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Gibson Recommends Wes Montgomery Live in ’65 DVD

Josh Baron
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10.29.2007

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As far as classic jazz albums go, Smokin’ at the Half Note is always a sleeper. Wes Montgomery’s style is effortless and fluid, rhythmically smooth and groovy—nothing ever comes off as angular or jutting. As you move through his other albums like Groove Yard, Boss Guitar, or Movin’ Wes, it’s clear they all have these qualities, especially when he locks in with pianists and B-3 players like Wynton Kelly or Jimmy Smith. These albums have always invoked the images of Montgomery playing, cigarette dangling from mouth, hands looming over his beloved Gibson L-5CES. But there’s never been any great film footage of the jazz legend doing what he did best. That is, until now.
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A Closer Look: Joy Division

Josh Baron
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10.29.2007

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Joy Division has always been one of those bands that occupy a unique space—short-lived, cagey, dark and tragic, they burned quick and bright. While hindsight has proved a double-edge sword as far critical evaluation, what’s unquestionable is that the band became a touchstone and reference point. Formed in 1976 in Manchester, England, the band went through several lineup alternations and name changes before becoming Joy Division in 1977. The lineup featured lead singer Ian Curtis, guitarist Bernard Sumner, bassist Peter Hook, and drummer Stephen Morris. Inspired by the D.I.Y.-ethos of the Sex Pistols, the primacy of Iggy Pop and, in certain ways, the Doors, along with the trippy, droning haze of the Velvet Underground, Joy Division cut a new swath with their music. Helping to spearhead the burgeoning sound of Manchester at the famed club The Factory, the band eventually signed to the venue’s label, Factory Records, despite Curtis’ entertainment of offers from major labels like RCA and Warner Bros.
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The Les Paul: More Than Just A Rocker

Dave Hunter
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10.26.2007

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Gibson’s Les Paul is legendary as a rock machine. It almost single-handedly forged the sound that defines classic British blues-rock, as well as being a centerpiece in a myriad of other heavy rock styles that require fat, rich, sustainful tones and fluid playability. But the Les Paul, in all its forms past and present, is capable of doing much more than just the rock thing, as great players have proved ever since the groundbreaking solidbody hit the scene 55 years ago.
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The Nocturnals' Grace Potter and Scott Tournett Talk Gibsons

Ted Drozdowski
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10.25.2007

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Grace Potter and the Nocturnals’ major-label debut This is Somewhere premiered at the top of Billboard’s New Artist chart in August, but they’ve got a huge, organic guitar-heavy sound that goes all the way back to the early ’70s, when long-players like the Stones’ Exile on Main Street, Neil Young’s Harvest, and Fleetwood Mac’s Then Play On were freshly reverberating. "We wanted to make an album that sounds like 1973," explains Potter, leader of the five-year-old Vermont-based band. "We’ve listened to and talked about those records constantly." On stage Potter, who’s 24, blends bohemian charm with a warm, muscular alto voice, a command of Hammond B-3 organ, and a bread-and-butter rhythm guitar style that’s abetted by Scott Tournett’s flair for whipping high drama into six-string leads.
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Gibson Recommends Raising Sand by Robert Plant and Alison Krauss (Free Album Stream!)

Sylvie Simmons
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10.25.2007

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Who would have thought that collaboration between one of hard rock’s living legends and the young queen of bluegrass could make such astonishingly beautiful music together? On the surface, the pairing of Robert Plant and Alison Krauss seems like an oddity, but on the authentic endearing Raising Sand, the two sound as if they’ve been building up to this moment their whole lives.
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Underoath’s Tim McTague Gives a Sneak Peek of Upcoming Documentary

Jonah Bayer
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10.25.2007

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These days, it seems like nearly every band has a DVD—and in many cases, the end product feels more like an afterthought than a full-fledged release. Underoath guitarist Tim McTague wants to change that. “We wanted to do something different, so we came up with the idea to take a film crew on this entire tour and make it a real story instead of just taking out the camera when someone’s throwing up or being an idiot,” he explains, adding that the DVD will be shot in high-definition widescreen and include a live set that will be shot at the Electric Factory in Philadelphia later this month.
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Director Paints Vivid Panorama in New Stars-Packed, Beatles-Themed Film

Jerry McCulley
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10.25.2007

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The history of Beatles-inspired media projects is a decidedly spotty one, a canon that stretches from the shrewd, burnished nostalgia of Beatlemania! to outright cheese (ABC-TV’s 1977 Beatles Forever) and the mega-miscalculations All This and World War II and The Bee Gees as Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Yet that didn’t stop director Julie Taymor from bringing the visual sense that’s enlightened work as diverse as her wildly successful Broadway adaptation of The Lion King and Oscar-honored Frida to a Beatles’-centered narrative Across the Universe, which is being hailed as one of the year’s most artistically ambitious films.
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It’s a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock and Roll): Real Life on the Road

Jonah Bayer
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10.25.2007

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The van reeked of stale socks and Chinese takeout food—and we were still two hundred miles from Minneapolis. My band the Lovekill were hurtling down the freeway at 70 miles per hour on our way to play the biggest show of our career, opening for Thursday and Milemarker at the Fine Line Music Café. But first we had to get there in time for a ridiculously early 3 p.m. soundcheck and it wasn’t looking good. Traveling with us was our friend/photographer Adam and our largely unnecessary 19-year-old merch girl Julie, who despite sporting two intimidating sleeves of tattoos, was a sweetheart at her core. The night before we had played a set in Chicago at the Empty Bottle, which was so sparsely attended that it had had prompted my sister to muse, “Empty Bottle? More like empty club!” Morale was low, but we had been looking forward to this show ever since we got an email from Thursday’s booking agent while we were at a dirty punk house in Germany months earlier. There was a palpable frustration in the band: some of us weren’t getting along, our record had been pushed back for almost a year, and the amount of money we were dumping into gas, merch, and van payments was starting to wear on us all.
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Bluesman Stacy Mitchhart’s Treks in Tennessee (Free MP3 Download!)

Sean McDevitt
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10.25.2007

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It’s about a 200-mile drive from Nashville to Memphis, and Stacy Mitchhart knows the journey better than most. The guitarist and vocalist holds down a regular, twice-weekly gig at B.B. King’s in Nashville, his home base, skipping town every two weeks or so to play the club’s Memphis location. “Moving to Nashville has been fantastic,” says Mitchhart, who set up shop in Music City in 1996 and became the artist in residence at the Bourbon Street Blues and Boogie Bar in historic Printer’s Alley. “I lived in Los Angeles and New York and made a good living, but I’ve played with cats here that I wouldn’t have been able to perform with anywhere else—James Brown, Keb’ Mo, Stephen Stills, Gatemouth Brown, Joe Sample. I even played with John Entwistle of the Who,” he says with a chuckle. “I’m a Yankee in Nashville doing the most non-country thing I can do.”
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Chambering the Les Paul: A Marriage of Weight and Tone

Dave Hunter
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10.25.2007

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Not many players today like to struggle with the back-breaking weight of an overly heavy guitar, but relatively fewer realize that relieving the load can very often also have positive consequences on an instrument’s sound. Gibson first put unseen routes, or “chambers,” in some Les Paul bodies purely as a weight-reduction measure at a time when adequately light stocks of mahogany were difficult to come by. Today, however, the craftsmen at Gibson USA take a more holistic view of the construction process, with the awareness that every change to the formula will have repercussions on an instrument’s sound. The result is a synchronicity of weight and tone that benefits the customer from whichever angle you approach it.
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