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Author Archives: Michael Dregni

Steve Toth

Dobro Roots: A Photo Tour of Prewar Wood Body Dobros
 
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Hallelujah! At long last, a book on the Dobro. No, Steve Toth’s Dobro Roots may not be the complete, encyclopedic history unraveling the tangled tale of the Dobro concern from its contentious National spinoff through its Regal association, later retwining with National, and then its various postwar strands. (more…)

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Jeff Senn and Crazy Aces

Dealing Out Twang
 
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When you build guitars for a living, you might unwind with another hobby – say, beer-can collecting or crochet. Not Jeff Senn, mastermind behind Original Senn Guitars. He started a band. Call it R&D or just plain fun, but Senn’s band, Crazy Aces, is a funky, kitschy (more…)

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Echoplex EP-2

 
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Sam Phillips didn’t invent tape echo with his mid-’50s recordings of Elvis, but he just as well may have. So influential, so inspirational were those songs – with their warm, glorious slap-back echo created in Sun’s control room by two jerryrigged tape recorders – that budding rock-and-rollers everywhere had to have it. With the arrival […]

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Gibson 1928 L-1 Blues Tribute

Blues Time Machine
 
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Gibson 1928 L-1 Blues Tribute Price: $4,255 retail; $3,299 street Info: www.gibson.com. The Gibson L-1 boasts the kind of intriguing history that makes it a legend. In the late 1920s, it was the company’s low-end model. But Mississippi Delta blues man Robert Johnson happened upon (more…)

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Jerry Douglas

Slide Ruler - Jerry Douglas’ Love Affair with the Dobro
 
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You know, it’s the coolest-looking instrument that ever was made!” It should come as no surprise that Jerry Douglas is speaking about the Dobro and the various other resonator-equipped guitars in orbit around the Dopyera brothers’ creation. As probably the world’s most famous dobroist – and certainly the most recorded – he knows a thing […]

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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, he also composed many of the band’s songs, sang in […]

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Otis Redding and Aretha Franklin

The King of Soul The Queen of Soul
 
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First off, neither of these excellent four-CD sets includes personnel listings in their skimpy liner booklets. This is simply unpardonable – especially considering how stylish, how influential, how downright phenomenal the backlines are (more…)

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Andy Babiuk and Greg Prevost

The Stones Gear: All the Stones' Instruments From Stage to Studio
 
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The rest of the world may be titillated by what the Stones smoked, shot, snorted, or ingested. But some of us have our priorities straight; we’re more concerned with what the band strummed and drummed. Noted guitar historian Andy Babiuk is hip to all this. (more…)

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Little Feat

Rad Gumbo: The Complete Warner Bros. Years 1971/1990
 
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Little Feat’s run of records for Warner Bros. from 1971 to 1990 was no little feat. The band suffered the effects of too many genius musicians, personnel changes, drugs, and alcohol. In effect, too much of the bad old ’70s in general. The band’s music remains legendary, however. This 13-CD box set explains why. The […]

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The Strypes

Blue Collar Jane
 
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Here’s rock and roll like it used to be – ageless, timeless, and ready to count off again. The Strypes are a quartet from Ireland, all just 15 to 17 years old, running on pure raging teen energy, Ray-Bans, and Clearasil. And they play wailing, (more…)

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