April 2017, the Paladins lit up the Netherlands with their presence, launching the new album 'New World'.
They performed two new songs on Dutch national television at the VPRO Show 'Vrije Geluiden'.
The Paladins NL/BE Winter tour 2016
And they're BAAAACK. Here's a list of videos of the Paladins, recorded during their February 2016 tour through the Netherlands and Belgium.
Be sure to check out their new album 'Slippin in Ernestos' which features the Elektra 15" combo exclusively.
The Paladins Summer NL/BE Tour 2015
In the spring of 2015 The Paladins toured the 15" Elektra through the Netherlands and Belgium on a 15-day tour. And they were ON!
Special gigs this year were the recording of the new live album at Ernesto's in Sittard, and a big reunion with Dusty Ciggaar of the Rhythm Chiefs and Laura Chavez of Candye Kane.
Here is the link to the playlist with the youtube material that popped up of several of their performances during the 2015 tour.
The Paladins - Summer tour Benelux 2014
In the summer of 2014 we had a chance encounter with Dave Gonzales backstage at the Sjock Festival in Belgium.
Mr. Gonzales was blown away by the amp and took it to stage that same night for his performance at the festival.
Later that week, The Paladins performed at Bospop (without Elektra), the North Sea Jazz Club in Amsterdam and at the Belgian Blues Peer Festival. All material (including our own) is combined in this playlist on youtube.
The show at the North Sea Jazz Club got a great review, including a mention of the amp, at www.bluesmagazine.nl. (in Dutch!)
And their live appearance at Blues Peer made it on to Belgian television here. (in Dutch, skip to 1:34)
Blues guitarist Laura Chavez of Candye Kane knows how to move the crowds with her seething licks and screaming solos.
Elektra Amplifiers supports Laura on her European tours.
Dutch rockabilly guitarist CC Jerome of CC Jerome and the Jetsetters, CC Jerome and his Savoys and many other formations, recorded an album together with ozzy Rock & Roll singer Rusty Pinto. Check out the playlist above with songs from the album, particularly our favourite Deacon Jones' Wife.
Early may 2014, Pokey Lafarge toured the Netherlands with two Elektra amplifiers - the 15" and the 12".
The tour started at Paradiso, Amsterdam and comprised 7 gigs in just 5 days. The grand finaly happened at the liberation day festivals in Haarlem and Utrecht where Pokey Lafarge played in front of well over 130.000 people, which got broadcast live on Dutch national television.
The playlist above is comprised of various material - our own as well as videos that others uploaded on youtube.
Marcel Bontempi, the brain behind Dr. Bontempi's Snake Oil Company used the 12" Combo on several occasions and recorded the album 'Dr. Bontempi's Snake Oil Company' with the amp.
This playlist contains several of songs recorded live and put together by fans of the album.
Canadian master picker Paul Pigat was one of the first to show interest when we started posting about the project.
During his 2013 tour through the Netherlands with Cousin Harley, we found a spare moment to meet and introduce the amp to him. After a quick spin to figure out the amp, he sat down and recorded a wealth of demo material with it, using various (Gretsch!) guitars.
While getting familiar with the Elektra amp, Paul connected with his inner Neil Young and produced a beautiful rendition of 'Dead Man' - That became the song he wanted to do to demo the amp. (also check out the sneak preview video below!)
After we got the recording gear set up, he grabbed Will's Astro Jet and soared off into the wild yonder. While playing, the tuning of the guitar turned out to be not too stable though. As Paul commented later:
"Yes, the guitar is out of tune but i guess it will have to do. Neil Young is out of tune most times so maybe its ok..."
It's mostly audible in the first bit. After that Paul magically corrects it with his impeccable technique while he continues playing as if nothing's happened. Respect!
And do not miss the second video in that list!
During Paul's recent tour through the Netherlands, we found a spare moment to meet and introduce the amp to him.While Will Keeris of Minimobile and I were setting up recording equipment, Paul dove right on it and started familiarizing himself with the amp. Quickly, we set up some cams to capture those magical first moments and the result is this 12-minute sneak preview video.
Since the it's just the cam mics, the audio isn't the best. But I feel it's turned into a great little gem nonetheless.
Especially check the end! Paul discovers a tone (at about 8 minutes into the vid) that leads him to an inspired rendering of Neil Young's 'Dead Man', the song he chose to do for the actual demo later. Enjoy!
