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Ear to the Ground: Freeman's "(For a While) I Couldn't Play My Guitar Like a Man"

Aaron Freeman (aka Gene Ween from Ween) has an eponymous new band whose first track—which was "leaked" by Jack Black—is chock-full of vibey guitar.

If you’re reading about this post-Ween project for a second time, chances are good you first leaned about it when comedy rocker Jack Black “leaked” the song on his Facebook page. “(For a While) I Couldn’t Play My Guitar Like a Man,” is the title of the very first original recording by Gene Ween following the break-up of experimental cult-band Ween.

Rather than take the route of a solo troubadour, the singer of the 1992 underground hit "Push th' Little Daisies" has assembled a five-piece group.

Decidedly calling this band Freeman (his real name is Aaron Freeman) hints at a stylistic departure from all things Ween. More Neil Young than Frank Zappa, the song slowly bounces on a familiar “Down by the River” rhythm. Acoustic guitars strum as warm Wurlitzer notes hum underneath a slightly raspy and weathered voice.

And as the song’s title suggests, the guitar playing here is quite manly—not a Gibson SG plugged into a wall of Marshalls kind of manly. But a more matured and tone-honed testosterone that brings to mind salt-and-pepper haired gentlemen discussing boutique tube amps, vintage Telecasters, and a friend of a friend who builds pedals on the weekends. Not since Blue Ash’s 1973 recording “Smash My Guitar” has a song about guitar playing delivered so well on its title. freemantheband.com

While Annie Clark was named the 26th greatest guitarist of all time by Rolling Stone in 2023, she couldn’t care less about impressing an athletic stamp on either her sound or her image.


Photo by Alex Da Corte

On her eighth studio release, the electroacoustic art-rock guitarist and producer animates an extension of the strange and singular voice she’s been honing since her debut in 2007.

“Did you grow up Unitarian?” Annie Clark asks me. We’re sitting in a control room at Electric Lady Studios in New York’s West Village, and I’ve just explained my personal belief system to her, to see if Clark, aka St. Vincent, might relate and return the favor. After all, does she not possess a kind of sainthood worth inquiring about?

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U.S.-made electronics and PRS’s most unique body profile make this all-American S2 a feast of tones at a great price.

Many sonic surprises. Great versatility. Excellent build quality

The pickup selector switch might be in a slightly awkward position for some players.

$2,029

PRS S2 Vela
prsguitars.com

4.5
5
5
4.5

Since its introduction in 2013, PRS’s S2 range has worked to bridge the gap between the company’s most affordable and most expensive guitars. PRS’s cost-savings strategy for the S2 was simple. The company fitted U.S.-made bodies and necks, built using the more streamlined manufacturing processes of PRS’s Stevensville 2 facility, with Asia-made electronics from the SE line.

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A Gibson Explorer (left) and a Dean Z model.

In a legal battle over guitar body designs between Gibson and Dean, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in the 5th circuit has ruled that Dean has the right to appeal an earlier decision by a Texas court, ordering Dean to stop selling guitars that Gibson says infringed on its iconic body shapes.

In a legal battle over guitar body designs between Gibson and Dean, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in the 5th circuit has ruled that Dean has the right to re-try an earlier decision by a Texas court, ordering Dean to stop selling guitars that allegedly infringed on longtime Gibson body shapes, including Dean’s V and Z Series instruments, according to a report in Bloomberg Law published on Tuesday.

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Slash's Blues Ball Band Rig Rundown
Rig Rundown: Slash's Blues Ball Band with Tash Neal

The rock ’n’ roll icon brings his blues-rockin’ Orgy of The Damned to the people headlining the S.E.R.P.E.N.T. Blues Festival tour.

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