SMALL AMP/BIG AMP 

Over the course of my career, I've always played amps that had 'headroom to spare'; whether it was a Mark 1 Boogie, or a Fender Bassman, Super, or DeVille. What's changed for me, is that over time, the need for a high wattage guitar amp is really not necessary.

Clubs are smaller for working musicians, PA systems are much more efficient, and most clubs are either listening rooms that don't require a lot of volume, or they're rooms that insist that live music be quieter.

Over the past 4-5 months, I've had…

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CHANNELING MICHAEL LANDAU 

The Fender Michael Landau 2x12 DeVille was inspired and co-designed by session guitarist Michael Landau; he has played and recorded with everyone from Joni Mitchell to Miles Davis. i remember seeing him play with Joni on the Refuge of the Roads tour. It was rack mount city with a 3 amp setup, wired by Bob Bradshaw. Quite a migration from then until now. Most guitarists have eschewed the rack mount idea in favor of one amp with a pedalboard.

For years, I played a Fender Deville; a really good amp that…

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THE IBANEZ TS MINI 

Over the past 4-5 years, pedals have gotten smaller. The realities of smaller stages and travel restrictions have made it imperative that pedalboards become smaller. Virtually every manufacturer makes mini pedals. I've got a small tuner and a Wampler Tumnus(more on that one in a later post). And a small volume pedal.

Ibanez has produced a line of mini pedals to augment their line. The TS(tube screamer) Mini is one that recently acquired a space on my board. The tube screamer is arguably the most…

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CHARLIE BANACOS-A PRIVILEGED EXPERIENCE 

I started studying with Charlie in 1991, when I was living in Newburyport, Massachusetts--I was on his waiting list for about a year and a half, when the call from his secretary came that there was an opening on Tuesday at 8/30am--It took all of 15 seconds to say yes!!!!!; so I would make the trip down to his studio in Beverly--It had the weight of meeting a guru, but a funny one---I used to call Charlie the missing Marx brother as he was really funny and at times just goofy, but in a very real way---He…

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A TIME FORGOTTEN? JONI MITCHELL, MILES DAVIS, PICASSO 

Joni, Miles and Picasso are my patron saints. The thread that runs from them into my musical, personal and spiritual life is truly intoxicating, like a fine cognac; layers of art and inspiration Song to a Seagull, one of Joni's early recordings, weaves a story of late 60's Greenwich Village; innocent, authentic, and utterly compelling. Kind of Blue, THE modal masterpiece, hits me on any number of levels. It's pure jazz, it's chamber music, it's NYC cool, in the truest sense. Joni and Miles were for real,…

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