All posts in March 2015

Episode 62- Scott Gailor

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For more info on Scott go to- http://www.scottgailor.com

enter to win a copy of Scott Gailor’s new disc “Technicolor Monochrome” go to- http:/http://guitarradioshow.com/contact-grs/

Episode 61- Bluesman John D’Amato

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For more on John go to- http://www.bluezzman.com

Episode 60- ScreaminFX- “Uverbia”

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We will be giving away a ScreaminFX Uverbia on 3/31/15 to enter go to- http://guitarradioshow.com/contact-grs/

For more info on ScreaminFX got to-  http://www.screaminfx.com

500 Words with Adam P Hunt- The Echoplex

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500 Words The Echoplex

As an experiment turn on your amp then turn off every delay, echo, and reverb unit that are part of your signal chain. Okay, cool, now strum a few chords. Kind of “blah” sounding, right?

Delay, echo, and reverb have been part of popular music for so long it’s almost impossible to imagine listing to music without these effects.

At one point the only way to achieve that “depth” or “resonance” was to build a massive opera hall and as grand as those thing are they aren’t very portable.

One of the fist effects that guitar makers incorporated into amp designs was the tremolo (developed by DeArmond) the vibrato (originally a Danelectro design) and later, spring reverb units that were (designed by Laurens Hammond of Hammond Organ).

One of the first pieces of early rock ‘n’ roll featuring “echo” was “Movin’ N Grovin “ by Duane Eddy. Unfortunately when Eddy went to record this song the Phoenix studio didn’t have an echo chamber so Eddy’s co-writer, Lee Hazlewood bought a 2,000 gallon water storage tank to help create a natural echo.

Another person that helped popularize rich, echo sounds was Les Paul.

Arguably lugging a 2000 gallon water storage tank is only slightly more difficult to move around a Leslie rotating speaker cabinet and neither of those things would easily fit into a Volkswagen Beetle.

One of the first tape echo units was the EchoSonic guitar amp made by Ray Butts in 1952. Like Standel amps, Butts’ EchoSonic quickly became a “must have” item for country and rockabilly players. But like Standel amps demand out paced Ray’s ability to keep up with demand.

The first, portable, commercially available tape echo was the Echoplex designed by Ray Butts in the fifties but the first portable version was deigned by Don Dixon and refined further by Mix Battle in 1961.

In 1962 the Dixon and Battle’s paten was bought by Market Electronics from Cleveland Ohio and was distributed by Maestro. Battle and Dixon were kept onboard as consultants.

Eventually Harris-Teller of Chicago took over production from Market Electronics where it became known as the EP-1.

A later EP-2 version was developed that addressed many of the reliability issues found in the EP-1 and finally two solid state versions called the EP-3 and EP-4 were introduced.

By 1991 the mechanical, tape echo machines were eventually discontinued in favor of the Oberheim Echoplex Digital Pro.

The Exhoplex is far from extinct and it has spawned many offspring including the Fulltone Tube Tape Echo and the Xotic EP Booster, a boost pedal based on the Echoplex EP-3 preamp design.

As beautiful sounding as Echoplex units are they aren’t the most reliable of systems and by the late seventies tinkerers started working on smaller echo units with greater dependability than their tape based predecessors.

While the introduction of the Boss DM-2 didn’t exactly kill the Echoplex it dealt the again Echoplex a near fatal blow.

Whether you like a little “slap back” or a Hawkwind space opera a little echo can help fill up your sound.

 

Adam P Hunt is a freelance writer who has previously written for The Library Journal and Premier Guitar Magazine. We are so happy to have him join us here at Guitar Radio Show.com.

The Muggs- Straight Up Boogaloo

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The Muggs- Straight up Boogaloo

The first time I heard The Muggs I thought, “Damn thats really great rock and roll” Then I found out they were from Detroit Michigan and thought, “Oh, that makes perfect sense”.

Yep, Detroit has always been a wellspring of incredible American music. When you just skim the surface you have some of the most important contributors to a wide array of genres:

Mitch Ryder, Bill Haley, Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, Jackie Wilson, the Supremes, the Temptations, Stevie Wonder, Hank Ballard, Gladys Knight & The Pips, John Lee Hooker, Alice Cooper, Wilson Pickett, Little Willie John, Parliament-Funkadelic, James Jamerson, Bob Seger, The Stooges, Ted Nugent and Patti Smith. And thats just the tip of iceberg!!

I got turned on to The Muggs and their 2011 disc “Born Ugly”, Hearing the track “6 To Midnite” was one of those moments when you think, “were gonna be alright, music’s gonna be alright” I was hooked.

