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    James Patrick Regan Celebrates Johnny Horton

    James Patrick Regan offers homage to the late Johnny Horton, who was born April 30, 1925. James is using a Gibson J-200 Koa to play “North to Alaska” and “Honky Tonk Man.” Keep up with James at thedeadlies.com.

    Greg Martin celebrates Willie Nelson’s Birthday!

    Singer/songwriter and country-music legend Willie Nelson turns 84 today. In his honor, VG contributor and Kentucky Headhunters’ co-founder Greg Martin used his Gibson Custom Shop signature Les Paul (#15) straight into a ’67 Fender Super Reverb to play a bit of “Night Life,” which was a hit for Ray Price in 1963. “It’s one of my favorite Willie compositions, and features phenomenal steel-guitar work by Buddy Emmons,” Greg said. Keep up with Greg at kentuckyheadhunters.net.

    Don’t be confused by the USB in this four-string’s name – there’s no computer-cable hookup. Instead, USB stands for “ultimate short-scale bass” and, indeed, this Musicvox Space Cadet sports a 30″ neck scale in the same ballpark as the Hofner 500/1 or Gibson EB-0 basses of the ’60s. Why go for a short-scale thud staff?

    Alex Machacek

    Stripped Down

    When you get the thumbs-up from icons like John McLaughlin and Chick Corea, it’s got to feel good. But, fusion guitarist Alex Machacek isn’t one to rest on his laurels, and he recently recorded Now, a lush piano-and-guitar duo with drummer/pianist Gary Husband. The album explores a different side to Machacek’s musical personality. How did

    Black River Delta

    Devil On The Loose

    Swedish disciples of pre-World War II blues Erik Jacobs, Erik Nilsson, and Pontus Ohlsson, hauled a bunch of gear up to a remote cabin and got down to business. The result is an album so full of genuine love for the genre, it’s impossible to dismiss. Sure, the band consists of three young Swedish guys

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    Rickenbacker Electric 12-Strings

    Double-bound for Glory

    George Beauchamp and Adolph Rickenbacher founded Electro String in 1931 to manufacture what everyone would soon call “Rickenbacker” guitars. Success with musicians came early. Rick steels were the measure of quality and performance; their tone established the standards. On the other hand, the company’s fully electric bass viols and violins excited segments of the industry,

    Jim Kelley Reverb Model

    Legend, Resurrected

    Jim Kelley began making his highly acclaimed guitar amplifiers 1978. His big revelation came while he was still doing mods and repairs. A customer brought in an Ampeg SB12 for service. Seems his girlfriend had overwatered a fern that was sitting on the amp and decided to turn it on to see if she had

    Fletcher Bright and Bill Evans with Norman and Nancy Blake

    Songs That Are Mostly Older Than Us

      This jam session recorded in veteran fiddler Fletcher Bright’s living room in Lookout Mountain, Tennessee, exudes a warmth, passion, and joyfulness that’s right in line with the old-time music, fiddle tunes, and bluegrass the quartet plays. Banjo man Bill Evans organized proceedings, rounding up old friends Norman and Nancy Blake. They cut these 16

    Recording Electric Guitars – The Art of Home Recording

    Recording Electric Guitars

    The Art of Home Recording

    Now that our studio is set up and we’ve selected our microphones following the first two installments of this series (July and November ’14), we’re ready to put those tools into position and get to some tracking. In this installment, we’ll concentrate on one of our favorite in-studio skills – miking amps to record electric


    Billy Duffy

    Weapon: Chosen

    Billy Duffy has long been a different sort of bloke. As his peers in rock bands of the mid ’80s mostly fell in line to play modified “superstrat” guitars with locking vibratos suitable for the trickery of the day, Duffy stuck with his trusty Gretsch White Falcon as his band, The Cult, scored its first

    Gibson’s First Reissue Les Pauls

    Gibson’s First Reissue Les Pauls

    On the Road to ’59

    Strings and Things Les Paul Many articles have been written about how guitarists and dealers in the mid/late 1970s and early ’80s were asking Gibson to build a Les Paul that more closely conformed to ’59 specs. The following is not an attempt to rehash any of them, but rather to provide an overview of

    National Bel-Air, Photo courtesy George Gruhn Big thmbnail

    National Bel-Air

    The idea of Gibson providing guitar parts to another prominent guitar maker is laughable today, but in the 1940s and ’50s, relationships were cozier between some of the major instrument companies. The evidence lies in this 1960 National Bel-Aire, one of several Nationals of the postwar era to feature a body made by Gibson. Outsourcing

    Billy Gibbons

    On The Move

    Before ZZ Top, Billy Gibbons launched his career as guitarist and front man with a Texas-based group called the Moving Sidewalks. The band also included bassist Don Summers, keyboardist Tom Moore, and drummer Dan Mitchell. The group’s sound was brewed from a mix of blues and early California psychedelia, sprinkled with the influence of Jimi

    Perfect Curves Fender’s Stratocaster Turns 60

    Perfect Curves

    Fender’s Stratocaster Turns 60

    Sixty years down the road since its creation, the Fender Stratocaster is the default image of the electric guitar for nearly all the human race. From early adopters like Buddy Holly to pioneering masterminds like Jim Hendrix and living legends like Eric Clapton, it has been a stalwart, always at hand for superstars, bedroom pickers,

    Kenny Burrell

    Playing It, Meaning It, Living It

    Few can claim the title of living legend. Kenny Burrell is just such a person. In fact he’s more – he’s living history, past, present and future. His credentials are voluminous and accomplishments staggering, and he hasn’t stopped. He has recorded at least 108 albums as a band leader and is today, at age 82,

    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

    TTS Music BMT Overdrive

    TTS Music BMT Overdrive

    Fine-Tune Your Crunch

    TTS Music BMT Overdrive Price: $175 Info: www.ttspickups.com. No, the “BMT” in the name of TTS Music’s overdrive pedal does not stand for a “bacon, mayo, and tomato.” The initials simply indicate Bass, Middle, and Treble, which are all this pedal needs to be interesting. No groovy, ironic hipster name – just a nice dark-red

    Earthquaker Devices Sea Machine

    Earthquaker Devices Sea Machine

    Chorus of Praise

    Earthquaker Devices Sea Machine Price: $215 Contact: www.earthquakerdevices.com Known primarily for its monstrous distortion and fuzz units, the folks at Earthquaker Devices have decided to tackle what has often been lamented as the wimpiest of effects – the chorus pedal. Their take on the effect, the Sea Machine, is certainly a challenge to the notion

    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,

    Buddy Emmons

    Buddy Emmons


    Buddy Emmons, who revolutionized the pedal-steel guitar both musically and technically, died July 21 in Nashville after suffering a heart attack. He was 78. Emmons did extensive session work in Nashville and L.A. and released his breakthrough album, Steel Guitar Jazz, in 1963. A master accompanist, he toured with three seminal country singers – Little