Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Big Man of Memphis! 1941-2009

As I watch the Ted Kennedy funeral motorcade on TV, I'm reminded that the world lost another great American this month: Jim Dickinson, the legendary musician/engineer/producer of Muscle Shoals and Ardent Studios fame. He was one of the architects of the American sound, and specifically the Memphis sound. The Big Star Records Jim produced in the early '70s did a lot to change my musical direction, when they re-emerged in the '80s as alternative music prototypes for bands like REM and The Replacements. Those records were way ahead of their time and they sounded really fuckin' cool.

That was just the beginning of the Jim Dickinson legend and legacy. The man cast a big shadow.

Jim Dickinson on AllMusic

A Hot Blog About on a Cool Memphis Cat

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

How Blue Are You?

Although no one would mistake me for being a big fan of Jazz, much less an aficionado, I do appreciate it as an American art-form. When I was younger I'd go to Jazz dates and snap my fingers like a Beatnik. The groovy hipness of 50's Jazz and Bebop works for me. And I dig Dixieland. I like Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Nat King Cole, Dave Brubeck, Herbie Hancock, and of course there's Miles Davis. 50 years ago his Miles-tone LP, "Kind of Blue" was realeased. Not only was it a breakthrough in Jazz and music in-general, it was an incredible recording, from an audio standpoint.

Here's a nice blog on that topic:

BlemBlog: "Kind of Blue"

Monday, August 17, 2009

Soul of '69

'Stock Stage '69: Santana Sacrificing with his Serpentine SG Special

There's a lot of coverage going on right now of the 40th anniversary of Woodstock. There were some great and historic performances of course -- Hendrix, The Who, CSNY, Sly, Janis, and more. But there was one that for me has always stood out. Not only is it my favorite performance from the festival, I think it's one of the most electrifying performances in rock history. Thankfully, it was captured on film.


Soul Sacrifice!

The band was tripping their socks off, and you can tell! Carlos is on fire, teetering right on the edge of losing control. He has famously said that he was hallucinating so hard, he thought his guitar was a snake. He literally couldn't feel the stage under his feet. Yep - playing a snake while hovering - there's one for the ages.

And the raw spitfire tone of his SG Special and its P90s will raise the hair on the back of your neck.

The percussionists, Greg Rolie on B3, the teenage Michael Shreve on drums; it all came together in a red-hot explosion of Latin rock. Transcendence was achieved by Carlos and company on that muddy day in Bethel. If you can't feel this energy, you have no soul to sacrifice.

If you don't believe me, dig the clip, baby!

Soul Sacrifice on YouTube

And whatever you do, STAY AWAY FROM THE BROWN ACID!

Here's a great little article on Gibson's web-site written by my old friend Ted Drozdowski. "The SGs of Woodstock"

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Audio Zen, by Audient

"Ohms...Ohms...Ohms...Ohms..." Enlightened Mixing with The Zen.

EXCITING NEW PRODUCT ALERT! The new Zen analog console from Audient is a truly trancendental piece of gear, offering in-demand analog features and DAW control for a really affordable price. How would you like 16 dual-path channels, WITH mic-pres, DAW-control AND moving faders for $15K? And that's dollars, not Pounds! And the best part is Audient's high-quality sound -- clean but with a hint of classic British color. My mixing chakra is resonating with joy!

Here's the Zen of Zen

You know what I like about Audient? And what I have ALWAYS liked about Audient? They make useful gear at the right price. The price-point vs the high-level of performance is always great with Audient. The gear always sounds excellent, works well (good ergonomics) and it's never the most expensive gear in the store. That's what ya call VALUE, son!

Audient doesn't make something and put it out there and hope people buy it-- they look at what studios need and what kinds of budgets are there and then they make gear that answers the call.

Always great bang for the buck -- That's Audient.

With Zen, Dave and Gareth have done it again. The mixer is a perfect example of Audient's smart marketing. Form and function!

Can't wait to get my hands on it, and I'm psyched to be a dealer for it!

It's All About The Tone, Baby!