 

So when I got the opportunity to Interview Danny Muggs for Guitar Radio Show and write a review for their new disc “Straight Up Boogaloo” I jumped at the chance!

First let me tell you, when you hear this disc (and you need to hear this disc!) you’re gonna feel good. Like bob your head, pump your fist, break some furniture good! Once you’ve accepted that, you’ll notice theres some great songs, strong, hypnotic grooves and killer playing from all three of these talented brothers from another musical mother. The disc opens with what has to be my favorite track, “Applecart Blues” a straight ahead unapologetic rocker, but this disc is not just a slap in the chops, pick your teeth up affair, this is by far the most mature of The Muggs offerings. They have found themselves and you can tell they feel good about it.

Highlights (and to be honest its all a highlight) are tunes like the radio friendly (If radio had a clue) “Fat City”, the haunting true blues number “Blues for Mephistopheles”, the grooving “Lightning Cries” where Danny Muggs lays down his ode to Page, Frampton & Angus rolled into one thick amalgam.

Side 2 (feels good to say that!) of this vinyl joint is some surprising and pretty killer covers that I didn’t quite expect. Let’s just say Iommi, Green and Lennon would approve and so do I.

This is pure feel good music and an incredibly satisfying collection of songs and performances. The more I ponder this band I realize, The Muggs don’t play rock and roll…The Muggs ARE rock and roll.

Mark Daven
Guitar Radio Show

Episode 59- Chicago Slim

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For more info on Chicago Slim and learning more about the original American art form go to-

http://www.chicagoslim.com

http://www.chicagoblues.com

http://www.chicagobluesallstars.com

 

 

500 Words with Adam P Hunt- Marshall “Plexi”

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500 Words Marshall “Plexi”

It is difficult to imagine what rock music would sound like without the Marshall “plexi”. The “plexi” name itself is evocative of the era when The Who were still a bar band and when a brash young American was coerced into trying his luck playing in London clubs.

The name “plexi”, of course, is not an official model designation it’s a nickname that has been used to describe several different early Marshall amps.

The “plexi” moniker has alternatively been used to describe several early Marshalls including the 100Watt Marshall 1959 (a.k.a the Super Lead or “original plexi”), the 50 watt version (sometimes referred to as “the plexi”), the 1959T (for tremelo) and the JTM-45 (both head and combo versions).

Legend had that in 1965 Pete Townshend approached Jim Marshall to produce a “bigger and louder” amp to be better heard. With some help from Ken Bran, Dudley Craven and copied much of the layout of a 1959 Fender Bassman in order to make the first JTM-45 for Townshend.

In the 2012 New York Times obituary for Jim Marshall Townshend said, “I was demanding a more powerful machine gun” to “blow people away all around the world,” Mr. Townshend told NPR in 2002. “I wanted it to be as big as the atomic bomb had been.”

To call the JTM-45 a copy of a ‘59 Fender Bassman is inaccurate partly due to the availability of GZ34 (5AR4) rectifier tubes and 6550, KT66 or EL43 power tubes. When the modified Bassman was paired with singular cabinet that housed eight 10” Celestion speakers the Marshall sound was born.

Marshall was born in London 1923 and because he was struck by tuberculosis of the bones as a child he was unable to perform military service during WWII. Wanting to contribute to the war effort Marshall taught himself engineering and worked at an engineering firm during WWII.

During the War Marshall also worked as a drummer in a big band and would later become an in demand drum tutor.

With the collapse of the big bands Marshall set up an electronics shop in London in 1960 and two years later he was selling amplifiers under his own name. By 1964 Marshall was exporting amps to the US and Roy Orbison was one of his first clients.

In 1965 a plexiglass faceplate was added to the amps hence the nickname, “plexi”.

What is it about the “plexi” that has held audience members and guitar players alike enthralled with the “plexi” for almost 50 years? Especially with the introduction of the master volume replacement model the JCM 800?

When played back to back a JTM-45/100 a 1959 and a JCM 800 sound quite different from one another. For one thing the 1959 is a non-master volume amp so it doesn’t wash the notes with a haze of preamp distortion so it sounds more “open” and hits you right in the chest.

Builders that make “plexi” clones will sometimes “jump” the input circuits of the amp to lower the headroom or even sometimes include some sort of built in attenuator.

If your tastes of amps run “vintage”, definitely give one a try.

 

Adam P Hunt is a freelance writer who has previously written for The Library Journal and Premier Guitar Magazine. We are so happy to have him join us here at Guitar Radio Show.com.