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Monthly Archives: July 2001

Bill Hullett – Two-Lane Blacktop

 

Okay, by now you’re all saying, “Does this guy listen to anything besides jazz?” Well, here’s a killer instrumental album featuring a veteran Nashville studio picker. Not only does Hullett put on a nasty country-bend symposium on “Alligator Gar,” but he does it on a 1950 Fender Nocaster. Ditto for a killer cover of the […]

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The Meters – Trick Bag

 

Sundazed has done it again. This particular release is only one in a large series of CDs released by this fine band. And they did a great job with them all. Original liner notes mix with recollections by the band, and who can doubt the music? If you’re not familiar with the major-league funk and […]

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Speedy West and Jimmy Bryant – Swingin’ On The Strings, Volume 2

 

This is a followup to the fine Stratosphere Boogie collection from ’95, and like that one, it defies description. I can’t imagine listeners reactions to this stuff when they first heard it back in the ’50s. They must have thought it was country music from aliens. Bryant’s amazing guitar work, imaginative and plain old fast, […]

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Ralph Novak

Philosophy of the Luthier
 

I first met Ralph Novak in 1980, when he was working at Subway Guitars in Berkeley, California. I’d assembled a kit Strat and it needed a refret. My monstrosity was painted Shell Pink in tribute to Strats from Fender’s surf era. Little did I know what was to come of Ralph’s distant future. He was […]

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Ralph Novak

Philosophy of the Luthier
 

I first met Ralph Novak in 1980, when he was working at Subway Guitars in Berkeley, California. I’d assembled a kit Strat and it needed a refret. My monstrosity was painted Shell Pink in tribute to Strats from Fender’s surf era. Little did I know what was to come of Ralph’s distant future. He was […]

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Nick Lowe – Dig My Mood

 

It’s extremely tempting to start this review with something like…”I knew Nick Lowe when he used to rock and roll…,” but I won’t because it might make you think I don’t like this album. I love this album, but there’s not much on it that is rock and roll. What you’ll find here is a […]

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Los Lobos – El Cancionero – Mas y Mas

 

There’s a new four-CD retrospective containing 86 tracks, clocking in at five hours, spanning a dozen albums by one of the greatest bands in rock history. These guys reveal deep roots without pickling them in formaldehyde, are eclectic masters rather than mere dabblers, and are old farts who are still cutting-edge but never trendy. The […]

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Brian May

Thinking Man's Guitarist
 

Brian May is indubitably one of the most talented and influential musicians of his generation. His songs and guitar riffs carved an important place in rock and roll history. Long before his tenure with the legendary rock group Queen, May grew up the son of an electronics engineer/musician, so it’s no surprise he inherited his […]

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Reverend Drivetrain Overdrive

Authentic crunch, Ry Cooder to AC/DC
 

The new overdrive pedal from the canny folk at Reverend Musical Instruments is cleverly named the Drivetrain Overdrive, and it weighs in at a mere pound or so. Overdrives and distortion devices are becoming more focused, and this box is no exception – great package, with an ergonomic square box (none of these silly little […]

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Darrin Stout & the Starlighters

 

Stout is an obvious devotee of a number of different ’50s roots musical styles. You hear country twang, but it was early Sun stylists who left the strongest mark on this West Coast stringer. This is fun stuff – tube amps, old wood, great clothes, and never-ending I-IV-V chord variations. This approach to retro roots […]

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