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    Doug Munro – Serenade in Blue

    Watch Doug Munro play “Serenade in Blue” from his album, The Harry Warren Songbook, using a Dell’Arte Legend 503 built by John Kinnard. The guitar is a close copy of Django Reinhardt’s Selmer #503; its neck is walnut while the sides and back are rosewood, and the top is ladder-braced spruce with petite bouche (small hole). It’s equipped with a Bigtone pickup. Read our review of his new album in the August issue “Hit List” section. READ NOW!

    Jack Bruce

    Shadows and (Erstwhile) Short-Scale Basses

    Veteran bassist Jack Bruce is back in action with a new album and tour. Best known for his membership in the legendary British trio, Cream (with Eric Clapton and drummer Ginger Baker), Bruce has stayed active over the decades, and his dynamic bass playing and searing vocal style are inimitable. In a recent conversation with

    Kirk Douglas

    Kirk Douglas

    Music In a Blender

    As guitarist on “The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon,” “Captain” Kirk Douglas has an enviable gig. He also performs on albums and stages around the world while backing everyone from Bruce Springsteen to Christina Aguilera. His love of heavy rock and funk has given him the chops to hold down guitar duties in one of

    John Hart

    Exit from Brooklyn

    “Unsung” is a good word to describe John Hart. He’s been part of the jazz-guitar scene for more than two decades, but rarely is he mentioned in conversations about the cream of the crop. That’s a shame, because, as his new trio record shows, he’s an amazingly inventive soloist and composer who is not afraid

    ValveTrain 205

    Five Watts, Just So

    Rick Gessner is a tweed amp enthusiast who has more than made a splash since entering the fray in 2005. His versions of tweed-era Fender classics (with subtle refinements), along with his Spring Thing reverb unit, have been making waves with players from Pat Travers to Brad Paisley. The ValveTrain 205 is Gessner’s interpretation of

    The Routes

    In This Perfect Hell

    Think old-school Zombies crossed with new-thing Arctic Monkeys: the result may just be the Routes. The guitar-bass-drum trio is part classic Brit invasion rockers with period-perfect gear, part hypnotic proto psychedelia – yet with a harder-core modern edge to their sound. Guitarman Chris Jack fronts the band, armed with an arsenal of Selmer amps and

    Full Dozen, Semi-Hollow

    12 Variations on a Classic Design

    To complement our February 2016 issue survey of the semi-hollow electric guitar, we tested 12 examples of the form as it exists today. Plus, check out 2 featured articles in the issue “Thinkin’ Thin — Heroes of the Semi-Hollow” and “47 Semi-Hollow Guitars” on pages 86-94 (may need to tap the PREVIEW button) of the

    ASIA Symposium

    The ASIA Symposium

    Kinship and Connections

    As much a celebration of kinship as it is an educational forum, the biannual Association of Stringed Instrument Artisans (ASIA) Symposium, held at East Stroudsburg University, in Pennsylvania, is mini mecca for guitar builders and hobbyists ranging from novices to top professionals and manufacturers. Held in alternating years with the Guild of American Luthiers (GAL)

    Marshall Super Tremolo Model 1961

    The often-told story of Marshall’s birth as a re-creation of the tweed Fender Bassman rarely includes mention of this rendition of the JTM45. Whenever a discussion turns to how the circuit for the first JTM45 was lifted nearly point for point from that of Fender’s 5F6-A Bassman combo, it seems there’s always a caveat about

    Harmonic Design’s VP-90

    Harmonic Design’s VP-90

    Tone with Intent

    Harmonic Design’s VP-90 Price: $100 Contact: www.harmonicdesign.net Harmonic Design must be doing something right. Specializing in replacement pickups, they boast a roster of satisfied customers that includes folks like Redd Volkaert, Otis Rush, Bill Frisell, Robben Ford, and Neal Schon. One of their latest offerings, the Harmonic Design VP-90 (for Vintage Plus) is intended as

