JD Simo joins us in discussing the albums we spun the most during the height of the pandemic. Plus, current musical obsessions!
What was your go-to album during quarantine?
JD Simo - Guest Picker
A: There were a lot of records spinning, haha! After doing 200 or so dates a year since 2016, it was a blast for me to get to indulge in my relatively large collection in a deep way. I'm an obsessive vinyl guy. There are two that rose above the rest for me, though. Fela Kuti's Open & Close was a constant. It's one of his earliest albums. After the death of his legendary drummer Tony Allen at the beginning of the pandemic, I did an Afrobeat deep dive that I've been meaning to do for years. I have almost everything he ever recorded now, but this record is just dope!
Fela Kuti - Open and Close (LP)
Secondly, Junior Kimbrough's Most Things Haven't Worked Out. Junior has bit me hard. I mean, it was always there to some extent, but his music has just grabbed me in a way that few others have in my whole life. This record is probably his most fucked up, but it's my favorite. It's not for the faint of heart. I love it so much! That raw, primal trance. I wanna live in this record!
Junior Kimbrough - Most Things Haven't Worked Out (Full Album)
Current obsession: The two styles of these records I mentioned have really opened up a path musically forward for me. Hill country trance blues over Afrobeat type grooves. I made a new record during lockdown that'll come out later this year, and that's the basis for it. To me, it's like they were meant to go together and it just happened naturally. Hillfro we call it, haha! Feels right to me.
Kelly Blanchard - Reader of the Month
A: Emma Ruth Rundle's Marked for Death and On Dark Horses. She's an artist I discovered on a Rig Rundown!
Emma Ruth Rundle // On Dark Horses (FULL ALBUM)
Built To Spill - Carry The Zero (Live in Sydney) | Moshcam
Current obsession: Having fun learning the Built to Spill song "Carry the Zero," mainly because my friend and collaborator Jim Roth (aka Jerms Fuzz) used to be in Built to Spill and showed me the basic chord progression. Jim has produced the last couple of releases for my band Blue Star Creeper and we're finally practicing again and getting ready to play shows here in Seattle and the Northwest. I guess that would be my other current obsession: Getting used to playing as a band again!
Ted Drozdowski - Senior Editor
Photo by Peter Lee
A: David Gilmour's Live at Pompeii album and concert film really helped me remain nailed together. The astonishingly high level of musical and visual performance kept the intention toward creativity in my mind. The empathy of Gilmour's and Waters' lyrics helped my heart. And the guitar tones speak about a thousand things too complex to put in words every time Gilmour bends or hangs a note. There's an understanding within it all that reminded me of my humanity and brought light.
David Gilmour - Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Live At Pompeii)
Current Obsession: Lately, I've been returning to my foundation in the rural hill country and Delta blues of Mississippi, and it's been incredibly rewarding emotionally and in crystallizing my idiosyncratic technique. R.L. Burnside lives, and always will!
Nick Millevoi - Associate Editor
A: Sometime last year, a friend sent me a link to a recording of Kostas Bezos and the White Birds, a 1930s Hawaiian-inspired band from Athens, Greece. I fell in love with the songs and the playing on this record, which have a pretty esoteric combination of influences. While I've gone down a deep rabbit hole in search of similar music, I'm yet to find anything that comes close.
Kostas Bezos and the White Birds - Λαίντυ Γιουκούλελε Lady Ukulele
Current Obsession: I've been going through Todd Rundgren's catalog with as much of a completist approach as I can. It's a wild and weird journey that is full of so many special treasures.
Rig Rundown - Todd RundgrenArticle & photos: http://bit.ly/ToddRundgrenRRDuring a stripped-down tour stop at Nashville’s City Winery, guitarist-producer Todd Rundgren spent nearly 40 m...
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Which one do you prefer?
Rhett and Zach unpack the big news for secondhand guitar sellers and buyers: Sweetwater has launched their new Gear Exchange. How does it compare to Reverb, Craigslist, and Marketplace? To find out, Zach takes the site for a spin and buys a pedal. He calls the process both “very easy” and “normal.” They discuss the pros and cons of the various used-gear outlets and share tips for not getting got when buying gear. Plus, Zach grew a mustache, Mythos Pedals is moving, and he talks about his forthcoming line of Strat pickups inspired by Hendrix’s reverse-stagger setup.
Sweetwater vs. Reverb
Get 10% off from StewMac when you visit stewmac.com/dippedintone
The Royale was designed to deliver loud and vivid clean tone with a responsive, tactile low end.
Designed to offer massive headroom, the 50-watt Royale Head lets you indulge in smooth clean tones at even higher volumes on stage without any breakup. Select between class A and class AB modes, with its variable mode switch, so you can choose between gushing Supro tone or a punchier, tight midrange response.
Introducing the Royale Head & Extension Cabinet | Supro
The Royale 1x12 Extension Cabinet features the custom Supro BD12 high-power driver, offering the same mid-range punch and clean articulation as the Royale combo but with additional stage volume. More info: suprousa.com.
Royale Head | $1,499.99
Royale Cab | $669.99
D'Addario Foundation's education project sets out to help schools throughout the country and kicks off with an online auction.
The D’Addario Foundation will host a virtual auction from November 9 to November 30, 2022, with the overarching goal of raising $30,000 for the D'Addario Foundation’s Immersive Music Challenge.
Inspired by a new study published in the Journal of Youth Development, the D'Addario Foundation recently launched the Immersive Music Challenge. This ambitious project will help school districts and charter systems throughout the country boost academic achievement by implementing effective, multi-day-per-week music-based mentoring programs that include training, administration, and evaluation. The D’Addario Foundation has invested in an incredible team of consultants that include school superintendents, public health experts, and data analysts to ensure sound results. In addition, D’Addario is actively seeking corporate partners to support the establishment of these programs and champion their success.
Thanks to the generosity of D'Addario artists and industry partners including Gibson, PRS Guitars, D'Angelico, Taylor Guitars, and more, one-of-a-kind items & experiences are up for bidding. Some of the items include:
- Evans Drumhead signed by Anderson Paak
- ESP Mirage Deluxe '87 Signed by Bruce Kulick of KISS and Grand Funk Railroad
- Gibson Les Paul Custom electric guitar
- D'Addario bass string set signed by Bryan Beller of the Aristocrats
- PRS S2 McCarty 594 Singlecut
- Virtual Lesson with Marty Schwartz
To celebrate its 20th anniversary, Xotic Effects unveils an updated version of their classic boost pedal.
Xotic’s RC Booster pedal is back to celebrate its 20th anniversary. The RC Booster’s original design was a customer favorite due to its versatile clean boost, active treble, bass, gain and volume controls. This classic reissue will join their regular pedal lineup permanently.
• Transparent boost pedal for electric guitar
• Up to 20dB of boost for adding volume or sending your amp into overdrive
• Treble and bass EQ controls with +/-15dB range for fine-tuning your sound
• True bypass switching removes the effect from your signal path when disengaged
• Powered via 9-volt battery or optional AC adapter (sold separately)
• 9-18 volts
The first 1000 pedals will contain a special limited edition packaging with special items and actual guitar picks from Andy Timmons, Paul Jackson Jr, Dean Brown, Kirk Fletcher, Allen Hinds, Chris Duarte, Scott Henderson, Oz Noy, Michael Thompson, Yuya Komoguchi, Toshi Yanagi.
RC Booster with limited edition packaging street price is $172.00. More info: xotic.us.