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Author Archives: Willie G. Moseley

George Kilby, Jr.

The Succinct Approach
 
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George Kilby, Jr.’s Six Pack is, he says, a “collection of singles” rather than an EP or album. Kilby graduated from Princeton, where his mentor, J.K. Randall, introduced him to Pinetop Perkins, legendary pianist for the Muddy Waters Band. “The main thing Pine gave me in terms of style and sound is economy,” Kilby recounted. […]

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Danelectro’s Four-String Basses

 
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The guitars and basses made by Danelectro in the ’60s epitomized “no frills.” And though they were considered the nadir of American-made electric instruments of their time, many a babyboomer cut their musical teeth on one. The construction of most “classic” Danelectro-made guitars and basses – whether they were branded as Danelectro or the more-popular […]

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Pete Huttlinger

A Narrative (and album) From the Heart
 
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To call Pete Huttlinger a survivor is an understatement. The notable Nashville fingerpicker has fought back from a major stroke and end-stage heart failure to record the most important album of his career, McGuire’s Landing. The effort began years ago, and Huttlinger had recorded some of its tracks (more…)

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Tommy Smith

Leogun’s Led Zep Connection
 
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Some of the loudest buzz – literally and figuratively – in music surrounds the London-base power trio Leogun, fronted by guitarist/vocalist Tommy Smith. The band’s neo-retro sound has drawn comparison to Led Zeppelin, but Smith is influenced by a long list of names. “I’m lucky I was brought (more…)

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Kurt Hendrick

History of the Mystery
 
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One of the most enigmatic brands in the recent history of American guitars was Hendrick, the funky solidbody electrics created by designer Kurt Hendrick. • The son of an aerospace engineer, Hendrick grew up in the 1960s near the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Space Center Houston (when it was called the Manned Spacecraft Center) […]

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Robin’s ’80s Import Basses

 
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While the Robin guitar brand’s reverse “imported then domestic” chronology has been documented in this space, the basses shown here are the first import models marketed by the company (and one of them is from the very first shipment). Robin guitars were marketed beginning in 1982, and basses (all manufactured by ESP in Japan) followed […]

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James Elkington

Windy City Diversity
 
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James Elkington tweaked the paradigm when he began working at a luthier shop before hitting his stride as a guitarist. Born and raised in a small English village northwest of London, his interest in the guitar blossomed relatively late. “It seemed the coolest instrument on offer and, as (more…)

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Paul Gabriel

Rollin’ With Robillard
 
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For Paul Gabriel, the opportunity to work with fellow guitarist Duke Robillard happened decades after they’d met and first played together, but Gabriel finally garnered Robillard’s production and playing services for his latest album, What’s the Chance. Gabriel has recorded with Harry Chapin and Rory Block, and toured with Michael Bolton, but it was get-togethers […]

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Mosrite Basses

The Golden Decade: Ventures and Beyond
 
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Mention the Ventures to a pop-music aficionado and the conversation will likely focus on the surf-music phenomenon of the early 1960s or – if that person also happens to be instrument-savvy – the band’s affiliation with Mosrite guitars and basses. Though the partnership lasted only a half-decade, the Ventures have been perpetually associated with Mosrite, […]

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’68 Truetone by Kay/Valco

 
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The year 1968 was not a good one for American manu­facturers of stringed instruments. M.C.A. closed the original Danelectro, and what was left of Kay and Valco was locked in a tailspin. Valco bought the remnants of Kay in ’67, and attempted to combine the brand with their own products, but to no (more…)

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