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Tag Archives: features

Bill Kirchen

Seeds, Stems, and a Tele-fied Legacy
 
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There’s ample revisiting in Seeds and Stems, Telecaster slinger Bill Kirchen’s third album for Proper America. Five of the 13 songs hearken back to his late-’60s/mid-’70s days with pioneer country-rockers Commander Cody and his Lost Planet Airmen. “Flip Flop,” “Womb To The Tomb” and “Rockabilly Funeral,” are longstanding favorites of his solo repertoire, as is […]

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Louis Electric Buster

Beyond Deluxe
 
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Louis Electric Buster Price: $1,595. Info: louisamps.com Lou Rosano has been building amps in the Fender vein for more than 17 years. His first build wound up in the hands of the late Danny Gatton, and other greats who have played through his Louis (more…)

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Nioma Guitars

Rarities from a West Coast Music School
 
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NIOMA musical instruments from the 1930s and ’40s – with their vaguely Hawaiian-looking name – have mystified vintage-guitar enthusiasts over the decades when they’ve occasionally surfaced in retail shops and guitar shows. The seven known models – three acoustic guitars, two dobro-like resophonics, and two electric lap steels – were oriented to those who made […]

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George Kilby, Jr.

The Succinct Approach
 
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George Kilby, Jr.’s Six Pack is, he says, a “collection of singles” rather than an EP or album. Kilby graduated from Princeton, where his mentor, J.K. Randall, introduced him to Pinetop Perkins, legendary pianist for the Muddy Waters Band. “The main thing Pine gave me in terms of style and sound is economy,” Kilby recounted. […]

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Movie Star, Rancher

Mid-’50s Muse of Wire and Wood
 
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In the years immediately after World War II, Americans were settling into a new way of life, and plunging headlong toward an economic prosperity never before experienced by everyday people. Change was also afoot among the nation’s guitar manufacturers. Having been restricted by materials shortages and/or re-tooling to bolster the war effort, guitar makers like […]

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Awesome Musical Instruments T3 Pickup Switch Upgrade

Wicked Switch
 
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Awesome Musical Instruments T3 Pickup Switch Upgrade Price: $149.99 (black or white three-ply); $164.99 (white pearloid); $169.99 (brown tortoiseshell) Info: www.awesome-guitars.com. When Leo Fender was designing the Strat back in the early ’50s, he equipped it with a surplus three-way pickup selector. Three pickups, three (more…)

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Gretsch Country Gentleman

 
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Consider American guitar manufacturers that have been in business during the last 100 years and the different instruments they’ve produced. Only a handful  have become cultural icons – given no information except “Les Paul,” “Stratocaster,” “Telecaster,” and “White Falcon,” even non-players can identify them as guitars. It’s not uncommon to hear “Telecaster? That’s a Fender […]

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Michael Wilton

Rebuilding the Queensrÿche Brand
 
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The highly publicized firing of singer Geoff Tate from the band Queensrÿche has divided fans and spawned two touring bands using the name; Tate assembled a group of well-known sidemen, while the remaining members recruited frontman Todd La Torre. Guitarist Michael Wilton’s version of Queensrÿche recently released a self-titled album that marks a return to […]

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Mesa/Boogie Drive Pedals

Four on the Floor
 
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Mesa/Boogie Drive Pedals Price: $179 (Tone-Burst, Grid Slammer and Flux-Drive); $199 (Throttle Box) Info: www.mesaboogie.com. Long a stalwart in the world of guitar amplification, California-based Mesa/Boogie has stomped into the world of effects pedals with four new releases: the handmade Tone-Burst, Flux-Drive, Grid Slammer, and Throttle (more…)

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Popa Chubby

Head, Heart, and Hands
 
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Popa Chubby is back on the road again, preaching the gospel to blues fans around the world. His new album, Universal Breakdown Blues, is a rollercoaster through the many facets of blues and rock. His stamp on tradition brings new life to the genre with a combination of tongue-in-cheek humor and mean guitar. Chubby plays […]

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