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Author Archives: Willie G. Moseley

’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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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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Eric Clapton’s “Blackie”

 
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This may well be the most desirable Fender Stratocaster on the face of the planet. And it happens to be a beat-up mongrel assembled from parts taken from three 1950s guitars. Nevertheless, Eric Clapton’s “Blackie” is one of the most recognized celebrity-associated instruments in the history of the electric guitar, and it served Slowhand’s needs […]

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Ian Hunter

New Music and a Mott Reunion
 
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Ian Hunter is upbeat when he discusses his newest album, Man Overboard, and the upcoming reunion with old friends in England for a series of 40th anniversary reunion concerts planned for this fall by Mott the Hoople, the legendary British hard-rock band Hunter fronted from 1969 to the mid ’70s. The album hints the veteran […]

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Peavey RJ-IV

 
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Peavey RJ-IV bass, serial number 04938996. Photo: Bill Ingalls Jr. Instrument courtesy of Naffaz Skota. Americans by the millions “know” Randy Jackson. But not many realize that his gig as one of three judges on TV’s “American Idol” is just the tip of (more…)

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The Vox Saturn IV

 
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In the mid 1960s, England’s Vox company was in the right place at the right time. Buoyed by frontline British Invasion endorsers such as the Beatles and American bands such as Paul Revere & the Raiders, the instrument/amplifier maker signed deals with almost every popular band. Even one-hit-wonders such as Music Machine (“Talk Talk”) brandished […]

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Ed Sanner

Fuzz Redux
 
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While not well-known in California guitar lore, Ed Sanner’s electronics designs have been heard by millions of guitar fans, and he has recently returned to building unique stomp boxes. Sanner didn’t take up guitar until the age of 18, but his interest in electronics began earlier. “I used (more…)

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Gibson EB-2

Kalamazoo’s Biggest Bass Innovation?
 
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In the mid 1950s, Gibson president Ted McCarty was paying close attention to two new instruments impacting the musical-instruments market – the solidbody electric guitar and the electric bass. Both had been developed by an upstart company called Fender, and Gibson’s original solidbodies, the Les Paul guitar and Electric Bass (VG, February ’06) were introduced […]

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Jack Bruce

Shadows and (Erstwhile) Short-Scale Basses
 

Veteran bassist Jack Bruce is back in action with a new album and tour. Best known for his membership in the legendary British trio, Cream (with Eric Clapton and drummer Ginger Baker), Bruce has stayed active over (more…)

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Greg Lake

Recalling the Music
 
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Bassist/vocalist/songwriter Greg Lake came to notice in 1969 as member of King Crimson and his membership in Emerson, Lake and Palmer cemented his place in the pantheon of progressive-rock icons. He also recorded numerous solo albums; his most recent, Songs of a Lifetime, is a career retrospective. “The idea came during the writing of my […]

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