Opening Salvo

    Hoping All the Verses Rhyme

    Issue 127

    Goodbye 2020 and here’s to a better 2021. Anything else I could say would pale in relation to what Ray Davies of the Kinks sings in “Better Things.”


    Copper announces a new contributor, Cliff Chenfeld. Cliff has been a music business executive for 30 years. He was the co-founder and co-CEO of indie label/publisher Razor & Tie and of Kidz Bop. He was also the executive producer of a number of films and is a partner in the WonderStruck and Wonderbus music festivals.

    The interview Steve Guttenberg aka “The Audiophiliac” and I did in Issue 125 and Issue 126 is on Steve’s YouTube channel here. It’s edited a little differently with material not in the Copper interview and vice versa.

    Sadly, the closing days of 2020 took three more giants. On December 17 we lost Tim de Paravicini, one of the finest audio designers ever to walk the planet. Dan Schwartz pays tribute in this issue. Leslie West of rock band Mountain passed away on December 23. His roaring guitar tone and voice on songs like “Mississippi Queen” and “Theme for an Imaginary Western” inspired legions of guitarists. On December 25 we lost guitarist/vocalist Tony Rice, one of the greatest bluegrass flatpicking acoustic guitar players of all time.

    Also in this issue: Larry Schenbeck, Ray Chelstowski and Cliff Chenfeld reveal their best of 2020. Anne E. Johnson digs into the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and pathbreaking trumpeter Toshinori Kondo. Rich Isaacs concludes his tale of interviewing with Genesis in the 1970s. John Seetoo looks into the making of the Elvis recording Where No One Stands Alone. Ken Sander reflects on the end of a Hollywood era. Tom Gibbs covers new releases from Booker T & the M.G.’s, Steven Wilson, Tori Amos, and Kacy & Clayton and Marlon Williams.

    J.I. Agnew wants a tube amp during a lockdown. I wonder if an audio system can be too good. Adrian Wu continues his series on testing in audio with tips on doing it yourself. Steven Bryan Bieler ends his war on LPs. Don Lindich interviews Mark Mawhinney of record cleaner company Spin-Clean. Peter Xeni visits analog aliens. We wrap up the year and the issue with cutting-edge technology, hipster music and a welcoming robot.

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