Author Archives: Chrissy Mauck
Posted: September 27, 2013
Posted: September 20, 2013
London’s folk-rock trio Bear’s Den was a late addition to the Americana Music festival, stepping up as Thursday night’s “surprise” at Nashville’s Mercy Lounge when the original scheduled artist was forced to cancel.
“We weren’t really supposed to be tonight’s special guest — we are just filling in,” noted banjoist/guitarist Joey Haynes.
With their rich instrumentation, sincere lyrics and three-part hooky harmonies, it didn’t take long for Bear’s Den to win over the Music City crowd, opening with the beautiful and endearing title track to their debut EP, Agape.
It was “Pompeii” and “Mother,” with their heartbreaking stories about family, that left one man up in the front row shaking his head in wonder before exclaiming, “Holy Cow!”
Lead vocalist/guitarist Andrew Davie plucked a few quiet notes on his acoustic guitar to start off “Pompeii,” a tale of a father and son dealing with the loss of their wife and mother. The song slowly builds with percussionist Kevin Jones switching over to bass and lastly, an extended banjo solo to lead into its final, hopeful refrain:
“Don’t cry, hold your head up, she would want you to, she would want you to.”
Later, Haynes leveraged his pedal board to eek atmospheric and ambient sounds out of his Gretsch electric guitar for the intro to “Sahara,” a new and haunting ballad that will appear on October’s upcoming EP, Without/Within.
Bear’s Den has really captured the minds and hearts of audiences around the world, having come up in the same London scene that spawned Mumford and Sons and Laura Marling. It is fitting, then, that Bear’s Den has played several shows in support of Mumford and Sons in recent months, gaining buzz as they’ve gone along.
Bear’s Den has a headlining tour of Europe in November, and with many of the dates already sold out, tickets are obviously in high demand.
Judging from Thursday night’s showing at the Mercy Lounge, it is a fitting classification.
“Don’t Let the Sun”
“Writing on the Wall”
Posted: August 7, 2013
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.
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