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    Eric Clapton’s “Blackie”
    This may well be the most desirable Fender Stratocaster on the face of the planet. And it happens to be a beat-up mongrel assembled from parts taken from three 1950s guitars. Nevertheless, Eric Clapton's "Blackie" is one of the most recognized celebrity-associated instruments in the...
    DeTemple Spirit Series Stellacasta
    DeTemple Spirit Series Stellacasta Price: $9,000 (list) Info: www.detempleguitars.com As an accomplished musician since the 1960s and more recently as a guitar builder and vintage collector, Michael DeTemple has long been aware of the demand for guitars that retain the sound and feel of vintage instruments but...

    Tedeschi Trucks Band

    You might get the idea that the band led by husband-and-wife team Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi are feeling a bit laidback on their...

    Tommy Emmanuel

    Tommy Emmanuel cautions against using “the V word” – virtuoso – when describing his work. “I want to make musical statements that stand...

    Rivera Shaman Series Pedals

    Rivera Shaman Series Pedals Price: $299 each (street) Info: www.rivera.com. With roots stretching to the late ’70s, SoCal-based Rivera Amplification is best known for their handbuilt-in-the-U.S.A....
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    Alairex H.A.L.O.

    Heavenly Possibilities

    Alairex H.A.L.O. Price: $399 Info: www.alairex.com. Guitarist Alex Aguilar is a veteran player, former guitar-mag columnist, and today runs an effects company that recently released its first box, the Alairex H.A.L.O., an overdrive pedal designed to produce rich overdrive and multidimensional sounds. H.A.L.O. is an acronym for Harmonic Amp-Like Overdrive, and the box is two […]

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    Burns Steer Cutaway

    The Burns Steer Cutaway

    The story of the Burns Steer Cutaway begins in 1925 with the birth of the “British Leo Fender,” James Ormston Burns. An avid guitar player beginning in his early teens, at 18 he joined the Royal Air Force and learned metalworking. In 1946 he returned to playing guitar professionally and by ’52 was playing in […]

    Fender’s 1957 Precision Bass

    Fender’s 1957 Precision Bass

    When an instrument maintains the same basic design and profile for more than a half-century, it’s safe to say that in terms of design and execution, it was “done right.” Introduced in late 1951, the Fender Precision Bass was a completely new instrument, with a 34″ scale and four strings tuned an octave below a […]

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    Gibson GA-80T Vari-Tone

    In the late ’50s and early ’60s, Gibson was apparently convinced the Vari-Tone switch was the way of the future, with its instant access to six different tones. But a high proportion of players who clocked serious miles on their ES-345 and 355 guitars had the switches disabled (and the guitars rewired to mono!). As […]

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    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 […]

    Eric Krasno

    Eric Krasno

    Funk, Soul, and Jazz

    Eric Krasno is on a roll. The guitarist in the soul-jazz organ trio Soulive moonlights with the funk ensemble Lettuce, co-produced The London Soul’s upcoming record, and lends his production talents, playing, and songs to a slew of other artists; he most recently produced a new album by Aaron Neville. Then, there’s a new solo […]

    Steve Gunn

    Steve Gunn

    Folk Rock’s New Visionary

    Steve Gunn’s Way Out Weather is a textured effort that takes cues from a diverse palette including John Fahey, Chicago blues, ’60s/’70s Americana, Philip Glass, world music, and improvisation. The Pennsylvania-born guitarist and songwriter offers a refreshing take on modern folk-rock. What were your main guitars on the new album? On “Milly’s Garden” and “Tommy’s […]

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    Gibson Marauder M-1

    1978 Gibson Marauder M-1 Every once in awhile, someone in Gibson R&D gets a brainstorm like, “I know! Why don’t we make a bolt-neck guitar!” So they do. And the result is almost always interesting – and almost always a commercial flop. Call it “Les Paul syndrome.” Guitar aficionados are the beneficiaries of both sides […]

