Jim Campilongo

“I’m a Guitar Player”

It’s been two years since Jim Campilongo put out a solo record, but on the new Dream Dictionary, his patented Telecaster tones take on greater dimension as he conjures a world of stark atmospherics, crushing twang, edgy note selection, and sly humor. He’s always on the move, but VG was quick enough to catch up

Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals

Call It What It Is
Magnificent Criminals

  The difference between Ben Harper and other contemporary blues-based artists is that Harper’s blues reflects the reality of his surroundings. If one chooses to use the blues as a canvas for personal artistic expression, re-packaging subject matter about trains, mojos, devils, and hellhounds are disingenuous. The late Nina Simone had this to say on

The Move, Santana, Derringer

Magnetic Waves of Sound
Under the Radar

Sometimes great bands and albums don’t bubble to the surface of fame, depriving fans of brilliant music. The Move is one of those acts and its wondrous pop is compiled in the 2-disc Magnetic Waves of Sound. Led by singer-guitarist Roy Wood, the Move offered up infectious flower-power sounds, heard on 1967’s “I Can Hear

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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?”

'39 Gibson EH-185

’39 Gibson EH-185

Preamp tubes: three 6J7, one 6N7 Output tubes: two 6L6 Rectifier: 5U4 Controls: Instrument Volume, Microphone Volume, Bass and Treble Speakers: one 12″ field-coil speaker Output: approximately 20 watts RMS Guitarists playing anything other than big-band jazz or Western swing tend to approach pre-rock-and-roll tube amps with reservation. We’re often fascinated, and might enjoy a

Phantom Guitarworks’ Teardrop

Droppin’ In On The ’60s

Phantom Guitarworks is dedicated to producing odd-shaped guitars based on designs introduced in the early 1960s like the Vox Mark VI “Teardrop,” which helped the company make a name in guitars. While Jack Charles at Phantom is painstakingly true to the originals, this limited edition Teardrop hollowbody, in all of its purple-and-chrome glory, ups the

Wangs #2204 HW

Chinese Rocks

Even as new technology spawns new sounds, ease of use, and portability, there remains among guitarists a predilection for technologies of old. New sounds are inevitably compared to the earthy musical landscape of the classic era. After all, amp manufacturers got it extremely right in the 1960s and 1970s and an entire industry has ballooned

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Larry Alan Guitars’ The Harlot

Siren Song

Hot idea: pack a sturdy-yet-petite 1590B casing with specially selected parts rendering a powerful, variable guitar overdrive, add a couple of vintage-look knobs, a titillating pinup-girl graphic, and call it The Harlot. On second thought, include a pinup graphic inside the meticulously wired box. That’s right, there are two pinup girls. We know – we

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Echopark Clarence

Wayback Machine

Gabriel Currie’s Echopark Guitars have been played around the world by some of the music industry’s heaviest hitters. His is a line of handmade gems that just ooze vintage flavor. With the help of Eric Bernstorff, Currie has expanded his offerings to include amplifiers. Echopark Amplifiers produces a series of all-tube/point-to-point, hand-wired amps based on

Martin 00-18

They were days, before Kent State, when everywhere you looked, kids sat under trees, singin’ songs and swappin’ licks. Fresh-faced young girls with names like “Star” painted flowers on their cheeks and drifted between you and the sun wearing diaphanous tie-dye gauze dresses. For a moment, you couldn’t remember the words of the song or hear the

Electrifying Sounds of Post-War Guitar

Road to Rock

The Electrifying Sounds of Post-War Guitar

Fans often mark the beginning of rock and roll as either Elvis Presley’s Sun Sessions or Bill Haley & the Comets’ “Rock Around the Clock,” both recorded in 1954. But three years earlier, in early March of 1951, Jackie Brenston & His Delta Cats were credited on a 78-rpm single called “Rocket 88.” Played in

Valvetech Suplex

A Kinder, Gentler Plexi

Used by rock royalty, the 100-watt Marshall Model 1959 Super Lead unleashed hellacious tones. Problem was, it was ridiculously loud and lacked a master volume. Rob Pierce of Valvetech Amplifiers may have the solution. Based on the Model 1959, his four-input, all tube 50-watt Suplex head was built to produce an array of tones, from

Joanna Connor

Joanna Connor

Going Viral

Her overnight success was decades in the making, but a video gone viral of a jaw-dropping slide guitar performance at the 2014 North Atlantic Blues Festival has helped bring Joanna Connor to the world. With nearly a half a million views, the performance displays scholarly blues virtuosity and crowd-pleasing pyrotechnics. In recent years, she has

Maxon Fuzz Elements Pedals

Maxon Fuzz Elements Pedals

Elemental Fuzz

Maxon Fuzz Elements Pedals Price: $189 to $199 Contact: www.maxonfx.com Classic fuzz pedals are some of the fine wines of the vintage guitar world. Guitarists talk like Frenchified sommeliers when discussing Fuzztones, Tonebenders, and Tube Screamers as if they were hundred-year-old bottles of Bordeaux. “Mais oui, this all-original ’67 Fuzz Face with vintage germanium NKT275

Yamaha THR10

Practice Perfection?

Yamaha THR10 Price: $299 Contact: usa.yamaha.com As a rule of thumb, practice amps are a compromise. Blissfully portable, they typically lack tone and features. Yet whether in a bedroom or hotel room, a practice amp should help inspire an artist by making practice more pleasure than chore. Yamaha’s THR10 is a definite step in the

Homestead Amps HS50

Tone On The Range

So, Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown and Waylon Jennings walk into a bar… No, wait, they walk into a NAMM Show. And, no joke, when they carry their iconic tooled-leather Firebird and Tele, respectively, past the Homestead HS50, with its eyecatching raised-pattern “Country & Western Brown” cover, they have no choice but to turn around and plug

Fender Jimi Hendrix Stratocaster

Flipped Axis

Pity the poor right-handed masses. Emulating the vibe of Jimi’s various Strats has always been tough on them. Some players chase down one of the precious few vintage left-handed Strats, flip it over, restring it, and suffer the oddities. Others swap lefty necks onto righty guitars. Either way, it’s never quite right (pun intended). Fender’s

Walrus Audio’s Bellwether Dela

The Bell Tolls For Thee

The Bellwether from Walrus Audio is a high-end analog delay notable for its tone, adaptability, and depth of control. The pedal’s capabilities will exceed many players’ needs, but the Bellwether is well worth a look for any musician with the desire (and the pocket change) for a delay effect that answers more serious demands. None