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Watch ‘The Gretsch Sound: A Guitar Pull with Emmanuel, Pennington, Robinson and Striking Matches’

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The Country Music Hall of Fame booked a special music celebration event to send off the American Sound and Beauty: Guitars from the Bachman-Gretsch Collection. And for those who couldn’t attend in person, you are in luck as “The Gretsch Sound: A Guitar Pull with Emmanuel, Pennington, Robinson and Striking Matches” was streamed online, and is archived below.

Through this casual musical performance, these masterful players discussed the unique features of Gretsch design and demonstrated their individual musical styles with their own instruments.

Tommy Emmanuel is regarded as one of the world’s leading fingerstyle guitarists, and is a two-time Grammy nominee, and one of only five guitarists named Certified Guitar Player (CGP) by Chet Atkins.

Emmanuel had the distinctive honor of using the world renowned early Chet Atkins Gretsch 6120 prototype guitar, aka “Dark Eyes” guitar, for both the CMHOF performance and a previous July 12 show at the Grand Ole Opry, marking the first time in 55 years that the special instrument had been played in public for an audience.

The 1956 Gretsch Sealed Top 6120 prototype was built specifically for Chet Atkins and was dubbed “Black Gold” in a 2013 Guitar Aficionado magazine feature article, and has been hailed by Guitar Player magazine as one of “Two of The Most Important Electric Guitars Of All Time.”

Kentucky native Eddie Pennington, a perpetuator of the “Muhlenberg Sound” of Merle Travis, is a recipient of the NEA National Heritage Fellowship and a member of the National Thumb Pickers Hall of Fame. Virtuoso guitarist and singer-songwriter Joe Robinson is an Australian Guitar Magazine award winner and a winner of Australia’s Got Talent. Striking Matches, the songwriting, guitar-wielding, alternative-country duo of Justin Davis and Sarah Zimmerman, has been featured on the ABC series Nashville, and their debut album, Nothing but the Silence, was produced by T Bone Burnett.

Fast forward to about the 10-minute mark for the start of the action!

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The Shelters Make Television Debut on The Late Show

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The Shelters made their television debut on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert Wednesday night, performing infectious single “Rebel Heart.”

The young band is enjoying steady buzz since releasing their self-titled album last month. Having gained a reputation for their energetic live shows, this late-night slot offered them a chance to showcase their signature retro style and sound to a much wider audience.

Watch the Shelters performance below, and check out guitarist/singer Chase Simpson with his Gretsch Billy Bo.

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See Richard Hawley’s Rig Tour with Music Radar

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Sheffield singer, songwriter and producer Richard Hawley recently teamed up with musicradar.com for an exclusive tour of his recording and live rig collections, which includes two of his treasured Gretsch guitars —  a vintage 1957 6120 and a Country Club 6196CG.

“I have a ’56 as well, which sounds radically different — they were still experimenting to get it right, but there’s some debate over the exact year and month of this one,” explains Hawley of his 6120. “The book says ’57 but Deed, Duane Eddy’s wife – who knows her onions – says, ‘No, it’s a ’56: no G-brand in ’57’.”

As for the Country Club, Hawley calls it “one of the finest guitars” he owns.

“It’s beautiful, it’s a big fat sound, the pickups have colossal testicles,” he said. “I have no qualms or snobbery about playing new or reissue guitars: it’s all about the sound and the feel… and let’s face it, it looks fucking cool as well.”

View a photo gallery of Hawley’s gear here and click here to find out where you can catch Hawley live on tour this summer.

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Hillsong United Travels to Israel to Record Of Dirt and Grace

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Australian-based worship band Hillsong United recently journeyed to Israel to record 15 live tracks from their album Empires, plus a few bonus songs. These live recordings have been compiled into a new effort titled Of Dirt and Grace, which will be released on July 15.

The clip below offers a behind the scenes look into the group’s trip throughout the Holy Land, with Hillsong United hitting several meaningful destinations that provided the inspiration for certain songs. For example, “Captain” was recorded on a boat on the Sea of Galilee, while “Closer Than You Know” happened under an olive tree similar to where Jesus would have prayed, and “Say the Word” took place on the Mount of Beatitudes.

“It was literally a miracle we got to do what we got to do and we got what we captured,” states guitarist Jonathon Douglass. “I think what’s so unique and special about this project, is just being able to match what we’re hearing and the truth of the word of God in these songs with the locations. I know what that did for us in that process of recording was so encouraging, so uplifting, so inspiring. Our belief and hope and prayer is that this will happen for every single person that watches and listens to this project and that they will be inspired, lifted up and encouraged.”

Watch the clip below to view the picturesque moments captured during the recording process.

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Stevie Young Talks About Playing Rhythm Guitar in AC/DC

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In a new video posted on the official AC/DC YouTube channel, guitarist Stevie Young talks about his playing style, how he constantly works at his craft, his tendency to destroy guitar guitar picks and what’s it like to try to fill the shoes of his uncle, Malcom Young.

“I’m not trying to imitate or copy him, but trying to keep the spirit of what he did in the band,” explained Stevie.

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