Tag Archives: NPR
Posted: April 7, 2014
Lafayette, La., band Brass Bed was recently featured on NPR’s Tiny Desk Concerts series, where the four guys played a few songs off their debut album The Secret Will Keep You.
The self-described “wide-eyed pop dreamers” were unfortunately the recent victims of theft. Despite having most of their touring gear stolen from their van, they’ve held true to their optimism.
“While we’ve not found the stolen equipment, through donations by friends, family, fans, and aid by Chicago Music Exchange, and Fender/Gretsch Guitars, we’ve replaced nearly everything lost,” the band wrote on their Tumblr account. “My friends, this is a miracle not of modern technology, but of human love and compassion. In the past 36 hours, the wave of generosity we’ve received from you has nearly drowned us. It’s given us more than just our gear back. It’s given us a renewed faith in the basic goodness of people around the country, a renewed fervor to continue our craft, and a desire to do good for others.
“Losing your guitar is material. Even at the lowest emotional point of this event, we were still a lucky bunch of guys. We had our health, our families, each other, and even few guitar amps left. We want you to know that the relative insignificance of our loss is not itself lost on us; even if we didn’t recover or replace that equipment we’d still be a lucky bunch of guys.”
Watch the band perform the short set for NPR below, featuring one of their new instruments — a Gretsch Electromatic Center-Block.
Posted: December 21, 2011
The latest issue of Premier Guitar takes a look inside the Chet Atkins exhibit that is currently open at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville.
While the Grammy Awards, photos and instruments are all impressive, the magazine calls Atkins’ legendary workbench a highlight.
“It’s full of vacuum tubes, pickups, homemade effects boxes, snapshots, and a soldering iron,” writes Craig Havighurst. ”It looks like the inveterate tinkerer just stepped out of the room. It’s a microlevel look at an outsized legacy.”
“This prototype had a carved top and back, in the traditional style. Fred W. Gretsch, current president of the company and great grandson of its founder, says the model quickly took an interesting turn toward a more rigid top and back to offer a more stable mounting for the pickups. ‘Plywood tops and backs with electric guitars made a lot more sense,’ Gretsch says. ‘And we were doing plywood drums and had been doing them since the late ’20s and we had done a lot of refinements in the early ’50s. So we tried out some plywood tops and backs with Chet and he dug the tone. So we migrated to plywood on this model.’
“Introducing the model just as Chet first hit as a recording artist with ‘Mr. Sandman,’ Gretsch couldn’t have timed it better. This guitar inaugurated a 25-year relationship between artist and company.”
Meanwhile, Havighurst recently contributed another piece about Atkins to NPR.
In it, he quotes Country star Steve Wariner, a longtime Atkins friend and protege. Count Wariner among those wowed by the Atkins exhibit, especially the workbench.
“I had goose bumps,” Wariner says. “It’s exactly the way it looked at his house when you walked into his control room.”
For more information about the Chet Atkins exhibit, which is open until June of 2012, visit the Country Music Hall of Fame’s official website.