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Monthly Archives: May 2004

Gibson Electric Uke

By Request of Arthur Godfrey

Ted McCarty, Gibson’s president from 1948 to ’66, was responsible for some of Gibson’s greatest designs. While McCarty cites the Les Paul Model as his most important design, his other credits include the ES-335, the Flying V, the McCarty pickup, and McCarty bridge. But one design that never appears on McCarty’s list of accomplishments is […]

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Stephen Bruton

In the Spirt of the Ft. Worth Tradition

You’ve likely heard Stephen Bruton without knowing who he is. He has backed up luminaries like Kris Kristofferson and Bonnie Raitt, and appeared in numerous movies. While Bruton was raised in Fort Worth, Texas, his experiences in his fledgling years weren’t ensconced in one musical genre, which paid off with his association with various other […]

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Montrose – The Very Best of Montrose

The Very Best of Montrose

Ronnie Montrose is known less for his guitar capabilities than for fronting a mid-’70s hard rock band that featured an unknown lead singer named Sammy Hagar. Still, Montrose released a quartet of heavy albums before heading into solo-artist obscurity. This new collection from Rhino features 18 tracks selected by Montrose, who also provides commentary in […]

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Tim O’Brien – Two Journeys

Two Journeys

In his recent VG interview, Tim O’Brien mentioned that his next release would be more of a “songwriter” CD. Instead, his latest, Two Journeys, is an extension of his album, The Crossing, which drank deep from his Irish background for its musical inspiration. Two Journeys also shows the strong influence of Mother Ireland not only […]

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The Yardbirds – Ultimate

The Yardbirds: Ultimate

Two fallacies that invariably arise in discussions of the Yardbirds: 1) declaring them the fathers of psychedelic music and/or heavy metal; 2) focusing on their colossal lead guitar lineage at the expense of their collective person ality and talent as a band. Because the important aspect to remember about the former is that, while the […]

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Kim Wilson – Smokin’ Joint

Smokin' Joint

This CD, recorded over a two-year period, spotlights the world class work of the legendary T-Birds frontman, but of interest to the readers of this publication would be the four – count ‘em, four – great guitarists lending support. You kind of get the feeling that this level of musicianship is hiding around every corner […]

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Muddy Waters – The Blues: Rolling Stone 1941-1950

The Blues: Rolling Stone 1941-1950

This new collection chronicles the rise of Muddy Waters from tractor driver to the king of the blues. It presents 36 of his formative first recordings on two CDs covering his debut years from 1941 to ’50. Included here are a sample of Muddy’s premiere recordings, captured by folklore collector Alan Lomax for the Library […]

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The Spencer Davis Group – I’m A Man & Gimme Some Lovin’

I'm A Man & Gimme Some Lovin'

In its original incarnation, the Spencer Davis Group was one of the best R&B or pop bands of the British Invasion. Unfortunately, that incarnation only stayed together long enough to record two albums. Fortunately, Sundazed has reissued both on CD, each with eight bonus tracks. The reason the lineup was so short-lived was, of course, […]

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Brian Setzer ’68 Comeback Special – Ignition


Okay, I confess. Somehow this one slid in under the radar. Released in late summer, it features Setzer back in a trio setting, basically just cutting loose, guitar-wise and vocally. And let’s face it, any album that has him playing this much guitar should be brought to the attention of players everywhere. The band (named […]

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Janiva Magness – Blues Ain’t Pretty

Blues Ain't Pretty

Well, I do agree, the blues ain’t pretty. But svelte torch singer Janiva Magness sure is a sight for sore eyes. In addition to belting out the blues and fronting her own band in Southern California, she plays that wacky percussion corset known in Zydeco circles as a “Da Rubboard,” or da Madonna (you get […]

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