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Author Archives: Michael Dregni

Forrest Lee, Jr. and Friends

Higher To Go: A Tribute To Forrest Lee, Sr.
 
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Forrest Lee, Sr. was a country music legend most folks have likely never heard tell of. So why should they care about a tribute to the man and his gospel music? Because his son can play a guitar. And his son has some fine picking friends. All of which adds up to one stunner of […]

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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 one: two surviving photographs show him holding an L-1, though […]

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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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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, he also composed many of the band’s songs, sang in […]

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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 Face, a cheap, crude fuzz box that would […]

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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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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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Otis Redding and Aretha Franklin

The King of Soul The Queen of Soul
 
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First off, neither of these excellent four-CD sets includes personnel listings in their skimpy liner booklets. This is simply unpardonable – especially considering how stylish, how influential, how downright phenomenal the backlines are on most of these songs. But to back up and start from the start, these two new collections are fine, budget-priced sets […]

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Andy Babiuk and Greg Prevost

The Stones Gear: All the Stones' Instruments From Stage to Studio
 
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The rest of the world may be titillated by what the Stones smoked, shot, snorted, or ingested. But some of us have our priorities straight; we’re more concerned with what the band strummed and drummed. Noted guitar historian Andy Babiuk is hip to all this. Babiuk is, of course, the author of the phenomenal Beatles […]

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