Delta Generators

Hipshakers and Heartbreakers

If you like honky-tonk, rock and roll, roots, and blues, this new outing from the Delta Generators is one-stop shopping. Hellacious slide guitar and ballsy harmonica bump and grind against earthy American rock grooves on the band’s fourth studio album. This highly decorated band hailing from the Boston area features Charlie O’Neal on guitar, Craig

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ToneConcepts’ The Distillery

100-Proof Tone

While many pedal makers tinker away on effects that exhibit their personal tonal philosophies, the fact is that most don’t play gigs or compose music. Seraphim Marcopoulous of ToneConcepts was keen enough to take advantage of his professional relationships with some of the finest guitarists in the industry, asking, “What’s missing?”

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

Rockn Stompn Sequential Power Strip

“Good” Power!

Power. Juice. Electricity. The brilliance of Ben Franklin, James Watt, and Nikola Tesla helped harness, if not tame, this vital energy. Subsequent refinements that are of particular interest to guitarists have come from Heinrich Hertz, who helped in the development of the vacuum tube, as well as from Leo Fender, Seth Lover, and Lloyd Loar.


ESP LTD Viper 256P

Metal Cruncher

ESP LTD Viper 256P Price: $399 (street) Info: In the protoplasmic days of heavy metal, Tony Iommi slashed away at classics like “War Pigs” and “Iron Man” with a ’65 SG Special, creating a look, sound, and vibe that has lasted decades. Today, this earth-crunching tone is echoed in the ESP LTD Viper 256P,

Black Joe Lewis

Garage Soul

Eectric Slave is the third album by Black Joe Lewis, and marks a return to the sound of his roots – Hound Dog Taylor, Elmore James, Ron Asheton, and Jimi Hendrix. It features garage band sonics, mellifluous horns, and gnarly fuzz tones. The shadow of his old band looms ominously, but Lewis has his eye

Gibson J-185

The Gibson J-185

The J-185 is regarded by many players and collectors as the finest-sounding Gibson flat-top made after World War II. The only flat-top of its size and shape made by Gibson in the 1950s, the company offered nothing comparable even in its pre-war catalogs, and though it is in many ways similar to the J-200, it’s

Spacey T

Spacey T

Eclectic Journeyman

Tracey Singleton, better known as Spacey T, is a post-Hendrix guitar wizard with an eclectic soul and chops to match. In the 1980s, he and his group, Sound Barrier, held the distinction of being the first all-African-American metal band to sign with a major label. He has also cast his spell in several ground-breaking bands.

Popa Chubby

Head, Heart, and Hands

Popa Chubby is back on the road again, preaching the gospel to blues fans around the world. His new album, Universal Breakdown Blues, is a rollercoaster through the many facets of blues and rock. His stamp on tradition brings new life to the genre with a combination of tongue-in-cheek humor and mean guitar. Chubby plays

Doc Watson


Over a career spanning 52 years, the passage of time only enhanced Doc Watson’s stature. His virtuosity and musical range, merged with an abiding sense of tradition, entertained, amazed, and moved generations of fans, players, and non-players. It ended with his death May 29 at age 89 at a hospital in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. A

Boggs' Quad

Boggs’ Quad

Four-neck Fender From a Friend

Noted in musical history as one of the players who pushed the steel guitar beyond Hawaiian music to more-complex chording and wild interchanges with Spanish-style electric guitarists, Noel Boggs emerged from a tragic childhood, using the guitar and music as a motivator, guide, and ultimately, means to a make a living. Boggs was born in

Steve Earle

Guitar Town 30th Anniversary
Hillbilly Highway

When Epic Records dropped Steve Earle in ’85 after a series of fiery but commercially unsuccessful recordings, Nashville was in panic mode. The frothy, easy listening mainstream country of Kenny Rogers and others had finally bored fans to the point they quit buying and listening. The industry desperately needed new blood. Within a year they

Carvin’s AE185-12

Stairway to Heaven

Carvin’s AE185-12 Price: $1,239 (base retail) Info: Most guitarists love the sound of a 12-string, but the thought of owning one often raises several questions. Should you get an acoustic or an electric? What about controlling feedback onstage? And aren’t they hard to tune? Carvin attempts to answer all of these questions with the

2016 Readers’ Choice Awards

Each year, VG asks readers to select Readers’ Choice winners for Album of the Year, Artist of the Year, and Player of the Year in four musical categories, based on artists and recordings featured in the magazine between July 1, 2015, and June 30, 2016. Included in the annual vote are nominees for the VG


Giffin Vikta

Feelin’ Special

Giffin Vikta Price: $2,295 Contact: Roger Giffin is a guitarmaker to the stars, having built for Eric Clapton, Pete Townshend and John Entwistle, Mark Knopfler, Andy Summers, David Gilmour, and many others. He also ran the Gibson Custom Shop in California for many years before striking out on his own. Now producing his own

Keith Nelson

Keith Nelson

Buckcherry Gear Jammer

Over the last few years, Buckcherry has offered a lot of music to fans – online via its monthly Singles Club releases, a greatest hits album, an EP, and it’s latest full-length release, Rock and Roll, which hits stores (including the band’s own, online) this month. Co-founder/guiding force Keith Nelson is a guitarist with a

AmpRX BrownBox Voltage-Reduction Unit

AmpRX BrownBox Voltage-Reduction Unit

Vintage-Safe Voltage

AmpRX BrownBox Voltage-Reduction Unit Price: $269.00 (list) Contact: Amplifier repairman and builder Patrick Geraghty was frustrated with the sound of his own vintage-styled builds. They seemed to lack the vintage tones of the ’60s and ’70s. In addition to examining components, he also began to look at the disparity between the wall voltages of

Cort’s Sunset I and II Feature

Cort’s Sunset I and II

Jonesin’ For Tone

When Cort isn’t busy making guitars and basses for major musical instrument companies, they’re hard at work building some pretty cool instruments under their own name. From jazz boxes to the Gene Simmons AXE Electric Bass, Cort covers a lot of territory. Cort’s new Sunset series includes the models I and II chambered-body electrics. Both