Homepage – VG2016 – Random Posts




    Rivera Shaman Series Pedals Price: $299 each (street) Info: www.rivera.com. With roots stretching to the late ’70s, SoCal-based Rivera Amplification is best known for their handbuilt-in-the-U.S.A. tube amps. Not to be overlooked, however, are the firm’s pedal offerings, specifically their Shaman series of effects boxes. With...

    La Baye 2X4

    1967, the Summer of Love. Everything still seemed possible, and anything went. No more war, racial and gender equality, Fresh Cream, the Beatles best...

    The Quaker City Night Hawks

    Advertised as “The spirit of ZZ Top meets Texas boogie rock,” the Night Hawks play up the image of unpretentious good ol’boys you could...

    Rickenbacker Electric 12-Strings

    George Beauchamp and Adolph Rickenbacher founded Electro String in 1931 to manufacture what everyone would soon call “Rickenbacker” guitars. Success with musicians came early....
    Lipe Guitars Maestro

    Lipe Guitars Maestro

    Whole Lotta Mahogany

    Lipe Maestro Price: $4,900 Contact: lipeguitars.com; phone (818) 352-6212 Mike Lipe has a wall of gold records. Why? Not because he’s a musical star, but because he’s a star to the stars. A former top builder at Ibanez, his creations have helped Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Andy Timmons, and many others become luminaries on the […]

    TBIRD_HOME-MAIN-BIG

    Johnny Moeller and Mike Keller

    Two for T(-Birds)

    Every fan of blues music is familiar with the Fabulous Thunderbirds. Founded in 1974 by two guys who would go on to become Texas musical legends, guitarist Jimmie Vaughan and vocalist/harpist/front man Kim Wilson, the band spent its first decade building momentum around the south before tasting international stardom in 1986, when their first album […]

    The ‘‘Blackburst’’

    The ‘‘Blackburst’’

    Les Paul Standard of a Different Shade

    Among experienced (and often jaded) veteran guitar collectors, precious few things create an adrenaline rush – strange one-offs, oddball brands that never quite blossomed, guitars with non-standard parts/materials from the factory, or those once owned by an icon. Even better, those personally built by an icon. And every so often, there emerges a guitar like this – a true classic that simply […]

    SILVERTONE_HOME_MAIN_THUMB

    Silvertone’s 1449 and 1423

    Classic Comeback

    Silvertone’s 1449 and 1423 Price: $739 list/$479 street (1423); $629 list/$399 street (1449) Info: www.silvertoneclassic.com With an up-swell of interest in vintage Silvertones, current parent company Samick has begun to reissue some of the most requested models. The first offering, the 1303/U2, with its famous “coke bottle” headstock and lipstick pickups, was followed by a […]

    POLAND_HOME_MAIN_THUMB

    Chris Poland

    Metal Fusion Equinox

    Chris Poland’s signature legato was born from tragedy. As a teen, his left hand accidentally punched through a plate-glass window and cut tendons in his fingers. He lost the ability to bend his index finger, and lost feeling in his pinkie. As a result, he learned unique fretting techniques that set the bar for inventive […]

    David Allen Bazooka Overdrive

    David Allen Bazooka Overdrive

    Ka-Boom!

    David Allen Bazooka Overdrive Price: $250 (list) Contact: www.dallenpickups.com An Internet search for “overdrive pedals” yields 1,610,000 hits, indicating a well-saturated market. The Bazooka Overdrive stands out from the crowd. Pickup maker David Allen offers a broad line of guitar and bass pickups, all lovingly tweaked to achieve what he calls “The Sound.” Who better, […]

    KJ Audio Hanwell 50

    KJ Audio Hanwell 50

    Shake The Walls

    KJ Audio Hanwell 50 Price: Head $1,900; cabinet $1,600 Contact: www.kjaudio.com No apologies: Minneapolis-based amp designer Kristopher Johnson’s Hanwell 50 boutique amp is built to rock. The amp was inspired by the four-input, 50-watt Marshall JMP MKII Master Volume amps of the mid ’70s, but Johnson hot-rodded this, modded that, and made his own monster […]

