Epiphone Crestwood

’60s Un-Gibson Solidbody

Gibson’s acquisition of Epiphone in 1957 presented a tremendous challenge to guitar designers and marketers at the company. One challenge was to design a new solidbody instrument that could be produced at the Kalamazoo factory using existing tooling and production lines. Another was to make it visually distinct from Gibson’s Les Pauls. The answer? The

Vintage Guitar is teaming with Collings Guitars and Stefan Grossman’s Guitar Workshop to present an exclusive eight-part series on beginner fingerpicking. Hosted by VG Online contributor Tom Feldmann, it will teach the Mississippi John Hurt classic “C.C. Rider” at a pace easily followed by anyone! › › In Lesson 2, Tom discusses tuning, chords, and the

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

Redplate Amps’ BluesMachine66

Redplate Amps’ BluesMachine66

Welcome to the Machine

Redplate Amps’ BluesMachine66 Price: $2,799 (list) Contact: www.redplateamps.com Redplate builds boutique amplifiers with point-to-point wiring and meticulous hands-on attention to detail. Their BluesMachine66 1×12 was created for the discerning guitarist with a predilection for British flavors. Its 12AX7 preamp tubes run at 50 watts using KT66 power tubes. The BluesMachine66 has knobs and switches galore,

Orange TH30 Combo

Orange TH30 Combo

Small Clubs, Big Tones

Orange TH30 Combo Price:$1,379 (list) Info: www.orangeamps.com Beyond their eye-catching color, Orange amplifiers have always rendered a distinct sound. Today, the company offers an assortment of amps, and its TH30C combo offers something to guitarists who need upscale tones for small-/mid-sized venues. Rated at a variable 30 watts output pumped through a Celestion G12H30, the

John Jorgenson

Stringed-Instrument Ecstasy

The title of John Jorgenson’s new three-CD boxed set, Divertuoso, combines two words – “diverse” and “virtuoso” – to aptly describe its contents. Consisting of an album of gypsy jazz (Returning), bluegrass (From the Crow’s Nest), and electric-guitar instrumentals (Gifts from the Flood), Jorgenson said they while they were started at different times, “There was

Gov’t Mule featuring John Scofield

Gov’t Mule featuring John Scofield


Fans have begged for this music to be released for a long time. For the most part, it’s two concerts recorded in September 1999 featuring the original Gov’t Mule lineup along with John Scofield on guitar and the Aquarium Rescue Unit’s Dan Matrazzo on keyboards. Given the degree of talent put together here, it shouldn’t

Big Beat Boys

Musings on Fab and Gear, 50 Years Ago

Americans tend to link the beginnings of the Beatles phenomenon to a specific date – February 9, 1964, when the group first appeared on “The Ed Sullivan Show.” The truth, as always, is that the band’s records had crashed the American charts weeks before, and the run-up to this seemingly overnight phenomenon had taken years.

Happy Birthday Paul Gilbert

Birthday congrats to Paul Gilbert, who today hits the big 5-0! Paul and his Trio are on tour in support of his album, “I Can Destroy.” They’ll play the U.K. and Europe through November 13, then return stateside for shows before going to South America in January and February. Details are forthcoming, so fans should

Beauty and the Bastards

Redemption Road

This album is a set of songs beautifully assembled by guitarist Danny Mangold. He recruits various friends, including his former Minneapolis–St. Paul buddy Charlie Bingham on guitar. Bingham was the lead guitarist in Twin Cities stalwarts the Lamont Cranston Band and the Hoopsnakes. Mangold was the guitarist in the Metro All-Stars. Neither lives there anymore,

Metal Pedals JH-3

Metal Pedals JH-3

Swiss-Army Distortion

Metal Pedals JH-3 Price: $235 (list) Contact: www.metalpedals.com Like a Swiss Army knife, the multifunction Metal Pedals JH-3 Johnny Hiland has more options than you’d expect in such a small package. Hiland, solo artist and session man for folks from Toby Keith to Hank III, was so inspired after playing through Metal Pedals’ Bomb Shell

Fender “Korinacaster”

Double-Cut Kuriosity

There’s a bit of irony in the fact that Leo Fender, creator of the first solidbody electric guitar to be mass-produced, wasn’t known as the adventurous sort. Rather, history tells us he was a pragmatic, downright conservative guy for whom form very much followed function – a fact borne out in the bread-and-butter realities exhibited

Arlen Roth

No Stone Unturned

To guitarists raised on his “Hot Licks” instructional video series, session and touring great Arlen Roth is something of a legendary figure. His latest release, Paint It Black, is the third in a series of instrumental albums that takes a fresh look at timeless songs by preeminent figures in pop music. As its title infers,

Joe Louis Walker

Indisputable Cred

Joe Louis Walker has enjoyed a long and enviable career making artistically satisfying music while entertaining audiences all over the world. He’s a genre-busting artist who knows how to please an audience while keeping his eye on the prize. His latest album, Everybody Wants A Piece, continues the saga of the forward-thinking bluesman. Walker once

Eric Clapton’s “Blackie”

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 history of the electric guitar, and it served Slowhand’s needs

Gibson’s Crest Models

Gibson has produced two guitars bearing the “Crest” name. While both designs date to the 1960s, they’re very different instruments. The first incarnation was a single-cutaway with design ties to the L-5CT, while the second looked more like a fancy ES-335 with a shortened neck. In almost every way – size, construction materials, appointments, and

Fender’s “First-Gen” Strat

The Fender Stratocaster is arguably the most popular electric guitar model in the world. From the time of its introduction in 1954, no other electric has outsold its archetypical design. And unlike its fellow archetype, the Gibson Les Paul and its numerous variants including the Junior, Special, Standard, and Custom, the Stratocaster was always been

Elliot Easton

Star Board: Elliot Easton

Elliot Easton’s “Pedalboard” Though Elliot Easton enjoys his loaded full-size Pedaltrain board, his new band, The Empty Hearts (with Clem Burke, Wally Palmar, and Andy Babiuk), does a lot of fly-in concerts, so… “Since I have to schlep my stuff to the airport, it’s gotta be lightweight!” he said. “My pedal boards are built by


Chris Isaak

Sun Worship

Most pop-music fans became aware of Chris Isaak through his 1991 hit “Wicked Game” and its uber-high-profile video, directed by famed photographer Herb Ritts and featuring the singer/guitarist gettin’ all From Here to Eternity with supermodel Helena Christensen. Musically, the moody track – with Calvin Wilsey’s memorable reverb-infused guitar lick – not only put Isaak

B.B. King - Ode to the King of the Blues

Ode to the King of the Blues

Guitarists Reflect on the Passing of B.B. King

B.B. King was truly peerless. Beyond his ability to pull an audience up via a single long, vibratoed note, he exhibited an incomparable charisma and style, and his influence carried far beyond the way he plucked a guitar. Fans ranging from simple listeners to world-class guitarists display a reverence for King that is reserved for