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DVD Review   October 2005
 

Rockabilly Slap Bass
with Pete Turland

By Shawn Burrell
Rockabillybass.com
  Rockabilly Slap Bass with Pete Turland  



Windswept/Cox Productions

For someone who doesn't know how to play slap bass, this video is a great place to start. With DVD format, you can go right to each section easily and repeatedly.

The DVD Index menu is easy to navigate, and the video quality is excellent.

Pete covers different slap techniques, double and triple slap, bass setup, strings, pickups and a short history of rockabilly bass. The sections are brief. He can play triplets very fast and precisely. Even in slow-motion, I couldn't see exactly how he does it. He demonstrates a couple of Willie Dixon pieces, and to do one, he has this technique where he slaps the strings with the outside of his thumb to get the triplet.

Pete recommends using gut, but he had his bass strung up with a steel E, an Innovation A, a gut D and a Mexican nylon G.

If you have been playing slap bass for a while, there may not be much on here for you. That being said, it wouldn't hurt anybody to watch it at least once. I thought it could have been a little longer, but it touches on everything you need to know to slap a bass.

*Note: This is a DVD-R so you'll need to make sure that your DVD player can play DVD-R format.

Here are some of the topics covered:

  • Strings and Setup for Slap Style
  • Palming the Strings
  • Hillbilly Slap
  • Rumba Slap
  • Pete's Triple Slap Techniques
  • A study of the great Willie Dixon
  • A history of Rockabilly Bass

**** 4 out of 5 stars

What do you think about it?

web site
http://www.learnrootsmusic.com


DVD Review   October 2005
 

Beginning Upright Bass
with Tammy Fassaert

By Shawn Burrell
Rockabillybass.com
  Beginning Upright Bass with Tammy Fassaert  



Windswept/Cox Productions

This is an excellent Beginning video.

Tammy's style of teaching is easy to follow. She moves at a good pace through lessons on how to hold the bass, parts of the bass, tuning, right hand techniques, timing, etc. Students should be able to follow along with the DVD quite easily. The student will also learn to play a few complete songs including "Handsome Molly" and "East Virginia Blues".

For anyone desiring to learn the acoustic bass, this DVD will be an invaluable teaching tool.

This is a beginners DVD. If you're a beginner I'd highly recommend it. If you've already had beginning lessons or know how to play basic songs properly, then there probably isn't much on this for you.

*Note: This is a DVD-R, so you'll need to make sure that your DVD player can play DVD-R format.

Here are some of the topics covered:

  • Holding and Tuning Your Bass
  • Right-Hand Techniques
  • Muting and Damping
  • Chord Progressions
  • Learn Handsome Molly
  • Left-Hand Notes and the Chromatic Scale
  • Marking the Stops on Your Bass
  • Learn East Virginia Blues
  • Timing and working effectively with a metronome
  • Waltz Time
  • And more!

**** 4 out of 5 stars

What do you think about it?

web site
http://www.learnrootsmusic.com


DVD Review   September 2005
 

The Reverend Horton Heat
Live and in Color

By Shawn Burrell
Rockabillybass.com
  Live and in Color  


Recorded January 31, 2003, at Deep Elum Live, Dallas, Texas.

The video quality on this DVD is excellent. The sound quality is good, I think a little less drums and a little more bass would have been better. I've seen the Rev. numerous times and I thought this DVD successfully captures the fun, sound and energy of their live performances.

Live And In Color has been given a letterboxed transfer at the widescreen aspect ratio of 1.78:1, and the audio is presented in three formats -- Dolby Digital 5.1, Dolby Digital Stereo, and DTS 5.1. The songs are in English, with no multiple language options included. 81 Minutes.

As a bonus, this DVD includes a short documentary on how the group came together, and in interview with Jim Heath, Jimbo and Scott.

**** 4 out of 5 stars

web site
reverendhortonheat.com


DVD Review   September 2005
 

X
Live in Los Angeles

By Shawn Burrell
Rockabillybass.com
  Live in Los Angeles  


Shout!Factory DVD 30162

Produced by X

Released: May 10, 2005

Recorded live at: House Of Blues-Sunset Strip West Hollywood CA Thanksgiving 2004

John Doe is a bad ass front man. This DVD is great. X is a great band. Often considered punk, they're a very unique band, but really I'd just call them a great rock n roll band. I've only seen X once, and this makes me want to see them again.

