Mike Overly's 12 Tone Music News

The Latest Guitar and Bass News from around the World Wide Web . . .
April 18, 2019
In This Issue


A huge treasure trove of songs and interviews recorded by the legendary folklorist Alan Lomax from the 1940s into the 1990s have been digitized and made available online for free listening.

For a quick taste, here are a few examples from one of the best-known areas of Lomax's research, his recordings of traditional African American culture:

"John Henry" sung by prisoners at the Mississippi State Penitentiary, Parchman Farm, in 1947.

"Come Up Horsey," a children's lullaby sung in 1948 by Vera Hall, whose mother was a slave.

"In a Shanty in Old Shanty Town" performed by Big Bill Broonzy, 1952.

"Story of a slave who asked the devil to take his master," told by Bessie Jones in 1961.

But that's just scratching the surface of what's inside the enormous archive. Lomax's work extended far beyond the Deep South, into other areas and cultures of America, the Caribbean, Europe and Asia.

"He believed that all cultures should be looked at on an even playing field," his daughter Anna Lomax Wood told NPR. "Not that they're all alike. But they should be given the same dignity, or they had the same dignity and worth as any other."

You can listen to Rose's piece about the archive on the NPR website, as well as a 1990 interview with Lomax by Terry Gross of Fresh Air, which includes sample recordings from Woody Guthrie, Jelly Roll Morton, Lead Belly and Mississippi Fred McDowell. 
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George Gruhn is synonymous with vintage guitars. He is the author of several reference books on guitar history and may be best known for the Nashville store he opened in 1970. It's hard to name an influential guitarist who hasn't bought an instrument from the famously articulate and opinionated New York native. It's no surprise that Gruhn has plenty to say about prewar instruments, speculators and collectors, old guitars vs. new ones, the state of the vintage guitar market, and the future.      
IN THE BASSMENT

Rob van den Broek, who is a Gibson aficionado, combined the body of a Thunderbird with the neck and pickup Fender Telecaster bass. The Telebird is built with a two-piece swamp ash body and an Allparts maple 51 P bolt-on neck, a special 51 P split coil, a Thunderbird bridge and tail stop, a matte black single-ply pickguard, and Gotoh lightweight tuners.    
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WATCH THIS
 
A deconstruction of Fleetwood Mac's "Dreams," off their masterpiece 1977 album, Rumours.  
LEARN HERE 
Choosing the Best Guitar and Bass Strings

Strings play an essential role in your playing, because they connect you directly with your instrument. The wrong strings can make your guitar or bass a pain to play, while the right ones can make it a pleasure. Unfortunately, you can't really evaluate strings without taking the time to string up your axe, and play for a while. You may even find that after experimenting with different types, you'll want to use different kinds of strings on different guitars.
GREAT GEAR
Distortion is sugar. It tastes good. My little cousin had a pink Hello Kitty Squier Strat that came with a tiny Squier guitar amp. I was bored and plugged it in. I struck those rusted strings and was blown back 10 feet by the power of distortion. I spent the next hour going through all the rock licks I knew. Suddenly, they made sense. The double-stops in "Johnny B. Goode," the power chords in "The House Is Rockin'," the bends in "Simple Man," they all just worked. It became an addiction.
ARTIST AWARENESS
 
Duane Eddy singlehandedly invented the ringing, low-pitched, highly reverberant guitar style that influenced everything from British Invasion rock and roll to London punk and the Italian spaghetti-western soundtracks of Ennio Morricone. Eddy began playing guitar at age five and adopted a Gretsch Chet Atkins 6120 model as his own at 16, when he formed a duo with his friend Jimmy Delbridge. A meeting with local DJ and future hitmaker Lee Hazlewood led them to perform on recordings he produced. By then Eddy had developed his signature technique of playing rubbery lead lines on his guitar's low strings, amplified through a reverb unit for a thunderous sound. His debut single, "Movin' n' Groovin'," reached the Billboard Top 100, but it was his follow-up, 1958's "Rebel-'Rouser," that broke through, reaching number six and selling more than one million copies. 

Order Guitar EncycloMedia or Bass EncycloMedia 
through April 25, 2019  to receive FREE SHIPPING!
Available only from the 12tonemusic.com online store.
No coupon code needed. Domestic orders only. 
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