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Author Archives: Willie G. Moseley

Nick Moss

Musical Horizons Beyond Chicago
 
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Since 2007, guitarist/vocalist Nick Moss has released five albums on his Blue Bella label, including two live discs. And while Moss still loves his Chicago-style blues, his most recent effort, Here I Am, is an adventurous album. Though it begins with a raucous Windy City-type rave-up called “Why You So Mean,” by the third/title track, […]

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Kramer Aluminum-Neck Basses

 
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When it entered the music-instrument market in 1976, Kramer Guitars made a big splash with an aggressive marketing campaign, big-name endorsers, and – most importantly – an improved approach to the then-fresh concept of aluminum necks. In terms of stability, the aluminum neck was seen as an improvement over wood. And while Kramer Guitars followed […]

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The G&L El Toro

 
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At the beginning of 1983, Leo Fender was just more than three years into his last guitar-manufacturing venture when he decided to diversify the company’s bass lineup. Until that point, G&L had marketed the one-pickup L-1000, the two-pickup L-2000, and the no-frills SB-1 and SB-2 models – all with fairly traditional, straightforward designs. The brand’s […]

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The Guild Starfire Bass

 
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In the mid ’60s, Guild took its knocks for making guitars that looked “inspired by” Gibson models. Fans of the brand think the sterotype is unfair, of course, and certainly, many Guilds from the era have their own intrigue. One very good example is the Starfire Bass. Guild was founded by musical-instrument importer/distributor Al Dronge […]

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Humble Pie At the Fillmore

Frampton Reflects
 
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By the time Humble Pie reached “breakthrough” status in the U.S. thanks to its live album, Performance – Rockin’ the Fillmore, Peter Frampton had departed and begun to beat the odds by forging a successful solo career. “When the album started selling like hotcakes, I wondered if I’d (more…)

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The Carvin LB70

Höfner Hybrid
 
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When a Carvin instrument has been featured in this space over the years, it was a either a doubleneck or an unusual custom instrument. And while the 1977 LB70 featured this month was a production bass, it was still unique. Carvin was founded in the mid (more…)

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Carvin DN640K

 
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Doubleneck instruments have always been a unique niche in the guitar market, for good reason. They’ve also carried an air of superiority or the insinuation that they were intended for pro players; i.e., those who could deftly switch from one instrument to another (more…)

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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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Kay Jazz Special and Value Leader

 
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Kay entered the electric bass market in the mid 1950s with the K162, which later morphed into the similar K5965 (VG, March 2011), and while each met with a modicum of success, in 1960, the Chicago-based instrument maker introduced two near-polar-opposite four-strings. The epitome of the aesthetic excess for which Kay’s electric basses became known, […]

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The Rickenbacker 4000

 
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The model 4000 was not only Rickenbacker’s first foray into the electric-bass market, it was decidedly different from Fender’s Precision – the original electric bass. Beyond frets, four strings, and their role in a musical combo, they have little in common. In the 1950s, F.C. Hall forged Rickenbacker into a modern guitar manufacturer. Striving to […]

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