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    Howard Leese Marks Brian May’s Birthday

    To help mark the 69th birthday of legendary guitarist Brian May, his friend, Howard Leese, sent this message along with a clip of the Las Vegas show “Raiding the Rock Vault” performing a rendition of Queen’s “We Are the Champions.” Keep up with Howard at www.raidingtherockvault.com


    Bonnie Raitt

    Dig In Deep
    Struttin' Her Stuff

    The adjective “smooth” can sometimes get a bad rep, but as the new album by Bonnie Raitt readily shows, it can be a good thing, too. Her latest is the perfect blend of soul, technique, and brassiness that, as the great lead cut, “Unintended Consequence Of Love,” states “resurrects our strut.” The record is pretty

    This Epiphone Coronet from 1959 was probably a shocking sight to a guitar buyer of the late ’50s. Not only was a solidbody guitar out of character for the company that had built its reputation in the ’30s on archtop acoustics and electrics, but most people thought the Epiphone company had gone out of business

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    Gretsch 6120 Tenor

    Elvis Costello’s Gretsch 6120 Tenor

    This 1958 Gretsch Chet Atkins 6120 four-string tenor guitar is a very rare variation of the model. Gretsch built other tenors, including the Duo Jet, archtop acoustic, and archtop electric tenors of various other models. Gretsch was not alone in making tenors. Martin, Gibson, and Epiphone all produced tenor versions of many of their standard

    Scotty Moore photo

    Scotty Moore

    Can't Keep a Good Man Down

    As the world marks the 50th Anniversary of the recording of “That’s Alright Mama,” one can’t help but wonder what life would be like today if Scotty Moore had told Sam Phillips he didn’t think much of Elvis Presley during their fateful audition. Who would have become the King of rock and roll? Moore recently

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    Godin’s A4 and A5 Ultra SA

    Brave New Basses

    Godin A4/A5 Ultra SA Price: $1,395 (A4 Ultra SA fretted); $1,645 (A5 Ultra SA fretless) Info: godinguitars.com. For years, Godin Guitars has been finding creative ways to improve guitar and bass design, often by working directly with musicians. This has resulted in numerous breakthroughs typically packaged in traditional-appearing instruments. A good example is their A

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    NAMM 2012 Photo Gallery

    Check out these user-submitted photos from NAMM 2012! Submit your photo!

    BILL KIRCHEN

    Bill Kirchen

    Telemaster Offers A Word To The Wise

    Trying to top 2006’s Hammer Of The Honky-Tonk Gods, Bill Kirchen’s eighth solo album, would seem a mighty tall order. Then again, he set what would have been a surprisingly high bar for anyone else with his ’94 solo debut, Tombstone Every Mile. Word To The Wise (Proper American) manages to push the Tele-toting “King

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    Setting Up Effects

    Certain Guidelines Apply to a Signal Chain, But Your Ears Are the Ultimate Judge

    One question frequently asked by guitar players is how to set up effects and arrange them in a 
proper signal path. While there isn’t any “one and only” correct setup for effects, there are certain configurations that can produce better results in achieving specific types of sounds. Some work better than others, but anything is

    Snowy White

    Snowy White

    One Man, One Guitar

    Snowy White, one of the finest blues and rock musicians to come out of the U.K., built a career on near-anonymity. Deliberately. “It is my nature,” he explains. “If the spotlight hits me, my inclination is to step out of it. I’m actually quite a private person.” In or out of the spotlight, White is

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    Jim Marshall Passes

    Jim Marshall, who pioneered guitar amplifiers used by some of the greatest names in rock and roll, died today. He was 88. Born in London in 1923, Marshall was a drummer, drum teacher, and owner of a musical-instrument retail store specializing in drums. He also carried guitars and amps, including the Fender line. Most players,

    Guy-King

    Guy King

    Truth

    Blues veteran Guy King steps out with a full big band on his latest and proves up to the task of doing justice to various forms of American music – blues, funk, soul, and everything in between. King serves up B.B. King-influenced licks on “A Day In The Life With The Blues.” He marks his

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    Rich Robinson

    Back on the Wing

    Rich Robinson. All photos by Neil Zlozower. Emerging as grunge began casting a metaphorical pall over the pop music landscape of the early 1990s, the Georgia-based Black Crowes offered something decidedly different in its reverential mix of rock and roll that delivered an update on the promises made by the likes of the Rolling Stones,

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    Strymon El Capistan dTape Echo

    Endless Echo

    Like politics, religion, and overdrive pedals, echo boxes are sure to incite staunch views, heartfelt arguments, and perhaps even fisticuffs. But Strymon’s El Capistan is one worth fighting for. To get the squabble started, this pedal creates analog-inspired echo via DSP (digital signal processing) technology. If you’re an enemy of all things unnatural and digital,

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    Steve Howe

    Yes: In The Present

    Progressive-rock icons Yes are still going strong after more than 40 years of recording and performing. Throughout their reign as one of the most influential rock bands of all time, having sold more than 50 million albums worldwide, they’ve endured personnel changes as well as stylistic changes. The current incarnation includes Benoit David on vocals,

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    Effectrode Tube-Vibe and Goran Fat Boy

    Premium Pedalin’

    Effectrode Tube-Vibe Price: $429 (Tube-Vibe) Contact: www.effectrode.com Goran Fat Boy Price: $429 Contact: www.goranguitars.com In the annals of guitar stompboxes, there are no tones more elusive than the mystical swirls of a modulation pedal and the warm roar of an overdrive box. Builders big and small put their stamp on these two classic designs, tweaking

    Kim Simmonds

    Kim Simmonds

    Back to Basics with Savoy Brown

    Under the aegis of founder Kim Simmonds, Savoy Brown has always been a band “subject to change.” Formed in 1965, some of its incarnations went on musical tangents, but the blues has been its keystone genre. The band’s most recent album, Goin’ to the Delta, is a return to basic electric blues, with Simmonds reassuming

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    Awesome Musical Instruments T3 Pickup Switch Upgrade

    Wicked Switch

    Awesome Musical Instruments T3 Pickup Switch Upgrade Price: $149.99 (black or white three-ply); $164.99 (white pearloid); $169.99 (brown tortoiseshell) Info: www.awesome-guitars.com. When Leo Fender was designing the Strat back in the early ’50s, he equipped it with a surplus three-way pickup selector. Three pickups, three choices – simple and straightforward. Players ever since have tried to

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    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

    Jamie Kime

    Jamie Kime

    Lord Of The Jam

    Jamie Kime’s first solo record, Alleys, displays a mix of lush guitar tones, poignant soundscapes, and evocative panoramas. We recently sat with him to discuss it, and his recent gig touring with Zappa Plays Zappa project, featuring Franks Zappa’s son, Dweezil. Was there a theme when you started recording Alleys? A lot of the tunes