Author Archives: Chrissy Mauck

Andy Babiuk Dishes on Gretsch and Chet Atkins

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The Bachman-Gretsch Collection exhibit is going strong at Nashville’s Country Music Hall of Fame, featuring 75 rare and historic Gretsch guitars.

The instruments are among more than 300 Gretsch guitars purchased by Canadian guitarist and songwriter Randy Bachman, a key member of the Guess Who and Bachman-Turner Overdrive.  His collection was purchased in 2008 by the Gretsch Foundation, the charitable arm of the Gretsch Family.

In this clip below, musician, artist, and guitar expert Andy Babiuk and CMHOF museum curator Mick Buck discuss the history between Gretsch and the legendary Chet Atkins, while taking a look at some of the guitars in the exhibit inspired by Atkins.

Enjoy below, and find out more details about the exhibit here!

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Live From Plum Creek Studios Trailer

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Relix.com and Jambands.com recently debuted the new trailer from Israel Nash’s “Live From Plum Creek Studios.”

The footage was captured during Austin’s annual SXSW festival when Nash opened the doors to his new studio outside of Austin for a free recording session featuring the likes of T. Hardy Morris, Delta Spirit’s Matt Vasquez, Midlake’s Eric Pulido, Bee Caves, the Wild Reeds and Kirby Brown.

Each artist, including Nash, gave an intimate live performance for a small number of special guests, friends and family.

“As many people know, I’m all about writing, recording, living, and talking about the Hill Country and my tiny town, Dripping Springs, TX,” wrote Nash in his invite. “It’s just a purely magical place for me to really be myself as an artist and person. I also believe that those things that bless us should be shared. So we are literally swinging the front gate open and inviting people to come out to my new studio, Plum Creek Sound to hear some amazing bands, take in some incredible hill country views, and just get away from the hustle of SXSW. And hopefully, that peace I get from being out here can be bestowed on others. It’s just the beginning for the studio and in the future, we will host a series of events like these focused on the land, the vibes, and the music. It’s all so special to me. It’s about giving back to those people and those places that have given to you. It’s about people coming together and making this life work out. And it’s about smoking a j and drinking a beer in the middle of the country. Incredible things happen that way.”

The incredible things that happened at the event were fortunately captured on camera, and will be shared on Reliv over the coming weeks as part of a unique video series.

Watch the trailer for the series below.

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‘Guitarist’ Magazine Reviews Players and Vintage Select Edition Models

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In its May issue, UK’s Guitarist magazine reviews a few of the new Gretsch Players Edition and Vintage Select Edition models, bestowing the Guitarist Choice awards on both the Vintage Select G6120T- ’55 Chet Atkins and G6118T Players Edition Anniversary with String-Thru Bigsby®.

“Workingman’s Gretsch with great upgrades, not least the locking tuners and String-Thru Bigsby,” notes the mag of the Anniversary model.

As for the Vintage Select G6120T-55GE, the mag noted that it’s a “classic guitar with high build quality, great playability and huge ‘twang’ factor.”

The review includes a full feature breakdown of the aforementioned models, in addition to the Vintage Select G6136T-59 Falcon and the Players Edition G6119T Tennessee Rose.

The final verdict?

“Beautifully made and with some lovely period-correct details mixed with more modern concessions, there’s little we don’t like here. Choosing your fit, however, may be a more difficult decision. The White Falcon is a serious investment, although its sturdier build and longer scale (not to mention those Filter’Trons) give it perhaps the most versatile sonic palette. Considerably lower in cost, our two Players Edition models are close cousins and either would be perfect for those for rockier, less ‘Gretsch-style’ outings, the new string-thru Bigsby alone will cure what most of us find a chore: restringing.

“That just leaves the Chet Atkins G6120T-55 hollow body, which with its lighter build and those DynaSonic-style single coils, really gets to the essence of the ‘Gretsch sound.’ If you haven’t played a Gretsch for a while, you might be very surprised. These are some serious guitars.”

The mag also features an interview with rock ‘n’ roll rebel rouser and longtime Gretsch artist Darrell Higham, who was asked to weigh in on the newest Gretsch models in the review section.

“On a 6120, like the Chet Atkins Reissue we’ve got here, you want a nice dainty neck, because it’s a guitar you feel you should play quite fast on — and, actually, the 6120 is very versatile and you can use it for lots of different types of music. It’s not just great for rockabilly and rock ‘n’ roll, especially with lighter gauge strings than the 0.011s that are on here.

“I think the updates they’ve made on the Players Edition guitars here are good,” he also noted. “If someone’s looking for a semi, but worries that Gretsches are too genre-specific, they should go for one of these, like this Tennessee Rose. It could be an indie guitar or jazz – there’s no reason you couldn’t do anything on a guitar like this. I really like this one – it feels really solid and it could become your main warhorse. There’s nothing delicate about it, even the scratch plate feels welded on.”