    ToneTron Feature Home

    ToneTron’s Billy-Rocker

    Best Amp You've Never Heard of

    ToneTron’s Billy-Rocker Price: $1,200 Info: www.tonetroamps.com. On a quiet residential street in Minneapolis lives a mad scientist. Erstwhile rockabilly guitarist Jeffrey Falla is the brains behind ToneTron. And from his laboratory come some of the best-sounding amps you’ve never heard of. Falla began modifying and building amps as a ’70s teen, launching his custom-build ToneTrons

    Steve Morse

    Steve Morse

    Already busy touring and recording with Deep Purple, axe virtuoso Steve Morse has added another dish to the menu – Flying Colors. Featuring well-known aces like drummer Mike Portnoy and keyboardist/singer Neal Morse (no relation), this quintet straddles the line between rock, prog, and pop with extraordinarily melodic songs. With the release of its second

    Dave Edmunds

    Dave Edmunds

    Full Solo Circle

    The career of Welsh guitarist Dave Edmunds has included hits and collaborations with other notable musicians, including Rockpile, with bassist Nick Lowe. First, though, he drew notice in his home country while fronting the trio Love Sculpture; the band’s 1968 version of the classical tune “Sabre Dance” became a hit thanks to British disc jockey

    ESP GL-56

    Is it Really Vintage?

    Like the “aged” guitars crafted by Fender and Gibson, this ESP solidbody looks like an ancient road warrior, one that’s gigged from Texas to Tijuana and back again, 200 nights a year. The GL-56 is actually a fresh entry in ESP’s line of George Lynch guitars, this one sporting the appearance of a modded old

    Toy Caldwell Jim Summaria, http://www.jimsummariaphoto.com

    Toy Caldwell

    Marine and Marshall Tucker Guitarist Toy Caldwell

    One of the earliest VG interviews Willie G. Moseley did with a veteran “Southern rock” musician was a conversation with erstwhile Marshall Tucker guitarist Toy Caldwell in 1992. Toy was just embarking on a solo career, on his own terms. Willie had no idea at the time that he and his brother Tommy were both

    Magnatone Varsity

    Magnatone Varsity

    Less is More, Plus

    Magnatone Varsity Price: $1,699 (list); $1,799 (as tested) Contact: www.magnatoneusa.com Magnatone earned a cult of admirers in the mid 20th century. Buddy Holly and Lonnie Mack used the company’s amps, and Neil Young still has a 280 Stereo model in his live rig. The company went out of business in the ’70s, but the beloved

    Keeley Electronics Seafoam Chorus

    Keeley Electronics Seafoam Chorus

    Side Effects

    Keeley Electronics Seafoam Chorus Price: $229 (list) Contact: www.robertkeeley.com In a world of proliferating effects pedals, discovering one that does what it promises well can be a rewarding discovery. Finding one that does what it promises and rewards experimentation with some unexpected sounds can invoke bliss. Housed in a small-footprint design and resplendently painted in

    Ian Lemmy Kilmister. Moterhead

    Lemmy Kilmister

    In the 25-plus years that Motorhead has been purveying its fast, furious, high-decibel entertainment, there have been changes and there have been constants. The World’s Most Brutal Heavy Metal Band has been through five guitarists and four drummers, but has always been anchored by Ian “Lemmy” Kilmister. Another constant is the band’s effort to regularly

    Musicvox Space Cadet and MVX-15 Studio Custom

    Musicvox Space Cadet and MVX-15 Studio Custom

    Rockin’ Down the House

    Musicvox Space Cadet and MVX-15 Studio Custom Price: $999 (Space Cadet)/$699 (MVX-15) Contact: www.musicvox.com For nearly two decades, Musicvox’s designs have captivated players and fans, appearing in Austin Powers and in the hands of serious players and bands like Keith Urban, Allen Woody, Polyphonic Spree, and Redd Kross. The company’s latest super-retro entries are the