The Rolling Stones

Blue & Lonesome

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) credo for the Rolling Stones. Why indeed? Except for the fact that the Stones have time and again proven they can indeed play the

Bassist/vocalist Greg Lake, a force in the advent of progressive rock in the early 1970s with Emerson, Lake and Palmer (ELP), died December 7 following a battle with cancer. He was 69. Lake was originally from Dorset, England, a seaside town that also beget noted players Robert Fripp and Andy Summers. He came to international notice

Nick Moss

Musical Horizons Beyond Chicago

Since 2007, guitarist/vocalist Nick Moss has released five albums on his Blue Bella label, including two live discs. And while Moss still loves his Chicago-style blues, his most recent effort, Here I Am, is an adventurous album. Though it begins with a raucous Windy City-type rave-up called “Why You So Mean,” by the third/title track,

Dale Watson and his Lonestars

Live at the Big T Roadhouse

On Sundays, when he’s not on the road, Dale Watson and his band play the Texas Big T Roadhouse and host their Chicken S#!t Bingo game. This record captures the fun. It showcases not only a terrific band, but Watson’s natural talent as an MC and gameshow host. There’s plenty of great music, too. Watson’s


Spectrum 5

Joining playful mid-’60s cultural icons such as the Ford Mustang, NBC’s “The Monkees,” the Beatles’ “Nowhere Man” and Cassius Clay, the Teisco Del Rey Spectrum 5 was the high-water mark of original Japanese design from the era. It’s also one of the most sought-after import guitars – with good reason. Debuting circa 1966 and lasting only a

Carl Bradychok

Carl Bradychok

Rockabilly’s Newest Guitar Wizard

Carl Bradychok’s instrument and genre of choice seemed destined from day one. “There are pictures my parents took of me as a baby, sitting in front of the TV watching ‘Carl Perkins and Friends,’ from ’85 – ‘The Rockabilly Session.’” Born in 1991, he got his first guitar at seven and was playing professionally at


Star Board: Carl Verheyen

In each issue of “Signal Chain,” we’ll take a guided tour of pro players’ pedalboards. We’re calling the feature “Star Board,” and we kick it off in this issue with a look at two of Carl Verheyen’s most-used pedal setups. Carl Verheyen’s “Pedalboard #1” Verheyen’s primary pedalboard for stage use has traveled the world with him.

Mike Rutherford

Mike Rutherford

Re-Living The Years

Mike Rutherford prefers focusing on the future, even if recent projects have required the guitarist/bassist to think about life. Late 2014 saw the release of a three-CD retrospective, R-Kive, featuring favorites from his days in Genesis as well as selections from band members’ solo careers, and Sum of the Parts, a feature-length documentary that uses

Jack Bruce

Jack Bruce

Surging Septuagenarian

Bassist/vocalist Jack Bruce, who turned 71 in May, recently released Silver Rails, his first solo album in a decade, with songwriting help from several longtime collaborators. Bruce recruited numerous guitarists for the project, as well one of his offspring, and the results exemplify the styles of the participants. “I was thrilled that all of the


The Guild Starfire Bass

In the mid ’60s, Guild took its knocks for making guitars that looked “inspired by” Gibson models. Fans of the brand think the sterotype is unfair, of course, and certainly, many Guilds from the era have their own intrigue. One very good example is the Starfire Bass. Guild was founded by musical-instrument importer/distributor Al Dronge


Music Man’s JP13

Petrucci Pick

Music Man’s JP13 Price: $3,500 Info: Music Man has a knack for building blazing artist models for the likes of Steve Morse, Albert Lee, and John Petrucci – three artists known for their incendiary guitar styles. The latest Petrucci offering, the JP13, has a deceptively utilitarian appearance, but its neck, body, and electronics are

St. Blues Juke Joint Series

St. Blues Juke Joint Series

Domestic Bliss

With the elimination of its Korean-made Pro Series and the introduction of the Juke Joint Series, Memphis-based St. Blues can boast an entire lineup made in the good ol’ U.S. of A. St. Blues’ initial offerings in the Juke Joint Series include the Bluesmaster and Mississippi Bluesmaster guitars, along with the Legendary Bass. With their

Carvin’s GH24 Greg Howe Signature

Carvin’s GH24 Greg Howe Signature

Super Unleaded

After decades of jumping from one guitar manufacturer to another, Greg Howe recently began working with Carvin (more specifically, Kiesel) on a signature guitar. Carvin passed manufacture and sale of its guitars and basses to Kiesel Guitars. The reason for the change isn’t immediately obvious, though it makes more sense if you know that Carvin

Univox Uni–Fuzz & Super–Fuzz

Univox Uni–Fuzz & Super–Fuzz

Full, Fat Fuzzzy

Pete Townshend sent many a guitar and amp to an early grave. But there’s no known evidence of him doing the same with effects pedals. Never mind that spearing a Rickenbacker through the heart of a Hiwatt provided much more Shakespearean drama than stomping on a lowly stompbox. Perhaps, though, he simply didn’t need to


Earliest Gretsch 6120


The Gretsch company rose to the upper echelon of guitar manufacturers in the 1950s with the introduction of a diverse and dynamic array of electric models. Arguably the most identifiable guitar design of that time was the Chet Atkins Hollowbody model 6120, with its distinctive orange-stained finish, “G-brand” body, and decidedly Western aesthetic.  Recently, a

GOO Right Side

ToneConcepts, Nels Cline Co-Op on Goo Distortion Pedal

The ToneConcepts Goo distortion pedal was designed in cooperation with guitarist Nels Cline. It has controls for Volume, Shininess (tone), and Viscosity (gain), a cast-aluminum Hammond housing, and an all-analog circuit on PCBs hand-made in Toronto using through-hole components tested for tolerance. Its aesthetics are inspired by the 1958 film The Blob, with graphics representing

Six-String Kicks

Six-String Kicks

Wood from Famed Bowling Alley Set to Sing

Few things scratch America’s cumulative itch for nostalgia like Route 66 – the famed wagon-trail-cum-highway that offered passage to those migrating west from Chicago in the mid 19th century, then later became known as Main Street America.  For decades, the road provided the means to a living for entrepreneurs who set up shop offering food,


Budda’s Chakra and ZenMan Pedals

Zen and the Art of Tone Maintenance

Budda’s Chakra and ZenMan Pedals Price: $149.99 Contact: Best known in guitar circles as an admired amp builder, Budda has released a pile of new stompboxes that cover all bases from modulation and delay to the crunchy stuff. Two of these offerings are the ZenMan overdrive/boost and the Chakra compressor, straightforward-looking boxes with some


Reverend Descent H90 Baritone

Deep Twang

Electric baritones have increased in popularity for the last 20 years. Filling the gap between standard-tuned electric guitar and bass, these solidbodies are useful among those in the roots-rock set (surf and country, in particular), as well as anyone in the metal and post-grunge camps. With its single-coil pickups, Reverend’s Descent H90 is designed for


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