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Video Interview: Bakithi Kumalo Talks Kala Basses

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Video Interview- Bakithi Kumalo Talks Kala Basses

Bakithi Kumalo and His Kala Basses…

The Bakithi Kumalo Signature California U•BASS®  was born from a collaboration with our friend, music legend, and Paul Simon bassist, Bakithi Kumalo. Paul Simon and Bakithi Kumalo formed a relationship over 30 years ago when Bakithi, who was working as a mechanic in South Africa, came to the U.S. to record the 1986 hit album, Graceland. They have been playing together ever since.

Bakithi was one of the first musicians to champion the U•BASS when it was first released in 2009 and was the first Kala Artist to have a signature model made to his specifications.

In 2013, he collaborated with Bakithi to create his Signature California U•BASS®. This model is the same U•BASS that Bakithi Kumalo plays today.

This four-string, fretless California U•BASS® comes in with a rich espresso brown stain over a Swamp Ash body with a custom pickguard that sets the look of this instrument apart from other basses. One of the most stand-out features about the California U•BASS Series is the custom LR Baggs EQ system which we developed specifically for this collection. By customizing our pickup system, we have dialed in the sound on these basses to a science, and the huge low end this U•BASS can produce as a result is perfect for unique high-quality studio recordings or stage performances. The smooth, easy-to-tune custom Hipshot Ultralite™ tuners are the icing on the cake for this beast of a U•BASS.

The California U•BASS® Series is played by legends around the world. With the California Solid Body U•BASS you have all the tools you need to stand out and sound amazing, all that’s left is to go out and create something awesome!

The completely redesigned California U•BASS® is now available! With every California U•BASS® order you’ll receive:

SPECS

BODY:Swamp Ash
NECK:Straight Grain Maple
FINISH:UV-Cured Satin
FINGERBOARD:Roasted Maple
BRIDGE:Richlite
NUT:Graph Tech Black TUSQ®
SADDLE:Richlite
TUNERS:Custom Hipshot Ultralite™
STRINGS:Road Toad Pahoehoe
ELECTRONICS:LR Baggs Custom EQ
STAIN:Espresso Brown
STRAP BUTTON:Black x2

MEASUREMENTS

Scale Length: 20.375 inches, Overall Instrument Length: 29.375 inches, Body Length: 14.031 inches, Number of Frets: 16, Width at Upper Bout: 7.75 inches, Width at Lower Bout: 10.25 inches, Width at Waist: 6.625 inches, Body Depth: 3.25 inches, Fingerboard Width at Nut: 1.75 inches, Fingerboard width at neck/body joint: 2.125 inches

The beautiful Striped Ebony U•BASS® has a deep brown color with reddish-brown striping. One of the finest woods for instruments, Striped Ebony is a high-density wood that has superior tonal qualities. The light Maple binding creates a striking contrast with the dark Ebony body, that makes the variants in the striping stand out. Comes in a Fretless model with Proprietary Polyurethane Strings, Custom Hipshot® Ultralite Tuners, GraphTech TUSQ® Nut, Custom U•BASS® Pick-up, and a Deluxe Padded Gig Bag.

BAG AND CASE INFORMATION

  • Fits ALL Kala BARITONE Ukulele Bags, UB-B, & Sonoma Coast BARITONE Cases
  • Fits U•BASS specific bags and cases: UB-UBASS, DUB-UBASS, HC-UB

The beautiful Striped Ebony U•BASS® has a deep brown color with reddish-brown striping.

One of the finest woods for instruments, Striped Ebony is a high-density wood that has superior tonal qualities. The light Maple binding creates a striking contrast with the dark Ebony body, which makes the variants in the striping stand out. Comes in a Fretless model with Proprietary Polyurethane Strings, Custom Hipshot® Ultralite Tuners, GraphTech TUSQ® Nut, Custom U•BASS® Pick-up, and a Deluxe Padded Gig Bag.

BAG AND CASE INFORMATION

  • Fits ALL Kala BARITONE Ukulele Bags, UB-B, & Sonoma Coast BARITONE Cases
  • Fits U•BASS specific bags and cases: UB-UBASS, DUB-UBASS, HC-UB, & HCT-UB

SPEC MEASUREMENTS

Scale Length: 20.375 inches, Overall Instrument Length: 29.375 inches, Body Length: 14.031 inches, Number of Frets: 16, Width at Upper Bout: 7.75 inches, Width at Lower Bout: 10.25 inches, Width at Waist: 6.625 inches, Body Depth: 3.25 , Fingerboard Width at Nut: 1.75 inches, Fingerboard width at neck/body joint: 2.125 inches

For more information on Kala Basses, visit online at kalabrand.com

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Interview With Bassist Ciara Moser

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Interview With Bassist Ciara Moser

Bassist Ciara Moser…

Ciara and I sat down for this interview a few months after the launch of her debut album, “Blind. So what?”

Blind since birth, she is a powerhouse of talent; she is not only a professional bassist, but also composes music, and is a producer and educator. I am just blown away by her talent and perseverance.

Join me as we hear about Ciara’s musical journey, the details of her album, how she gets her sound, and her plans for the future.

Visit online:

www.ciara-moser.com 
IG @ moserciara
FB @ ciara.moser

Photos by Manuela Haeussler

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Bass Videos

Interview With Bassist Travis Book

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Interview With Bassist Travis Book

Interview With Bassist Travis Book…

Bluegrass music has had a very solid following over many years and I am always happy to hear from one of the pioneers in that genre.

Travis Book plays bass for the Grammy award-winning band “The Infamous Stringdusters” and has recently released his first solo album “Love and Other Strange Emotions”. As if he wasn’t busy enough, Travis also hosts a podcast, Plays a Jerry Garcia music show with Guitarist Andy Falco, and is constantly gigging locally in his neck of the woods.