    Demeter FZO-1 Fuzzy Octavulator

    Demeter FZO-1 Fuzzy Octavulator

    Fuzz Flavors

    Demeter FZO-1 Fuzzy Octavulator Price: $309.99 Info: www.reilandercustomguitar.com James Demeter has a long history in the amp and effects biz. His project-boxed/Dymo-labeled Tremulator pedal pre-dates the ’90s boutique pedal explosion by more than a decade. During his 30 years of 100-percent analog designs, Demeter has produced everything from studio-quality rack effects and multichannel tube amps […]

    GUILDSTARFIRE-HOME-MAIN-THUMB

    The Guild Starfire Bass

    In the mid ’60s, Guild took its knocks for making guitars that looked “inspired by” Gibson models. Fans of the brand think the sterotype is unfair, of course, and certainly, many Guilds from the era have their own intrigue. One very good example is the Starfire Bass. Guild was founded by musical-instrument importer/distributor Al Dronge […]

    Luther Dickinson

    Luther Dickinson

    Acoustic Odyssey

    When Luther Dickinson isn’t writing and performing with the North Mississippi Allstars or on the road with The Black Crowes, he plays the acoustic guitar – and lots of it. He recently released an acoustic instrumental record called Hambone’s Meditation, a project called The Wandering featuring female singers from North Mississippi and Memphis, and the […]

    Charis Acoustic SJ

    Charis Acoustic SJ

    Spirit in the Wood

    Charis Acoustic SJ Price: $4,800 (base); $7,100 (as reviewed) Info: www.charisacoustic.com. The spiritual aspects of music perhaps originate with the creation of the musical instrument. To that end, Charis Acoustic builds guitars under luthier Bill Wise’s stated mission to reflect his spiritual commitment with the love and care that he puts into his craft. The […]

    SHAWBASS130_HOME-MAIN-THUMB

    Shaw Audio Bass 130

    Classic Tone for the Modern World

    Shaw Audio Bass 130 Price: $1,995 (list) Contact: www.shawaudio.com Tennessee amp builder Kevin Shaw loves restoring old cars – and creating fine-sounding amplifiers. His ToneRod SE and Fulltilt 18 helped establish him as a factor among amp builders, and his latest offering is (as the name implies) a bass head – the Audio Bass 130. […]

    GIBSONSUPER_HOME_MAIN_THUMB

    Gibson Super 400 PN

    The Gibson Super 400 Premiere cutaway acoustic first appeared in Gibson literature in the 1940 catalog, on a page showing it and the L-5 Premiere in clear “natural” finish. The photo shows the Super 400 PN held by George Smith (described as “Paramount staff guitarist”) and the L-5PN held by Eddie Skrivanek (“radio and studio […]

    MARTIN0028-HOME-MAIN-THUMB

    Excelsior Americana

    If you play any breed of twang, country, roots-rock or, well, “Americana,” could there possibly be a better amp than this? Okay, according to specs and tonal preferences, sure there could. But for sheer vintage-hip and all-out cool, you really can’t do better than dragging this 1966 Excelsior Americana to the next Gram Parsons tribute […]

    EHGERMAINIUM-HOME-MAIN-THUMB

    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, […]

    Ronnie Montrose

    Remembering Ronnie

    Phillips Finishes Guitarist’s Final Recordings

    Ricky Phillips has many fond memories of his friendship and musical association with Ronnie Montrose (1947-2012). The bassist is finishing a recording project by the late guitarist on which he had participated prior to joining Styx. Montrose and Phillips met in the early ’80s, but didn’t collaborate until 20 years later, when Montrose needed a […]

    STARSKI-HOME-MAIN-THUMB

    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 […]

    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 […]

    HOLDSWORTH_HOME_MAIN_THUMB

    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 […]

    LYON_HEALY-HOME-MAIN-BIG

    Lyon and Healy

    So what is it? Its original black-finished spruce top is simply ladder-braced from within, but its back and sides feature Brazilian rosewood with dramatic bookmatched figure. Its unbound 18-fret fingerboard –also of rosewood – sports only a few small, round dots for position makers, yet intricate multicolored wood purfling graces much of the rest of […]