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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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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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Bruce and Butter

 
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It would be an understatement to say that REO Speedwagon bassist Bruce Hall and his 1965 Fender Jazz Bass, dubbed “Butter,” have been through a lot. Born and raised in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, Hall, who has been with the band for more than 30 years, acquired this mainstay when he was 16. In an ironic twist, […]

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The Fender Bullet Deluxe/JP-90

No Frills, Didn’t Fly
 
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    Fender has tried more than once to market basses with a low-budget vibe. And while the idea is laudable, most of the offerings never really caught on. In the early ’80s, Fender – then owned by CBS – was on a downward slide thanks in part to quality-control issues and uninspired products. And […]

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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 in the middle of a song without doffing their part. And though […]

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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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Fender Precision Bass

The “Final” Configuration
 
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The Fender Precision Bass was the first commercially successful solidbody electric bass. Played somewhat like a guitar and sporting a fretted neck, the “P-Bass” won over players in almost every genre who previously had to contend with the cumbersome upright bass. In its original configuration, the instrument, introduced in 1952, had a maple neck with […]

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Elliot Easton

Different Directions
 
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Lefty guitarist Elliot Easton has chosen a different route for his most recent musical venture, but its sonic direction should come as no surprise to any fan who has followed his long career. Easton Island is a collection of instrumentals that showcase the melodic sensibilities of the guitarist and his current musical associates in Elliot […]

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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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Mary Kaye

Beyond the Stratocaster Connection
 
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Most informed guitar enthusiasts associate veteran “lounge” guitarist Mary Kaye with the unique ’50s Fender Stratocaster model (blond finish, gold hardware) that has assumed her proper name as its designation. However, it’s ironic that she never owned a “Mary Kaye” Strat in the time that she brandished one in publicity photos of the Mary Kaye […]

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