Monthly Archives: October 2009

Live Rock and Roll

The record business is in serious disarray which means that many acts are on perma-tour status.  In my opinion there are few things better than live music.

This past weekend, Fat Tone Guitars had the pleasure of hosting a hard touring Chicago band, The Steepwater Band, in our showroom.  Playing close to 150 shows a year, The Steepwater Band is made up of Jeff Massey on guitar and vocals, Tod Bowers on bass and Joe Winters on drums.  Taking their cue from both classic British bands like The Faces and Humble Pie and American bands like The Band and Lynyrd Skynyrd, the Steepwater boys play heartfelt roots based heavy music. While their music has the feel of classic rock, it’s performed with total feeling in the here and now.

The Steepwater Band at Fat Tone Guitars

The Steepwater Band at Fat Tone Guitars

I’m a big fan of their tunes and their sound and they really rocked the house at Fat Tone Guitars.

You can visit their website here.

You can buy their latest album, Grace and Melody, here.

Jeff Massey's Pedalboard

Jeff Massey's Pedalboard

As you can see from Jeff’s pedalboard, he’s a connoisseur of great tone.  Great pedals on this board include Analog Man, BMF Effects, Electro-Harmonix, Klon, Dunlop and more.

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Win the Fuzz Of The Week, October 19, 2009

Today, we have a little twist on our Fuzz Of The Week series.  You can enter a giveaway to win this week’s entry, the Earthquaker Devices Tone Reaper Fuzz Pedal.

The Earthquaker Devices Tone Reaper is a strong and raunchy fuzz pedal that uses a germanium/silicon hybrid transistor to deliver a biting Fuzz drenched tone.   The Tone Reaper will make your guitar sound awesome in a group format, pushing you through a loud rhythm section.

The EQD Tone Reaper’s layout is standard with a level, fuzz and tone knob.  Playing with these controls lets you add thick, molasses like fuzz and sustain to your lead lines, or dial it up for spittery, popping chopiness.

You be the judge.

Earthquaker Devices Tone Reaper

Earthquaker Devices Tone Reaper

Fat Tone Guitars is giving away a brand new EQD Tone Reaper pedal as part of our October scary promotion.  You can enter the giveaway by telling us the first album or CD you ever bought with your own money.  A winner will be chosen randomly from all entries.  There is no purchase necessary to enter.

After-Hours At Fat Tone

Fat Tone Guitars hosts events in the showroom from time to time.  Many of the artists that perform on our small stage are local musicians who are simply looking to play for an audience and have a good time.

Past performances include:

Rebeltone at Fat Tone Guitars

Rebeltone at Fat Tone Guitars

and

Super Mini Trio at Fat Tone Guitars

Super Mini Trio at Fat Tone Guitars

and

Bob Corritore, Patrick Rynn and Chris James at Fat Tone

Bob Corritore, Patrick Rynn and Chris James at Fat Tone

and

Chickenbone at Fat Tone Guitars

Chickenbone at Fat Tone Guitars

and

Roger and The Wraybands at Fat Tone Guitars

Roger and The Wraybands at Fat Tone Guitars

and

The Debauchers at Fat Tone Guitars

The Debauchers at Fat Tone Guitars

and my favorites….

The Bottle Rockets at Fat Tone Guitars

The Bottle Rockets at Fat Tone Guitars

Cool huh?  Will you be next?

Famous Guitar Solos

I wanted to share with you some interesting data from our recently completed “Tell us your favorite guitar solos” promotion.  Some of this stuff really threw me for a loop.

  • Nels Cline, currently playing with Wilco, delivered the 6th most popular solo.  The song, Impossible Germany featuring Nels’ impeccable fretwork came in 6th, ahead of famous tunes like Sweet Child O’ Mine, Boddhisatva, and anything by Joe Satriani or Alex Lifeson.
  • If you’ve never heard it, go dig out Maggot Brain by Funkadelic.  Eddie Hazel, an underrated guitarist whips out his axe for a huge solo and was recognized by many of our respondents.
  • Neil Young was mentioned more often than Alex Lifeson and tied with Jeff Beck
  • Robert Fripp was mentioned more often than Duane Allman, Richie Blackmore and Randy Rhoads
  • Eruption accounted for 75% of the Van Halen favorite solos
  • Stairway To Heaven accounted for 48% of the Led Zeppelin solos

My takeaway from this non-scientific delving into the music preferences of our customers is that well phrased solos, that have a place in a song are more loved than jams.  What do you think?

Fuzz Of The Week, October 7, 2009

The Analog Man Peppermint Fuzz Dark is the Fuzz o’ the Week.

This tasty fuzz pedal from Analog Man is one super fuzz.  Derived from the original Fuzz Face pedal that Jimi Hendrix used, the Peppermint Fuzz can give you standard Fuzz Face tones, along with both mild overdrive and in your face FUZZ.

The name Peppermint Fuzz is in homage to the old Strawberry Alarm Clock, which had the hit, Incense and Peppermints back in 1969.

To get your tones, tweak both the Fuzz knob which is on the top right as well as the Buzz knob which is in the center.

Analog Man Peppermint Fuzz Dark

Analog Man Peppermint Fuzz Dark

Check out this pedal.

Guitar Solo’s The List Part 1

A few days ago, I blogged about my favorite rock guitar solos.  As I said, Fat Tone Guitars ran a promotion and entry into the promotion involved telling us your five favorite guitar solos.  Now that our promotion has ended, I’m left with some extremely interesting data regarding people’s taste in guitar music.

What’s truly interesting is that guitar players still love Pink Floyd.  I was in high school when The Wall was released, and it was a great album and all, but I never truly got into it, never even memorized the order of the songs.  I did spend a fair amount of time listening to Dark Side of The Moon, but Pink Floyd never impressed on me more than as great purveyors of post psychedelic, dreamscape type music as well as chart toppers.

However….Pink Floyd remains way up there in the world of guitar lovers.

Here are some cool findings from the Fat Tone Guitars giveaway entries, including top songs and artists.  Top artists in order were:

  1. Pink Floyd
  2. Jimi Hendrix
  3. Led Zeppelin
  4. Stevie Ray Vaughan
  5. Van Halen
  6. Eric Clapton/Cream
  7. Neil Young
  8. Eric Johnson
  9. Duane Allman
  10. Slash/GnR

Top individual songs with guitar solos are:

  1. Comfortably Numb by Pink Floyd (by a wide margin)
  2. Stairway To Heaven
  3. Eruption by Van Halen
  4. Voodoo Child by Jimi Hendrix
  5. Sultans of Swing by Dire Straits

It’s amazing to me that Pink Floyd was mentioned in about 40% of the entries followed by Jimi Hendrix in about 30%.  The Pink Floyd songs mentioned were primarily Comfortably Numb followed by Time and Money from Dark Side.  The Jimi Hendrix songs mentioned were spread out pretty evenly amongst Voodoo Child, Foxey Lady, LIttle Wing, Machine Gun and others.

The most interesting finding to me was that guitar gods like Joe Satriani (4 mentions) and Yngwe Malmsteen (1 mention) were almost no-shows.

I’ll post more interesting tidbits next week.