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Monthly Archives: August 2013

Reverend Horton Heat Coming to Chicago Music Exchange

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The Reverend Horton Heat have been a favorite in the rockabilly scene for decades and continue to be one of the hardest touring rock bands out there.

On Tuesday, Aug. 20, he’ll be playing a show at Reggie’s in Chicago at 8:30 p.m., but before that, the Reverend will stop by Chicago Music Exchange for a meet and greet and brief live performance from 2-4 p.m.

In addition, there will be a Gretsch guitar giveaway.  For more information, click here.

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Gretsch Q&A With Duane Eddy

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Duane Eddy at Summer Jamboree

Duane Eddy (R) and Adam Bowden-Smith of Gretsch.

By Adam Bowden-Smith

In August, Gretsch signature artist Duane Eddy made his first-ever appearance in Italy to headline the annual Summer Jamboree festival in Senigallia, halfway down the east coast. Playing his signature Gretsch G6120DE, his trademark twang rolled over the crowd of thousands.

After a storming hour-long set, Eddy found time between signing autographs for the bustling crowd and a late dinner to have a quick chat with Gretsch about his first visit to Italy, as well as guitars, the band and the food.

GretschGuitars.com: This is your first time in Italy, but is it your first time in Europe?

Eddy: No, I’ve worked in the U.K., Germany, Scandinavia, the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Switzerland. Everywhere except Italy. Although, I’ve still never worked in Spain.

GretschGuitars.com: That’ll be next on the list, then.

Eddy:  Yeah, that’ll be next on the list. I’ve even been to South Africa, back in 1963.

GretschGuitars.com: How does Italy compare with the other places you’ve been in Europe?

Eddy: It’s beautiful. It’s a different beauty from England, for example. It’s, y’know, sunshine, and sea and sand. You got sea and sand in England, but not much sunshine [laughs].

GretschGuitars.com: Tell us about the particular guitar you used for this gig.

Eddy: The thing I thought was fantastic was that I shipped the guitar over from America to Italy, and I just took one that was right off the line.

GretschGuitars.com: So it’s literally just straight out of the factory?

Eddy: Right, straight out of the factory, straight to me. And so I took it out of the case and plugged it in, played it. The neck is just like my prototype. The guitar sounded great, so I put it back in the case in the box and shipped it on over here. I was amazed at being able to do that. I’ve never been able to do that. I’ve been with three different guitar companies, and I never was able to just grab one off the shelf, or pick one out of a store and play it, and it’d be just like mine.

And now I’m so pleased and proud to say that every one I’ve seen has been just like my prototype, and the company over there in Japan that builds them really are doing a fine job.

I took one off the factory line to Joe Glaser in Nashville, and I said Joe, “Check this out and see if you can adjust it so it plays better.” And I went to pick it up, he says, “Er, I can’t really charge you anything.” [laughs] He says “I can charge you a couple bucks for my time, but I couldn’t do anything to it, because they’re doing a fine job for you, at the factory. It’s perfect already.” And nothing was wrong with it. So I thought, “Wow, what a recommendation that is!”

GretschGuitars.com: Your backing band for this gig was a bit of a mix of people. Who did you have playing with you?

Eddy: Well, yeah – this is one band I use from California; Deke Dickerson. I worked with him last year in Las Vegas, I worked with him a couple of years before that in California, and also the year before that in New Orleans. I’ve worked with him about four times, but the band I usually use [in Europe] is Richard Hawley’s band, from Sheffield, and they are a superb bunch of musicians.

GretschGuitars.com: And you did a record with them, of course.

Eddy: Yes, we did a record with them, Road Trip (released on EMI in 2011), and I’ve done several (gigs). We did a whole month last year, and the month before that we did the Queen Elizabeth Hall, the Festival Hall.  We’ve done up and down, everywhere from Brighton to Scotland to Glasgow and so forth. Went all over the place. And Tina and Louise, our singers, do a great job.

GretschGuitars.com: Now that you’ve played Italy, would you like to come back?

Eddy: I would love to come back, if only for the meals! [laughs] But, no – I’d love to come back. The people are sweet and nice, it’s really easy to get along with them and they’ve all been so sweet to us. So I’ve enjoyed the heck out of it. It’s been a wonderful time.

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The Tallest Man on Earth Moves Outside Lands

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The Tallest Man on Earth at Outside LandsThe Tallest Man on Earth left his final American audience before taking a break from playing live shows a true gem.

Swedish artist Kristian Matsson played a lovely set at the Sutro Stage that called to mind one of the most-celebrated troubadours of all time.  Yes, people have compared Mattson to a young Bob Dylan, and perhaps those are big britches to fill.

But, Matsson’s earnest guitar strumming and emotive vocals are undeniable.  Songs like “1904” and “King of Spain” are heartfelt tracks that fit perfect with his acoustic guitar prowess.

And the fans that spanned a hundred yards back and up to the fence that lined the through-streets of Golden Gate Park.

With each guitar change – and Matsson used four different guitars on his first four songs – the excitement grew, even if it wasn’t immediately noticeable.  Taking a subdued route, Matsson relied on his infectious songwriting and impressive fretwork to win over the audience.

When he announced that Saturday’s show would be his last in the States for a while, there was admittedly a smattering of boos.

“Don’t boo me… I just have to disappear for a while,” he noted.

Of course, Matsson received cheers when he added later, “I’m just going to go home and record an album.”

Obviously, another record from the Tallest Man on Earth is highly-anticipated.  And it looks like Matsson is ready to deliver.

Regardless, Matsson put on a touching goodbye performance before leaving his American friends.

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GretschTech: Center-Block Guitars

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The coolest new guitars on the block are Gretsch’s new “center-block” models. Each distinctively designed instrument boasts “That Great Gretsch Sound” with a solid new sonic advantage in the form of a special spruce center-block design.

These new Gretsch guitars include the G6137TCB Panther Center-Block (pictured), and the G6139CB Falcon Center-Block Single-Cutaway and G6139T-CBDC Falcon Center-Block Double Cutaway models, with more to come. All are distinguished by classic pickups and special “thinline”-style bodies (1 ¾” deep, which is unusually thin for a Gretsch hollow-body guitar).

The most distinctive feature, however, is the interior solid spruce center block that runs the length of these thinner bodies. Its presence imparts a twofold sonic advantage.

First, the block’s mass and positioning inside the guitar makes the instrument especially “high-gain friendly.” In other words, whereas traditional Gretsch hollow-body guitar design never really lent itself to especially hot high-gain signals, the new center-block design does. The center block design delivers the best of both worlds, resulting in great Gretsch hollow-body character with joyously screaming high-gain pickup tone. (more…)

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Gretsch Exclusive with Band of Skulls’ Russell Marsden

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Band of Skulls’ Russell Marsden has been a fan of Gretsch guitars for a long time, and they played a big part in the recording of the U.K. trio’s latest album Sweet Sour.

Learn more about Marsden and his affinity for Gretsch guitars in the exclusive interview below.

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