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Author Archives: Michael Dregni

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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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, howling, and strutting R&B with raw force. Yes, this is […]

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Greg “Freddy” Camalier

Muscle Shoals
 
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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
 
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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
 
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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
 
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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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