M-Tone Slipstream Price: $2,600 Contact: www.m-tone.com When it comes to custom, hand-made guitars, many prefer an instrument that innately reveals the work of its craftsman – the type that, instead of merely being a replica of a famous body shape, can be held and admired for its details. Matt Proctor’s M-Tone Slipstream is a good

S’Alright (Or Left)

Southpaw Guitars Marks 35 Years

Even before they started jamming together on old Gibson acoustics in the mid ’70s, Jimmy Duncan and Bill Townsend, co-founders of the lefty-dedicated Southpaw Guitars, were avid fans of music. Longtime friends who spent their days working as carpenters in Houston, they caught dozens of live acts at venues ranging from the Astrodome and Summit

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

Nancy Wilson

Fire in the Heart

In the early ’70s, women didn’t play rock guitar. Nor did they front bands. Nancy Wilson was an exception. Few guitarists present as memorable an onstage image as does Wilson brandishing her famous custom-color Fender Telecaster onstage with Heart, the band she co-founded with her sister, Ann, in 1974. One of the biggest bands of

Scott Henderson

Scott Henderson

Vibe Station

On his new album, Vibe Station, Scott Henderson once again redefines fusion within a groove-heavy power trio format. As always, the blues informs his jazz-rock workouts with virtuosic jabs of rock edginess and humor. Despite Henderson’s obvious talents, he’ll be the first to say he’s all about hard work and intestinal fortitude. Famous for his

Acoustic Remedy’s ClimaStand Display Case

Open and Shut

Acoustic Remedy ClimaStand Price: $899 (walnut) Info: www.acousticremedycases.com Most players have at least one guitar they would like to display in a manner that allows them to enjoy its beauty while keeping it easily accessible. But if you have pets or small children, or live in a dry climate, it’s just not safe to leave

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

Crazy Tube Circuits Stardust, Splash MKII, and Pin Up Fuzz

Pure Sanity

Crazy Tube Circuits Stardust, Splash MKII, and Pin Up Fuzz Price: $290 (splash MKll); $260 (Pin Up Fuzz); $235 (Stardust) Contact: www.crazytubecircuits.com Athens, Greece – birthplace of the Olympics, democracy, Western philosophy – and killer boutique effects. Under the aegis of Christos Ntaifotis, Crazy Tube Circuits has been building pedals since 2005 with the goal

Late 1920s Gibson L-1 "Florentine" Home page main

Late 1920s Gibson L-1 (Flattop)

Gibson "Florentine"

Because I don’t know what to call this Gibson guitar, I refer to it as a “Florentine,” for lack of a better name. Though the body decoration is unlike any cataloged Gibson guitar, the fingerboard and headstock ornamentation is almost identical to Gibson’s Florentine banjo (made between 1927 and ’37). In size, shape, construction and woods,

Fender Blender

The Fender Blender

Extreme Fuzz

When Robin Trower segued from his wah-driven blues-rock riffing into the slowed, deep-blues groove of the second half of his ’74 anthem “Too Rolling Stoned,” he kicked it over to a progressively more aggressive overdrive sound. And in his final screaming solo, he hits those big bluesy bends that made him famous, powering his Strat

Gibson SG Les Paul

Classic shape that filled big shoes... for awhile

In 1961, Gibson replaced its Les Paul series with a new line of lightweight, ultrathin, all mahogany, double-cutaway solidbodies the SG (for solid guitar). Developed under the aegis of Ted McCarty and introduced as the “new Les Paul,” the SG heralded new directions and a new marketing emphasis for Gibson; trends exemplified only two years

LsL Instruments’ Soledad

T-Bone with a Side of Sustain

Based out of Santa Clarita, California, LsL Instruments was founded by Lance and Lisa Lerman in 2008 after many years in the furniture-manufacturing business as well as guitar building. Today, the crew at LsL utilizes a mix of CNC machining and handwork to produce a variety of electric guitars and basses, as well as most

The Rickenbacker 4000

The model 4000 was not only Rickenbacker’s first foray into the electric-bass market, it was decidedly different from Fender’s Precision – the original electric bass. Beyond frets, four strings, and their role in a musical combo, they have little in common. In the 1950s, F.C. Hall forged Rickenbacker into a modern guitar manufacturer. Striving to

Goodtone Roadrage PD, Mad Professor Golden Cello

Secret Weapons

Goodtone Roadrage PD, Mad Professor Golden Cello Price: $155 Info: www.goodtone.com. Goodtone Amps builder Norm Matthews has a rep for building noteable guitar amps, and more recently he delved into effects pedals. Matthews’ first box is the Roadrage PD, a true-bypass, two-stage MOSFET-based unit designed to deliver neutral clean gain boost or overdrive. In other

McElroy OM Model

OM, Gee!

McElroy OM Model Price: $7,500 (base; $8,500 as reviewed) Info: www.mcelroyguitars.com. Brent McElroy is a Seattle luthier specializing in high-quality acoustics. One of them, the OM Model from his Generation 2 series, is inspired by old-school Martins. The concert-body guitar sports a bear-claw Adirondack spruce top (so named for its wide, raked grain), Madagascar rosewood

Gibson Grenada Five-string

Gibson Grenada Five-string

The Gibson Granada five-string banjo is primarily known for being played by Earl Scruggs, who had an enormous impact on the sound and style of bluegrass music after joining Bill Monroe’s Blue Grass Boys in late 1945. The Granada was first issued in 1925 with a ball-bearing style tone ring and two-piece flange. Though it

Allen Hinds, Tyler Reese, Brad Myers and Michael Sharfe

Fly South, Reminiscence, Sanguinaria
Instrumental Eclectic

In the hands of creative players, the guitar can do so many things. These three recent releases of mostly instrumental music illustrate this perfectly. Allen Hinds is a player with a liquid touch whose music skirts the edges of jazz, rock, and R&B. His great touch and perfect choice of notes are highlighted in the

Scott Metzger

Scott Metzger

Spontaneous Composition

“We started as three side men scheduled to back a singer who was a no-show at this bar in Brooklyn,” said Scott Metzger, recalling the origins of the trio Wolf!. “After 45 minutes waiting, the club manager said, ‘Just go out and play.’ We knew the song list wouldn’t work without vocals, so we made