The Rolling Stones

Blue & Lonesome

The Rolling Stones’ first album of new material since 2005, “Blue & Lonesome,” drops today. Here’s a review by VG Music Editor Michael Dregni. Mick Jagger’s famous 1968 statement – “What’s the point in listening to us doing ‘I’m A King Bee’ when you can hear Slim Harpo do it?” – has been a (sometimes)

On this latest album, Ronnie Earl and his band freely and unabashedly mourn and honor the late David Maxwell, the Broadcasters pianist who died in 2015 at age 71. While Earl and his musicians express their grief by playing the blues simple, straight, and emotional, the opener, “Mother Angel,” offers a gorgeous, uplifting instrumental theme

Dave Stewart

Six-Strings, Studios, and Songs

Guitarists often cite instruments as sources of inspiration. For musician, songwriter, and producer Dave Stewart, it wasn’t a ’57 Strat or a ’Burst that recently caused a creative flurry, but a guitar far more pedestrian. Stewart and bandmate Annie Lennox rose to fame in the early ’80s as the Eurythmics, a pop duo that, especially

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Les Paul

Birth of a Guitar Icon

Fifty years ago, Gibson’s new Les Paul Model was quickly becoming one of the company’s most popular guitars, and (though there was no way of knowing it at the time) was on its way to achieving mythical status in the realm of the electric solidbody. With the recent observation of the model’s golden anniversary, Vintage

Martin 0-42

The Martin 0-42

Through the years, Martin’s dreadnought, OM, and 000 guitars may have gained the most notoriety. But for the sweetest and best-quality sound, Martin itself recommends the size 0, exemplified by this 0-42. There’s obviously a catch to that statement, since only two of Martin’s current offering of over 200 models are size-0 guitars. The recommendation

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Jim Peterik

Of the Bard, Brian Wilson, Buddy Guy and "Butt-Ugly" RDs

Veteran guitarist/songwriter/vocalist/keyboard player/producer Jim Peterik’s career has taken yet another intriguing turn in its long and ever-active history. The Chicago-area musician first sprang to prominence over three decades ago as the vocalist/guitarist for one-hit-wonder combo the Ides of March (“Vehicle”), and went on to further success in the ’80s with the original lineup of Survivor.

Chris Spedding

Chris Spedding

Convergence of Legends and Friends

The career of guitarist Chris Spedding has spanned more than four decades and included a commendable solo career, a stint in bassist Andy Fraser’s first post-Free venture (Sharks), and later, an association with Roxy Music. Spedding has always been primarily a studio musician, but has recorded several albums of his own music. He recently released

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Dan Fogelberg’s Gretsch White Penguin

Dan Fogelberg’s success as a singer and songwriter far overshadows his reputation as a musician, but the man whose tenor voice and sentimental songs ruled the Adult Contemporary charts in the early 1980s was actually quite an accomplished guitarist. Evidence is on The Innocent Age and Windows and Walls – the albums that yielded his

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Donald “Duck” Dunn

Memphis Blues Legend

Click Here to view Donald “Duck” Dunn Obit. In the history of popular music, the story of Memphis-based Stax Records stands as a unique, enduring legacy. Memphis was the focal point of the gritty, greasy southern soul music in the 1960s, and Stax was the label. And two bands – the Mar-Keys, and Booker T.

Tim Lerch

Tim Lerch

Tele Jazz Master

If you watch any of Tim Lerch’s videos online, his virtuosity is immediately apparent. What may throw you is his use of a Telecaster, an axe more closely associated with blues, country, and rock. But in Lerch’s hand, it becomes a killer jazz-blues machine, perfect for his tasty single-note runs and jaw-dropping chord improvisations. Lerch’s

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Effector 13 Improbability Drive

“Beam Me Up, Jimi” - The Effector 13 Improbability Drive - spacey, fuzzy, and funky

Effector 13 Improbability Drive. We understand how you might react. “Another drive pedal?” There are so many… a lot of them similar, or nearly identical? But then again, some are different… (Cue Captain Kirk voiceover…) Prepare, then, gearhead followers, to embark on a journey of drive, fuzz, and distortion unlike anything you’ve experienced before! Just

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Airline ’59 Custom 1P and Epiphone ’61 Casino 50th Anniversary

Having a Rave-Up!

Epiphone ’61 Casino 50th Anniversary Price: $1,415 (with tremtone); $1,332 (with stop/trapeze tailpiece) Contact: www.epiphone.com Airline ’59 Custom 1P Price: $899 (with case) Contact: www.epiphone.com Fifteen years ago, you couldn’t give away some of the less-popular guitars from the ’60s, whether they were models with P-90s or cheapo imports from Japan and Germany. Today, however,

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The Budda Twinmaster

Return of a Boutique Legend

In the early days of boutique-amp building, there were but a few contenders on the scene. One of the strongest amplifiers in those days was made by Budda. First released in 1995, the company’s Twinmaster presented 18 watts of raw tone that made it a no-brainer buy for many, and it soon found its way

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Electro-Harmonix 45000 Multi-Track Recorder

Gettin’ Loopy!

Electro-Harmonix 45000 Multi-Track Recorder Price: $476.21 (street); $119.25 (foot controller) Info: www.ehx.com. Looping has a rich history, with roots tracing to modern classical composers like Phillip Glass, Steve Reich, and John Adams, as well as rock musicians like Brian Eno, Robert Fripp, Peter Gabriel, David Bowie, and U2 (The Edge’s echo repeats on guitar, while

'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

Stephen Ulrich

Stephen Ulrich

Film Noir Guitar

The instrumental music of Big Lazy echoes of Hollywood soundtracks – scores from gritty detective flicks, suspenseful prison breakouts, and spaghetti Westerns. Guitarist Stephen Ulrich amps this up with an array of retro parts interweaving post-war jazz, blues, country, and rock and roll. In his hands, it all becomes guitar playing you can see as

Sound City L/B 120 Mark IV

Sound City L/B 120 Mark IV

Preamp tubes: three ECC83 (12AX7), one ECC81 (12AT7, in the phase inverter) Output tubes: six EL34 Rectifier: solidstate Controls: Normal Volume, Brilliant Volume, Bass, Middle, Treble, Presence Output: approximately 120 watts RMS If you spent time in the ’90s kicking around London rehearsal studios or gigging at any of the dozens of venues, you were

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Jim Marshall

Father of the Mighty Marshall Stack

When it comes to guitar amplifiers, two names stand tall beyond the others: Leo Fender and Jim Marshall. Even “civilians” recognize these names. Two names, from two different countries, with two very individual sounds. Although Marshall’s original amplifier designs were largely influenced by Fender’s original Bassman, the resulting amplifier later took on a whole new

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Arteffect Bonnie Wah

Cry No More!

Israel-based Arteffect’s new Bonnie wah pedal is an accurate re-creation of the highly soughtafter vintage Vox Clyde McCoy wah. The “Clyde wah,” you’ll recall, was designed to help guitar players sound something like a trumpet player manipulating a mute on their horn. Clyde McCoy, the man, was a player known for employing the technique, and

John Entwistle

John Entwistle 1944-2002

John Entwistle Ode to the Ox 1944-2002 By Ward Meeker Pop music lovers – especially those with an ear tuned to gear and how it’s used – know that John Entwistle ranks as one of the most influential bassists in the history of rock and roll. Some would argue there is none higher. Before Entwistle,