Bonus features: Exene and John Doe Acoustic Duets, Billy Zoom's Photo gallery.

NTSC Dolby 5.1 16:9 74 Minutes.

**** 4 out of 5 stars

web site
xtheband.com


CD Review   August 2005
 

Smalltown Ramblers
Trucks Trains & Evil Women

By Shawn Burrell
Rockabillybass.com
 

Smalltown Ramblers

 

Flipside Records

The Smalltown Ramblers have a pretty authentic rockabilly / rock n roll sound. Hailing From Norway they have guitar, sax, slap bass, drums and vocals. These guys should be proud of this debut album which has 13 good originals.

**** 4 out of 5 stars

web site
smalltownramblers.com


CD Review   August 2005
 

The Tremors
The Scourge Of The South

By Shawn Burrell
Rockabillybass.com
 

The Tremors

 

Brain Drain Records

The Tremors play their own brand of dirty rockabilly with Jimmy Tremor on guitar and vocals, Slim Perkins on bass and Stretch Armstong on drums. Some of their better songs remind me of the Cramps. The artwork on the CD is great!

** 2 out of 5 stars

web site
tremorsrockabilly.com


Pickup Review   January 2005
 

The Revolution SOLO
Clef Music Manufacturing Corp.

By Shawn Burrell
Rockabillybass.com
  The Revolution SOLO

 

The Revolution SOLO sounds great! In a matter of minutes I had it installed on my Swingmaster and was playing.

My first test run was through a Mesa Boogie M-Pulse 600 plugged in to a Mesa Boogie 4x10. The sound was similar to an Underwood, but it also had some characteristics of K & K’s BassMax. This pickup is lively; I had to cut some treble, because it was picking up a lot of finger noise. While doing that, I noticed that you can get a lot of different tonal qualities out of this pickup.

For my final and live test I took it to rehearse with my band and used an old Peavy TKO combo amp and I couldn’t believe how good it sounded! The midrange was really coming through and I was getting a lot better note definition than I am use to getting with this amp and other pickup configurations.

At the first gig with the Revolution Solo Pickup the sound Engineer used the direct out on my cabinet. I played with the settings on the Mesa Boogie flat, except for the treble being cut just a little and the sound was good on stage. But it’s always hard to tell what it really sounds like when you’re listening to a monitor mix. Is the audience hearing something else? Keith Bahjat, (A member of Rockabillybass.com who plays in 77 El Deora) was there, and said that it sounded great, so I’ll take his word for it.

A definite plus to this pickup is its simplicity. You wedge it into your bridge and attach the jack to your tailpiece and you’re ready to go. The pickup its self can be easily sized to fit your bridge. For those of you with an odd bridge, Clef Music can send you a custom sized pickup for your bass.

In the end, I would say that this is a great pickup and with a price tag of around a hundred bucks, the Revolution Solo stands to gain ground on its competition.

Equipment used:

Engelhardt Swingmaster
1940 Kay
All Gut strings
Mesa Boogie M-Pulse 600
SWR Red Head 350
Peavy TKO 65 Combo
Mesa Boogie 4x10 Cabinet
Carvin 4x10 Cabinet

Organically constructed to accurately reproduce the natural sound of your bass. Handcrafted of German Spruce, The Revolution Solo works with and becomes part of the instrument and your sound. If you are searching for natural tone and realistic presence, experience The Revolution. The only pickup that is aesthetically and tonally true to your bass.

List Price : $129

web site
www.clefmusic.com


CD Review   January 2005
 

Big Sandy & His Fly Rite Boys
It's Time!

By Shawn Burrell
Rockabillybass.com

Big Sandy & his Fly Rite Boys - It's Time!

Big Sandy's latest album, on Yep Roc, is probably his best yet. Jeff West's bass sounds excellent. He plays with all gut strings and his tone is as good as it gets. They recorded It's Time! on vintage equipment at Joey's Place, the former home of Hollywood's Electro Vox studio, where folks like the Maddox Brothers and Rose and Tex Ritter once recorded. Ashley plays lead Danelectro bass guitar on a few tracks which really adds another dimension to the album. Do yourself a favor and buy this!

***** 5 out of 5 stars

web site
bigsandy.net



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