News & Events

Cousin Harley pays tribute to Merle Travis!

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In honor of what would have been the 100th birthday of Merle Travis (November 29th), Canadian cats Cousin Harley have released a new album! Packed with classics from the catalog of this pioneer from Kentucky, Cousin Harley put their signature style all over this record.  Blue Smoke: The Music of Merle Travis consists of 12 tunes that are simply amazing.  Below are excerpts from an interview Paul Pigat did with Gretsch (full interview HERE) discussing the project along with some videos from the release party this past weekend posted by fans.

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Why did you choose to honor Merle Travis?

Because he was such a huge influence on me. I’m also a firm believer that a lot of guitar players are somehow influenced by Merle Travis, they just don’t realize it. Without Merle, there’d be no Chet Atkins. Without Chet, there’d be no Scotty Moore, no Beatles, and no rock ‘n’ roll. Merle added syncopation that gave us the essence of the beginning of rock ‘n’ roll in my opinion. Even though Merle’s not as well known as, say, Charlie Christian, I think he’s equally as influential.

It’s ironic that Bigsby is sponsoring this project, given the history between Merle Travis and Paul Bigsby.

Yes, I love the connection. Merle and Paul were friends and, of course, Bigsby worked with Merle to build the first modern solidbody electric guitar in 1948. Then, a few years later, Merle challenged Bigsby to design a guitar vibrato that would work and keep his guitar in tune. That’s when the Bigsby Vibrato was born. Gretsch owns Bigsby today, and Dinah and Fred were very kind to help sponsor the project. They appreciate the historic connections between Paul Bigsby and Merle Travis, and Bigsby Vibratos and Gretsch guitars.

Cousin Harley

Cousin Harley. Photo: Adam PW Smith

You seem to be pleased with the end results of your tribute CD.

I am. I’ve wanted to do a tribute to Merle Travis for a very long time. I’ve been covering Merle tunes for years because I love a funny song, and the man could write some seriously funny songs. Any time I get to play some Merle, I’m always happy.

Blue Smoke: The Music of Merle Travis will be available from several online partners, including iTunes and CD Baby.

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Check out this video YouTuber Allan MacInnis posted of the show!

And from TheNitroGretsch:

And now: Cousin Harley’s Blue Smoke: The Music of Merle Travis has been chosen as one Top Ten of Best Roots Albums by Guitar World Magazine! Check out the post HERE on Gretsch.com!

News & Events

Gretsch On Tour!

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Being the Gretsch fan that you are, you probably know that Mr. Joe Carducci has been traveling this great land spreading the word of That Great Gretsch Sound! Well, we took our turn to see the Twang-O-Rama November 18 at Riff City Guitar in New Hope, MN.  A bright, if not cold, day in the Twin Cities suburb was the perfect setting for this informative event.  As you may know, Joe Carducci is not only a man of immense Gretsch knowledge (which he is always ready to share), but also possesses a magnetic personality makes being around him so much fun! With everyone assembled and the juices flowing from the wide-reaching music video introduction, Joe hit the stage and started telling us about the history and the ‘3 Big Bangs’ of Gretsch Guitars.  Since we’re editing this for length–as 134+ years of history is a lot (and because you should seek out one of these events in person), the 3 amazing players who helped define the brand were Chet Atkins, George Harrison, and Brian Setzer.  Can you imagine music without these 3? We can’t either…The forces in popular music are undeniable!

While all of the knowledge, history, and great live music from Joe Hudson and Paul Moseley was without parallel–FREE swag doesn’t hurt either.  In addition to the very cool hats and lanyards that were given out, guests were entered into a drawing for sweet Gretsch Electromatic work shirts and a B70’d G2622T! Needless to say, everyone was beyond excited at the chance to add another guitar to their arsenal—and by the screams of excitement, the winner was quite happy! Don’t miss your chance to check out one of these amazing events at a store near you!

More information on upcoming events HERE.

Thanks to Gretsch Guitars and Riff City Guitar for a great event!

News & Events

GuitArlington 2017-That’s a wrap!

