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Monthly Archives: March 2010

Cage the Elephant – Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked


Brothers Brad and Matt Schultz had a rough youth in small-town Kentucky, where music, money and hope were hard to find. Growing up in an eventually broken home with six people squeezed into a two-bedroom apartment, they sneaked in Bob Dylan and Jimi Hendrix music behind the backs of disapproving parents. When Brad was 12, […]

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KayKraft Style A


1933 KayKraft Style A. Photo: Michael Wright. Almost any guitar can be viewed in terms of a confluence of influences that produced it, from the company history to the history of guitar evolution to the kind of music it was meant to play. But it’s rare that you get one so fully loaded as this […]

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Doug Fieger

A Knack For Classic Guitars

Doug Fieger. Photo by Neil Zlozower. As the 1970s drew to a close, the Knack’s “My Sharona” was one of the songs that heralded the beginning of the end of the disco era. A straightforward pop-rock tune, its infectious beat and mountainous hook all but guaranteed it would be a hit. The single’s success elevated […]

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Reverend Goblin 5-15

Ghostly Good

Reverend Goblin 5-15. Reverend’s Goblin 5-15 is the brainchild of Reverend founder Joe Naylor and Dennis Kager, of Pignose and Ampeg fame. The Goblin was designed as a simple single-channel, all-tube amp with certain boutique features in small package. At 163/4″ x 131/2″ x 91/2″ and 22 pounds, the Goblin certainly is transportable. Its lack […]

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The Bridge – Blind Man’s Hill


Singer/guitarist Cris Jacobs and singer/mandolinist Kenny Liner co-write the music for this Baltimore-based band. Jacobs writes songs with inherent soul. Whether slinky funk (like the opener, “Honey Bee”) or blues/rock with a ragtime feel (“Old White Lightning”) they ooze soul and taste. The latter even includes an understated wah solo. And though it would seem […]

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Gibson ES-175 Special Wurlitzer


1955 Gibson ES-175 Special Wurlitzer. From Gibson’s early years through the 1960s, the company made many custom instruments that mixed and matched specifications from various models. Few have been as intriguing as this custom ES-175 from 1955, made for musician Andy Nelson. The guitar itself is interesting enough, even without a connection to a player. […]

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Keith Urban

Down-Under Uber-Picker

All photos by Rusty Russell. For a guy born in New Zealand and reared in Australia, Keith Urban certainly knows how to grab the attention of Yankee music fans. The supertalented artist not only writes hit songs, gather accolades, and recently married a movie star (that’d be Nicole Kidman!), he is also a straight-up hellacious […]

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Tech 21 Trademark 60 and Bronzewood 60

60-Watt Combos to Go!

Tech 21 Trademark 60. Tech 21 has long been the purveyor of cool solidstate gear that replicates the sound of tube amps, like the famed SansAmp pedals and their wide array of preamps and amplifiers. Here are two of their combo amps, one for electric players and the other for acoustic folks. Let’s fire ‘em […]

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Robert Bradley – Out of the Wilderness


While Robert Bradley’s Blackwater Surprise deals in styles of music done by many bands – R&B, rock, soul, and jazz – it always brings an edge most bands don’t offer. Out of the Wilderness, the band’s first studio record in five years, has that feel. The inherent soulfulness of Bradley’s vocals lets the band do […]

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Penco A-15-JD


1975 Penco Model A-15-JD The 1970s is often called “the Copy Era” for the dominating presence and spectacular success of Japanese “copies” of popular American guitars, most notably of the Gibson Les Paul. Indeed, it was with these “copies” that many Japanese manufacturers honed their chops and became world-class guitar makers. In fact, it was […]

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