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    Charlie Starr Riffs on the Grateful Dead!

    Check out Charlie Starr ripping on the Grateful Dead’s “Mississippi Half-Step Uptown Toodeloo.” He’s playing his ’62 Les Paul Junior through a 1960 Gibson GA-5T Skylark and an Echoplex. Read the Vintage Guitar mag review of Blackberry Smoke’s collaboration with Bob Weir, “An Evening at Tri,” in the July issue “Hit List” reviews. READ NOW!!


    Tommy Emmanuel Plays “The Mystery”

    Watch Tommy Emmanuel play “The Mystery” and read John Heidt’s review of his latest album, “Music Gone Public,” in the July issue of Vintage Guitar magazine. READ IT NOW!!


    The Paul Butterfield Blues Band

    Got A Mind To Give Up Living: Live 1966
    Rare, Bluesy, and Beyond

    A surprisingly large contingent of people in high school or college in 1965 will tell you that less than two years after the Beatles’ big-bang appearances on “The Ed Sullivan Show,” the album that really changed their lives was the eponymous Paul Butterfield Blues Band. In fact, their lives were probably altered before the end

    The Xaviere XV-JT90 and XV-585

    Planks for Pennies

    Xaviere is a company that imports its guitars from China, sets them up in its Massachusetts shop, then sells direct. The company’s XV-JT90 Offset Hybrid is a solidbody with a body shape reminiscent of a Jazzmaster, yet it has a bridge pickup more like you’d find on a Telecaster, making it more adaptable for everything

    Buzz Osborne

    Heavy Bass

    Over the years, fans have come to expect the unexpected from the Melvins. But they just may have outdone themselves this year, with the arrival of two albums – one started nearly 20 years ago and another that features the two main Melvins, singer/guitarist Buzz Osborne and drummer Dale Crover, joined by a host of

    Strymon’s Deco Tape Saturation and Doubletracker

    Strymon’s Deco Tape Saturation and Doubletracker

    Smart Box

    Strymon’s Deco Tape Saturation and Doubletracker Price: $299 (list) Contact: www.strymon.net It’s scary, wielding a stompbox that’s smarter than you. Scary and thrilling. Strymon’s Deco pedal is designed to provide the analog tape effects of a vintage recording studio, without the tape. Think Sun Studios in a box. Abbey Road in a can. Electric Ladyland

    Lake Street Dive

    Side Pony

    It doesn’t get much more wonderfully pop than Lake Street Dive. And with the band’s latest, they’ve produced their best – so far. The quartet was founded by Minneapolis guitarist Michael “McDuck” Olson and named after the city’s infamous thoroughfare and its stellar collection of seedy dives. He met up with drummer Mike Calabrese, string

    Epiphone Emperor Swingster

    Juke-Joint Jammer

    Though its high-point in terms of popular exposure may have occurred when McCartney, Lennon, and Harrison “discovered” the Casino, Epiphone has historically been most known for its archtop guitars. Today, that legacy is largely carried by the Emperor model and its variants. The new Emperor Swingster is based on the popular Emperor Regent, with a

    Gibson Johnny Smith

    In 1961, Gibson’s Johnny Smith model not only associated Gibson with one of the most popular guitar stylists of the day, it also brought high-quality amplification and high-quality acoustic sound together for the first time. From Gibson’s first electric “Spanish” guitar, the ES-150 of 1936, Gibson had fashioned an electric guitar by cutting a hole

    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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    Brad Paisley

    Two Vital Guitars From the Collection of a Modern Superpicker

    Brad Paisley’s 2011 book, Diary of a Player: How My Musical Heroes Made a Guitar Man Out of Me, is essentially an autobiography. But really, it’s not so much about him. Anyone who has ever spoken with Paisley will tell you the “aw shucks” humbleness he exhibits on awards shows, in concert, and in the

    Gretsch 6134 White Penguin

    1958 Gretsch 6134 White Penguin, serial number 26389. Photo courtesy Gruhn Guitars. There’s no doubt the White Penguin is one of the rarest Gretsch instruments. It is estimated that no more than a few dozen were made from the introduction of the model in 1955 through 1964, when it was discontinued, though exact production totals

    GizmoAudio’s Ripsaw and Sawmill Jr.

    GizmoAudio’s Ripsaw and Sawmill Jr.

    Just Like the First Time

    Durham Electronics’ ReddVerb Price: $180 each (list) Info: www.gizmoaudio.com Most guitar players’ first pedal was a distortion/OD, often acquired after enduring the taunts from friends and/or bandmates who whisper about how their tone was “thin” and “weak.” The experience takes them down the road to experimentation; the weeks and years that follow becoming a haze

    The Yamaha THR10

    Yamaha THR10

    Practice Perfection?

    Yamaha THR10 Price: $299 Contact: usa.yamaha.com. As a rule of thumb, practice amps are a compromise. Blissfully portable, they typically lack tone and features. Yet whether in a bedroom or hotel room, a practice amp should help inspire an artist by making practice more pleasure than chore. Yamaha’s THR10 is a definite step in the

    Steve Gunn

    Eyes On The Lines

    Drawing inspiration from a decade on the road, guitarist-singer-songwriter Steve Gunn’s debut for Matador Records chugs along like a handsome old train, ending up in a spot perhaps best described as an Americana Television (Television, as in the seminal 1970s New York City band, not the medium). It’s fresh rock-folk, with guitars gloriously at the

    Randy Rhoads

    Diary of an Axeman, 30 years Later

    (RIGHT) Rhoads’ polka-dot guitar was built in 1979 by Karl Sandoval, with a mahogany body, modified ’60s Danelectro non-adjustable maple neck with a rosewood fingerboard and bow-tie inlays, two DiMarzio humbuckers (PAF in the neck position, Super Distortion in the bridge), separate Tone and Volume controls, a standard vibrato, and a selector switch on the

    Eric Johnson

    Getting Up Close With Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson’s latest release, Up Close, is his most lively studio project to date. With a looser vibe and the luxurious tones we’ve come to expect from Johnson, it gets closer to that happy place between immaculate execution and spontaneity. Johnson invited Steve Miller to sing and Jimmie Vaughan to play guitar on a cover

    Vic Johnson

    At Your Service

    Music fans might remember Vic Johnson as the wickedly eclectic guitarist from the ’80s band The Busboys; it thrived in heavy rotation in the early days of MTV, appeared in the Eddie Murphy blockbuster 48 Hrs., and enjoyed a hit album with Minimum Wage Rock & Roll. In the years since, Johnson made his mark

    Album of the Year

    From 2012 to the present — read about each Readers’ Choice Awards Albums.

    Pink Floyd

    The Early Years 1965-1972
    Primal Floyd

    Priced at more than $500, this 27-disc set is a Floyd-freak’s dream come true. It’s a monster collection of early and unreleased music, track details, DVD and Blu-ray discs, and replicas of concert posters, all carefully detailing the band’s transition from young R&B wannabes to England’s best psychedelic band. By the time you get to