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Category Archives: Music

The Gourds

All the Labor

In October 2013, a mere month after releasing their 10th LP (and 19 years after forming), the Gourds announced that they were taking a hiatus. With the Austin, Texas, alt-country quintet’s new album (produced by Larry Campbell) barely a month old, the timing was curious. All the Labor reveals some possible reasons for the band’s […]

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Michael Schenker’s Temple of Rock

Bridge the Gap

Despite Michael Schenker’s infamy as a member of the Scorpions, UFO, and MSG, he seems to have put his demons behind him. On this new album, Schenker is a clean, mean, guitar-playing machine. Continuing the fiery trajectory of 2011’s Temple Of Rock, he reunites Scorpions bassist Francis Buchholz with current drummer Herman Rarebell. Adding former […]

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John Thomas

Kalamazoo Gals: A Story of Extraordinary Women and Gibson’s Banner Guitars of WWII

Intrigued by that “Only A Gibson Is Good Enough” decal on the headstock of his World War II-era Gibson Southern Jumbo, musician and writer John Thomas began delving into the story behind the famed Banner guitars. What he discovered is part thrilling mystery, part pure Americana history. The legend long upheld by Gibson’s own historians […]

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Dinosaur Jr.

Dinosaur Jr. The Official Book

Though he introduced unabashed (and deafening) guitar heroics to the indie slacker nation, Dinosaur Jr.’s J Mascis is more often cast as an impossible misanthrope. This stunning new coffee-table book, though brimming with ultra-rare photography and memorabilia, also details all the sonic and personal mayhem in the words of the founding members, colleagues, and associates. […]

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Port City Prophets


The Prophets are a blues-rock bar band that brings around a lot of people to music they might not otherwise have heard. The PCPs will remind you of both Grand Funk and ZZ Top. With the opening cut “Close Your Eyes,” they’ll also bring fond echoes of Lee Michaels to those who remember. When guitarist […]

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Eric Bibb

Celebrating Wendell Berry In Music and Jericho Road

Kentuckian Wendell Berry is a 79-year- old farmer, activist, novelist, journalist, and poet. He has received numerous awards, but never anything like this tribute, which puts Berry’s words to music – in two distinct formats, each succeeding admirably. One CD, In Song And Shade, finds Berry reading from 10 of his poems, which are then […]

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Robert Shaw and Peter Szego

Inventing the American Guitar

To start with the conclusion, this is hands-down one of the all-around best books on guitars ever published. From the scope of the coverage to the quality of the text and photos, the elegant design to the overall packaging, it’s simply glorious – an example all others guitar books should aspire to. Now, back to […]

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Fareed Haque

Out of Nowhere

For the most part, Fareed Haque’s new recording harkens back to the days when Blue Note Records ruled the jazz world. The songs are soulful, moody, and feature great playing by Haque and others, including jazz vets Billy Hart and George Mraz. The opener, the Haque original “Waiting For Red,” lets you in on what’s […]

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Dave Hunter

The Fender Stratocaster: The Life and Times of the World's Greatest Guitar and Its Players

The title of this new book is not hyperbole. The book truly covers not only the origin and history of the iconic guitar, but also includes short features on guitar players who make their living with, or are associated with, the Fender Stratocaster. In between there’s plenty of text to let you know what made […]

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Bob Dylan

The Complete Album Collection Vol. One

What to make of a box set compiling the half-century career of the most towering figure in American popular music? After all, Bob Dylan’s stature ensures that the target market already owns a goodly number (and in many cases, all) of the 41 live and studio albums contained here – and probably many in glorious […]

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