304

Author Archives: Michael Dregni

Eric Clapton and Friends

The Breeze: An Appreciation of JJ Cale
After Midnight
 
Clapton-and-Friends

Eric Clapton has worn many a hat during his career. English bluesman, psychedelic guitar god, downhome roots rocker, even ’80s big-suited popmeister. In recent decades, he’s added another chapeau to the curious collection: tribute artist. We all owe a debt to those who came before (more…)

Posted in Music | Leave a comment

Steve Cropper

Homage to Lowman Pauling
 
COOPER-HOME-MAIN-BIG

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…)

Posted in Artists | Tagged | Leave a comment

Big Star

#1 Record, Radio city, Live In Memphis
Shining Even Brighter
 
Big-Star-#1-Record

Big Star’s star shone only briefly. The band formed in Memphis in 1971 around guitarists-songwriters Chris Bell and Alex Chilton, and then blazed out by ’74 despite rave critical reviews and two stellar albums. But the band’s renown has only ascended from (more…)

Posted in Music | Leave a comment

Steve Lowenthal and James Cullingham

Dance of Death: The Life of John Fahey, American Guitarist and
John Fahey’s Blues
 
In-Search-of-Blind-Joe-Faith

John Fahey is to the solo acoustic guitar what Jimi Hendrix was to the electric. Endlessly inventive, pioneering, and genre-defining, he was the player whom all subsequent guitarists had to listen to. Many of the 40 albums Fahey cut between 1959 and his death in 2001 are available in one form or another. But his […]

Posted in Music | Leave a comment

Tom Feldmann

No Need to Sell Your Soul
 
FELDERMAN_HOME_MAIN_THUMB

“And the Oscar goes to…” If they gave out Academy Awards for the best guitar instructional film, Tom Feldmann’s latest on Robert Johnson would be a shoe-in. We rarely review instructional videos, but this one is something special. And it’s more than just a how-to guide: it’s an in-depth, (more…)

Posted in Artists | Tagged | Leave a comment

Cry, Baby!

The Story of the Vox Wah
 
CRYBABY_HOME_MAIN_THUMB

Beyond being crowned “Album of the Century” by Time magazine, Marley and the Wailers’ 1977 LP Exodus is a wah-wah masterpiece thanks to Junior Marvin and his Thomas Organ Cry Baby. Others – from Earl Hooker to Jimi Hendrix, Frank Zappa to Sly Stone – made their mark with the pedal, but never has (more…)

Posted in Classic Instruments | Tagged | 1 Response

Maestro Fuzz-Tone

 
FUZZTONE-HOME-MAIN-THUMB

Fuzz. It’s the sound of fury, aggravation, indignation, and – considering the history of the most famous fuzzbox of all time, Maestro’s Fuzz-Tone – dissatisfaction. It’s also fitting as some of the first recorded electric fuzz guitar was heard via Howlin’ Wolf guitarist Willie Lee Johnson, (more…)

Posted in Classic Instruments | Tagged | Leave a comment

ToneTron’s Billy-Rocker

Best Amp You've Never Heard of
 
BILLYROCKER_HOME_MAIN_THUMB

ToneTron’s Billy-Rocker Price: $1,200 Info: www.tonetroamps.com. On a quiet residential street in Minneapolis lives a mad scientist. Erstwhile rockabilly guitarist Jeffrey Falla is the brains behind ToneTron. And from his laboratory come some of the best-sounding amps you’ve never heard of. Falla began modifying and (more…)

Posted in Gear | Tagged | Leave a comment

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…)

Posted in Gear | Tagged | Leave a comment

DeArmond Tremolo Control

 
DeARMOND_HOME_MAIN_THUMB

Even now – four decades on – Billy F Gibbons remembers the first time he heard a DeArmond Tremolo Control work its peculiar magic. “We first heard the effect not knowing what it was,” he says, speaking in the royal plural and summoning up recordings including Muddy Waters’ (more…)

Posted in Classic Instruments | 1 Response