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Hear a New Band of Skulls Track

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Band of Skulls is set to release their next album Himalayan in the spring of 2014, but for those who can’t wait that long, the trio has given their fans a taste of the new music.

Recently, Band of Skulls loaded a stream of the song “Asleep at the Wheel” to their YouTube channel, and it definitely rocks hard.

Check out the clip below and visit Band of Skulls’ official Facebook page for more information.

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Gretsch Exclusive Performance: Brian Wright

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In September, Waco, Texas native and Nashville resident Brian Wright released new album Rattle Their Chains, a collection of 12 songs that showcases his savvy songwriting.

“There was no conscious theme to this record,” said Wright. “As I listen to it now, there’s a lot of themes that are running through it — self-reflection, where I grew up, where I was living, where I was going. It encompasses far more than location — the past, the future, hope and regret — all the things that are worth writing about it.”

When Gretsch caught up with the singer-songwriter, he gave us this wonderful performance of new track “Can’t Stand to Listen.”

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Gretsch on ’60s U.S. Series TV

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Gretsch guitars were all over the tube in the 1960s. Big hollow-body guitars remained in widespread use in rock and pop throughout the entire decade, and it seemed at times as though you couldn’t throw a rock without hitting a TV set that was showing some variety or music show featuring some band that had at least one Gretsch instrument in the lineup. Pretty cool.

From the Beatles and the Stones and the Animals on The Ed Sullivan Show to the Kinks on Shivaree to the Zombies on Shindig! and more, Gretsch guitars were a staple on U.S. programming. Even across the pond, the Who’s John Entwistle wielded a Gretsch 6070 bass on Ready Steady Go! in 1965.

And yet there was a whole other category of U.S. television programming in the ’60s that also showed Gretsch instruments: prime-time series television on the three major networks at the time—ABC, CBS and NBC. Not only did you see and hear Gretsch guitars on variety shows and music shows; you also saw them on top-rated sitcoms, action-packed cop shows, cool spy shows and more.

Here are five notable examples of That Great Gretsch Sound on U.S. network series television in the 1960s. Some of these shows and the musical acts on them are well known and some are pretty obscure, but there’s simply no mistaking a Gretsch when you see one.

The Monkees

Gretsch instruments appeared in nearly every Monkees episode from first (Sept. 12, 1966) to last (March 25, 1968). In this clip, from fall 1965 pilot episode “Here Come the Monkees” (which, oddly, aired Nov. 14, 1966, as episode ten), NBC’s simian heroes swing their way through “Let’s Dance On.” Sort of.

And that’s three Gretsch guitars out front, wielded not only by Mike Nesmith and Peter Tork, as usual, but here even by Davy Jones. Nesmith’s guitar undergoes an interesting change toward the end, but it’s nothing compared to the utterly magical transformation of Tork’s bass. And pay close attention to the logo on that kick drum head, by the way …

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Guitarist Magazine Reviews Gretsch G9220 Roundneck Resonator

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Guitarist magazine recently tested a Gretsch G9220 Roundneck resonator and gave it four out of five stars for playability and affordability.

“A resonator has always been the easiest way to bag some classic Delta blues and bluegrass tones; the Bobtail just makes it more affordable,” said the magazine.

Check the G9220 reso in action below, and read the full review at Guitarist.com.

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The Tallest Man on Earth Moves Outside Lands

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The Tallest Man on Earth at Outside LandsThe Tallest Man on Earth left his final American audience before taking a break from playing live shows a true gem.

Swedish artist Kristian Matsson played a lovely set at the Sutro Stage that called to mind one of the most-celebrated troubadours of all time.  Yes, people have compared Mattson to a young Bob Dylan, and perhaps those are big britches to fill.

But, Matsson’s earnest guitar strumming and emotive vocals are undeniable.  Songs like “1904” and “King of Spain” are heartfelt tracks that fit perfect with his acoustic guitar prowess.

And the fans that spanned a hundred yards back and up to the fence that lined the through-streets of Golden Gate Park.

With each guitar change – and Matsson used four different guitars on his first four songs – the excitement grew, even if it wasn’t immediately noticeable.  Taking a subdued route, Matsson relied on his infectious songwriting and impressive fretwork to win over the audience.

When he announced that Saturday’s show would be his last in the States for a while, there was admittedly a smattering of boos.

“Don’t boo me… I just have to disappear for a while,” he noted.

Of course, Matsson received cheers when he added later, “I’m just going to go home and record an album.”

Obviously, another record from the Tallest Man on Earth is highly-anticipated.  And it looks like Matsson is ready to deliver.

Regardless, Matsson put on a touching goodbye performance before leaving his American friends.

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