Whether or not you are a fan of the band Sunn O))), this unique distortion/boost/fuzz/octave pedal by EarthQuaker is worth checking out if you are in search of heavy-osity.
NAMM 2020 is next week. I will try and get my report up sooner this year. If you are looking for a distillation of some of the most interesting gear for the modern guitarist to come out of 2019, this is a good place to start. Nick Reinhart, and Juan Alderete always have their fingers on the pulse of what is forward thinking and cool.
Danelectro’s president, Steve Ridinger, got his start in the 70’s by manufacturing the fOXX Tone Machine, the now coveted octave fuzz sound used by players like Peter Frampton, Adrian Belew, and Beck. The 3699 fUZZ is a faithful recreation, and a tribute (“3699” spells out “FOXX” on the telephone keypad, and that was the last 4 digits of the company phone number back in the day).
Despite an increasing number of great recordings coming over my transom, three guitarists, Anthony Pirog, David Torn, and Mike Baggetta, dominated this year’s picks with two records each. In addition to being brilliant players who have produced stellar examples of their work on these albums, all the guitarists featured here are out in the trenches preforming live on a regular basis. In no particular order.
I have noticed a recent trend toward a resurgence of headless guitar designs being favored by modern guitarists. Rick Toone builds beautiful examples of this style guitar (as well as “headed versions”). He had the idea to ask some clients, Chris Buono, Todd Haug, Killick Hinds, Ken Kinter, Gabriel Levi, Steve Sjuggerud, and Ede Wright, to record an album of music featuring his instruments. The result is a terrific compilation of modern guitar improvisation.