Walter Broes' first Elektra demos
Belgian guitarist Walter Broes of WB and the Mercenaries was the second player who got to try the prototype. We recorded him exploring the various mixes of the amp & guitars. It was a pleasure to see the guitarist bond with the amp and instruments as he ran them through their paces.
Walter recorded two demos: one with his vintage Guild X175 and one with his custom Telecaster. The third video in the playlist above is a quick mash-up video Walter recorded and published himself during our meeting.
Walter Broes on the 185:
"... The amplifier sounds such a brute! ...
That's the completely unexpected side of that amp. The clean tone is nice and "woody", sounds like you would expect, like an old record, like T-Bone Walker or Charlie Christian. Odd thing is it's already compressed, but not distorted at all. You don't hear it as much as you feel it when you're playing. The clean sound is not unlike a tweed Fender, but it feels different - as if there was a compressor in the chain.
Then, if you turn it up, it starts sounding like a Tiny Grimes record, it gets a breakup and a bark that is that perfect Jump Blues tone, with a different grit to it than more modern amps, a very nice, and very recognizable tone. Again, a lot more compressed than what you'd expect. Turn it up a hair more and it kind of sounds like those things Howling Wolf or Pat Hare recorded at SUN records - overdriven with some fuzz content in it. Killer primitive blues tone.
But then, turn it up some more, and it get positively nasty. Really agressive, very distorted, and so compressed I literally laughed out loud - and a totally unique sound and feel I haven't heard from anything else. Nothing anyone in the era that circuit is from could possibly have had any use for - crazy, nasty, wild overdrive with silly compressed sustain. Someone like Jack White or Neil Young could have a lot of fun with that tone."
Read more about guitarist Walter Broes in this interview (in Dutch) and Walter's discography.
Dutch roots guitar talent Dusty Ciggaar will grab an Elektra whenever he can. He gigs regularly with the Rhythm Chiefs, the Dry River Trio, and the Tinstars amongst many other groups and projects.
Raymond 'Guitar Ray' Nijenhuis
Guitar Ray likes his raw blues, but is equally at home at any americana style. In the playlist above are videos of the steaming hot blues formation Cuban Heels, as well as western swing with the Haystack Hitones. Don't forget to check out also his group Guitar Ray & the Rhythm Dukes
Pete Belair of The Firebird Trio and CC Jerome of CC Jerome and the Jetsetters both recorded an impromptu demo with the Elektra 'The 185' after the Gretsch demo day at www.stujos.nl in the southern Dutch province of Zeeland.
Doghouse Sam and his Magnatones
Doghouse Sam performing at Feel the 50s, Venlo in 2015.
Feel the raw power!
Doghouse Sam's homepage can be viewed here.
Elektra Amps and Nico Duportal go way back. We first met at the Sjock Festival 2014, where Nico was blown away by the 15" Combo and recorded an impromptu demo.
In 2015 we met again at the Feel the 50s Festival in Venlo, the Netherlands, where Nico Duportal and his Rhythm Dudes performed with the Head & 3x10 Cabinet.
Deke Dickerson gigged the 15" Elektra 185 at the Goezot festival in Belgium earlier this month. Watch him tear it up!
Deke's experience was that the amp sounds and responds 100% like the original EH-185.
Like the original, this makes it a perfect club amp that's also ideal for recording and home-use.
And like the original, the cleans are a little under powered for monitoring at large open-air festival gigs. The drive channel on the other hand works really well, also in larger venues and festivals and the amp has a fantastic stage presence.
In his own words:
"It has that great vintage creamy overdriven sound, like the original EH185....but (clean, ed.) not really loud enough to use at a loud rock and roll gig next to a drummer...."
For his personal taste Deke had to use a little more drive than he usually does.
I can't say I mind though in his rendition of Link Wray's 'Run Chicken Run'!
Demo: Markus Tiedemann breaking-in the amp
German guitarist Markus Tiedemann (Cole, Six Was Nine) was the first to get to try the prototype. He recorded various tracks and posted them on Soundcloud (audio only). For his demo he used a Gretsch DuoJet.
Markus Tiedemann on The 185:
"This is a stunning amp and although a 15" speaker would certainly not be my first choice I was amazed how defined the low end is.I'd like to ramble on but I think the audio clips should do the talking. I 'd just like to add that what you hear is pure 185, guitar straight into amp."
These are the clips Markus recorded with the amp (link to soundcloud in a new window):
With a little reverb and slapback
Also check out Markus' discography and his personal website!
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