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Author Archives: Michael Dregni

Imelda May

Tribal
 
Imelda-May

Irish chanteuse Imelda May proved she could sing on her first discs of retro rockabilly originals. Her new album shows she can also rock. May is backed as usual by her husband, guitarman Darrel Higham. And again as usual, his playing is twang perfect. This album stretches (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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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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Jack White

Willie Wonka Rocks
 
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Jack White was recently crowned the Willy Wonka of the rock and roll world by Rolling Stone, and a better description of the man, his music, and his Third Man Records enterprise would be tough to come by. White revels in weird; the unexpected, the unexplained, and (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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The Howlin’ Brothers

 
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Like a long-lost radio show from the ’50s suddenly coming to life on your radio in the late nighttime hours, this hard-driving string trio summons forth the sounds of old-time bluegrass, vintage country, and roaring rockabilly. The Howlin’ Brothers have one foot tapping time in tradition, the other kicking down the doors. The howling here […]

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Brian Setzer

Sparking Another Rockabilly Riot
 
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Three decades, umpteen records, and several stellar bands into his career, and Brian Setzer still makes rockabilly sound fresh and exciting. This album has much of the verve of his debut, 1981’s Stray Cats, and his so-called “’68 Comeback Special,” Ignition. For a musician this far along (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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Mark Makin

Palm Trees, Senoritas... and Rocket Ships!
Amazing Worlds
 
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Tackling the long and winding history of the Dopyera brothers – John, Rudy, Emil, Robert, and Louis – has proved daunting for guitar historians. Mark Makin does it in style with this huge tome, chronicling the wares of National, Dobro, Supro, Airline, Custom Kraft, DB (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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