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Author Archives: Michael Dregni

John Jorgenson

John Jorgenson’s Gypsy Jazz Orchestra

Call it a “Gypsy jazz wall of sound.” John Jorgenson’s new album, Istiqbal Gathering, features the master guitarist backed by the full Orchestra Nashville – strings, woodwinds, brass, even percussion. The result would make Django Reinhardt himself envious. For Jorgenson, it all came naturally. “Recording solo guitar with a full orchestra is very different than […]

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The Morley Rotating Wah

Chromed Tone

There was a time in the mythic ’70s when guitarists were real men and lugged around 15-pound Morley Rotating Wah pedals to gigs and studios. And if they weren’t real men, they had roadies who were! From the accelerator-like pedal to the chrome-plated chassis, Morley’s RWV and the firm’s other super-duty pedals were the American […]

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Robert Shaw and Peter Szego

Inventing the American Guitar

To start with the conclusion, this is hands-down one of the all-around best books on guitars ever published. From the scope of the coverage to the quality of the text and photos, the elegant design to the overall packaging, it’s simply glorious – an example all others guitar books should aspire to. Now, back to […]

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Magnatone Twilighter

King of Vibrato

Magnatone Twilighter Price: $2,249 (12″ combo, list) Info: Magnatone is dead, long live Magnatone! The original Magnatone amp company died in 1969 after several decades of making storied “Golden Voice” amps noted for their “real” vibrato effect. Buddy Holly played his Strat through one, Scotty Moore swore by his, and Neil Young remains a […]

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Molly Maher and Her Band of Disbelievers

Merry Come Up
Real-Phonic Records

Molly Maher is blessed. She writes songs that ring true. Her singing is a fine balance of deep and soulful, somewhere between Lucinda Williams and Emmylou Harris. And to top it all, she picks a mean guitar. On her fourth release, she leads her loose-knit Disbelievers through a sweet blend of folk, bluesy, and countryfried […]

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The Clash


In the far distant past – 1979, to be exact – the Clash were crowned “The Only Band That Matters.” The mantra originally appeared on a promo sticker stuck to their double LP London Calling. Initially coined by their label’s A&R director, it soon was accepted by fans and followers as a truth self-evident. Since […]

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The Grateful Dead

May 1977

Over the decades, the Grateful Dead played more than 2,000 concerts, but none are as fabled, as mythologized as their performances on the magical spring 1977 tour. This 14-disc box set collects five complete shows from that run, displaying the band at a peak of energy and experimentation. The tour came at an opportune time […]

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The Allman Brothers Band

Brothers and Sisters 40th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition

In the 40 years since Brothers and Sisters was released in 1973, we’ve lived roughly half our lives. And if you are a fan of classic rock, this album likely provided a soundtrack – and you probably wore out several copies of the original vinyl along the way. It’s also an album with a story, […]

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Ben Fong-Torres

Willin': The Story of Little Feat

That Lowell George could play the guitar has never been in dispute. But most of the rest of the story of Little Feat is. To start with, no one can quite agree on how the band’s name originated, and it only gets more convoluted from there. That only makes the band’s story – or we […]

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The Grateful Dead

Sunshine Daydream

Every true Deadhead had the bootleg tape: a cassette too many generations removed from the original recording, notated innocently enough as “Kesey’s Ranch ’72.” That show – played as a benefit for author and lead Merry Prankster Ken Kesey at the Oregon County Fairgrounds in Veneta, Oregon, on August 27, 1972, to be exact – […]

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