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Art Thompson's March Faves

March 22, 2012
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The Allman Brothers Band S.U.N.Y. at Stonybrook

This two-CD set captures the AAB’s performance at the State University of New York campus on September 19, 1971. Recorded at the height of the original group’s powers, this well-oiled road set includes “Dreams,” “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed,” “Trouble No More”, and a new-for-’71 Dickey Betts tune “Blue Sky.” It’s always great to hear fresh cuts of Duane Allman in concert sounding so inspired and soloing with that big, sweltering tone. And he died just a few weeks after this show—a poignant reminder of a talent lost. Allman Brothers Band Recording Company.

Anthony Wilson Seasons: Live at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

The title track of this CD/DVD set is a lovely four-part suite Wilson composed for master guitar-maker John Monteleone— who built four guitars especially for the occasion. Wilson and friends Chico Pinheiro, Steve Cardenas, and Julian Lage played all the music—including individual solo pieces and Wilson’s arrangement of “The Circle Game”—on these magnificent archtops in concert, which the DVD documents, along with stories about the creation of the guitars and the music. Goat Hill Recordings.

The Dream Factory By Tom Wheeler

In this beautiful and exhaustively researched book, Wheeler documents the rise of Fender’s celebrated hot-rod factory, with great detail on the instruments, internal processes, and the key people who envisioned a Fender “Custom Shop.” Images of fantastically decorated Teles and Strats and painstakingly “relic-ed” Tribute models spill out over the 592 pages, but it’s also the inside story of how the Custom Shop came to be—and how it functions today— that makes this book such a great addition to any Fender fan’s library. Hal Leonard.

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