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Author Archives: Michael Dregni

Tony Bacon – Willie G. Moseley

The SG Guitar Book - Peavey Guitars
Into The Spotlight
 
Tony-Bacon

Whatever were they thinking? In hindsight, it’s tough to fathom how Gibson could scrap the Les Paul Standard at the end of 1960 and replace it in ’61 with a new design, the SG, or Solid Guitar. But, as prolific guitar scribe Tony (more…)

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Z.Vex Fuzz Probe

There-Mayhem
 
Z.Vex Fuzz Probe

Z.Vex Fuzz Probe Price: $369 Contact: www.zvex.com The Z.Vex Fuzz Factory pedal unleashed sonic possibilities ranging from a horde of wasps to the (presumed) sound of the end of the world and became a go-to stompbox for extreme-rock and heavy metal guitarists. The company’s (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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Keith Richards

Crosseyed Heart
Still Happy
 
Keith-Richards

The old pirate may have just turned 72, but that doesn’t seem to have slowed him down. Welcome to Keith Richards’ third solo album – and his first in 23 years. The album arrived in the midst of the hoopla surrounding the Rolling Stones’ (more…)

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Lotus Pedal Designs’ Snowjob Underdrive

Love That Yellow Snow
 
Lotus Pedal Designs’ Snowjob Underdrive

Lotus Pedal Designs’ Snowjob Underdrive Price: $149 Contact: www.lotuspedaldesigns.com You may be wondering, “What in the world is an ‘underdrive’ pedal?” Good question. Well, you know the traffic-jam of overdrive pedals you likely have crowding around your amp, all designed to push it (more…)

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Tom Feldmann

No Need to Sell Your Soul
 
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“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…)

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Peter Guralnick

Sam Phillips: The Man Who Invented Rock 'n Roll
Rocking The World
 
Peter-Guralnick

Sam Phillips was not a guitarist – though he did play drums and sousaphone in his high-school marching band. But he had great ears. And, in launching his Memphis Recording Service and later, Sun Records, he discovered or cut some of the earliest (more…)

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Maestro Rover R0-1

The UFO of Rotating Speakers
 
Maestro’s Rover R0-1

To record “Little Wing,” Jimi Hendrix plugged his Stratocaster into his usual amplifier, then did the unthinkable; he ran guitar signal into an organ speaker – a Leslie rotating-speaker cabinet. Inventor Donald Leslie had designed the unit for Hammond organs, offering a swirling, otherworldy sound ideal for church services, scary or watery sonic effects for […]

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Marty Stuart, Doyle Lawson, Vince Gill, and more

Orthophonic Joy: The 1927 Bristol Sessions Revisited
Back to the Beginning
 
Orthophonic-Joy

The sessions produced by Ralph S. Peer over 12 days in July and August of 1927 in a makeshift Bristol, Tennessee, studio featuring Jimmie Rodgers, the Carter Family, and others are often termed the Big Bang of Country Music. That label sounds good – but like most such labels, it’s an oversimplification that hides the […]

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