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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 most eyecatching amongst its features is the two-octave fingerboard. And not simply because it’s ebony, but more because it’s fretted… er… […]

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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 Chapman Electric Sticks as well as his Music Man electric basses, Levin’s been a force to […]

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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 his brothers and Jing Chi, and studio work that just cooks, that it’d be […]

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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 that’s one of the most satisfying things about this album; save […]

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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 collection. He built up a nice collection of instruments and had a lot of fun doing it. The one thing Dixon did that most […]

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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 in 1941 featuring singer Walter Brown and a budding K.C. saxman named Charlie Parker. Through those earlier […]

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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 as epitomized by Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, The Sons Of The Pioneers, Tex […]

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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 its radical Flying V and Explorer guitars, the Gibson company likely didn’t realize that Leo Fender was similarly trying to loosen its grip on the jazz guitar market of the late 1950s. At […]

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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 and great songwriter, so it’s fun to hear him do someone else’s songs. He, of course, labored under the “new Dylan” label […]

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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 Mitch Mitchell on drums. Previewing several of the in-progress songs slated for a new […]

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