Monthly Archives: December 2005

Brown Fretted/less Bass

Catches with the eye, keeps with the feel

The Brown’s Guitar Factory Fretted/less bass leaves an immediate impression. Yes, its Purpleheart body wings are attractive, as are its ebony-veneered maple headstock with abalone/mother-of-pearl, engraved/inked logo, and its graphite-reinforced through-body maple neck. But (more…)

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Tony Levin

Stickin' with the Low-End

It’s not surprising that Tony Levin has always been a player of instruments in the low end of the sonic range. From his experiences with upright basses in classical and jazz music through his ongoing, innovative efforts with his (more…)

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Robben Ford – Keep On Running


If there’s a guitarist working right now who I like more than Robben Ford, I’m not sure who it’d be. He’s done so many interesting projects in the past six or seven years – not just his own, but stuff with (more…)

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The Derek Trucks Band – Soul Serenade


Though a step back chronologically – tracks for this album were recorded in late ’99 and early 2000, before the release of the band’s 2002 Joyful Noise album – Soul Serenade is several steps forward stylistically and progressively for the Derek Trucks Band. And (more…)

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Bill Dixon – Guitar Collecting: How I Built a $65,000 Collection

Morris Publishing 2003

Bill Dixon has done what many of us have done. He bought, traded, and sold guitars. And he has done well. He made a profit that he plowed back into his (more…)

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Jay McShann – Goin’ to Kansas City


The story of Jay “Hootie” McShann is legend. Born in 1916, he got his start as a youth tickling the ivories in the infamous wide-open Kansas City barrooms and ballrooms. His Jay McShann Orchestra cut its first record (more…)

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Riders in The Sky – Silver Jubilee


Pulling off a successful musical parody is tough. Keeping the parody going for over 25 years is nearly impossible, but Riders In The Sky have done just that. Their longevity stems from their love of what they parody – country western music (more…)

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Fender Jazzmaster

Caught in the Surf

A 1965 Fender Jazzmaster in Surf Green. Photo: VG Archive. In the midst of its scramble to compete with Fender by developing the radical Flying V and Explorer guitars, Gibson likely didn’t realize that Leo Fender (more…)

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Steve Forbert – Any Old Time: Songs of Jimmy Rodgers


Steve Forbert’s voice and style have become so distinctive that he sounds great on this tribute to country pioneer Jimmy Rodgers, even as he rasps out yodels. Forbert has always been a stylist (more…)

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Jimi Hendrix – Live at Berkeley


Experience Hendrix has settled into a regular schedule of new Jimi releases. This latest is taken from a live performance in May, 1970, and shows Hendrix in good form with a now well-indoctrinated Billy Cox on bass, and a newly returned (more…)

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