Lazer Lloyd

Blues in Israel – A Common Bond

If you ask guitarist Lazer Lloyd, the state of Israel is an appropriate place for blues music. Originally known as Lloyd Paul Blumen, he lived in New York and Connecticut before emigrating to the Middle East more than two decades ago, and now goes by his Hebrew name, Eliezer Pinchas Blumen. “Lazer” is culled from

Eric Lindell

Matters of the Heart

Eric Lindell’s past efforts have showcased his multiple skills, and this latest is no different. His songwriting is strong as ever, his interpretive skills are impeccable, he handles various instruments with ease, and there’s no questioning his vocals. The emphasis for him has always been roots music – mostly R&B and sweet soul, with some

Founded by a jazz guitarist as jazz-box builder, the Guild company also built a solid reputation with its ’50s acoustic guitars. The brand’s profile as an acoustic builder was certainly given a you-can’t-put-a-price-on-that bit of exposure when Richie Havens hammered on a D-40 in front of 400,000 people at Woodstock! Another unforgettable Guild gig was

Les Paul Remembered

Les Paul Remembered

When news of the passing of Les Paul spread through the guitar community August 13, reaction was swift and heartfelt. Claimed by complications of severe pneumonia at a hospital in White Plain, New York, Paul was 94. His name is synonymous with Gibson’s early solidbody electric guitars, and for a time he was one of

Gibson’s Mastertone Banjos

Gibson’s Mastertone Banjos

This Gibson RB-3 five-string from 1925 is a rare piece, as is any five-string banjo from the era dominated by tenor banjos. But it’s more important as a representative of one of Gibson’s first steps in a desperate attempt to develop a competitive banjo. Gibson recognized the impending popularity of the tenor banjo as early

Mark Sebastian

Mark Sebastian

Hometown Noir

Mark Sebastian’s new album, The Real Story, is a paean to his musical roots in the Big Apple. “About a year ago, I realized I had almost an album’s worth of new songs, and wanted to record them,” he said. “I’d been playing the Living Room, here in New York City, (and) my vocal and

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Steve Cropper

Homage to Lowman Pauling

All but forgotten today, with his low-slung guitar, stylish rhythm licks, and tasty leads, Lowman Pauling was one of the great guitar heroes of the ’50s. Guitarist for the R&B doo-wop band the 5 Royales, not only did Pauling pick melody lines and play leads, he also composed many of the band’s songs, sang in

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Amptweaker’s TightFuzz and Bass TightFuzz

A Good Buzz

Amptweaker’s TightFuzz and Bass TightFuzz Price: $280 retail/$199 street (TightFuzz); $310 retail, $219 street (Bass TightFuzz) Info: www.amptweaker.com. Since the birth of the fuzz pedal in 1960s, its scratchy, buzzy, sometimes “psychedelic” sound has freed the creativity of many guitar players. Now, the crew at Amptweaker is seeking to feed that creative “buzz” with its

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,

deLisle Nickel Box

deLisle Nickel Box

A Nickel For Your Chops

deLisle Nickel Box Price: $609 (list); $729 (as tested) Info: www.delisleguitar.com Low-watt amplifiers have enjoyed a run of popularity. Offering saturated power-tube distortion at volumes that should keep the neighbors from showing up at midnight with tallow torches and pitchforks, they can be ideal for practice and recording. Given the number of choices available, one

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Nioma Guitars

Rarities from a West Coast Music School

NIOMA musical instruments from the 1930s and ’40s – with their vaguely Hawaiian-looking name – have mystified vintage-guitar enthusiasts over the decades when they’ve occasionally surfaced in retail shops and guitar shows. The seven known models – three acoustic guitars, two dobro-like resophonics, and two electric lap steels – were oriented to those who made

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Robben Ford

The Space Between the Notes

When it comes to blues, Robben Ford has always been inspired by the most profound practitioners of the form and gone his own way with the understanding that true blues is about honesty and individuality. His latest, Bringing It Back Home, joins his indelible style and touch with the compositional talents of Allen Toussaint, Earl

MXR Slash Octave Fuzz SF01 and Slash Cry Baby Classic SC-95 Home Big

MXR Slash Octave Fuzz SF01 and Slash Cry Baby Classic SC-95

Slash 'N Burn

MXR SF01 Slash Octae Fuzz Price: $129 (street) Contact: jimdunlop.com MXR’s new Slash Octave Fuzz pedal employs three fuzz “flavors” – Sub-Octave, Fuzz, and Octave Up – that offer a palette of distinctive, utilizable sounds. The pedal, built with analog circuitry, true-bypass switching, and a heavy-duty housing, sports custom artwork with Slash’s famed tophatted-skull-and-crossbones motif.

Eric Gales

Eric Gales

Makin’ Good

The wild and crazy life of Eric Gales has been well documented, but through it all, his guiding light has been a passion for music. From humble beginnings as a child prodigy and talent-show winner in his hometown of Memphis to performing with Billy Cox on the Experience Hendrix tour, his desire has been unshakable.

Supro’s Dual-Tone 1624T, Coronado 1690T

Supro’s Dual-Tone 1624T, Coronado 1690T

1964 All Over Again

Supro’s Dual-Tone 1624T, Coronado 1690T Price: $1,595 (Dual-Tone[LEFT]); $1,795 (Coronado) Contact: www.suprousa.com If there was a time machine handy to scoot us back to 1964, where we would naturally stock up on new guitars and amps, a blue-and-silver Supro would be at the top of most guitarists’ must-grab lists. Happily, time travel isn’t necessary. Fifty

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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

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Peter Stroud and Audley Freed

Two Guys, Many Guitars, One Big Hat

Many a noteworthy rock and roll band from the Cotton Belt has been propelled by guitar-playin’ good ol’ boys with names that ring through music lore in (sometimes) poetic-sounding tandems – Allman and Betts, Collins and Rossington, Caldwell and McCorkle, Petty and Campbell, Hlubeck and Roland (or Holland!), Medlocke and Hargrett, Van Zant and Carlisi,

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Bob’s Playboy Pickers

Bob Wills was, first and foremost, a fiddler. But he began his career in childhood, strumming guitar and mandolin chords at rural Texas parties and dances behind his father, ace fiddler Uncle John Wills. As leader of the Texas Playboys from 1934 to ’64, Wills not only helped define the guitar’s role in western swing,

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DLS TR1 Tremolo and RotoSim

Swirls and Twirls

The DLS TR1 Tremolo and RotoSim Price: $299 (RotoSim) , $249 (TR1) Info: www.dlseffects.com. If you’ve ever played guitar through a Leslie rotating-speaker cabinet, you’re aware of its lush 3D sound. Many guitarists would love to be able to use that sound – and would, were it not for the fact a Leslie cab can

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Egnater Tweaker 40

Small, But Mighty

Egnater Tweaker 40 Price: $1,149 (approx. $800 street). Info: egnater.com Egnater has just amplified its Tweaker line with a new 40-watt, two channel, 1×12 combo. This amp has a Celestion Elite GH-50 speaker in a half-closed, birch-plywood cabinet and weighs a portly 53 pounds – though as many tube enthusiasts know, more weight often adds