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Author Archives: Michael Dregni

Jordan Boss Tone

Little Fuzz with the Big Buzz
 
JORDAN BOSS TONE

In the august and revered Hall of Fame of Fuzz, the Jordan Boss Tone deserves a prominent pedestal. Perhaps it should be in a cabinet of cute curiosities. Or maybe it’s as a memento mori, an example of a dead end in the search for overdriven guitar tone bliss. Either way, there should be a […]

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Mu-FX Tru-Tron 3X

Get Tha Funk Out
 

The Mu-FX Tru-Tron 3X Price: $369.63 Contact: www.mu-fx.com. Think funk. Think Bootsy Collins’ wacked-out Parliament Funkadelic Space Bass lines. Think Stevie Wonder’s wah’d Clavinet on his ’73 hit “Higher Ground.” Think Mu-Tron III. The secret mastermind behind that sound was engineer Mike Beigel, creator of the (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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The Carr Skylark

Desert-Island Amp
 
Carr Skylark

The Carr Skylark Price: $2,390 (list) Contact: www.carramps.com If you could own only a single guitar amp – horror of horrors! – Steve Carr’s new Skylark just might be the one. When it comes to building modern boutique amps inspired by classic vintage designs, few people (more…)

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Cry, Baby!

The Story of the Vox Wah
 
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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…)

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Maestro Fuzz-Tone

 
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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…)

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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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Deke Dickerson

The Strat In The Attic 2
Guitarchaeology
 
Deke-Dickerson

When Deke Dickerson’s first Strat In The Attic book debuted in 2013, it was an instant best-seller among guitarists in the smart set. Beer parties were abuzz; jam sessions dissolved into ersatz book groups rife with heated literary discussion. As the subtitle promised, the volume was (more…)

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JD McPherson

Let The Good Times Roll
On A Roll
 
JD-McPherson

JD McPherson was a middle-school teacher in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, with a rock and roll band on the side. Then he lost his job and decided to make a record. He cut Signs And Signifiers at the oh-so-cool Hi-Style Studio in Chicago, got picked up nationally (more…)

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Robert Earl Keen

Happy Prisoner: The Bluegrass Sessions
Happy Listeners
 
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Robert Earl Keen is all about roots. He has mined his Texas upbringing to create a celebrated career playing Americana that’s ranged widely from folk to country and beyond. His latest foray steps back to his lifelong love of bluegrass. And yet this album is less (more…)

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