Bassist/vocalist Greg Lake, a force in the advent of progressive rock in the early 1970s with Emerson, Lake & Palmer (ELP), died December 7 following a battle with cancer. He was 69. Lake was originally from Dorset, England, a seaside town that also beget noted players Robert Fripp and Andy Summers. He came to international notice in

With the creation of John Page Classic Guitars in 2006, the guitar builder, designer, and co-founder of the Fender Custom Shop opened a new chapter in his already illustrious career. After launching a line of custom guitars earlier this year, Page teamed up with HRS Unlimited and a Japanese manufacturer to build a more-cost-friendly “custom

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Echopark Clarence

Wayback Machine

Gabriel Currie’s Echopark Guitars have been played around the world by some of the music industry’s heaviest hitters. His is a line of handmade gems that just ooze vintage flavor. With the help of Eric Bernstorff, Currie has expanded his offerings to include amplifiers. Echopark Amplifiers produces a series of all-tube/point-to-point, hand-wired amps based on

Nate Bergman

Skankin’ With Lionize

The members of Lionize blend heavy rock with reggae to create infectious tunes… kind of like if the guys in Deep Purple were Rastafarians wrapped in trippy sci-fi imagery. Nate Bergman is the SG-wielding architect of the group, and recently shared the strategy on the band’s latest album. You guys worked hard on Jetpack Soundtrack.

Eric Johnson

Eric Johnson

Epiphanies

Eric Johnson’s new release, Europe Liv, is an impressive offering, but you wouldn’t know it from talking to the man himself. Recorded in Amsterdam, Germany, and Paris, it’s a breathtaking album that chronicles the artistry of a guitar virtuoso in transition. After performing and recording with fusion guitarist Mike Stern, Johnson’s sense of jazz is

Mike Stern

Mixed Sources

Mike Stern made his name playing with Blood, Sweat & Tears, Jaco Pastorius, Miles Davis, and others, carving a notable solo career while constantly seeking to broaden his musical voice. On his latest album, Eclectic, Stern pairs with rock guitarist Eric Johnson; the former engaging his rock side while the latter explores his jazz influences.

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The Electro-Harmonix Germanium 4 Big Muff Pi

Smooth Successor

Electro-Harmonix Germanium 4 Big Muff Pi Price: $133 (list)/$99.75 (street). Contact: ehx.com. The Big Muff Pi overdrive is the effect stompbox that put Electro-Harmonix on the map, and in the decades since its introduction, it has undergone changes both subtle and substantial. Today, the company’s lineup includes no fewer than 10 versions including the newest,

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Ricky Byrd

Cool and Greasy

“I wanted to make the type of album I would’ve liked to have heard when I was 13 – cool and greasy,” said ex-Blackhearts guitarist Ricky Byrd of his debut solo album, Lifer. Byrd worked with Joan Jett and her band from 1981 to ’91, while they amassed a string of hit records, most notably “I

EHX Tortion JFET Overdrive

EHX Tortion JFET Overdrive

EHX Tortion JFET Overdrive Price: $198.67 (list)/$179 (street) Contact: www.ehx.com Having teenage metal-shredders at home makes one appreciate that a little overdrive can go a long, long way. Note to sons – not all songs benefit from being played “at 11.” In the real world, bandmates expect you to sit back in the mix from

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Park 75

Park 75 Preamp tubes: three ECC83 (12AX7 equivalents) Output tubes: two KT88 Rectifier: solidstate Controls: Volume II, Volume I, Treble, Middle, Bass, Brightness Output: approximately 75 watts RMS We might not expect anyone to give much of a hoot for an amplifier with “Park” on its badge – a brand that has also graced budget-grade

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Randy Bachman

The Album Title Says It All

Canadian guitarist/guitar collector Randy Bachman is known worldwide for his classic licks in songs by the Guess Who and Bachman-Turner Overdrive, but he has also recorded jazz with the likes of Duke Robillard, J. Geils, and Gerry Beaudoin. “Those albums got great reviews, but I eventually realized I’m really a rockin’ blues guy,” Bachman reflected.

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Pat Metheny

The Jazz Guitar Prodigy at 60

Despite his 20 Grammy awards and crossover popularity, with loyal fans dating back 40 years, Pat Metheny’s career path should read “Do not try at home” for fledgling guitarists. Growing up in Lee’s Summit, Missouri, a small suburb of Kansas City, he took up guitar at 13. By his senior year of high school, he

1986 Dumble Overdrive Special

1986 Dumble Overdrive Special

The exalted amps of Alexander Dumble have been legendary since he began building in the late ’60s, and have become more so over the course of the past decade, with several notable “boutique” makers launching their own lines on the backs of Dumble-inspired designs. It’s a rare thing, then, in the face of all this

Gibson J-35

Gibson J-35

Dreadnought guitars originated as early as 1916 with instruments made by Martin and distributed by Ditson, followed in 1931 with guitars sold by Martin under its own brand. The first Martin dreadnoughts were 12-fret slot-heads with an extended slope-shouldered body; in early ’34, the company introduced a square-shouldered dread with a 14-fret neck. Gibson entered

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Tom Keifer

Thick and Thin

Tom Keifer is a tad young to be on the (very) long list of musicians inspired first and foremost by the Beatles’ “arrival” in the U.S. in 1964. But he’s not too young to inspired by a TV show inspired by the Fab Four. Keifer’s earliest musical memories were born as he plopped in front

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Strobel Rambler Travel Bass

Traveling in Style 

As a rule, travel guitars and basses are intended to help one keep up their chops while on the road for work or vacation. But Florida-based Strobel Guitars strives for something a bit more on the professional end of the spectrum – a travel bass that easily breaks down to fit into carry-on luggage, yet

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The Siegmund Doppler Vibe

The Faster We Go, the Rounder We Get

Siegmund Doppler Vibe Price: $495 Info: www.siegmundguitars.com. It’s been said that Buddy Guy was the first guitarist to put his instrument through a Leslie rotating speaker. Supposedly, this was done in a pinch after his amp crapped out during a 1965 session for Junior Wells’ seminal Hoodoo Man Blues, but the result was a fresh

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Shawn Starski

His Own Blues

After spending nearly a decade with harp ace Jason Ricci, guitarist Shawn Starski has stepped out with a self-titled album that establishes him as a triple threat, not simply a guitar ace. It’s a position he’s not altogether comfortable with, mostly because, prior to composing its songs, Starski had never written lyrics. “I wrote a

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Divided By 13 BTR23C Brian Ray Signature

English Flavor

Divided By 13 BTR23C Price: $2,800 Info: www.dividedby13.com. After years of repairing and modding amps for himself and pals like Lyle Workman, Joel Shearer, and Corky James, guitarist Frederic Taccone began building amplifiers from the ground up to better meet his needs and those of his friends. Divided By 13 thus evolved with the philosophy