Brad Paisley

Two Vital Guitars From the Collection of a Modern Superpicker

Brad Paisley’s 2011 book, Diary of a Player: How My Musical Heroes Made a Guitar Man Out of Me, is essentially an autobiography. But really, it’s not so much about him. Anyone who has ever spoken with Paisley will tell you the “aw shucks” humbleness he exhibits on awards shows, in concert, and in the

Peter Green

Peter Green

A Guitar For Greeny

Establishing the provenance of a vintage guitar can be a daunting task, even for a seasoned pro. In the case of one particular 1960 Gibson Les Paul Standard, the investigation unearthed a fascinating story and offers a glimpse into the emerging vintage-guitar market of the 1970s. Once Upon a Time… It’s been almost a quarter

Black Cat’s D&S and N-Fuzz

Two Faces of Fuzz

Located in south-central Connecticut, Black Cat blends an ear for vintage tones with an eye toward modern function and bulletproof construction. On the fuzz front, they have captured two distinct period flavors with a pair of versatile stompboxes. The D&S is a modern replica of a 1974 Maxon D&S (distortion and sustain), which itself was

Sturdy and “Purdy”

Dashboards Pedalboards

Founded in 2010 by guitarist Ashley Dasher and based on his vision of the ideal touring pedalboard, Dashboards offers well-crafted, easy-to-use pedalboards. And they look sharp, too! With lightweight, yet sturdy, one-piece aluminum construction, they’re dressed up with a powder-painted finish and polished chrome handles. Our test pedalboard had an optional backlit logo, 1/4″ solderless

Kelly Mulhollan

True Faith, True Light: The Devotional Art of Ed Stilley
Divine Inspiration

Arkansas farmer Ed Stilley was plowing his fields in 1979 when he was struck down by a heart attack; lying in the dirt, he had a vision that God wanted him to build guitars and give them to children around the country to make music. Once recovered, he began crafting instruments of his own design,

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Ibanez RGA8

In the Deep End

Ibanez RGA-8 Price: $1,102.21 (approx. $800 street). Info: ibanez.com In the annals of cool, weird, and unusual guitars, they’re nothing like an eight-string axe. It’s a strange beastie, sporting a mammoth neck that begs for new fretting approaches. The trend that’s driving eight-string guitars onto the market are metal and shred players who are searching

Joanna Connor

Joanna Connor

Going Viral

Her overnight success was decades in the making, but a video gone viral of a jaw-dropping slide guitar performance at the 2014 North Atlantic Blues Festival has helped bring Joanna Connor to the world. With nearly a half a million views, the performance displays scholarly blues virtuosity and crowd-pleasing pyrotechnics. In recent years, she has

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Joe Bonamassa

Driving

Joe Bonamassa’s latest record, Driving Towards The Daylight, is a return to the blues. After two successful studio albums with the heavy-rock band Black Country Communion, Bonamassa’s latest solo effort explores some of his early influences. While covering Robert Johnson, Howlin’ Wolf, and Willie Dixon, he got help from heavyweight guitarists including Brad Whitford, Pat

BC Audio JTX45 Octal Plex

Plexi Class

In an amp world full of boutique clones, Bruce Clement has developed a unique twist on the venerable ’60s British plexi circuits using octal preamp tubes, true point-to-point wiring, and a range of customizations. The result is an amp with a voice of its own – and possibly one of the best plexi-style amps ever.

BB King Vintage Guitar magazine main home

Remembering B.B. King

Ed. Note: Everyone associated with Vintage Guitar magazine is saddened to learn of the passing of B.B. King. In 1995, Mr. King sat for an interview with VG‘s Willie G. Moseley, and we offer it here as part of our remembrance of the King of the Blues. Riley B. King was born on a cotton plantation in

Fenders American Vintage Series

Devilish in Detail

Fender American Vintage Series Price: $2,400 retail/$1,999.99 street (’52 Telecaster); $2,874 retail/$2,299.99 street (’59 Stratocaster); $2,874 retail/$2,299 street (’65 Jazzmaster and ’56 Stratocaster) Contact: www.fender.com When it introduced the American Vintage reissue guitars (one Telecaster, two Strats) in 1982, Fender put itself back the game among serious players. In the three decades since, the series

Blackstar HT Club 40

Blackstar HT Club 40

Monster of Rock

Blackstar HT Club 40 Price: $699.99 (list) Contact: www.blackstaramps.com Standalone combo amplifiers that cover broad sonic terrain are popular with guitarists looking for quick, pedal-free stage setups. Blackstar’s HT Club 40 fulfills those desires by offering a foot-switchable, two-channel, 40-watt combo with two modes per channel, Master Volume, and a 12″ speaker. At just over

Richmond Empire

Rocking the Dynasty

Canada’s Richmond Guitars offers instruments with a retro vibe and styling coupled with fine modern components. Their latest offering, the single-cut Richmond Empire, epitomizes the company’s efforts. The Empire may look like old-school, but of course, looks can be deceiving. Close inspection reveals its three-piece body with maple center and poplar wings, and 243/4″-scale bolt-on

Wangs #2204 HW

Chinese Rocks

Even as new technology spawns new sounds, ease of use, and portability, there remains among guitarists a predilection for technologies of old. New sounds are inevitably compared to the earthy musical landscape of the classic era. After all, amp manufacturers got it extremely right in the 1960s and 1970s and an entire industry has ballooned

Airline ’59 Custom 1P and Epiphone ’61 Casino 50th Anniversary

Having a Rave-Up!

Fifteen years ago, you couldn’t give away some of the less-popular guitars from the ’60s, whether they were models with P-90s or cheapo imports from Japan and Germany. Today, however, they’re in hot demand, which explains a surge of reissues among these once-neglected planks. As evidence, we’ll look at the Airline ’59 Custom 1P and

Jonny Wickersham

Jonny Wickersham

Social D Guitarist Does ’70s Cali Rock

Best known as the Les Paul Junior-slinging guitarist stage left of Mike Ness in Social Distortion, Jonny “Two Bags” Wickersham speaks with a laid-back SoCal drawl and peppers his conversation with modest asides. The uninitiated would never suspect he has just dropped his first solo record, Salvation Town, gorgeously layered Americana abetted by California rock

Strymon Flint Tremolo and Reverb

Our Man Flint

Strymon Flint Tremolo & Reverb Price: $200 Info: www.strymon.net. In just a few short years, Strymon has established itself as a premier developer of pedal effects. With boxes like the highly praised El Capistan dTape Echo, they’ve cut out a niche building DSP effects that recapture the sounds of iconic analog gear with remarkable authenticity.

Between Gibbons and Holdsworth

John Ziegler Of Volto!

John Ziegler’s band, Volto!, emerged from L.A.’s fusion scene with bassist Lance Morrison and drummer Danny Carey, who’s primary gig is with Tool. After cutting its teeth playing ZZ Top and Allman Brothers covers, Ziegler began to write songs, motivated by Carey’s playing. “He’s such a stylized drummer,” said Ziegler. “The originals kind of squirted