Author Archives: Chrissy Mauck
Posted: June 17, 2013
In Guitar Aficionado‘s May/June issue, the magazine reviews Billy Duffy’s new signature Gretsch White Falcon, based on the Gretsch 1975 single-cutaway 7593 that has been his main axe since forming the Cult.
“As the proud owner of a 1976 Gretsch 7593 White Falcon, I can attest that the G7593T Billy Duffy White Falcon is nearly identical when it comes to feel and playability,” writes GA author Chris Gill. “The Duffy model has the advantage of being slightly lighter and more comfortable, but the slim neck profile and the incredibly fast-playing fingerboard are one and the same.”
Gill also discusses its custom-wound pickups, noting that they “sound incredible through overdrive Marshall and Fender tweed amps, providing the distinctive midrange snarl that has made Filter’Trons one of the best choices for hard-rock rhythm playing, but without the feedback problems that afflict lower-output pickups.”
Click here to order Guitar Aficionado.
Posted: May 13, 2013
With support from a Kickstarter campaign, Gretsch guitarist Steve Hunter released his fifth studio solo album, The Manhattan Blues Project, on April 30.
After recording and touring with Alice Cooper in 2011, Hunter decided to get off the road to write and record this latest effort, which is an ode to his love of the Blues and New York City.
“Most albums that I hear in regards to New York are generally jazzy, which is cool,” said Hunter. “But I wanted to do something different. I wanted to do something in a bluesy way because I kind of saw the more soulful part of Manhattan, and I wanted to bring that to this album. Each of the songs that I’ve written are about some piece of Manhattan that I’ve looked at in kind of a different way.”
The album also features two instrumental covers. The first is “What’s Going On” by one of Hunter’s favorite artists Marvin Gaye. He also does an instrumental version of Peter Gabriel’s “Solsbury Hill,” a song he had played the guitars on for the original album version in 1977.
Hunter, whose other tour and album credits include working with Lou Reed, Tracy Chapman, David Lee Rother, Julian Lennon, Aerosmith and Glen Campbell, had several artists willing to guest on this latest effort.
Joe Satriani and Marty Friedman lent solos to “Twilight in Harlem,” while Johnny Depp and Joe Perry teamed up on “The Brooklyn Shuffle.”
“I told Johnny and Joe to plug their guitars in and have a blast, and it sounds like they did to me,” shared Hunter.
Other artists who contributed to the album include Tony Levin, Michael Lee Firkins, Phil Aaberg, 2Cellos and Tommy Henriksen.
The tracklisting for The Manhattan Blues Project is as follows:
Prelude to the Blues
What’s Going On
222 W 23rd
A Night at the Waldorf
Twilight in Harlem
Daydream by the Hudson
Flames at the Dakota
The Brooklyn Shuffle
Sunset in Central Park
Posted: May 9, 2013
Guitarist/keyboardist Ted Sablay has known the guys in Las Vegas arena rockers the Killers for a few years, having joined them as a touring musician in support of 2006’s Sam’s Town.
Now, as the Killers embark on their North American tour on behalf of their supremely powerful Battle Born, Sablay can still be seen on stage with the Killers playing keys and his (left-handed) guitars.
The Killers’ tour recently ran through Tucson, Ariz., where they appeared at KMFA Day at Kino Stadium with Cake and Bad Religion.
With frontman Brandon Flowers holding the rabid crowd in the palm of his hand, Sablay added depth to the lush anthems the Killers have created over their accomplished career. (more…)
Posted: May 6, 2013
New York-born, Massachusetts-bred singer/songwriter Willy Mason has a busy summer planned, as he will be joining Mumford and Sons on their Gentlemen of the Road festival tour.
Mason came into 2013 on a roll, too, with the December 2012 release of his third album Carry On.
Mason recently stopped by the Gretsch Showroom in London to perform a few songs from that record, and his distinctive voice lends itself well to accompaniment from his Gretsch Electromatic guitar.
Watch Mason perform ”Into Tomorrow” and “I Got Gold” in the videos below and visit his official website for more information.
Posted: May 2, 2013
Earlier this year, Skinny Jim & the Number 9 Blacktops released their latest effort, Cool on My Right. Supersuckers frontman Eddie Spaghetti produced the album, which was recorded at Proletarian Studios in Indianapolis over an eight-day period.
“I wanted the album to have a raunchy rock feel,” said Skinny Jim frontman Jim Rotramel. “I wrote songs about monster trucks, strip clubs and the state of Kentucky. I also wanted rougher guitar tones than most of my older stuff. The album is definitely more rock ‘n’ roll than any of our previous material.”
In sticking with tradition, the album is named after one of the song’s lyrics. “Cool on my Right” is referenced in the album’s track, “Frankfort Avenue.”
“It’s about Sean Hopkins from the band Dallas Alice,” said Rotramel. “Sean has ‘Cool Hand’ tattooed on his knuckles, and the song’s lyrics go ‘Driving straight on through the night, hand on my left, cool on my right.’”
Rotramel revealed that most of the songs came together over those eight, surprisingly stress-free days at the Ken Avery-owned studio.
“Whoever wasn’t tracking at the time was upstairs writing, grilling out, or just hanging out on the couch,” said Rotramel. “The recording process is never really smooth but this one went pretty quick, with not too many stressful moments. I’m horrible about not finishing any songs before I go into the studio. Some songs we didn’t even know, and I think I only had one or two solos written when I went in. I left a lot of the songs open, in hopes that Eddie would help with what direction he thought they should go. He nailed it 110 percent!”
Spaghetti also sang backup vocals on a few of the tracks, which can be previewed or ordered on iTunes.