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Author Archives: Michael Dregni

Heil Talk Box


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

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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Molly Maher and Her Band of Disbelievers

Merry Come Up
Real-Phonic Records

Molly Maher is blessed. She writes songs that ring true. Her singing is a fine balance of deep and soulful, somewhere between Lucinda Williams and Emmylou Harris. And to top it all, she picks a mean guitar. On her fourth release, she leads her loose-knit Disbelievers through a sweet blend of folk, bluesy, and countryfried […]

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The Clash


In the far distant past – 1979, to be exact – the Clash were crowned “The Only Band That Matters.” The mantra originally appeared on a promo sticker stuck to their double LP London Calling. Initially coined by their label’s A&R director, it soon was accepted by fans and followers as a truth self-evident. Since […]

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The Grateful Dead

May 1977

Over the decades, the Grateful Dead played more than 2,000 concerts, but none are as fabled, as mythologized as their performances on the magical spring 1977 tour. This 14-disc box set collects five complete shows from that run, displaying the band at a peak of energy and experimentation. The tour came at an opportune time […]

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The Allman Brothers Band

Brothers and Sisters 40th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition

In the 40 years since Brothers and Sisters was released in 1973, we’ve lived roughly half our lives. And if you are a fan of classic rock, this album likely provided a soundtrack – and you probably wore out several copies of the original vinyl along the way. It’s also an album with a story, […]

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Ben Fong-Torres

Willin': The Story of Little Feat

That Lowell George could play the guitar has never been in dispute. But most of the rest of the story of Little Feat is. To start with, no one can quite agree on how the band’s name originated, and it only gets more convoluted from there. That only makes the band’s story – or we […]

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The Grateful Dead

Sunshine Daydream

Every true Deadhead had the bootleg tape: a cassette too many generations removed from the original recording, notated innocently enough as “Kesey’s Ranch ’72.” That show – played as a benefit for author and lead Merry Prankster Ken Kesey at the Oregon County Fairgrounds in Veneta, Oregon, on August 27, 1972, to be exact – […]

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Kenny Olson Cartel

Kenny Olson Cartel
Foxy Music/Firebird

Think Detroit rock and roll – the MC5 and Iggy by way of Ted Nugent and Kid Rock: gear-grinding rock with plenty of volume and aggression. Throw in some Hendrix, Guns N’ Roses, and even some SRV. That gets you close to describing the antics of Kenny Olson Cartel. Olson formed the Twisted Brown Trucker […]

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Trio Garcia

Swing Au Coeur De Paris
Label Quest

Translated, the title of this album reads “Swing From The Heart Of Paris.” But that only begins to sum up Rocky and Mundine Garcia and their musical home. The Garcias are stalwarts of La Chope des Puces, the tiny bar in the center of the Paris flea market just around the corner and paces away […]

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