By Far, The Best Bass Effects Pedal I’ve Ever Heard!

By John Huston

Worth getting the word out

This will officially be my last blog post for Just Roll Tape, I just want to say that it has been a privilege sharing and communicating with all of you. I have been obsessed with this effects pedal for years; it is an amazing option for all of you bassists out there. It is designed by a company called Lovetone, and they definitely are proud of it according to the $600.00 list price. I assure you though; it is one of the best envelope filter pedals I have ever heard. Here is great example of the sound that the Meatball can produce, it is a Phish performance of their song “Free” and at exactly 3:50 seconds you can hear some amazing bass playing and exemplifies how amazing this pedal can make your bass sound.

Lovetone is a trusted company

Lovetone also provides other great effects pedals for all instruments such as The Big Cheese, BrownSource, and the Doppelganger. They are all quality products even though a lot of musicians have not ever heard of the company before. The meatball is not just for bass, it can be for keyboards or guitar as well. Here is a link to a demo of the pedal being as a guitar effects pedal. It really speaks for itself. Well once again class, I thank you for all of your attention this semester and for all of your great blog posts as well. Enjoy your summer!


A Heapin’ Helpin’ of Jams!

By John Huston


A great band for you to check out

I’m going to be honest with you; this blog post is a good example of shameless self-promotion. I would like to talk to everyone about my band based out of Austin and Houston called Heapin’ Helpin’. We are an improvisationally-based blues and classic rock band. We have been playing since the summer of 20** and have played various establishments in the Houston and Austin areas. We have played Last Concert Café, Buffalo Bayou Brewery, and Fitzgerald’s in Houston and The Roost, Club 512, The Nook, and Stompin’ Grounds in Austin. We have loved playing small and bigger venues alike. Check out our Facebook page with links to our other social media pages.


We love what we do

When you come to see us live, we take many things into consideration. We understand that you paid good money and that you’ve taken the time out of your daily lives to come and see us. We are influenced by many other artists before us such as: The Allman Brothers Band, Traffic, The Band, Steely Dan, Santana, Phish, Tedeschi Trucks Band, etc. We try our best to put on a show that’s something different that you can’t find in the local establishments of Houston and Austin on any given weekend night. I hope that some of my classmates will check out our links and will dig our music. There is nothing that we take more joy in doing with our lives by playing music. So come check us out and see us live or like us on Facebook. Thank you and we appreciate it.

A Music Documentary That Is A Must See!

By John Huston

A true innovator of his time

I recently watched a documentary on Tom Dowd called the “The Language of Music”. For any music lover, this is an absolutely wonderful glimpse behind the scenes into the world of audio engineering and the genius that was Tom Dowd. Mr. Dowd died in 2002, a few days shy of his 77th birthday. He leaves behind an enormous collection of music that he helped record over the various decades and styles of music. He has worked with Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Aretha Franklin, The Allman Brothers Band, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Derek and the Dominos, Booker T. and the MG’s, J. Geils Band, The Eagles, and James Gang, just to name a few. He was also credited with the invention of multi-track recording that did more to revolutionize music since the invention of the phonograph. Here is a clip I wanted to share with you a video of him mixing live in the studio the original tape of “Layla”, which is arguably one of the finest and best rock and roll recordings of all time, featuring Duane Allman and Eric Clapton on guitar. This video shows just how much this man loved music.

Music is a universal language

Tom Dowd talks in this documentary about how there are a lot of ways to offend people in this world; words, lyrics, poetry, etc. However, there is nothing offensive about music. You may not like all of the music you hear, but you will never be offended by music. Tom Dowd puts more of himself into his work than most people in the studio that I have witnessed personally, he truly was a genius. He’s responsible for some of the best albums of all time in rock, jazz, and R&B. In my own life, there is never a better feeling than making music with your friends and great musicians. Tom Dowd encapsulates the best attitude and diligence that an audio engineer could have; he was beloved by every artist that he worked with and they interview a lot of these musicians in this documentary. I encourage you to watch this movie and show it to all of the music lovers in your life; they will thank you for it.

Question for the class, had anybody ever heard of Tom Dowd before?

I’m Shure You’ll Love This Mic!

