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Monthly Archives: June 2011

Tim Armstrong Joins Devil’s Brigade at House of Blues Show

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Devil’s Brigade, a rockabilly side project of Rancid’s Matt Freeman, played a show Friday night with X at the House of Blues in Anaheim, Calif. Freeman was joined on a few songs by his Rancid bandmate Tim Armstrong, seen below rocking his Gretsch signature model.

Photos by Michael Schulz.


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Watch Video of Buffalo Springfield at Oakland’s Fox Theater

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On June 1, Buffalo Springfield launched their first tour since splitting up in 1968 with a show at the Fox Theater in Oakland, Cali. Here’s fan footage of the reunited group performing “I Am a Child.”

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Jeff Bridges Reveals Album Cover

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Oscar-award winning star Jeff Bridges revealed the cover of his upcoming self-titled solo album, due out Aug. 16, and we’re jazzed to see that it includes his stunning Gretsch G6122-1959 Chet Atkins Country Gentleman guitar.

Head to the Boot to see the album’s track listing.


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More Love for Setzer

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After recently gracing the cover of Guitar Player, Gretsch signature artist Brian Setzer got some more coverage from Premier Guitar in their May issue. The feature story covered his bluegrass and rockabilly roots, his new album Setzer Goes Instru-MENTAL! and his love/hate relationship with vintage Gretsch guitars.

For instance, he dives into specifics about his longtime companion —  a 50-plus-year-old Gretsch ’59 6120.

“I bought it a long time ago from a guy on Long Island when I lived there, and incidentally it’s a really good one,” Setzer tells PG. “Guitarists tend to romanticize vintage instruments, but the old ones are really so hit-and-miss. I rate them ‘Monday through Friday,’ Monday being the worst. With a Monday guitar, it’s like the guy working at the factory started the week with a hangover and a fight with his wife, which translated to a crummy instrument. With a Friday guitar, the guy was in a great mood and was pumped up for the weekend, so he makes a beautiful instrument. That ’59 is definitely a Friday guitar—when it’s in perfect working order, it plays and sounds incredible.”

Click here for more!

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DVD Review: A MusiCares’ Tribute to Neil Young

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SRP: $21.98 (Blu-ray) / $16.98 (DVD)
running time: 70 min.

May 31, 2011 – By Glenn McDonald

The new MusiCares’ Tribute to Neil Young DVD features a couple dozen top-notch performers honoring Young in an evening of cover songs and tributes.  It’s a 70 -minute, bare-bones, no-frills affair – just how Neil likes ‘em.

The MusiCares Foundation, established in 1989 by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, provides emergency financial assistance for musicians in need. Last year, the organization gave more than 2.5 million in direct financial aid to 2,000 recipients.

The MusiCares Person of the Year tribute dinner takes place annually in Los Angeles during Grammy week, and honors artists for both their contributions to music and their philanthropic efforts. Past recipients include Bono, Natalie Cole, Luciano Pavarotti, Bonnie Raitt, James Taylor and Stevie Wonder. In 2010, that artist was Neil Young.

A Low-Key Vibe

After a pair of opening promotional videos detailing MusiCares and Young’s own Bridge School Benefit events, the evening begins with John Fogerty and Keith Urban leading the house band on “Rockin’ in the Free World.”

It soon becomes clear that this will be no rowdy rock concert. The venue is a giant ballroom with an enormous stage, and the crowd is seated at round tables with white linens – expensive food and drink presumably at hand. It’s a benefit concert, after all. In fact, as the musical luminaries take the stage one after another, it starts to seem like the coolest, most mellow wedding reception you’ve never been to.

The performances throughout keep to this low-key vibe, and the tone is really set by that opening number. Fogerty sounds great on vocals, but a song like “Rockin’ in the Free World” is necessarily diminished in this polite setting. “Rockin’ in the Grammy Week Industry Party Venue,” maybe.

It’s with the second performance – Lady Antebellum’s slow and sweet take on “Only Love Can Break Your Heart – that the appeal of this night of performances becomes clear.

Neil Young’s songs have always had an essential portability. I don’t know the statistics, or if there even are statistics, but I’d guess that Young is among the most covered songwriters on the planet. His best songs have a kind of durable structural integrity, in the material sciences sense of the word.

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