Author Archives: Michael Dregni

Tony Bacon – Willie G. Moseley

The SG Guitar Book - Peavey Guitars
Into The Spotlight

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

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

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


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

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

“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

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

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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