    Keeley Electronics Seafoam Chorus

    Keeley Electronics Seafoam Chorus

    Side Effects

    Keeley Electronics Seafoam Chorus Price: $229 (list) Contact: www.robertkeeley.com In a world of proliferating effects pedals, discovering one that does what it promises well can be a rewarding discovery. Finding one that does what it promises and rewards experimentation with some unexpected sounds can invoke bliss. Housed in a small-footprint design and resplendently painted in […]

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    The Howlin’ Brothers

    Like a long-lost radio show from the ’50s suddenly coming to life on your radio in the late nighttime hours, this hard-driving string trio summons forth the sounds of old-time bluegrass, vintage country, and roaring rockabilly. The Howlin’ Brothers have one foot tapping time in tradition, the other kicking down the doors. The howling here […]

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    Leslie West

    Still Climbing

    Upon first viewing you’ll notice that The Sound and the Story is different. The new video from guitarist Leslie West stands apart from other instructional guitar DVDs in that, while West is more than happy to show how to play some of his classic songs and discuss how he learned to play, his gregarious personality […]

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    Darryl Jones

    Stones’ side man, Ron Wood fan

    “Unofficial” Rolling Stones bassist Darryl Jones, who replaced Bill Wyman in 1994, readily admits that playing with the carousing rockers has been a revelation compared to working with stern jazz masters like Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, and Wynton Marsalis. “What I’ve learned from Mick and Keith is that rock and roll is fun. It’s not […]

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    Dennis Kager

    Techy’s Brain, Musician’s Heart

    Amplifiers became a passion for Dennis Kager 45 years ago. And through the years, he has witnessed the zeitgeist surrounding the combination of guitar and amp. A guitarist as a young man, Kager shifted to the “other side” of the amplifier early on, and the duality strengthened and shaped Kager’s concept of sound and how […]

    Gibson GA-20

    Gibson GA-20

    • Preamp tubes: two 12AY7, one 12AX7. • Output tubes: two 6V6, cathode-bias. • Rectifier: 5Y3 • Controls: volume for each channel, shared tone. • Speaker: Jensen Special Design P12R. • Output: approximately 16 watts RMS. Behold, this specimen that checks off all the right boxes for fans of vintage amps; beautifully clean, it has […]

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    Frank Gambale

    Soulmine

    Frank Gambale has had an amazing career playing the music he loves. From being the go-to guy for sweep-picking, and later replacing Al DiMeola in Return To Forever, Gambale drops jaws wherever he goes, and whether playing straight jazz, instrumental rock, or contemporary fusion, he plays from the heart and head. Gambale’s current project is […]

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    Movie Star, Rancher

    Mid-’50s Muse of Wire and Wood

    In the years immediately after World War II, Americans were settling into a new way of life, and plunging headlong toward an economic prosperity never before experienced by everyday people. Change was also afoot among the nation’s guitar manufacturers. Having been restricted by materials shortages and/or re-tooling to bolster the war effort, guitar makers like […]

    Ray Benson

    Ray Benson

    Where There’s a Wills, There’s a Wheel

    Asleep At the Wheel’s latest album is the band’s third tribute to Bob Wills. Long-time leader Ray Benson recently talked about it with Vintage Guitar. How did Still the King get rolling? I was getting ready to do another album and had some ideas when my son, who produces records with me, said, “No, you’ve […]

    Building a Studio

    The Art of Home Recording

    There has been a sea change in the music industry over the past several years. Recording has become more of a do-it-yourself component of the creative process, and less an end achieved in a professional studio. This shift has, on one hand (and rather sadly), signaled the demise of the studio industry, putting several legendary […]

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    Orange VT1000 Valve Tester

    Orange VT1000 Valve Tester Price: $499 Info: www.orangeamps.com. Many a Vintage Guitar reader has a stash of tubes lying about their music room/workshop or in a box in a closet. The problem is knowing which are trash and which are treasure. Orange Amps’ VT1000 valve tester promises to answer that question. The VT1000 is designed […]