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Author Archives: Michael Dregni

Norman Blake

Wood, Wire & Words
 
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Long time gone. It’s been four years since Norman Blake’s last album – and 30 years since he last recorded his own original music. Now 77, he suffered a mini stroke several years back that required prolonged recovery. Now he’s returned, and this new album is (more…)

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Frank Meyers

History Of Japanese Electric Guitars
Impossibly Cool Guitars
 
Frank-Meyers

Frank Meyers’ first axe was a ’63 Fujigen EJ2 – a cheap-o, two-pickup solidbody like so many Japanese electrics used by beginner guitarists the world over. Though unremarkable, it spurred in him a love of the instrument that inspired this book. Meyers spent 15 years researching Fujigen (more…)

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Cry, Baby!

The Story of the Vox Wah
 
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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…)

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Maestro Fuzz-Tone

 
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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…)

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Steve Cropper

Homage to Lowman Pauling
 
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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…)

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Tom Feldmann

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 an in-depth, (more…)

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Deke Dickerson

The Strat In The Attic 2
Guitarchaeology
 
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When Deke Dickerson’s first Strat In The Attic book debuted in 2013, it was an instant best-seller among guitarists in the smart set. Beer parties were abuzz; jam sessions dissolved into ersatz book groups rife with heated literary discussion. As the subtitle promised, the volume was (more…)

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JD McPherson

Let The Good Times Roll
On A Roll
 
JD-McPherson

JD McPherson was a middle-school teacher in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, with a rock and roll band on the side. Then he lost his job and decided to make a record. He cut Signs And Signifiers at the oh-so-cool Hi-Style Studio in Chicago, got picked up nationally (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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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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