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Power trio

From Academic Kids

The power trio is a rock and roll format popularized in the 1960s. (See 1960s in music)

The power trio has a lineup of guitar, bass and drums, leaving out the rhythm guitar or keyboard often featured in rock music.

The rise of the power trio was made possible in part by developments in amplifiers and guitar technology that permit the guitar to provide more sound than before.

Models for the power trio include The Who, Cream, Led Zeppelin, and the Jimi Hendrix Experience, although none of these were ever particularly identified as power trios. (The Who and Led Zeppelin both had the power trio lineup, but added a vocalist as a fourth member.)

Notable power trios include Nirvana, Blue Cheer, Cactus, Glass Harp, Rush, Motörhead (at times), The Minutemen, West, Bruce and Laing, Grand Funk Railroad, and the Robin Trower Band. Power trios were loud and often went for long improvised jams. Typically, vocals and songwriting were less important than overall impact. Compare, for instance, the Jeff Beck Group, with Rod Stewart on vocals with Beck, Bogert, and Appice, a similar lineup without a significant vocalist. The latter was called a power trio, but the Jeff Beck Group was not. The emphasis on guitar solos and crashing rhythm sections in the power trio contributed to the development of heavy metal.

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