Be sure to pick up the new issue, and also check out the video demo below.

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Tegan and Sara Drop New Single and Video Starring Adorable Puppies

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Tegan and Sara’s new album Love You to Death will drop June 3, and the twin sisters have been trickling out morsels over the last few months. First a teaser for lead single “Boyfriend,” then the full song plus a music video, another single in “U-Turn” and now a third sampling with a music video for “100x.”

While “Boyfriend” and “U-Turn” are the type of synth-driven pop perfection we’ve come to love from these women, “100x” is a bit more piano-based melancholic torch tune that sears with emotion.

The lyrics alone will pull at your heartstrings, but Tegan and Sara took that a step further with the video by starring a few scene-stealing puppies, courtesy of renowned dog groomer Jess Rona.

“I met Jess Rona at a Mafia party in LA and we hit it off immediately,” Sara Quin revealed. “An actor, musician and dog groomer, ‘JessRonaGrooming’ became my favorite Instagram account. I constantly direct people to her beautiful, heartbreaking mini-music videos of her furry clients, because they’re an endless delight. It was a true honor to have her do a long form version for our song 100x.”

Check out the clip below, which debuted today via Noisey.

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And the Sun Sets on Stagecoach Fest 2016

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Just as the sun began to set on Stagecoach, legendary rock band the Doobie Brothers took the Palomino stage for an hour long performance. Storms had threatened the area just prior to their set and as the techs taped down set lists and fine-tuned guitars, a small rainbow appeared between the mountains, almost as if it was a sign of the magic about to happen.

For nearly 50 years, the Doobie Brothers have entertained the masses with some of America’s greatest songs, and tonight they proved they are as magnificent as ever.

As an act that has transcended generations, eager fans of all ages flocked to the far tent to catch the iconic group’s performance, kicked off with the classic “Jesus Is Just Alright,” a power ballad riddled with guitar and keyboard solos.

Other notable hits and highlights included “Rockin’ Down the Highway,” “Long Train Runnin’” and “Black Water.” They ended their epic set with “China Grove” and “Listen to the Music,” leaving attendees awestruck with the surreal experience of witnessing this legendary band live.

Little Big Town Left ‘Em Wanting More

Little Big Town hit the Stagecoach Mane Stage at 7:45 p.m., right before festival headliner and current touring mate Luke Bryan.

The foursome somberly emerged on the edge of the stage where they were swathed in purple lighting, and sang a capella a quick snippet of Dolly Parton’s “Jolene” and Prince’s “When Doves Cry.” Members Karen Fairchild, Kimberly Schlapman, Jimi Westbrook and Phillip Sweet have truly mastered harmonizing their voices, and this a capella moment set the tone for the powerhouse vocals and seamless harmonies displayed throughout the set.

There was just a brief moment of silence following the intro, and then the quartet fired up their first full song in  the sassy “Little White Church.” Fairchild immediately directed the crowd to put their hands together for the upbeat, sing-along track, which appeared on 2010′s The Reason Why.

The group wasted no time jumping from there to their smash hit “Pontoon,” which got the sea of fans grooving and raising their beer cups high in the air.

The bandmates all took turns taking lead on vocals throughout the set. Schlapman sang “Sober,” Sweet took “Front Porch Thing” and Fairchild delivered their Grammy-award winning hit “Girl Crush,” which launched the band into super stardom last year. The crowd had definitely been waiting for that big moment, and its refrain echoed across the field as tens of thousands of voices eagerly chimed in.

And as hugely popular as “Girl Crush” is, it seemed Little Big Town had a more upbeat finish in mind.  The group ended their show-stealing set with the Westbrook-led “Boondocks,” leaving a predominantly drunken field of fans clamoring for more.

Luke Bryan Closes out the Bash

LBT had noted during their set that they were warming up the crowd for the biggest “hip shaking” guy in the business.

They obviously know him well.

Luke Bryan gyrated and shimmied across the stage, delivering his interesting brand of country, which incorporates elements of hip-hop, hard rock R&B and vintage pop country.  Not to mention, plenty of hits — 11 of his last 13 singles have hit No. 1, and he played “Rain is a Good Thing,” “Kick the Dust Up” and “Crash My Party” early in the set.

He also came out promising the Stagecoach crowd he was going to play as long as he wanted Sunday night. God bless him, because when he performed “Drunk On You,” crooning, “Girl, you make my speakers go boom boom …”  Well, we boom boom boomed right on outta there!  Even as we reached the far, far, far away parking lots, he was in fact, still going strong.

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