Author Archives: Ward Meeker

Johnny Moeller and Mike Keller

Two for T(-Birds)

Every fan of blues music is familiar with the Fabulous Thunderbirds. Founded in 1974 by two guys who would go on to become Texas musical legends, guitarist Jimmie Vaughan and vocalist/harpist/front man Kim Wilson, the band spent its first decade building momentum around the south before tasting international stardom in 1986, when their first album […]

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Six-String Kicks

Wood from Famed Bowling Alley Set to Sing
Six-String Kicks

Few things scratch America’s cumulative itch for nostalgia like Route 66 – the famed wagon-trail-cum-highway that offered passage to those migrating west from Chicago in the mid 19th century, then later became known as Main Street America.  For decades, the road provided the means to a living for entrepreneurs who set up shop offering food, […]

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James Jamerson, Jr. Passes


James Jamerson, Jr.,  a noted session bassist for Motown and other studios, passed away March 23 in Detroit. He was 58 and had long suffered with ankylosing spondylitis, a chronic inflammatory autoimmune disease that affects the spine. The son of the legendary Motown bassist James (more…)

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MXR Launches M300 Reverb Pedal


MXR’s M300 Reverb pedal produces six reverbs – Plate, Spring, Epic, Mod, Room, and Pad – with a three-knob setup and an analog dry path. Its EXP output blends between two configurations, while its dry path boasts 20 volts of headroom and a choice of (more…)

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Dr. Z Offers DB4A


The Dr. Z DB4A is the company’s fourth amp designed in collaboration with Brad Paisley. Offering adjustable 18/38 watts output, it uses a 5879 pentode preamp tube, four EL84 output tubes, and has controls for Volume, Tone, and Cut. It is available as a head, 1×12 combo with a (more…)

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Electro-Harmonix Offers Mel9 Tape Replay


The Electro-Harmonix Mel9 Tape Replay Machine replicates nine Mellotron sounds – Orchestra, Cello, Strings, Flute, Clarinet, Saxophone, Brass, Low Choir, and High Choir. It can be used with non-modified guitars and basses (down to the open A string) and has controls for Effect and Dry volume, (more…)

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Graph Tech Intros Inviso-Match Mounting Plates, Ratio Balanced Gear Machine Heads


Graph Tech Guitar Labs’ Inviso-Match Mounting Plate system was designed to simplify machine-head replacement by eliminating to need to drill new holes for the screws, leave old holes exposed, or fill them in. The company’s Ratio Balanced Gear Machine Heads include brushed-aluminum adapter plates (more…)

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Nicholas Harris, Founder of Catalinbread Effects, Passes


Nicholas Harris, the founder of effects-pedal builder Catalinbread, died March 9 when a tree, felled by heavy winds, landed on his car as he drove U.S. 26 in Portland, Oregon. He was 37. Harris founded Catalinbread in 2003. (more…)

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Radial Introduces Mix-Blender


Radial Engineering’s Mix-Blender allows a guitarist or bassist to mix two instrument or effects signals, then blend effects into the signal, like a mixing console. Its two inputs use discrete Class-A/unity-gain buffers with adjustable Level controls that do not boost or color the signal. All connections (more…)

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Railhammer Launches Billy Corgan Signature Pickup


Railhammer’s Billy Corgan Signature Pickup was developed with the Smashing Pumpkins guitarist and has dual coils wound to produce a mild midrange bump, imparting a slight “cocked wah pedal” effect. Other features include universal spacing, German-silver cover, brass baseplate, four-conductor wiring with independent ground, (more…)

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