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    Howard Leese Marks Brian May’s Birthday

    To help mark the 69th birthday of legendary guitarist Brian May, his friend, Howard Leese, sent this message along with a clip of the Las Vegas show “Raiding the Rock Vault” performing a rendition of Queen’s “We Are the Champions.” Keep up with Howard at www.raidingtherockvault.com

    Bonnie Raitt

    Dig In Deep
    Struttin' Her Stuff

    The adjective “smooth” can sometimes get a bad rep, but as the new album by Bonnie Raitt readily shows, it can be a good thing, too. Her latest is the perfect blend of soul, technique, and brassiness that, as the great lead cut, “Unintended Consequence Of Love,” states “resurrects our strut.” The record is pretty

    The Super Jumbo 200 is Gibson’s most celebrated flat-top model, and deservedly so, thanks to its use by cowboy movie stars in the pre-World War II years and by country music stars in the post-war years. The Super Jumbo 100, on the other hand, is one of Gibson’s more obscure models – a status it


    Michael Angelo Batio

    The Fine Art of Face Melting

    Michael Angelo Batio is one of the most prodigious guitarists on Earth. Since his stint with the rock band Holland in the ’80s, Batio has written his ticket with a combination of freakish talent and hard work. His current album, Intermezzo, is a note-intensive prog-metal rollercoaster that includes some similarly gifted guests like George Lynch,


    Lee Ritenour

    Lee's Six-String Theory

    Lee Ritenour’s career accomplishments are the stuff of greatness. With thousands of classic recording sessions and more than 40 albums bearing his own name, Ritenour continues to work his magic straddling the world of jazz, rock, fusion, and Latin music. Ritenour’s Yamaha Six String Theory Guitar Competition recently came to a close, and 16-year-old guitarist


    Fender‘s 50th Anniversary Strat

    Height of the Reissue

    In celebration of the 50th “birthday” of its famous Stratocaster model, Fender has taken the reissue concept to new heights. And why not? Arguably the most popular guitar – electric, acoustic, you name it – ever built, the Stratocaster is the epitome of a pop music legend, and a huge part of Fender’s history and


    John Scofield

    Variety is the Spice

    Veteran jazz guitarist John Scofield has released a second album with Uberjam, which includes drummer Adam Detich, guitarist Avi Bortnick, and guest keyboardist John Medeski. It’s full of funk and soul, and we talked with Scofield shortly after the group started its current tour. Why the second record? We played a lot at the beginning

    Malcolm Brickhouse

    Malcolm Brickhouse

    Free As You Wanna Be

    Malcolm Brickhouse was excited but confident after his band, Unlocking The Truth, recently performed its first headlining gig, at The Troubadour, in Hollywood. The 13-year-old guitarist has seen his Brooklyn-based band emerge from humble beginnings – playing for tips in Times Square – to, in the span of just months, play the festival circuit and


    Gibson J-200 Rosewood

      1940 Gibson SJ-200 The Gibson company was founded on the belief that carved-top guitars were superior to flat-top designs, and consequently, Gibson was a reluctant entrant in the rising flat-top market of the 1920s. Add the fact Gibson, more than any other company, was still determined to make the world’s best mandolins, banjos, and

    Epiphone Coronet

    Epiphone Coronet

    This Epiphone Coronet from 1959 was probably a shocking sight to a guitar buyer of the late ’50s. Not only was a solidbody guitar out of character for the company that had built its reputation in the ’30s on archtop acoustics and electrics, but most people thought the Epiphone company had gone out of business


    John Brinkmann, 1937-2013

    Pioneering Promoter of the Vintage-Guitar Market

    John Brinkmann, an innovator of the guitar show concept and a pioneer in helping create the vintage-guitar market, passed away October 8. He had been battling diabetes and a heart condition. Brinkmann was one of the first people to advance vintage-guitar sales from early “car trunking” at flea markets to organized, promoted events where instruments

