Way back on the 4th of July 2020 — which seems like a lifetime ago now — we were at the height of the pandemic lockdown. The pandemonium of the situation and stress of the unknown led to people reaching out to one another more and more to check in and to feel that sense of connection. In the bass community, unity was everything. Text threads were born and social media groups were formed to feel the comforting bond with our bass sisters and brothers. It was that typically celebratory evening that I was texting with Derrick Hodge, who in or out of the music industry is one of the kindest, most earnest people you’ll ever encounter. We checked in on each other’s families and what we’d been doing to keep busy during the lockdown, and then he hit me with an idea. He told me about the amazing brotherhood he’d had for most all of his life with three of his best friends: Adam Blackstone, Thaddaeus Tribbett, and Dwayne Moore. He talked about their upbringing in Willingboro, New Jersey, and how they all came up together playing bass while learning from each other and encouraging one another to excel and succeed. Now, chances are you’re a bass player if you’re reading this, and if that’s the case, you’ve probably heard the names listed above. Derrick and I hatched the idea to do a feature story on their bond and what they’re currently up to. A two-hour Zoom session with those four ensued, which I hosted with Chris Jisi, and sure enough, we had an amazing story on our hands.
This issue’s cover story is an in-depth look at this fearless foursome and the shared bond that has helped lead them to their astounding musical and personal achievements. It’s truly an honor to tell their tale, and I hope we do it justice. Also in this issue we are lucky to have caught up with the icon himself, Sting, in transcribing his recent bass feature “Captain Bateman’s Basement.” We chew the fat with Jack White, who has discovered his love for bass and its power as a songwriting tool. We interview Este Haim, Troy Sanders, Frank Bello, and Tim Lefebvre, and we bring you columns from our amazing teachers John Goldsby and Patrick Pfeiffer, and our newest addition, studio legend Neil Jason. We review the latest gear from Boss, Squier, and Phil Jones Bass, and we round up the bass innovations for the summer. And of course, the issue features record and concert reviews, transcriptions, and tons of other low-end content.
So, dig in and enjoy! We want your feedback, so don’t hesitate to hit me up at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or comments. And as always, cheers to the future of bass!