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Author Archives: Michael Dregni

Greg “Freddy” Camalier

Muscle Shoals
 
Muscle-Shoals

To the rest of the world, the Swampers are best known from the cryptic verse in Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama.” And while they might have picked up Mr. Van Zant when he was feeling blue, most folks can’t say the same. But that’s simply because most folks couldn’t name a song the Swampers played […]

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Ibanez Tube Screamer

 
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From the first notes of Stevie Ray Vaughan’s “Texas Flood,” you can hear it loud and clear; that snarly tone is not just pure Stratocaster and amplifier! To get that bluesy edge, Vaughan plugged into a small green box – an Ibanez TS-808 Tube Screamer Overdrive Pro. SRV used the Tube Screamer to drive his […]

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Dan Auerbach

Black Keys’ Road Map Back to Blues, British Rock
 
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Forget about the classic quartet. Forget the power trio. Forget any preconceived shortcomings you may have concerning a rock-and-roll duo. There’s no denying it – the Black Keys crank out impressive noise. As one half of the band – drummer Patrick Carney – once joked, “We’re normally a 12-piece jazz big-band, but the other 10 […]

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The Band

Live at the Academy of Music 1971
 
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The Band’s double-LP Rock of Ages was released in August 1972, their first live collection – as well as their last before they disbanded with 1978’s The Last Waltz. As phenomenal as their finale show was, guest stars and all, the earlier collection captured them at a creative peak and was a much more characteristic […]

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Jimbo Mathus

Dark Night of the Soul
 
Jason-Eady

None other than Jim Dickinson once christened Jimbo Mathus as “The singing voice of Huckleberry Finn.” Huck Finn with a hot-wired and hoppedup electric guitar in hand, that is. And now he’s back with his ninth solo album. Mathus is best known as the ringleader of the Squirrel Nut Zippers, which fused old-timey jazz, blues, […]

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Leo “Bud” Welch

Sabougla Voices
 
Leo-Welch

In this day and age, it’s downright incredible that 81-year-old Mississippi bluesman Leo “Bud” Welch has remained unknown to the broader musical world. Unknown – until now, that is. Welch was born in 1932 in Sabougla, a crossroads burg in central Mississippi that’s so small most maps can’t find it. Welch has called the area […]

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John Thomas

Kalamazoo Gals: A Story of Extraordinary Women and Gibson’s Banner Guitars of WWII
 
Kalamazoo-Gals

Intrigued by that “Only A Gibson Is Good Enough” decal on the headstock of his World War II-era Gibson Southern Jumbo, musician and writer John Thomas began delving into the story behind the famed Banner guitars. What he discovered is part thrilling mystery, part pure Americana history. The legend long upheld by Gibson’s own historians […]

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John Jorgenson

John Jorgenson’s Gypsy Jazz Orchestra
 
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Call it a “Gypsy jazz wall of sound.” John Jorgenson’s new album, Istiqbal Gathering, features the master guitarist backed by the full Orchestra Nashville – strings, woodwinds, brass, even percussion. The result would make Django Reinhardt himself envious. For Jorgenson, it all came naturally. “Recording solo guitar with a full orchestra is very different than […]

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The Morley Rotating Wah

Chromed Tone
 
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There was a time in the mythic ’70s when guitarists were real men and lugged around 15-pound Morley Rotating Wah pedals to gigs and studios. And if they weren’t real men, they had roadies who were! From the accelerator-like pedal to the chrome-plated chassis, Morley’s RWV and the firm’s other super-duty pedals were the American […]

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Robert Shaw and Peter Szego

Inventing the American Guitar
 
Inventing-the-American-Guitar

To start with the conclusion, this is hands-down one of the all-around best books on guitars ever published. From the scope of the coverage to the quality of the text and photos, the elegant design to the overall packaging, it’s simply glorious – an example all others guitar books should aspire to. Now, back to […]

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