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As Darrel Higham returns with a brand new album, Hell’s Hotel, SIMON BRADLEY catches up with the UK rockabilly maestro to chat recording techniques, his myriad influences, and a sumptuous new Gretsch guitar…

INTERVIEW Darrel Higham

Photography Eleanor Jane

Whether doing his thing with the impossibly authentic quartet, Bob & The Bearcats, fronting his hero Eddie Cochran’s backing band, The Kelly Four, playing with Stray Cats drummer Slim Jim Phantom in The Katmen, or sharing the stage with the likes of Jeff Beck and Brian Setzer, Darrel Higham has always kept it utterly real.

He remains a leading light within the UK rockabilly scene and, until recently, acted as a musical touchstone for Irish songstress Imelda May. Over the course of a number of eminently-listenable albums, his unmistakable Gretsch-flavoured licks and chord work helped give her wonderful voice and emotive songs an uncommon bedrock for modern popular music, with shows at the Royal Albert Hall, as well as collaborations with a slew of household names, only part of the resultant success.

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About Guitar Magazine

The August 2017 edition of the UK’s most affordable and most in-depth guitar magazine is on sale now! You might notice a slightly different name on the cover this month, but inside you’ll find your regular monthly fix of the best gear reviews in the business, DIY tutorials, tone and playing tips, artist interviews, breathtaking photography of vintage instruments and whole lot more besides. This month there’s a feast for Fender offset fans as we offer pro set-up tips, show you how to upgrade your Jaguar or Jazzmaster and find out if Fender’s new American Professional series has finally delivered offsets for the masses. Elsewhere, we interview Joe Bonamassa, Darrel Higham, Joanne Shaw Taylor and Paul Gilbert, pay a visit to Norman’s Rare Guitars in Los Angeles, delve into the snake-oil surrounding tonewoods and give you the chance to win a Shergold electric worth a whopping £835.