    Ibanez EKM100

    Ibanez EKM100

    Soul On Ice

    Ibanez EKM100 Price: $2,799.99 (list) Contact: www.ibanez.com Fans of contemporary soul, jazz, and funk should be well aware of Soulive. Since 1999, the band has been entertaining audiences around the world with contagious grooves and jazz-inspired sounds. After the band recorded its first EP, guitarist Eric Krasno thought change was in order. A Stratocaster user,


    Silvertone’s 1449 and 1423

    Classic Comeback

    Silvertone’s 1449 and 1423 Price: $739 list/$479 street (1423); $629 list/$399 street (1449) Info: www.silvertoneclassic.com With an up-swell of interest in vintage Silvertones, current parent company Samick has begun to reissue some of the most requested models. The first offering, the 1303/U2, with its famous “coke bottle” headstock and lipstick pickups, was followed by a


    Gibson Super 400 PN

    The Gibson Super 400 Premiere cutaway acoustic first appeared in Gibson literature in the 1940 catalog, on a page showing it and the L-5 Premiere in clear “natural” finish. The photo shows the Super 400 PN held by George Smith (described as “Paramount staff guitarist”) and the L-5PN held by Eddie Skrivanek (“radio and studio

    The Providence Velvet Comp, Red Rock OD, and Phase Force

    The Providence Velvet Comp, Red Rock OD, and Phase Force

    Tones of Destiny

    The Providence Velvet Comp, Red Rock OD, and Phase Force Price: $199 (per piece, list) Contact: www.providence.jp Providence is a Japan-based manufacturer of effects, cables, guitars, pickups, and audio-switching devices. Though an established brand in its home country for almost two decades, its products only recently found their way to the United States, including a


    Musicvox MI-5 12-String

    That Timeless Jangle

    The Musicvox MI-5 12-String Price: $899 Info: www.musicvox.com. Since its appearances in the Austin Powers movies, Musicvox guitars have received a cachet for cool ’60s hipness and wicked space-age designs. Their latest axe, the MI-5 12-string, continues that tradition with a double-cutaway body shape that sports an extra-long bottom horn. Let’s explore this groove machine.


    Colby Dual Tone Booster 50

    Double Versatile

    Colby DTB50 Price: $3,800 (head); $750 (cabinet) Contact: www.colbyamps.com From 1978 through 2010, Mitch Colby helped Marshall become a preeminent name in amplifiers. He recently founded Colby Amplification, where he builds amps by hand, one at a time, and his first model, the Dual Tone Booster (dtb), was built in collaboration with Jim Weider, best

    Gibson’s Style O Artist Guitar and K-4 Mandocello

    Gibson’s Style O Artist Guitar and K-4 Mandocello

    Two For the Scroll

    The mandolin originated in the Middle East as a bowl-back instrument. Crusaders brought it back to Europe and early Italian builders evolved the design, giving it four paired strings tuned like a violin but with a back similar to a lute (also of Arabic origin). In the mid 1890s, Orville Gibson revolutionized mandolin design, structurally


    Jim Marshall Passes

    Jim Marshall, who pioneered guitar amplifiers used by some of the greatest names in rock and roll, died today. He was 88. Born in London in 1923, Marshall was a drummer, drum teacher, and owner of a musical-instrument retail store specializing in drums. He also carried guitars and amps, including the Fender line. Most players,

    SviSound’a Overdrive OverZoid oz01

    Svi Sound’s Overdrive OverZoid oz01

    Full Steam

    SviSound’a Overdrive OverZoid oz01 Price: $165 (list) Contact: www.svisound.com Tonally and aesthetically, SviSound’s Overdrive OverZoid is a study in good taste. Handcrafted in Bulgaria, the OverZoid matches a very natural-sounding gain with a distinctive steampunk design to earn its spot as the best-looking box on your pedalboard. A true-bypass pedal with point-to-point wiring and an