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Author Archives: Michael Dregni

Whit Smith

Rhythmic Rendezvous and the Hot Club of Cowtown
 
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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 […]

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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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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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Louis Electric Gattone

Play The Blues
 
Louis Electric Gattone

Louis Electric Gattone Price: $2,595 (list) Contact: www.louiselectricamps.com Got the blues? Have we got the amp for you. Louis Rosano has been building boutique amplifiers from his workshop in New Jersey for 20 years, his first inspired by a ’58 Fender narrow-panel tweed Twin. His (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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Arbiter Fuzz Face

 
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When Jimi Hendrix released his first album, 1967’s Are You Experienced, he launched a new level of guitar heroics as well as a sartorial fad for ruffled shirts and band jackets. He also fed a fashion for fuzz. One of Jimi’s main weapons was the Arbiter Fuzz (more…)

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The Roland Space Echo

Perfect Slap-Back
 
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When Brian Setzer kickstarted the Stray Cats into action in 1979, his gear lineup was a hodgepodge of orthodox rockabilly ware along with the bizarre. His ’59 Gretsch 6120 and his pomade were the real deal. But he played through a Vox AC50 Royal Guardsman because the band was first recording in England. To get […]

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Jordan Boss Tone

Little Fuzz with the Big Buzz
 
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In the august and revered Hall of Fame of Fuzz, the Jordan Boss Tone deserves a prominent pedestal. Perhaps it should be in a cabinet of cute curiosities. Or maybe it’s as a memento mori, an example of a dead end in the search for overdriven guitar tone bliss. Either way, there should be a […]

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Mu-FX Tru-Tron 3X

Get Tha Funk Out
 

The Mu-FX Tru-Tron 3X Price: $369.63 Contact: www.mu-fx.com. Think funk. Think Bootsy Collins’ wacked-out Parliament Funkadelic Space Bass lines. Think Stevie Wonder’s wah’d Clavinet on his ’73 hit “Higher Ground.” Think Mu-Tron III. The secret mastermind behind that sound was engineer Mike Beigel, creator of the (more…)

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Heil Talk Box

 
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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. […]

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