Brian Tarquin

No Idle Hands

Brian Tarquin is more than keeping busy. In the space of six weeks, he recently released two very different instrumental CDs centered on his playing with a multitude of guests, and he published a coffee-table book about guitars. Guitars For Wounded Warriors is a tribute to those who have served. “I wanted to really give

Phantom Reissue 1964 PH12

Ghost of Vintage Past

From the Hollies to the Mahavishnu Orchestra, from Robert Junior Lockwood to the Stones, the electric 12-string has a prominent place in modern music. And arguably, the most iconic of all electric 12-strings were those Vox guitars manufactured under the auspices of the Jennings Musical Instruments. Phantom Guitarworks is reissuing models inspired by the Jennings

John Scofield

Country For Old Men

The history of jazz guitarists playing country tunes is long and distinguished, starting with Slim Bryant, Les Paul, and George Barnes in the 1930s. Joe Pass’s final recording, with Roy Clark, was an album-length exploration of Hank Williams. Hank Garland had long moved between country and jazz. So it’s hardly surprising John Scofield would apply

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Nick Moss

Musical Horizons Beyond Chicago

Since 2007, guitarist/vocalist Nick Moss has released five albums on his Blue Bella label, including two live discs. And while Moss still loves his Chicago-style blues, his most recent effort, Here I Am, is an adventurous album. Though it begins with a raucous Windy City-type rave-up called “Why You So Mean,” by the third/title track,

E.W.S. BMC2

E.W.S. BMC2

Tiny Green Giant

As mini-sized pedals continue to gain in popularity they are also becoming increasingly refined and versatile in their layouts. One of these, the popular BMC (Bass Mid Control) from E.W.S Japan (a partner with Xotic), has been reworked with some added features. The resulting BMC2 is a compact but powerful mid booster with three added

Slim Harpo and Martin Hawkins

Buzzin’ the Blues: The Complete Slim Harpo and Slim Harpo: Blues King Bee of Baton Rouge

Mick Jagger admonished the world back in 1968, “What’s the point in listening to us doing ‘I’m A King Bee’ when you can listen to Slim Harpo doing it?” His statement not only summed up the early philosophy behind the Rolling Stones – despite the band’s superlative cover of that song, and later of “Shake

Martin OM-18P Plectrum Guitar

Martin OM-18P Plectrum Guitar

While the most commonly played and collected Martin guitars have a six-string neck, the company has also made a number of historically noteworthy four-strings. Beginning in the 1920s and carrying into the ’60s, it produced several tenor guitars. In the ’30s, it offered plectrum guitars in an era when tenor banjos and guitars were far

Dale Watson

Dale Watson

Keep On Truckin’

The seeds of the latest album from Dale Watson were sown in 1998, when he released The Truckin’ Sessions . The Truckin’ Sessions 2 followed in 2009, and now he follows with a three-CD set, The Truckin’ Sessions Trilogy . Watson says it wasn’t planned. “I really didn’t think about it until I was on

Cimarron Guitars’ Model P

From the Parlor to the Stage

Cimarron Guitars has being making custom instruments since 1978 in the dry, mild climate of southwest Colorado. The company’s Model P guitar gets its name from its parlor-guitar-sized body (“parlor” guitars were popular in the late 19th/early 20th century, when small social events often occurred in parlors where music was played; the instruments typically were

Earthquaker Devices Sea Machine

Earthquaker Devices Sea Machine

Chorus of Praise

Earthquaker Devices Sea Machine Price: $215 Contact: www.earthquakerdevices.com Known primarily for its monstrous distortion and fuzz units, the folks at Earthquaker Devices have decided to tackle what has often been lamented as the wimpiest of effects – the chorus pedal. Their take on the effect, the Sea Machine, is certainly a challenge to the notion

Michael Staertow

Michael Staertow

Gramm Backer

You may not recognize the name, but Michael Staertow has been playing some of classic rock’s most memorable riffs for Lou Gramm, the voice of Foreigner. Hailing from Gramm’s hometown of Rochester, New York, Staertow also performed recently with the Buffalo Philharmonic, and at the 2014 Rochester Music Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, sharing the

Supro’s 600R DeLuxe

Supro’s 600R DeLuxe

“The Magic of Concert Hall Sound”

In the early days of reverb, no one was thinking about surf music; they were striving instead to replicate the warm, resonant, live sound of a concert hall. So, when Supro launched its two reverb-unit models in 1961, not only did the company’s catalog promise “The Magic of Concert Hall Sound,” the pledge was prominent

Carr Skylark

The Carr Skylark

Desert-Island Amp

The Carr Skylark Price: $2,390 (list) Contact: www.carramps.com If you could own only a single guitar amp – horror of horrors! – Steve Carr’s new Skylark just might be the one. When it comes to building modern boutique amps inspired by classic vintage designs, few people have the mojo like Carr. He founded his concern

Wally Stocker

A Baby Grows Up

After decades away from the music scene, guitarist Wally Stocker is back on his feet again and back where he belongs, playing lead guitar with a new lineup in The Babys. From 1977 to ’80, the group amassed a string of radio-friendly hits including “Isn’t It Time,” “Every Time I Think of You,” “Head First,” “Back

DigiTech iStomp

Morph For Less

DigiTech iStomp Price: $149.95 Info: www.digitech.com/istomp If you’re the type of gearhead who turns heel and runs from DSP effects, let alone any equipment with a lower-case “i” in front of its name, set your preconceptions aside and dig into the DigiTech iStomp – a hardware stompbox that can be instantly reconfigured into the pedal

Oddfellow Napoleon Boost

Oddfellow Napoleon Boost

Little Dictator

Oddfellow Napoleon Boost Price: $119.99 (list) Contact: www.oddfellowfx.com Overdrive is one of the guitarist’s great joys. Unlike flat-out distortion, overdrive is a broad tonal palette, from clean and full to huge and rockin’ – and every shade in between. Oddfellow’s Napoleon Boost aims to give players a simple but powerful overdrive in a small-footprint chassis,

Epiphone Coronet

Epiphone Coronet

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

Maestro Fuzz-Tone

Fuzz. It’s the sound of fury, aggravation, indignation, and – considering the history of the most famous fuzzbox of all time, Maestro’s Fuzz-Tone – dissatisfaction. It’s also fitting as some of the first recorded electric fuzz guitar was heard via Howlin’ Wolf guitarist Willie Lee Johnson, who cut tracks like 1951’s “How Many More Years”