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Monthly Archives: January 2014

Gretsch’s “Golden” Tenors

 
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In the 1950s and early ’60s, the electric guitar was establishing itself as a key part of the new voice of popular music. Amplification provided its volume, and innovative artists were pushing the envelope of sound that could be offered by six strings. So it’s interesting that in a time referred to in retrospect as […]

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Marty Stuart

Current Traditions
 
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The latest record from Marty Stuart, Ghost Train: The Studio B Sessions, is a tour de force of country music styles that celebrates the past while pushing firmly into the future. And that’s what renaissance man Stuart was aiming for… “Well, traditional country music is what interests me the most,” he said. “Sometimes, I miss […]

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Robert Shaw and Peter Szego

Inventing the American Guitar
 
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To start with the conclusion, this is hands-down one of the all-around best books on guitars ever published. From the scope of the coverage to the quality of the text and photos, the elegant design to the overall packaging, it’s simply glorious – an example all others guitar books should aspire to. Now, back to […]

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Fender’s J Mascis

Fender’s J Mascis Artist Jazzmaster - J’s Rockin’ Axe
 
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Introduced in the late 1950s as Fender’s “jazz guitar,” the Jazzmaster was also supposed to compete in the market with Gibson’s semi-hollow ES line. But despite its very specific moniker, the guitar never caught on with the jazz crowd. Lucky for Leo, the Jazzmaster was hijacked by many of the top surf and instrumental bands […]

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The G&L El Toro

 
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At the beginning of 1983, Leo Fender was just more than three years into his last guitar-manufacturing venture when he decided to diversify the company’s bass lineup. Until that point, G&L had marketed the one-pickup L-1000, the two-pickup L-2000, and the no-frills SB-1 and SB-2 models – all with fairly traditional, straightforward designs. The brand’s […]

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Fareed Haque

Out of Nowhere
 
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For the most part, Fareed Haque’s new recording harkens back to the days when Blue Note Records ruled the jazz world. The songs are soulful, moody, and feature great playing by Haque and others, including jazz vets Billy Hart and George Mraz. The opener, the Haque original “Waiting For Red,” lets you in on what’s […]

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Gibson ES-335 Joe Bonamassa Signature Model

A Semi-Hollow For Joe
 
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Gibson ES-335 Joe Bonamassa Signature Model Price: $3,335 (street) Contact: gibson.com. The collaboration of Gibson and blues-rocker Joe Bonamassa began with a limited run of goldtop Les Paul’s in 2009, followed by a more-affordable Studio version and another Custom Shop version, the latter sporting a beautiful flamed-maple top. Gibson and Bonamassa have teamed up again […]

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Folk Legend Pete Seeger Passes

 

Renowned folk singer/songwriter, musicologist, organizer, and political activist Pete Seeger died January 27 at a hospital in New York City. He was 94 and passed from natural causes. Seeger was born in 1919 to Charles Seeger, Jr. and his wife, Constance. Charles Seeger is credited with helping found the academic discipline of ethnomusicology in his […]

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Dave Hunter

The Fender Stratocaster: The Life and Times of the World's Greatest Guitar and Its Players
 
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The title of this new book is not hyperbole. The book truly covers not only the origin and history of the iconic guitar, but also includes short features on guitar players who make their living with, or are associated with, the Fender Stratocaster. In between there’s plenty of text to let you know what made […]

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Gibson Super 400 PN

 
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The Gibson Super 400 Premiere cutaway acoustic first appeared in Gibson literature in the 1940 catalog, on a page showing it and the L-5 Premiere in clear “natural” finish. The photo shows the Super 400 PN held by George Smith (described as “Paramount staff guitarist”) and the L-5PN held by Eddie Skrivanek (“radio and studio […]

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