AnalogMan’s Jim Weider Big-T Bridge Pickup Price: $135 Info: www.buyanalogman.com Jim Weider is one of the few guitarists who can truly wear the title “Telemaster” without being crushed by the heavy mantle. Besides his obvious prowess as a player, he is known for his beyond-reproach tone that recently has been abetted by his collaborations with

Jazz singer and bassist Esperanza Spalding performing at the North Sea Jazz festival 2012 in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Photo: JBreeschoten/Wikimedia.

Esperanza Spalding

Emily’s D+Evolution

Popularly known as that cute female jazz bassist with the Afro who bogarted the Best New Artist Grammy away from Justin Bieber in 2012, Esperanza Spalding’s new album is soul-jazz surrealism at it’s finest. Spalding courageously sidesteps the acid chick jazz of her female contemporaries. In its place is theatricality, poetry, joy, and the progressive

Jazz Player of the Year

Robben Ford Awarded in 2016 During a standing-room-only guitar clinic a few years ago, Robben Ford was asked, “How do you come up with guitar licks?” “I don’t play licks,” he responded. “I make music.” Occasionally terse but always compelling, Ford has built a career following a compass of artistic integrity. A five-time Grammy nominee

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Mike Matthews

The Special Effect at Electro-Harmonix

As a child of four, Mike Matthews’ mother taught him how to play classical-style piano. Formal lessons followed; the child took to the instrument, and performed at elementary-school concerts from the time he was in first grade. His interaction with the instrument led to one of his fondest – and most prescient – childhood memories;

Blackstar Fly 3

Best In Show... And More

While listening to AC/DC’s Back in Black on a small, audiophile-grade table radio, Blackstar Amplification CEO Ian Robinson had an epiphany: small amps don’t have to sound crappy. Previously, there had been a number of discussions at Blackstar about entering the sub-$100 market. After a year of development, they introduced the Fly 3 battery-powered amp

5 Basses That Shook the World

Rattle and Roll

Leo Fender didn’t invent the electric bass. Rather, its origins trace to the early 20th century, when Gibson put frets on a bass mandolin. Two decades later, Audiovox’s Paul Tutmarc built a fretted solidbody electric bass. However, when it comes to the electric bass as it is commonly perceived and played today, Leo deserves all

David Allen Bazooka Overdrive

David Allen Bazooka Overdrive

Ka-Boom!

David Allen Bazooka Overdrive Price: $250 (list) Contact: www.dallenpickups.com An Internet search for “overdrive pedals” yields 1,610,000 hits, indicating a well-saturated market. The Bazooka Overdrive stands out from the crowd. Pickup maker David Allen offers a broad line of guitar and bass pickups, all lovingly tweaked to achieve what he calls “The Sound.” Who better,

Musicvox MI-5 12-String

Musicvox MI-5 12-String

That Timeless Jangle

The Musicvox MI-5 12-String Price: $899 Info: www.musicvox.com. Since its appearances in the Austin Powers movies, Musicvox guitars have received a cachet for cool ’60s hipness and wicked space-age designs. Their latest axe, the MI-5 12-string, continues that tradition with a double-cutaway body shape that sports an extra-long bottom horn. Let’s explore this groove machine.

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Laney L50 Head and L412 Cab

Classic British Tone

Laney L50H/L412 Price: $1,990 (head); $1,499 (cab) Info: laney.co.uk. Lyndon Laney is no stranger to fans of the iconic British stack. Established in 1967, Laney Amplification found its early fame thanks to Tony Iommi’s commanding use of the company’s amps with Black Sabbath. Following the reign of Sabbath, they became an amplifier of choice for

Billy Mure

Supersonic Guitarist Remembered

Guitar great Billy Mure (born November 4, 1915) passed away September 25, at the age of 97. He last performed on August 2, playing Dixieland banjo at Squid Lips, where he lived in Sebastian, Florida. Mure played on innumerable sessions from the ’50s to the ’70s, but is best remembered for his Supersonic Guitars albums,

Eliza Gilkyson

Not Your Typical Folkie

“My dad was my biggest influence, especially melodically. He loved dark melodies,” says Eliza Gilkyson of her father, the late Terry Gilkyson. As the title of her latest CD hints, The Nocturne Diaries mostly habitates the darker side. Her dad sang with the Weavers in the Folk Boom and co-wrote the Dean Martin hit “Memories

Ibanez Tube Screamer

From the first notes of Stevie Ray Vaughan’s “Texas Flood,” you can hear it loud and clear; that snarly tone is not just pure Stratocaster and amplifier! To get that bluesy edge, Vaughan plugged into a small green box – an Ibanez TS-808 Tube Screamer Overdrive Pro. SRV used the Tube Screamer to drive his

Tommy Emmanuel

Music Gone Public

As the title suggests, this is a collection of performances pulled from several Public Television concerts Tommy Emmanuel has done, including some never seen before. It will come as no surprise to fans of the guitarist, or anyone who has seen him live, that there are some staggeringly good performances on the DVD. Everyone’s aware

Bobby “Blue” Bland

The Guitarists of Blues’ Crown Prince

On June 23 of last year, the blues lost one of its greatest singers with the death of Bobby “Blue” Bland at age 83. Best known for a 20-year run with Duke Records that yielded such classics as “I Pity The Fool,” “I’ll Take Care Of You,” and his reworking of T-Bone Walker’s “Stormy Monday

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Godin’s A4 and A5 Ultra SA

Brave New Basses

Godin A4/A5 Ultra SA Price: $1,395 (A4 Ultra SA fretted); $1,645 (A5 Ultra SA fretless) Info: godinguitars.com. For years, Godin Guitars has been finding creative ways to improve guitar and bass design, often by working directly with musicians. This has resulted in numerous breakthroughs typically packaged in traditional-appearing instruments. A good example is their A

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SynapticGroove’s SlackJaw OD/Boost/Fuzz

Fuzz for Grown-Ups

SynapticGroove’s SlackJaw OD/Boost/Fuzz Price: $239 Info: www.synapticgroove.com Last year SynapticGroove entered the stompbox arena with the Snapperhead Overdrive/Distortion, attracting high-profile users like Peter Stroud of Sheryl Crow’s band and Richard Fortus of Guns N’ Roses. This year SynapticGroove introduced the SlackJaw OD/Boost/Fuzz, a new pedal that packs a wallop with plenty of tonal features and

Killer B Standard

Feel the Buzz

In a marketplace crowded with indie guitar builders, Killer B differentiates its Standard model with uncommon contours and a customizable feature set. The Standard reviewed was loaded up with sophisticated electronics and mixed metal hardware. It was also an eye-catcher with its dark, quilted top. Vaguely sharing the outline of a Fender Mustang, the Killer