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If you’re anything like us, your back is sore and feet are tired which proves how great GuitArlington 2017 was! Not even a Cowboy’s game could slow down Sunday! With plenty of gear to whet one’s appetite, lots of folks went new prized possessions. To all those who stopped by to visit and share stories-many thanks! As always you make the show the wonderful experiece it is!  Hearing the glorious tones coming from next door at TV Jones was the perfect addition—have we mentioned how amazing their Tele pickups sound? Its difficult to pick favorites, but one item that really caught our eyes and ears was this custom Dwight Eliminator with modified B7.  Built by noted restoration expert Clive Brown, it is every bit as cool as you think it could possibly be. Featuring a wildly rare early 1960s B7 vibrato made in the UK, under license, by Selmer.  Certainly not a surprise, but this beauty didn’t last long and is going to a happy home.

Custom Dwight Eliminator with B7

Custom Dwight Eliminator-B7 up close

Custom Dwight Eliminator-body shot

Sincere thanks to everyone that came out to support and check out our gear! Check out more photos from around the show HERE.  See you soon!

News & Events

The War On Drugs: A Deeper Understanding

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If you are a fan of ‘The War On Drugs’, you’ve no-doubt been enjoying the new album: A Deeper Understanding.  Released late last month (8/25/17), it has received plenty of praise.  NPR described the new album as a ‘balance of ambition and grace’; we’d agree with that.  Inspired songwriting and ambitious production make it fabulous to listen to. While Adam Granduciel’s writing is often compared to Springsteen and Dylan, we think he style is unique unto-himself.  Our attention was grabbed in the recent interview with The Guitar Magazine where Granduciel discusses his Gretsch Falcon and the modification of adding a Bigsby.  Known for a variety of gear, Granduciel mentions having had the Falcon for two years before adding a Bigsby–after seeing Neil Young use his Bigsby-equipped Falcon at a benefit show. Neil Young has certainly inspired many players to use a Bigsby! He’s a true master!

photo by Shawn Brackbill/Live Pix

photo by Shawn Brackbill/Live Pix

While the Bigsby equipped Falcon can be heard at various points in the album, perhaps the most use is on Thinking of a Place. You can check it out on YouTube here:

Stay up to date The War On Drugs and see upcoming tour dates HERE.

News & Events

Guitarlington 2017!

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Autumn is just around the corner which means that its almost time for GuitArlington! Each fall a massive gathering of guitar enthusiasts journey to the Arlington Convention Center in Arlington Texas. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again–if you like guitars, you don’t want to miss this incredible event!  Heading to Texas is always enjoyable as this event never disappoints!  The dates for 2017 are October 21-22; open from 10AM to 5PM each day.   As has become tradition over the past number of years, we are going to be right alongside the fine folks from TV Jones! We’ll have our full line of products on display as will TV Jones (be sure to check out the new Ray Butts Ful-Fidelity pup.  Last, but certainly not least, we’ll be offering FREE installations throughout the show! Email tech Adam Seutter at adam@bigsby.com for more details and to reserve your time slot.  If your guitar is already equipped with a Bigsby, feel free to bring it by for a FREE 8-point Pit Stop check up! A brief visit that is sure to get your Bigsby working in tip top shape! We look forward to seeing YOU soon!

Check out photos from last year HERE

More information from the promoter HERE.

 

 

News & Events

Summer NAMM 2017 wrap up!

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Returning to the spectacular Music City Center, Summer NAMM 2017 was incredible! As the music industry gathered it was easy to see why Nashville is also known as Music City.  While the summer show is certainly smaller than winter (in Anaheim, CA) there was no shortage of great new products as well as long loved essentials. 2017  was a real hoot! Part of the fun of these shows is get together with friends and, and as such we loved shared space with our pals at TV Jones,! Their B12’d Spectra Sonic Supreme is absolutely incredible! Additionally, there was tons of other great products all around the show–many new this year!–that feature our vibratos.  Be sure to check out more from our gallery from the show HERE to see more.  As always, we had a great time and our sincere thanks to everyone who stopped by! Music Industry Day was a great success and we thank you all for that too! See you next time!

 

 

And be sure to check out THIS great gallery form the folks at NAMM!

 

Summer NAMM returns to the Music City Center June 28-30 2018!

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