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Author Archives: Michael Dregni

Brian Setzer

Sparking Another Rockabilly Riot
 
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Three decades, umpteen records, and several stellar bands into his career, and Brian Setzer still makes rockabilly sound fresh and exciting. This album has much of the verve of his debut, 1981’s Stray Cats, and his so-called “’68 Comeback Special,” Ignition. For a musician this far along (more…)

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Mark Makin

Palm Trees, Senoritas... and Rocket Ships!
Amazing Worlds
 
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Tackling the long and winding history of the Dopyera brothers – John, Rudy, Emil, Robert, and Louis – has proved daunting for guitar historians. Mark Makin does it in style with this huge tome, chronicling the wares of National, Dobro, Supro, Airline, Custom Kraft, DB (more…)

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Grammatico LaGrange

Have Mercy!
 
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Grammatico LaGrange Price: $1,850 Info: www.grammaticoamps.com. Stop the presses! John Grammatico has added a second amp to his line. Of course, this wouldn’t be headline news with most amp-makers, who boast dizzying lines of models and variations with added doohickeys and miscellaneous whatnot. But, Mr. Grammatico has (more…)

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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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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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