Last In Line

Heavy Crown

This album reunites Mark 1 of the late Ronnie James Dio’s solo band, including Vinny Appice, the late Jimmy Bain, and Vivian Campbell. With the group’s name taken from Dio’s second album released in 1984, this is the core group that co-wrote the material found on the first three Dio records. Produced by former Dio

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

Neal Schon

Neal Schon

“The Guitar Is My Voice”

Long before Neal Schon helped Journey sell more than 80 million albums, he was a rock-fusion gunslinger who turned down Eric Clapton’s request to join Derek and the Dominos so he could tour with Santana when he was 15. With all his success, Schon still craves the rock-fusion that was a part of the early

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Mark Tremonti

Rock Star, Amp Snob!

Many of the people we today consider “guitar heroes” – Eddie Van Halen and Stevie Ray Vaughan, to name a couple – spent more than their fair share of time stowed away in their bedrooms, playing guitar while other kids in the neighborhood played baseball, kick the can, or spin the bottle. Rock guitarist Mark

Guy King

Truth

Blues veteran Guy King steps out with a full big band on his latest and proves up to the task of doing justice to various forms of American music – blues, funk, soul, and everything in between. King serves up B.B. King-influenced licks on “A Day In The Life With The Blues.” He marks his

Siegmund Midnight Special

Siegmund Midnight Special

Tried ’N True, Twisted

Siegmund Midnight Special Price: $1,895 (list, as tested) Contact: www.siegmundguitars.com Driven by a quest for preserving the original tonal qualities of a player’s instrument, builder Chris Siegmund created the Midnight Special, an attractive and great-sounding single-ended Class A amp that brings many of the bells and whistles of larger units to a small amp that

Excelsior Americana

If you play any breed of twang, country, roots-rock or, well, “Americana,” could there possibly be a better amp than this? Okay, according to specs and tonal preferences, sure there could. But for sheer vintage-hip and all-out cool, you really can’t do better than dragging this 1966 Excelsior Americana to the next Gram Parsons tribute

SeaGlass Route6jr

The SeaGlass Route6jr

Boutique Nobility

Marshall Handwired Series 2245THW Head and 1960AHW Cabinet Price: $1,250 (list) Contact: www.seaglassguitars.com Roger Mello of SeaGlass Guitars officially opened shop in 2011. Today, he offers four electric models; his Route6jr maintains the simplicity of the guitars that inspired it while re-creating their classic features in a high-end, handcrafted solidbody. The Route6jr’s set-neck, lightweight design

The Highwaymen

American Outlaws

Country’s first supergroup emerged from a 1984 Johnny Cash Christmas special taped in Switzerland. Along with Marty Stuart, the guests were longtime Cash pals friends Kris Kristofferson, Waylon Jennings, and Willie Nelson. The concept made sense to veteran Memphis producer Chips Moman, who supervised the music for the show. The quartet soon had an album

Status Quo’s Francis Rossi

On Guitars, Music, and Elusive Success

“I’m only as good now as I should have been when I was 25,” laughs Francis Rossi, the 64-year-old lead guitarist, singer, and co-composer in Status Quo. “That’s why I practice at least two hours every night. I’ll watch some guitarist in a band opening for us and think, ‘I can’t bloody watch this,’ because

Arliss McMinn and the California Playboys

The "Fenderized" Teens

“What started in California?” you ask. The list includes a broad range of inventions, fads, pop culture, and social movements. The Golden State brought forth Levi’s, iPhones, surf music, hot rods, low-brow art, Eichler homes, and of course, electric guitars. A list of the latter includes Rickenbacker, National-Dobro, Mosrite, a bunch of lesser-known brands, and

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Siegmund Missing Link

Rounding Out the Board

Looking like a Sputnik-era satellite, the Missing Link from Siegmund Guitars and Amplifiers may be the perfect way to – pardon the pun – round out a pedalboard. Encased in a very attractive polished stainless-steel half dome, the micro-tube clean-powered Missing Link is a unique effect: a transparent signal boost that does not alter the

Teye Guitars Gypsy Queen

Teye Guitars Gypsy Queen

The Art of Tone

For Austin-based Teye Guitars, taking guitar construction to new artistic heights has been a basic tenet since their inception. Mastermind luthier Teye Wijnterp, an accomplished guitarist, forged his concept of playable art during years of touring. Today, players around the world, including Rich Robinson of the Black Crowes, Zac Brown, and Grammy-nominated guitarist Joe Taylor,

1980 Renaissance T-200G Home thumb

Renaissance T-200G

What is it about Plexiglas? It’s so cool. You can see through it onstage. It’s dense, yet resonant. You’d think it would be the perfect medium for a mean rock and roll machine. And it’s not like people haven’t tried! But for some mysterious reason(s), practically every attempt to make a successful Plexiglas guitar has

Stromberg Master 400

Stromberg Master 400

The Stromberg Master 400, measuring a gigantic 19″, is considered by many to be the ultimate orchestral rhythm guitar. The instrument of choice for Freddy Green with the Count Basie Orchestra and other players who needed the ultimate in power and projection to cut through a brass band or full orchestra without the benefit of

Kurt Hendrick

History of the Mystery

One of the most enigmatic brands in the recent history of American guitars was Hendrick, the funky solidbody electrics created by designer Kurt Hendrick. • The son of an aerospace engineer, Hendrick grew up in the 1960s near the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Space Center Houston (when it was called the Manned Spacecraft Center)

Jonny Wickersham

Jonny Wickersham

Social D Guitarist Does ’70s Cali Rock

Best known as the Les Paul Junior-slinging guitarist stage left of Mike Ness in Social Distortion, Jonny “Two Bags” Wickersham speaks with a laid-back SoCal drawl and peppers his conversation with modest asides. The uninitiated would never suspect he has just dropped his first solo record, Salvation Town, gorgeously layered Americana abetted by California rock

Fender Jazz Bass

“Stack-knob” is a catch phrase that for decades has perked the ears of collectors; these relatively rare examples of the earliest Fender Jazz Bass are among the first electric basses to be “collected” instead of just bought, sold, and played! Along with the ’50s Precision, they stand as the ultimate Fender bass – sought for