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    Greg Martin Celebrates Eric Clapton’s Birthday!

    In honor of Eric Clapton as he turns 72, VG contributor and Kentucky Headhunter Greg Martin grabbed his signature Gibson Custom Shop Les Paul Standard, plugged it into his 100-watt ’69 Marshall Super Lead half-stack, and let rip on a bit of the classic Cream rendition of “Spoonful” by Willie Dixon. “Along with Jimi Hendrix and Michael Bloomfield, Eric was one of the guys who put me on the path. When I heard ‘Sunshine Of Your Love’ the first time back in 1967, Eric’s vibrato and tone spoke to my spirit,” Greg said. “I can’t play like Eric, but there’s a lot of of his influence in what I do as a guitarist. Cream made such a huge impact on me early on, I learned what a Gibson plugged into a Marshall stack could do. I admire Eric, and appreciate where he has taken his music over the years. Happy birthday, Eric! May you have a great day with family and friends.” Keep up with Greg at kentuckyheadhunters.net.

    Robert Randolph’s “Live” Re-broadcast

    Don’t miss VG’s exclusive interview with sacred-steel specialist Robert Randolph in the May issue. Here is Robert’s Facebook Live broadcast from February 10, during which he jams and fields questions from the audience! READ IT NOW!!

    Blackberry Smoke

    Beyond Southern Musical Borders

    Comparisons between Blackberry Smoke and earlier Southern-rock bands may be inevitable, but the Atlanta-based quintet takes such observations in stride. “That’s way better than being compared to the Bay City Rollers,” wisecracked vocalist/guitarist Charlie Starr, who recently went on the record with VG along with bassist Richard Turner. “The musical freedom those bands enjoyed is

    BB King Vintage Guitar magazine main home

    Remembering B.B. King

    Ed. Note: Everyone associated with Vintage Guitar magazine is saddened to learn of the passing of B.B. King. In 1995, Mr. King sat for an interview with VG‘s Willie G. Moseley, and we offer it here as part of our remembrance of the King of the Blues. Riley B. King was born on a cotton plantation in

    Schertler’s JAM 150

    Schertler’s JAM 150

    Plays Well with Others

    Schertler’s JAM150 Price: $1,249.99 (list); $999.99 (street) Info: www.schertler.com Schertler’s JAM150 is a compact combo amp capable of pulling double-duty as an acoustic amp and a multi-instrument PA. Built in Italy and engineered in Switzerland, its elegant design is matched by its natural acoustic timbres and versatile feature set. The handsome wood cabinet (also available

    The Highwaymen

    American Outlaws

    Country’s first supergroup emerged from a 1984 Johnny Cash Christmas special taped in Switzerland. Along with Marty Stuart, the guests were longtime Cash pals friends Kris Kristofferson, Waylon Jennings, and Willie Nelson. The concept made sense to veteran Memphis producer Chips Moman, who supervised the music for the show. The quartet soon had an album

    Letritia Kandle

    and the Magnificent Grand Letar

    The story is really about two people, Kandle and Paul Warnik, a steel-guitar historian/collector who was haunted by a photo in Tom Wheeler’s American Guitars showing a young woman from decades past posed in front of a multi-neck steel guitar. Its caption reads, “Teacher Letritia Kandle poses with National’s Grand Letar Console Steel.” Though he

    Ace Frehley

    Origins Vol. 1

    Ace is back – and he told you so! The former Kiss guitarist shares a buffet of the gems that influenced him – Hendrix, Clapton, Page, and the Rolling Stones, to name a few. Frehley kicks out 12 classic-rock jams and a few Kiss tunes with special guests. As lame as this may sound, it’s

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    Avid Technology Eleven Rack

    Rack and Roll

    The proliferation of digital guitar gear grows by leaps and bounds every year as more players learn to love the world of tones and effects offered by the technology. You’ll obviously get no argument from us that tube amps and analog stompboxes are great, but for more and more musicians, digital is here to stay.

    Chris Dreja

    Yardbird Recall

    Chris Dreja had a front-row seat to rock-and-roll history, playing rhythm guitar and bass in the Yardbirds behind Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, and Jimmy Page. Today, Dreja still plays with the vaunted Brit-pop group, co-leading the band with original drummer Jim McCarty and cranking out ’60s anthems like “For Your Love” and “Heart Full of

    PRS SE 245 Single Cut

    Dressed to Impress

    PRS SE 245 Single Cut Price: $650 (street). Info: prsguitars.com Pick up the PRS SE 245 and turn it around a few times. After blinking repeatedly at its finish, you may have trouble believing this is a mid-priced guitar. A single-cutaway from the company’s Korean-built SE line, its intent, of course, is to provide entry-level/intermediate

    Ray Cummins

    Pal of Chet, Friend of Les

    Chester and Lester were enamored of his talent. Moreover, they called Ray Cummins a friend, and his journey includes turning adversity into a career as one of the country’s more-respected guitar soloists. Though a modest guy, Cummins would have every right to boast of his amazing credentials. For starters, he’s enjoyed headline status at the


    Giffin Vikta

    Feelin’ Special

    Giffin Vikta Price: $2,295 Contact: premierbuildersguild.com. 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

    Echopark Traditional American Acoustic

    Small-Body Stunner

    Echopark Guitars is the brainchild of Gabriel Currie, who opened the establishment in 2006, after many years of working as a builder and repairman. Currie’s first offerings were electric instruments that have found their way into the hands of Joe Perry and Brad Whitford from Aerosmith, as well as Jakob Dylan of The Wallflowers. But

    Doobie Brothers

    A Discussion with Tom Johnston and Patrick Simmons

    American music rarely is more pure than when it comes from the minds, hands, and mouths of the Doobie Brothers. A rare mix of talent, the Doobies have, since their inception, been fronted by two musicians with unique voices and distinct guitar styles, each of which has driven the band’s sound from Tom Johnston’s huge

    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,

    Six-STrings, 60 Years Ago

    Six-Strings, 60 Years Ago

    A Likely First

    Had he survived to this day, Elvis Presley – cultural icon extraordinaire – would be 80 years old. The man who would rise from very modest means to become arguably the greatest star of any generation was the first true rock and roll front man/heartthrob. Blending the gospel music he heard as a child in


    Orville Gibson A model

    All carved-top guitars and mandolins trace their ancestry back to Orville Gibson of Kalamazoo, Michigan. However, as this A model mandolin illustrates, Orville’s designs went through considerable refinement through the early years of the Gibson company’s existence to reach the standard of design that we know today. The highlights of Orville’s life are well-known: Born

    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

    Gibson EH-150

    An Odd Gibson EH-150

    10 Strings, Lap-Style

    Lap-steel guitars were the first commercially available electrics – ancestors of the guitars we plug in today, regardless of their shape. The popularity of Hawaiian music in the 1930s had a great deal to do with a surge in popularity of lap steels – and quickly after, the introduction of Spanish-style steel-string and electric guitars.