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Country Music Hall of Fame Salutes Duane Eddy

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As part of its Nashville Cats series and to also coincide with the American Sound and Beauty: Guitars from the Bachman-Gretsch Collection exhibition, the Country Music Hall of Fame recently paid tribute to legendary Gretsch artist Duane Eddy with a special event at its museum.

With his 1958 hit “Rebel Rouser,” Eddy became the first solo instrumental hero of rock and roll.

“Duane Eddy was the front guy, the first rock & roll guitar god,” said John Fogerty,  who credits Eddy as a chief influence.

A member of both the Musicians Hall of Fame and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Eddy was born in Corning, New York, and then moved to Phoenix in his early teens. With help from producer Lee Hazlewood, he developed a signature guitar style, full of twang and bluster, and he recorded hit singles including “Cannonball,” “Forty Miles of Bad Road,” “Because They’re Young,” and “(Dance with the) Guitar Man.”

Eddy also embraced country and jazz influences, and collaborated with titans including Willie Nelson, George Harrison, Waylon Jennings, Chet Atkins, Paul McCartney, and Phil Everly.

His low-toned, tremulous twang is echoed in hit songs by others, including Bruce Springsteen’s “Born to Run” and Steve Earle’s “Guitar Town.”

The program, held on Saturday, Feb. 13, included photos, video and audio samples of Eddy’s work, as well as a performance by the King of Twang. In case you missed the live stream, the archived version is now available for your enjoyment below.

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Watch George Ezra Cover ‘Girls Just Wanna Have Fun’

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U.K. singer-songwriter George Ezra sure did seem to be having a good time  when he performed for BBC Radio 1, cracking a few smiles and noticeably getting into the groove with a cover of Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.”

He even threw himself into the lyrics at about the 2:21 mark.

“Ezra just wants to have fun,” he sang.

Watch Ezra in action below.

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8 Glorious Gretsch Guitars from the Custom Shop

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Holy smokes! Once again, Gretsch Custom Shop Master Builder Stephen Stern has built some truly extravagant custom shop models for the 2016 NAMM Show in Anaheim, Calif.

Here’s a quick look at 8 glorious Gretsch Custom Shop guitars, which all had a “car” theme …

G6136 Luxury Falcon “Spectre”

Inspired by an old Rolls Royce, this Black Falcon screams class, but with just a touch of flash thanks to the chrome pickguard, ruby red sparkle on the pickups bobbins and red sparkle binding around the bock, neck, headstock and even inside the F holes. The Spectre also features an ebony fingerboard that somehow just seems the perfect for this beauty.

G6134 Luxury Penguin “Roadster”

Luxurious is certainly the right word for this Penguin Roadster. The custom beauty features a chambered mahogany body finished in bright red with tan leather sides that mimic the interior upholstery of your favorite ride.  In a finishing touch, the pickups are also accented with tan coloring to match the sides, while the guitar body, neck and headstock are wrapped in a tortoiseshell binding. The walnut burl even matches what you’d expect to see on a luxury car steering wheel or console.

6120 Derby Racer Heavy Relics

The trio of G6120 Derby Racer Heavy Relic guitars below pay tribute to stock racing cars and was a collaboration between Stern and artist Sara Ray who treated each guitar with a unique custom paint job.

The G6120 Derby Racer Heavy Relic “Hammerhead seems like an ode to the high seas with its aqua blue finish featuring cartoon-ish looking hammerhead sharks, including one on the body and another on the see-through pickguard. The body, neck and headstock are capped off by red binding that blends well with a blood-red headstock featuring a pirate flag. Although based off a ’59 6120, this model features P-90 pickups instead of the common Filter’Tron pickups.

“That’s a little different for Gretsch,” noted Stern of the pickups.

G6120 Derby Racer Heavy Relic “Nashville Nelle”

Based off a ’55 6120, the Nashville Nelle pays homage to the American flag with its red, white and blue paint job, also featuring a pair of buxom blondes. Also has a custom belt-buckle tailpiece with a checkered flag racing theme.

G6120 Derby Racer Heavy Relic “Brooklyn Bruiser”

Based off a ’67 6120, Ray delivered on the bruiser theme with a menacing muscle man swinging his sledgehammer, against a cream backdrop.

All three models have a number painted on the back of the guitars, just like you’d expect to see on the door panels of racing cars.

G6199 Gretsch Custom Caddy-Bo

This trio of G6199 Gretsch Custom Caddy-Bo guitars is a play off the Bo Diddley Jupiter Thunderbird guitars, but in classic car finishes such as Limo Black, Cadillac Green and Shell Pink.

All feature chrome Cadillac tailpieces, silver glitter binding and chrome knobs.


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Watch Israel Nash’s ‘LA Lately’ Video

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This one escaped us, but now that it has crossed our radar, we had to share Israel Nash’s beautifully shot, captivating video for “LA Lately.”

Nash, a singer-songwriter originally from Missouri and currently based out of the Austin, Texas area, picked up steam with third album Rain Plains, which became a favorite on NPR and stations such as KEXP and KUTX.

His highly anticipated follow-up, Silver Seasons, dropped in October of last year. Although it was recorded at his studio on his 15-acre Texas ranch, the track “LA Lately” and its official music video were inspired by the City of Angels.

“‘LA Lately’ is a song that was written on the road while we were leaving LA after our show,” Nash told relix.com. “There is something magical about that city and the song is all about our experience. From getting there, to being there, and -as we do- moving along and leaving. When it was time to shoot a music video, it really seamed like the only place to be. The video is unabashedly a journey through the layers of Los Angeles. I also learned that you should take any chance you get to hang out in a backyard in Laurel Canyon. So make a friend or two down there while you’re at it.”

Watch the clip below featuring Nash on his Gretsch Rancher with Bigsby.

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Music Radar Catches Up With Vintage Trouble’s Nalle Colt

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Music Radar recently caught up with Vintage Trouble’s Nalle Colt to discuss his new custom-built Gretsch guitar and “high-voltage tone.”

High-voltage tone is a must for the the trio these days as they spent the last few months opening for AC/DC across Europe and North America, where they played in front of tens of thousands of fans.

And according to his interview with MR, Colt couldn’t be more stoked with the way his unique Gretsch has performed on tour.

“Right after I talked to you [in 2013] and we got off the Who tour, I went back to the States and Gretsch approached me about making a guitar and, to be honest with you, I was a little like, ‘Well, I don’t know, I’ve always been a Gibson Les Paul guy,’” he told MR. “But they sat me down with Steve Stern at the Gretsch Custom Shop in California, and I explained what I wanted and I’m really proud of it. It came out incredible.

“We made a guitar based on a ’54 Gretsch Duo Jet, and it’s kind of a hybrid of a Les Paul and a Gretsch. It’s actually my main guitar on this tour … and I also used it pretty much for 99 percent of every song that you hear on the new album. It’s holding up really well. It’s a super-tough guitar to play live and I love it. It’s got everything I wanted, from growl to an old Chuck Berry-style kind of hollow body vibe.”

Read the full article here!

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