August 2nd, 2021

Is there a reader among us who doesn’t dig ZZ Top? We mourn the passing of Joseph Michael “Dusty” Hill (72), bassist, vocalist and keyboardist for the tres hombres. Blending blues, boogie, bone-crushing rock, born-for-MTV visuals, humor and outrageousness – they once took a passel of live animals on stage as part of their 1976 – 1977 Worldwide Texas Tour – Hill, drummer Frank Beard and guitarist Billy F. Gibbons have scorched stages worldwide. As a friend said, “it’s amazing how just three guys could make that much sound.” Rest in peace, Mr. Hill.

In this issue: Anne E. Johnson gets inspired by the music of Renaissance composer William Byrd, and understands The Animals. Wayne Robins reviews Native Sons, the superb new album from Los Lobos. Ray Chelstowski interviews The Immediate Family, featuring studio legends Waddy Wachtel, Lee Sklar, Russ Kunkel and others, in an exclusive video interview. I offer up more confessions of a record collector. Tom Gibbs finds much to like in some new SACD discs. John Seetoo winds up his coverage of the Audio Engineering Society’s Spring 2021 AES show.

Ken Sander travels through an alternate California reality. WL Woodward continues his series on troubadour Tom Waits. Russ Welton interviews cellist Jo Quail, who takes a unique approach to the instrument. In another article, he ponders what's needed for sustaining creativity. Adrian Wu looks at more of his favorite analog recordings. Cliff Chenfeld turns us on to some outstanding new music in his latest Be Here Now column. J.I. Agnew digs deeper into the extraordinary Telefunken M15A tape machine. B. Jan Montana faces the music. Rudy Radelic continues his definitive survey of jazz legend Cal Tjader. We fill out the issue with some modern-day blues, incredibly rare loudspeakers, the ages of plastic and an organ donation.

Staff Writers:

J.I. Agnew, Ray Chelstowski, Cliff Chenfeld, Jay Jay French, Tom Gibbs, Roy Hall, Rich Isaacs, Anne E. Johnson, Don Kaplan, Don Lindich, Stuart Marvin, Tom Methans, B. Jan Montana, Rudy Radelic, Tim Riley, Wayne Robins, Alón Sagee, Ken Sander, Larry Schenbeck, John Seetoo, Dan Schwartz, Russ Welton, WL Woodward, Adrian Wu

Contributing Editors:
Ivan Berger, Steven Bryan Bieler, Harris Fogel, Robert Heiblim, Ken Kessler, Bob Wood

Cover:
“Cartoon Bob” D’Amico

Cartoons:
James Whitworth, Peter Xeni

Parting Shots:
James Schrimpf, B. Jan Montana, Rich Isaacs (and others)

Editor:
Frank Doris

Publisher:
Paul McGowan

Advertising Sales:
No one. We are free from advertising and subscribing to Copper is free.

 – FD

Confessions of a Record Collector, Part Two

In Part One (Issue 137) I noted that many of…

A Southern California Musical Primer – Your Tour Guides: Los Lobos

This morning I woke up with an earworm that just…

The Alternative Coast (Back in the World, Part Two)

Ken’s article, “Back in the World,” about events in 1966…

The Immediate Family: Studio Legends, Together Again

Back in the 1980s when I was a teenager, I…

Cal Tjader, Part Five: The Concord Recordings

In our last installment (Issue 141), Cal Tjader had wrapped…

The Best Tracks of 2021 (So Far)

We are more than halfway through 2021 and its been…

Some Notable Analog Recordings, Part Two

In Part One (Issue 141), Adrian looked at vinyl versus…

The Animals: Don’t Let Them Be Misunderstood

In the town of Newcastle upon Tyne in northeast England,…

The Giants of Tape, Part Nine: The Telefunken M15A, Part Three

Part One and Part Two of J.I. Agnew’s look at…

Tom Waits: Our Beat Storyteller, Part Two

In the late 1960s Tom Waits decided he wanted a…

Sustaining Creativity

Many years ago, I owned and ran a UK guitar…

AES Show Spring 2021, Part Four: Gaming Sound, Rupert Neve

As a result of COVID-19, the Audio Engineering Society’s AES…

Facing the Music

  Oliver: Wanna shot of single malt, Terry? Terry: Still…

William Byrd: English Musical Inspiration

During the early Renaissance, European composers gushed over what they…

The Ages of Plastic

Newly-Released SACD Discs Worth Checking Out

I’ve been on this converting SACDs to DSD files binge…

Jo Quail: An Eclectic Approach to the Cello, Part One

Classical, rock and progressive music influences, percussive, looping and other…

In Rare Form

  Astounding finds: a JBL Metregon speaker system alongside a…

Stop Breakin’ Down

Organ Donation

The Spreckels Organ Pavilion houses the open-air Spreckels Organ in…
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