John 5

Telewielder

Since ditching his spot backing alternative-metal singer Marilyn Manson 10 years ago, superhuman guitarist John 5 has used his skills to spread the gospel of guitar far and wide while artfully dodging the pigeonhole of “rock shredder.” At just 17 years of age, John Lowery moved to Los Angeles from his Michigan home. There, he

Lazy J Cruiser Deuce

Lazy J Cruiser Deuce

Revved Up

Lazy J Cruiser Deuce Price: $420 Info: www.lazyjprojects.com. The Lazy J Cruiser Deuce is more complex than your classic stomp-and-go pedal, though its functionality is intuitive. The Cruiser Deuce’s brown finish and cream knobs (Gain, Volume, Drive, and Sat, i.e., saturation) give it a vintage look; In/out jacks on the side, two footswitches, and a

The Fender Master Series

Approximately 25 years ago, Dan Smith had an idea. He conceptualized a solidbody guitar with routed chambers. These chambers would, in theory, provide a more resonant tonal characteristic. He also formulated and designed a basic shape for the guitar. Then, in the early 1980s, Fender became interested in producing and marketing instruments which would be

Andy Stack

Andy Stack

Group Therapy

Andy Stack spent the past few years doing gigs in New York City, staying busy as a session player, doing gigs with various bands, and even working in the orchestra pit for Broadway productions. But he needed something more. Looking to change things up, he formed Buffalo Stack, which recently released its self-titled debut album.

Darryl Jones photo: P. Baumbach

Darryl Jones

Stones’ side man, Ron Wood fan

“Unofficial” Rolling Stones bassist Darryl Jones, who replaced Bill Wyman in 1994, readily admits that playing with the carousing rockers has been a revelation compared to working with stern jazz masters like Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, and Wynton Marsalis. “What I’ve learned from Mick and Keith is that rock and roll is fun. It’s not

Cactus

Black Dawn

Guitarist Jim McCarty (not to be confused with the Yardbirds’ drummer of the same name) initially turned heads in the mid ’60s, as a member of Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels. He joined the Buddy Miles Express for three albums; then in 1970, when a project melding the Jeff Beck Group with Vanilla Fudge

The Fender Bullet Deluxe/JP-90

No Frills, Didn’t Fly

    Fender has tried more than once to market basses with a low-budget vibe. And while the idea is laudable, most of the offerings never really caught on. In the early ’80s, Fender – then owned by CBS – was on a downward slide thanks in part to quality-control issues and uninspired products. And

Selmer Modele Jazz and Stimer M.10 Amp

Electricfying Early Jazz

In the 1930s, the quest for volume was the Holy Grail of guitar construction, as guitarists sought instruments to slice through the sound and fury of a jazz band. And when Django Reinhardt began playing his revolutionary jazz, he played it on a revolutionary new jazz guitar.

Lollar’s Gold-Foil Pickup

After the Gold Rush

Lollar’s Gold-Foil Pickup Price: $180 (list, each) Info: www.lollarguitars.com Gold-foil pickups are exotic beasts – just like many of the 1960s Japanese-made Teisco guitars that sport up to four of them crammed between neck and bridge. These pickups may look like the grille of a ’59 Eldorado, but Teisco aficionados will tell anyone that original

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Singular Sound BeatBuddy

Drums Even You Can Play

Everyone knows a good drummer joke. Or two. Drummers are indeed a special breed. Singular Sound’s BeatBuddy drum-machine pedal, however, is no joke. And as the first drum-machine-in-a-pedal designed for guitarists, it, too, is special. The BeatBuddy provides Charlie Watts in a box – along with Buddy Rich, Al Jackson, Jr., and John Bonham thrown

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Overture JS-Session

Do-It-All Guitar?

Overture JS-Session Price: $ 1,499. Info: overtureguitars.com When designing a new guitar, builders often face a quandary. Some go to extremes to be original, while others tend to “re-create” the same ol’ thing. The Overture Guitars JS-Session is a departure; not a simple reissue or copy, instead, its body contours and edges give it a

The ViVi-Tone Aggrandizer

The ViVi-Tone Aggrandizer

• Preamp tubes: 6C5, 6F5 • Output tubes: two 6B5 • Rectifier: 80 • Controls: Volume, on/off switch • Speaker: 10″ field coil • Output: barely scraping double digits… if you’re lucky. “Aggrandize: v.tr. 1. increase the power, rank, or wealth 2. cause to appear greater than is the case.” So says the Oxford English

The Xaviere XV-JT90 and XV-585

Planks for Pennies

Xaviere is a company that imports its guitars from China, sets them up in its Massachusetts shop, then sells direct. The company’s XV-JT90 Offset Hybrid is a solidbody with a body shape reminiscent of a Jazzmaster, yet it has a bridge pickup more like you’d find on a Telecaster, making it more adaptable for everything

Neil LeVang

Neil LeVang

Six Strings Behind — and Beyond — Champagne Music

Neil LeVang was about to get a lecture. Days earlier, the A-list studio guitarist’s new boss, Lawrence Welk, had golfed with a couple well-known singers who mentioned that LeVang had played on their sessions. “Neil,” Welk implored in his famous German accent, “If you thought as much about this (band) as recording with all these

Bruce Kulick

Wielding Power On BK3

With his new album, BK3, Bruce Kulick brings out the big guns on what he calls his “…strongest solo disc ever.” Collaborating with friends old and new, he infused their personalities to create an album diverse in style and tones. He also raised the bar on his own musicianship. Kulick recently took us behind the

Dave Specter

Dave Specter

Chicago Style

Dave Specter’s Message In Blue is chock full of imaginative instrumentals, great guest vocals, and blistering guitar work from Specter. But that’s not what he likes most about it. As with all his records, Message covers a lot of ground. Still, Specter sees himself as a blues guitarist. “People don’t realize how much the blues

Worland Prairie

Built For Speed

Worland Prairie Price: $1,950 Info: www.worlandguitars.com. It’s been well-documented how car-crazy vets and teens in postwar America reimagined the American automobile. Some shaved, sprayed, and slammed contemporary two-door sedans, creating the custom car. Others invented the hot rod when they stripped prewar coupes and roadsters to their bare essentials, stroked and bored their Flathead mills,

Tom Feldman Vintage Guitar magazine Video Lessons

Tom Feldmann: Son House – “Death Letter Blues” Riff

Tom Feldmann: Son House – “Death Letter Blues” Riff Using his concert-sized 1930s Stella Decalcomania with mother-of-toilet-seat (MOTS) fretboard, Tom Feldmann shows you how to play the main riff from Son House’s classic “Death Letter Blues.” Check out Tom’s “Guitar of Son House” at www.guitarvideos.com Submit riff lesson requests at tom@tomfeldmann.com See more lessons, we