Photo, Seyl Park

Visit Online:

www.thetravisbook.com
www.thestringdusters.com
FB @ TheTravisBook
IG @ travisbook

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Bass Videos

Ricky Phillips, STYX Bass And More – February 2024

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Ricky Phillips, STYX Bass And More, January 2024

Ricky Phillips, STYX Bass And More…

This Week’s Top 10 Basses on Instagram

I have always been a huge Styx fan. Their music kept me awake during countless nights studying and gave my imagination a place to escape when I had a moment to take a break. 

I had the immense opportunity to chat with STYX bassist Ricky Phillips for our August Cover in 2017 and follow his projects as time passed. Now, I am thrilled to have the opportunity to catch up with Ricky as he has been super-busy over the past six years. 

Join me as we take a deep dive into the band’s most recent album “Crash the Crown” and EP “The Same Stardust”. Ricky shares some insights into the herculean team effort behind the scenes and the musical process that keeps them ever so busy and how he has updated his sound. 

Without further ado… Here is Ricky Phillips!

Photo: Jason Powell

“Crash of the Crown” lyric video

“Reveries” lyric video

“Save Us From Ourselves” lyric video

“Sound the Alarm” lyric video

“Too Much Time On My Hands” Zoom video 2020

Visit online:

www.Styxworld.com
FB & IG @styxtheband

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Bass CDs

New Album: Ross Valory Debut Solo Album, All Of The Above + First Single

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New Album: Ross Valory Debut Solo Album, All Of The Above + First Single

Ross Valory, All Of The Above + First Single…

ROSS VALORY, regarded as one of rock’s best bass guitarists and an original member of the multi-platinum band Journey until his 2020 departure, returns today (January 17) with the video for “Tomland.” It’s the hypnotic first single from the bassist and songwriter’s debut solo album ALL OF THE ABOVE due out this April (exact date TBA) on OID Music. Watch the movingly atmospheric video, directed by Michael CottenHERE for the single which is out this Friday (January 19).

Penned by VALORY, the all-instrumental “Tomland” marks the second piece recorded for the project—and the first done entirely at his new studio in the East Bay area of Northern California. The track builds to a ripping, climactic solo by red-hot guitarist Miles Schon, drummer Prairie Prince and keyboardist Eric Levy. VALORY had the basic parts kicking around since shortly after leaving the Steve Miller Band in 1972, a bluesy set of chords that roll into each other mellifluously, something he had jammed on a lot over the years. He pulled it out to fashion a piece that not only recalls the passing of collaboratorTom Size (accomplished engineer known for his work with Mr. Big, Y&T, and Aerosmith), but also offers an affirmation of resolve to move forward, the sunlight of optimism illuminating the process.  

ROSS VALORY always had pieces of music tucked away that he had written, although songwriting contributions to Journey slipped away after the first three “experimental” albums. As a member of Journey, VALORY concentrated on shaping the rhythm section and contributing his baritone vocals to the background blend.

During the band’s second coming following the 1995 reunion album Trial By Fire, VALORY began sorting through his files and polishing up some of his old notes. In between tour dates, he pulled together a tight-knit group of collaborators and slowly began to finish what he started. After a lifetime in music, VALORY scrupulously etched ALL OF THE ABOVE. The album was produced by VALORY and co-produced by Jacob Stowe and Eric Levy.

VALORY developed a repertory company of musicians over the years that came together at his studio. He cultivated individual numbers like sprawling projects, experimenting with different arrangements played by an assortment of musicians. Sometimes spending years jamming on these ideas, the pieces took shape slowly. Different ideas were tried and discarded, remodeled and refurbished. The basic concept was to find the heart of the material and expand upon it until VALORY could refine and shape the music’s path to his supreme satisfaction. He cast specific musicians to specific parts. The studio became his laboratory and the compositions his experiments.

From the Latin-fired intensity of “Wild Kingdom” to the ethereal dirge of “No One Wins a War,” the raucous party on “Low Rider” or the brilliant reprise ofSantana’s “Incident of Neshabur,” the album presents an evolved artist fully in command of his vision, a lifetime of experience behind the project, augmenting his core associates with guest musicians such as Gregg Errico ofSly & the Family Stone, drummer Steve Smith, and saxophonist Marc Russo. The nine tracks on the album represent the full maturity of VALORY’s musical gifts, cutting a broad swath through the instrumental territory the music travels. He plays keyboards, guitar, and, of course, many basses in a display of cultivated virtuosity across a palette far broader than could be found in his work with Journey. He is stepping out from behind his bass and, for the first time in his more than half-century as a professional musician, representing his vision and his compositions.

VALORY left Journey in 2020 and the band members worked out their issues in a peaceful mediated settlement. VALORY, who spent most of his life as a member of Journey, has no regrets. He counts his blessings at having spent an amazing career with a remarkable group of musicians who succeeded beyond their wildest dreams.

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Bass Videos

Interview with Malcolm-Jamal Warner

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Interview with Malcolm-Jamal Warner

Malcolm-Jamal Warner…

I am pretty sure that everyone is aware of Malcom-Jamal Warner’s work as an actor. What may be less known is his work as a director, poet, musician, and most importantly for us, a bass player. With four albums of his own, Grammy nominations and wins, as well as a sizable amount of ongoing live gigs, Malcolm is dedicating a serious amount of his attention to his music.

Join me as we hear about Malcom’s musical journey, projects, his gear choices, and plans for the future.

Here is Malcom-Jamal Warner!

Photos: Dwain Govan @dwain_go / Conrad Montgomery Mckethan @eyeconimages

Visit Online:

malcolmjamalwarner.com
IG @malcolmjamalwar
Twitter @malcolmjamalwar 
Facebook: Malcolm-Jamal Warner

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