Results for Chicago Music Exchange

features

Instrumental: Rickenbacker Electric 12-String Guitar

Rickenbacker 12-string This week, we kick off a new feature called Instrumental where we examine the history of iconic instruments of rock. We start with the electric 12-string guitar and its most famous manufacturer, Rickenbacker. After the acoustic 12-string guitar was popularized by blues artists like Lead Belly and by the '60s folk revival, Rickenbacker began making an electrified version. After George Harrison used it on The Beatles' "A Hard Day's Night," a 12-string craze began. The most notable adopter of the instrument was Jim (later Roger) McGuinn , who used it to define the sound of The Byrds on tracks like "Mr. Tambourine Man" and "Turn! Turn! Turn!" The Beatles and The Byrds set the template for countless bands in the ensuing decades who used 12-strings, from power pop acts like Raspberries and Big Star, to jangle pop bands like R.E.M. and The Bangles, to contemporary artists like Temples.

To help discuss and demonstrate the Rickenbacker electric 12-string, we're joined by Daniel Escauriza and Shelby Pollard of Chicago Music Exchange. Jim and Greg also offer their favorite examples of Rick-heavy songs: "Awaken" by Yes and XTC's "All of a Sudden (It's Too Late)."

Go to episode 601

Instrumental: The Wah-Wah Pedal

Wah-Wah It's time for the next installment of our Instrumental series, where we trace the history of an iconic piece of musical gear. Next up: the wah-wah pedal. The wah has a distinctive sound that became a building block for psychedelic rock, funk, and even reggae – but its creation back in the mid 1960s was the product of a technological glitch. Daniel Escauriza and Shelby Pollard of Chicago Music Exchange join us to break down the history of the wah and unpack the science behind the pedal and demonstrate what it adds sonically to iconic riffs.

Jim and Greg explore how legendary musicians from Eric Clapton and Earl Hooker to Melvin“Wah-Wah”Ragin and Mikey Chung used the pedal. They ultimately note that, despite getting a bad rap for being gimmicky, the wah-wah pedal plays a critical role in a number of genres of music.

Go to episode 610

Instrumental: Bass VI

Bass VI In the latest installment of our Instrumental segment, producer Evan Chung takes a look at the history of a lesser-known instrument that doesn't have a proper name – the Bass VI. Once again, we get some help from Daniel Escauriza and Shelby Pollard of Chicago Music Exchange to demonstrate. The Bass VI is a hybrid six-string instrument that looks and feels like a guitar, but is tuned in the range of a bass. Sonically, the Bass VI features a sharp attack and a distinctive twangy sound.

Fender released the most popular model, but the Danelectro company put out the first version of the instrument in the 1950s. It then became a staple of country, rockabilly, and early rock ‘n’ roll. In a style known as "tic-tac bass," Nashville producers would use an upright bass and a Bass VI simultaneously on recordings by Patsy Cline, Ernest Tubb, Roy Orbison, and more. In the 1960s, it was a favorite tool of the Wrecking Crew sessions musicians in LA, who used it on classic recordings with The Beach Boys and Glen Campbell.

Beginning in the 1980s, artists began to find new spookier uses for the Bass VI. New Order, The Cure, and The Cocteau Twins all incorporated it into their sound. Doug McCombs has been the most prominent Bass VI player of the last few decades, featuring it in his work with Tortoise, Eleventh Dream Day, and Brokeback. McCombs stopped by our studios to discuss his love of the instrument and to perform Brokeback's "From the Black Current" live.

Go to episode 626