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Author Archives: Michael Dregni

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 […]

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Robert Earl Keen

Happy Prisoner: The Bluegrass Sessions
Happy Listeners
 
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Robert Earl Keen is all about roots. He has mined his Texas upbringing to create a celebrated career playing Americana that’s ranged widely from folk to country and beyond. His latest foray steps back to his lifelong love of bluegrass. And yet this album is less (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

Delta Blues & Spirituals
Old Blues with New Soul
 
Tom-Feldmann

Everyday you hear someone who claims to have the blues. But if you’re going to revive the old songs once again for the umpteenth time, you better have something new to add. Tom Feldmann is based in a small Minnesota town of white picket fences, Lutheran (more…)

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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…)

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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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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…)

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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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Detlef Schmidt

Keith Ferguson: Texas Blues Bass
Girls Go Wild
 
Keith-Ferguson

Some among the cognoscenti argue that there are two bassists in the blues world that define the genre – Chess mastermind Willie Dixon on the upright and Keith Ferguson on electric. This illustrated book, complete with a gallery of Ferguson’s basses and musical notations of his (more…)

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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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