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    Joe Bonamassa sends best wishes to Vintage Guitar on it’s 30th anniversary

    Joe Bonamassa used his ’55 Strat plugged into his stage rig – two tweed Bassmans and two high-powered Twins dialed waaayy down – to send best wishes to “Vintage Guitar” and founder/publisher Alan Greenwood to help mark the magazine’s 30th anniversary. He also gives credit where due for his gear obsession! Keep up with Joe at www.jbonamassa.com

    From 1932 to 1964, independent builder John D’Angelico produced some of the finest jazz guitars. After apprenticing and working in the violin trade, D’Angelico transitioned to building archtop guitars with f-shaped sound holes in his shop at 40 Kenmare Street, on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. His earliest models closely resemble Gibson’s L-5 from

    Martin 0-28K

    Martin 0-28K

    The exotic figuration of Hawaiian koa wood on this Martin 0-28K from 1923 has a visual appeal that matched the exotic sound of Hawaiian music in the 1920s, and koa guitars accounted for a significant part of Martin’s sales through that period. Koa guitars played a larger role in Martin history, introducing steel strings to


    The Yosco No. 2

    Tenor Banjo

    The banjo and American music cross paths in a remarkably entangled web of complexity. The banjo was brought to the New World – conceptually, at least – by African slaves who used it to create music subsequently appropriated by 19th-century white entertainers, who created blackface minstrelsy, which became the basis of Vaudeville and a great

    Jazz singer and bassist Esperanza Spalding performing at the North Sea Jazz festival 2012 in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Photo: JBreeschoten/Wikimedia.

    Esperanza Spalding

    Emily’s D+Evolution

    Popularly known as that cute female jazz bassist with the Afro who bogarted the Best New Artist Grammy away from Justin Bieber in 2012, Esperanza Spalding’s new album is soul-jazz surrealism at it’s finest. Spalding courageously sidesteps the acid chick jazz of her female contemporaries. In its place is theatricality, poetry, joy, and the progressive


    Forrest Lee, Jr. and Friends

    Higher To Go: A Tribute To Forrest Lee, Sr.

    Forrest Lee, Sr. was a country music legend most folks have likely never heard tell of. So why should they care about a tribute to the man and his gospel music? Because his son can play a guitar. And his son has some fine picking friends. All of which adds up to one stunner of


    Gibson Tal Farlow

    The Tal Farlow is one guitar in a quartet of full-depth Gibson Artists models first cataloged in the early 1960s. Introduced in ’62, it was based on the ES-350 – the guitar Farlow used with Red Norvo and his own trio in the mid ’50s. A truly professional instrument, built in the tradition of ’50s Gibson


    Roland V-Studio 20

    The Roland V-Studio 20

    Roland V-Studio 20 Price: $300 (street) Info: www.rolandus.com. Home digital recording has come a long way in the last 20 years, to the point where top bands are cutting full albums at home. But there is still a learning curve for the uninitiated, and the software and hardware choices are dizzying. Enter Roland, whose V-Studio

    Homegrown Tone 420

    Homegrown Tone 420

    Legalized Tweed

    Buzz Feiten Blues Pro Price: $1,799 (list) Contact: “Homegrown Tone Amps” on facebook.com Can’t get enough hemp in your life? Then you may need some Homegrown Tone. These boutique amps are built by the partnership of Kenji Numata and Dale Campbell in their Missouri workshop (which, no, is not a “legal” state, but no laws


    Johnny Smith

    An American Treasure

    Jazz guitarist Johnny Smith died at his home June 11, 2013, two weeks shy of his 91st birthday. Arguably the most respected and revered guitarist of the modern era (1950 to present), Smith was sincerely humble and reserved about his extraordinary talent. In 1999, his peers and friends celebrated his career with a gala at


    The Budda Twinmaster

    Return of a Boutique Legend

    In the early days of boutique-amp building, there were but a few contenders on the scene. One of the strongest amplifiers in those days was made by Budda. First released in 1995, the company’s Twinmaster presented 18 watts of raw tone that made it a no-brainer buy for many, and it soon found its way


    Epiphone Zephyr De Luxe Regent and Zephyr Amplifier

    The Zephyr De Luxe Regent was Epiphone’s second-from-the-top electric guitar produced from the late 1940s through the mid ’50s. The instrument went through several name changes, from Zephyr De Luxe Cutaway, in 1948, to Zephyr De Luxe Regent, in 1950, to the DeLuxe Electric, by 1954. In Epiphone nomenclature, the word “Zephyr” indicated “electric” and

    Midge Ure

    Midge Ure

    Many Facets and Musical Stylings

    Humanitarian, activist, guitarist, singer, and songwriter, Midge Ure has been a vital performer since the ’70s. Former guitarist/vocalist for Ultravox, he’s cited for charity work (he co-wrote “Do They Know It’s Christmas”) and performing at Live Aid as well as several Prince’s Trust concerts. Ultravox used electronics with classical and traditional rock instruments, and for


    Gibson GA-80T Vari-Tone

    In the late ’50s and early ’60s, Gibson was apparently convinced the Vari-Tone switch was the way of the future, with its instant access to six different tones. But a high proportion of players who clocked serious miles on their ES-345 and 355 guitars had the switches disabled (and the guitars rewired to mono!). As

    Metal Pedals JH-3

    Metal Pedals JH-3

    Swiss-Army Distortion

    Metal Pedals JH-3 Price: $235 (list) Contact: www.metalpedals.com Like a Swiss Army knife, the multifunction Metal Pedals JH-3 Johnny Hiland has more options than you’d expect in such a small package. Hiland, solo artist and session man for folks from Toby Keith to Hank III, was so inspired after playing through Metal Pedals’ Bomb Shell


    Martin 00-18

    They were days, before Kent State, when everywhere you looked, kids sat under trees, singin’ songs and swappin’ licks. Fresh-faced young girls with names like “Star” painted flowers on their cheeks and drifted between you and the sun wearing diaphanous tie-dye gauze dresses. For a moment, you couldn’t remember the words of the song or hear the


    Tim Bogert’s Modified Fender

    One Fudged Bass

    When Vanilla Fudge helped pioneer the progressive-rock movement in the latter half of the ’60s, bassist Tim Bogert played more than one Fender Precision – and usually installed Telecaster Bass necks on them. Bogert preferred the chunkier feel of the Tele Bass neck, which reminded him of ’50s P-Basses. And for him, one instrument, in

    Scotty Moore’s Gibson ES-295

    First Guitar of Rock and Roll

    Scotty Moore’s Gibson ES-295

    Like a hound dog hit by lightning, the first notes of rock and roll blasted out of radios across the country in July of 1954, courtesy of Elvis Presley’s supercharged-hillbilly singing on “That’s All Right” and “Blue Moon Of Kentucky,” backed by Scotty Moore’s guitar. It was the twang heard ’round the world. That guitar

    GizmoAudio’s Ripsaw and Sawmill Jr.

    GizmoAudio’s Ripsaw and Sawmill Jr.

    Just Like the First Time

    Durham Electronics’ ReddVerb Price: $180 each (list) Info: www.gizmoaudio.com Most guitar players’ first pedal was a distortion/OD, often acquired after enduring the taunts from friends and/or bandmates who whisper about how their tone was “thin” and “weak.” The experience takes them down the road to experimentation; the weeks and years that follow becoming a haze