rolling Stones’ (more…)

Posted in Music | Leave a comment

Maestro Rover R0-1

The UFO of Rotating Speakers
Maestro’s Rover R0-1

To record “Little Wing,” Jimi Hendrix plugged his Stratocaster into his usual amplifier, then did the unthinkable; he ran guitar signal into an organ speaker – a Leslie rotating-speaker cabinet. Inventor Donald Leslie had designed the unit for Hammond organs, offering a swirling, otherworldy sound ideal for church services, scary or watery sonic effects for […]

Posted in Classic Instruments | Tagged | 3 Responses

Marty Stuart, Doyle Lawson, Vince Gill, and more

Orthophonic Joy: The 1927 Bristol Sessions Revisited
Back to the Beginning

The sessions produced by Ralph S. Peer over 12 days in July and August of 1927 in a makeshift Bristol, Tennessee, studio featuring Jimmie Rodgers, the Carter Family, and others are often termed the Big Bang of Country Music. That label sounds good – but like most such labels, it’s an oversimplification that hides the […]

Posted in Music | Leave a comment

Brian Setzer

Rocking Back to the Future
Brian Setzer

Brian Setzer wears several hats – rockabilly, swing, even hard-rocking Christmas music. But through it all, by and large he plays only one guitar – a Gretsch. And ideally, just a Model 6120 at that. With his new album, Setzer gets back to his roots, both in (more…)

Posted in Artists | Tagged | Leave a comment

Alfred Wertheimer

Elvis and the Birth of Rock and Roll
The Man W ho Would Be King

In early 1956, soon after RCA Victor purchased the contract for a fledgling singer named Elvis Presley, a publicist hired photographer Alfred Wertheimer to follow the Mississippi boy on the road for (more…)

Posted in Music | Leave a comment

Retro Guitar MelodyBurner

Bite and Bark
Retro Guitar MelodyBurner

Retro Guitar MelodyBurner Price: $999 (options available) Info: www.melodyburner.com In the realm of hot-rodded cars, there’s a cool genre known as rat rods – old, relic’d automobiles that sport a lowdown vintage vibe. Meet the rat axe. Retro Guitar’s MelodyBurner is a similarly cool guitar (more…)

Posted in Gear | Tagged | Leave a comment

Whit Smith

Rhythmic Rendezvous and the Hot Club of Cowtown

For its latest album, Rendezvous in Rhythm, the Hot Club of Cowtown has stepped back in time. Guitarist Whit Smith plays acoustic jazz echoing the work of his heroes including Allan Reuss and Django Reinhardt. The result is a sweetly swinging collection of vintage jazz with a modern twist. True to its cattle-punching moniker, the […]

Posted in Artists | Leave a comment

Gibson 1928 L-1 Blues Tribute

Blues Time Machine

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 one: (more…)

Posted in Gear | Tagged | Leave a comment