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Monthly Archives: March 2005

Tinsley Ellis

On luck, the road, and The Hard Way

Tinsley Ellis is a road warrior, and he knows it. “I paid some dues early, and now it’s paying off,” he says. “I have friends in all 50 states and several countries.” He also knows what he’s doing. “I’m just one of the guys holding the door open until some young blues player comes and […]

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Blade California

Tone By Analysis

Long before Gary Levinson started making guitars under the Blade moniker, he was, like many builders, a guitar repair tech. He spent much of the 1960s and ’70s in that line of work before opening his own workshop in Switzerland in ’77. With degrees in applied and natural sciences, Levison approaches guitar building from an […]

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Xotic RC Booster, AC Booster, Robotalk

High-quality, and a new twist

Some would argue that the world of guitars and amps has reached the point of oversaturation. And right along with the teeming mass of G&A, throw in effects pedals. Everywhere you look, there’s a new pedal, along with tons of reissues, and, of course, real vintage pedals. Is it all becoming too much? Uhhh, hell […]

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The Derailers – Genuine


With the new year comes a look at this album, a fine record deserving of notice. The influences here are wide and varied, and the Derailers manage to mix them to put together a fine batch of tunes. Lead guitarist Brian Hofeldt is equally adept at twangy guitars on cuts like “Alone With You” as […]

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Jimmy Thackery and Tab Benoit – Whiskey Store Live

Whiskey Store Live

Two artists get together and record a live album. Could be disaster, could work great. Jimmy Thackery is a veteran who knows his way around a song, and Benoit is a marvel. About six months ago, I swore off online forums and chat rooms after some “genius” notified everybody else that his favorite player was […]

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The Steepwater Band – Dharmakaya


Plain and simple, folks, the Steepwater Band rocks! Usually, such a trite phrase is used to describe something that ends up being just the opposite. But not this time. The Steepwater Band is led by Jeff Massey on guitar and vocals and Michael Connelly on vocals, guitar, and harmonica. The rhythm section is Tod Bowers […]

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Danny Gatton – Funhouse


This is incredible stuff. Hardly a scoop to guitar players. What surprises me is that there are tapes of Danny Gatton out there that sound this good, and we’ve never heard them. This one’s a live recording from June of 1988, and features Danny with Funhouse, the jazz-based group of fellas he did a weekly […]

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Jing Chi – Live

Jing Chi Live

Okay, I admit. I’m a bit biased. But how can anyone, with a straight face, say any guitarist is making more, or better music than Robben Ford? I won’t list the stuff he’s worked on in the past five years, but if you include all of his band and studio material, along with his great […]

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Asleep At The Wheel – Live at Billy Bob’s Texas

Live at Billy Bob's Texas

Asleep at the Wheel has carved a niche almost as big as Texas by playing western swing. Begun in 1969, Asleep at the Wheel has stayed true to leader Ray Benson’s vision of what country music should sound like. Based on a style pioneered by Bob Wills (“the Elvis Presley of western swing”), Asleep at […]

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“Big” Al Anderson

Nashville By Way of Connecticut

Ask people what they know about “Big Al” Anderson and you’ll probably hear very different responses. Rockers will say that for 22 years he was the Tele-driving force behind New Rhythm and Blues Quartet (less formally and more popularly known as NRBQ), writing and singing their best-known songs. Fans of underground and classic rock will […]

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