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Monthly Archives: February 2014

Rokia Traore Performs ‘Mama’ Live on KCRW

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Award-winning Malian singer/songwriter Rokia Traore released her fifth studio album Beautiful Africa in April of last year, and as she traveled to promote it, she stopped into the studios of KCRW in Los Angeles for a live performance.

Now, video of Traore playing one song from that appearance on Morning Becomes Eclectic has surfaced online.

Watch Traore’s quietly beautiful rendition of the track “Mama” in the clip after the jump and click here to listen to the full performance. (more…)

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Watch New U2 Video for ‘Invisible’

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After originally premiering a sixty second clip of their song “Invisible” during the Super Bowl, U2 has now unveiled the full video.

Directed by Mark Romanek, the black and white clip was shot over a three day period in January at an airport hangar in Santa Monica, Calif.

U2 launched a partnership with (RED) and Bank of America during Super Bowl Sunday by offering “Invisible” as a free download for 36 hours. Bank of America donated $1 for each download, raising $3 million to support The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. All proceeds from the song on iTunes continue to go to (RED) for the Global Fund.

Produced by Danger Mouse, “Invisible” is due on U2′s forthcoming 13th studio album.

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Hard Working Americans Get to Stomping on Conan

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Hard Working Americans is a new supergroup that includes Neal Casal (above) of the Chris Robinson Brotherhood, singer/songwriter Todd Snider, Dave Schools from Widespread Panic and Duane Trucks.

Earlier this year, the band released a self-titled debut album covering 11 tracks by a wide range of well-known artists.  As such, the Hard Working Americans recently stopped by the set of Conan to perform a rocking version of “Stomp and Holler,” which was written by country luminary Hayes Carll.

Watch the performance after the jump and visit the quintet’s official Facebook page for more information. (more…)

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Gretsch Custom Shop Unveils New Vintage Correct Knobs

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Stephen Stern of the Gretsh Custom Shop is always on a quest to ensure his guitars are as close to vintage correct as possible, accomplishing that by having his builders closely analyze all the vintage instruments that come across his desk.

Stern’s group recently examined Stephen Stills’ 1959 White Falcon— the one he played at Woodstock with Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young.  And because that guitar featured the original knobs that were used on Gretsch Falcons and Penguins over a three-year period in the late 1950s, Stern now finds himself closer to his goal.

“From that one knob, we were able to spec out the three model years of Falcon and Penguin knobs,” said Stern.

In addition, Stern was helped a while back when he got his hands on George Harrison’s 1957 Duo Jet and recorded the knobs used over a two-year period on Duo Jet and 6210 models.

“I wanted to release all the new knobs at the same time, so when we got the Stills guitar in the shop, it was the last piece of the puzzle,” Sten noted.

Note photos of the new vintage correct knobs below.

Knobs used on the Gretsch Falcons and Penguins.

Knobs used on Gretsch Duo Jets.

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Parade Interviews Fred Gretsch About Beatlemania

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Fred GretschFifty years ago, on Feb. 9, 1964, the Beatles made their U.S. television debut appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show. With George Harrison rocking a Gretsch Duo Jet that night, business skyrocketed for Gretsch guitars.

President and CEO Fred Gretsch recently spoke with Parade about how Beatlemania transformed his family-owned company.

“Overnight, thousands of garage bands were created that wanted to emulate the Beatles…[Demand] went up 25 percent,” said Gretsch. “You know, the baby boom generation was teenagers at that point in time. Rock and roll had begun mid-’50s [and] was gaining steam, [so] everybody was prepped and focused on the Beatles when they arrived…everybody was ready for them.”

Read the full interview here.

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