By John Huston

One of the best mics I’ve ever come across

There are a lot of different types of artists who grace the stage on any given night at Just Roll Tape, and with that variety, are different types of vocalists with their respected styles. There are a multitude of applications when it comes to microphones, and vocalists can be extremely picky about how they get their voice to sound the way they want to on stage. There is a microphone in circulation currently that I personally have been using for the last decade, the Shure Beta 58A. It is a supercardioid mic with a sleek and simple design. In my personal opinion, I don’t think there is a better vocal mic for a live setting on the market right now. It has an amazing ability to isolate excess white noise and even background noise from a drum set nearby and hones in on the frequency range of the human voice so intuitively.

As I mentioned above, it works excellently in a live setting but is more than capable of providing excellent studio capability. There’s very little this microphone can’t do when it comes to capturing the intricate timbres of a human voice. When you purchase this mic, you are also getting the warranty and guarantee of the Shure Company, I’ve bought so many products from this company over the years and I have never been disappointed in the quality of sound that they provided. We wanted to pass on this information, not just because of how amazing the quality of the Beta 58A is, because at Just Roll tape we want to help musicians on a budget find the best items to add to their collection. We want you to sound your best so that you can have the confidence to get out into the world and play more shows! Just remember to check out Just Roll Tape for our weekly events and contact our booking agent if you want your band to play here! Cheers!

Question for the class:

What are your favorite vocal mics to use?

What Is Your Favorite Concert Venue in Austin? (Besides Us of Course)

By John Huston

Just Roll Tape is taking a survey of our followers to try and see which concert venues in Austin are the most beloved. We look at our fellow venues as colleagues and partners rather than our competition; we want to know which one of our friends’ establishments you love the most. It’s hard to compare venues that have such a varying degree of setting and certain little features that can make a place remarkable. I would like our followers to take into consideration every aspect of that venue and focus in on your overall experience and satisfaction that you encounter when you frequent one of these establishments. Just Roll Tape is trying to encapsulate the best of Austin. If there are aspects that other venues are providing that we are missing in our venue, we want to accommodate and provide those necessary changes in order to make Just Roll Tape that much more perfect. There is a reason that Austin is proclaimed as “the live music capitol of the world”, and that’s because our venues here in Austin work together and provide a perfect experience not only for our customers, but the musicians that play them as well.

Here is a list of the top 10 concert venues in Austin, so followers, please let us know which venue is your favorite:

  1. Stubb’s
  2. The Parish
  3. The Mohawk
  4. ACL Live or Moody Theater
  5. Austin 360 Amphitheater
  6. Emo’s
  7. The Roost
  8. The Continental Club
  9. Lucky Lounge
  10. Bass Concert Hall

Here’s our vote from the staff at Just Roll Tape…….What is your pick for best concert venue in Austin?

Phish Is Coming Back to Texas!

By John Huston

This is an announcement that I’ve been waiting over ten years to make. Now, I know that this band is not for everybody. In fact, this band is mostly you either absolutely love these guys or you absolutely hate them. Either way, I feel this to be an unprecedented event. Phish will be playing two shows in Texas this summer on July 28th and 29th. First they will play at Austin 360 Amphitheater and then at Verizon Theater in Grand Prairie, Texas. I have already reserved tickets for both shows. Phish has not played a true show in Texas since 1998 where they played the Cynthia Woods Pavilion in Houston, Texas. Phish usually gets a bad rap for being a pointless, meandering, stereotypical jam band. I couldn’t disagree more; I think the main reason that they get that stigma is largely due to how obnoxious a large portion of their fans can be. Just for a second, picture the most obnoxious, stuck-up, and patchouli-oil ridden “hippie”. There are thousands of those men and women there and they can be bothersome and overall insufferable. I have nothing against hippies, I used to have long hair and I’ve always listened to “hippie” music but the pompous attitude that a lot of these folks have ruined the true meaning of what it meant to be a hippie.

Well, that took a tangent that I didn’t think I was going to go on sitting here and writing this post. I digress. Besides, what you may have heard, these 4 guys are some of the finest musicians playing these days. Each one is a virtuoso on their instrument and gives 100% of their effort at every show. I’ve seen them 7 times since their return in 2009 and so far each show has been even better than the last. If you love improvisational-based music and a great live show, there is no better band to check out this summer.