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Bruno Major’s Relatively Lo-Fi Soul

bruno major podcast

Cory’s cast is off and he’s here to tell you to “go get hip” to Bruno Major! The soulful, jazzy British singer-songwriter shares why he prefers to record in his bedroom than a studio to create his “relatively lo-fi” music.


“It’s far more important to be transmitting a privacy than an audio quality,” Major says. But he’s quick to point out that you can get good audio quality recording at home and discloses his gear of choice—shoutout to the Shure SM7B. Together, they discuss the state of record labels and streaming in 2023—“if you’re making good music,” Major says, “it’ll find a home”—working with other artists—“I think what I bring to the table is probably harmonic knowledge and an ability with words…. I can’t really do it on cue”—and mental health.

On his journey from his early days as a shred-head—“I just wanted to play really fast all the time”—into classical and jazz playing, and eventually to becoming a singer and songwriter, Major elaborates:

“If you look at something like Grant Green. Grant Green is basically playing glorified blues licks over a jazz aesthetic. He’s doing very simple stuff but it’s still incredible jazz guitar because he has his own thing. He has his own voice. And crucially, he has incredible time. I kind of found my voice as a guitar player through the medium of songwriting in a strange way. Because my guitar playing on my songs is what makes my guitar playing.”

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John Mayall in the late ’80s, in a promo shot for his Island Records years. During his carreer, he also recorded for the Decca (with the early Bluesbreakers lineups), Polydor, ABC, DJM, Silvertone, Eagle, and Forty Below labels.

He was dubbed “the father of British blues,” but Mayall’s influence was worldwide, and he nurtured some of the finest guitarists in the genre, including Eric Clapton, Peter Green, Mick Taylor, Harvey Mandel, Coco Montoya, and Walter Trout. Mayall died at his California home on Monday, at age 90.

John Mayall’s career spanned nearly 70 years, but it only took his first four albums to cement his legendary status. With his initial releases with his band the Bluesbreakers—1966’s Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton; ’67’s A Hard Road, with Peter Green on guitar; plus the same year’s Crusade, which showcased Mick Taylor—and his solo debut The Blues Alone, also from 1967, Mayall introduced an international audience of young white fans to the decidedly Black and decidedly American genre called blues. In the subsequent decades, he maintained an active touring and recording schedule until March 26, 2022, when he played his last gig at age 87. It was reported that he died peacefully, on Monday, in his California home, at 90.

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Donner andThird Man Hardware’s $99, three-in-one analog distortion, phaser, and delay honors Jack White’s budget gear roots.

Compact. Light. Fun. Dirt cheap. Many cool sounds that make this pedal a viable option for traveling pros.

Phaser level control not much use below 1 o’clock. Repeats are bright for an analog delay. Greater range of low-gain sounds would be nice.

$99

Donner X Third Man Triple Threat
thirdmanrecords.com

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A huge part of the early White Stripes mystique, sound, ethos, and identity was tied to guitars and amps that, at the time, you could luck into for cheap at a garage sale. These days, it’s harder to score a Crestwood Astral II, or Silvertone Twin Twelve with a part-time job in the ice cream shop. Back in the late ’90s, though, they were a source of raw, nasty sounds for less than a new, more generic guitar or amp.

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