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    Whitey Kirst

    Whitey Kirst jams for us on his late-’70s Gibson Les Paul Standard through through two Marshall MkII Super Lead heads – first a 50-watt, then a 100-watt. Be sure to catch our interview with Whitey in the May issue of Vintage Guitar. READ NOW!

    Dan Smith had an idea – a solidbody guitar with routed chambers that would provide unique resonant tonal characteristics. And he knew the shape he wanted. In the early ’80s, Fender became interested in building instruments that would be viewed as high-quality alternatives to Gibson. Not copies, but highly playable guitars with versatile electronics and

    Larry Coryell

    Barefoot Man: Sanpaku

    The lastest from the godfather of fusion guitar harkens back to his ’71 album Barefoot Boy, revisiting the energy, philosophy, and spirit of that period. “Sanpaku” opens the set with Coryell’s take on modal funkiness as a gateway to more harmonically expansive compositions. “Back To Russia” and “If Miles Were Here” showcase seasoned musicianship, authority,

    Fender Custom Color Strat main

    Custom-Color Stratocasters

    The Stratocaster was born in 1954. A solidbody with three pickups, contoured back and top, vibrato, and bolt-on neck, it was different. And it changed the way people looked at, thought of, heard, and played guitar. With the exception of opera and classical music, it has played a considerable role in modern music. Over the

    50 Years Ago Today

    The Beatles Conquer America

    Sunday, February 9, 1964, was the day that forever changed music and pop culture. “The Ed Sullivan Show” was one of the most popular television programs in the United States and at 8 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, The Beatles made their live debut on American national television before an estimated 73 million people. This single

    So-Cal Steel

    Asher Guitars & Lap Steels Ben Harper Signature Model

    If Nashville is the pedal-steel capital, surely Southern California is a lap steel hotspot. David Lindley and Ben Harper, along with luthier Bill Asher, have taken what some consider an archaic design and put it fully into the public ear. Harper cut his steel teeth on the Weissenborn, and the Asher Ben Harper Model is

    Frenzel FM-DP1 Tube Preamp

    Old-School Bang Without Breaking the Bank

    For five decades after he built his first guitar amp in 1952, Jim Frenzel designed tube and solidstate equipment for the military, FAA, and Texas Instruments. But it wasn’t until 2001, after his retirement, that he returned to tube guitar amps. Frenzel’s philosophy is pretty straightforward; he designs and builds amps that easily dial up

    Musicvox Spaceranger Guitar and Bass HT


    Musicvox Spaceranger Guitar and Bass HT Price: $799 (guitar); $899 (bass) Info: www.musicvox.com. Popularized in film and television, Musicvox Spacerangers have drawn attention for their mondo lower horn and freakishly huge headstock. Purists turn up their noses, but countless others dig the Euro-cheapo aesthetic. Users have included country star Keith Urban, of all people, and

    Mike Zito

    Make Blues Not War

    Mike Zito’s latest serves up large helpings of boogie, blues, and roadhouse-ready rock. His guitar work is stellar as usual and the band features Rob McNelly on guitar, Tommy McDonald on bass, and Tom Hambridge (who also produces) on drums. If all that talent isn’t enough, there are also guest shots from guitarist Walter Trout

    Midge Ure

    Midge Ure

    Many Facets and Musical Stylings

    Humanitarian, activist, guitarist, singer, and songwriter, Midge Ure has been a vital performer since the ’70s. Former guitarist/vocalist for Ultravox, he’s cited for charity work (he co-wrote “Do They Know It’s Christmas”) and performing at Live Aid as well as several Prince’s Trust concerts. Ultravox used electronics with classical and traditional rock instruments, and for


    Epiphone Zephyr De Luxe Regent and Zephyr Amplifier

    The Zephyr De Luxe Regent was Epiphone’s second-from-the-top electric guitar produced from the late 1940s through the mid ’50s. The instrument went through several name changes, from Zephyr De Luxe Cutaway, in 1948, to Zephyr De Luxe Regent, in 1950, to the DeLuxe Electric, by 1954. In Epiphone nomenclature, the word “Zephyr” indicated “electric” and

    Popa Chubby

    Head, Heart, and Hands

    Popa Chubby is back on the road again, preaching the gospel to blues fans around the world. His new album, Universal Breakdown Blues, is a rollercoaster through the many facets of blues and rock. His stamp on tradition brings new life to the genre with a combination of tongue-in-cheek humor and mean guitar. Chubby plays

    Charlie Musselwhite

    Charlie plays The Blues... On Guitar

    In a career spanning 45 years, Charlie Musselwhite has taken the blues to places its never been – literally (playing every corner of the globe) and artistically (on his two dozen solo albums and backing such diverse artists as Tom Waits, INXS, Doc Watson, Bonnie Raitt, Eliades Ochoa, Eddie Vedder, the Blind Boys Of Alabama,

    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

    The Oud

    The Oud

    Ancient to Modern

    If Beatles guitarist George Harrison had used an oud instead of a sitar to give “Norwegian Wood” its distinct sound, the name Munir Bashir may be more recognized today than that of Ravi Shankar. That didn’t happen, of course, and Harrison’s spiritual pursuits led to the sitar becoming part of rock culture in the ’60s,

    Billy Gibbons

    On The Move

    Before ZZ Top, Billy Gibbons launched his career as guitarist and front man with a Texas-based group called the Moving Sidewalks. The band also included bassist Don Summers, keyboardist Tom Moore, and drummer Dan Mitchell. The group’s sound was brewed from a mix of blues and early California psychedelia, sprinkled with the influence of Jimi

    Peavey RJ-IV

    Peavey RJ-IV bass, serial number 04938996. Photo: Bill Ingalls Jr. Instrument courtesy of Naffaz Skota. Americans by the millions “know” Randy Jackson. But not many realize that his gig as one of three judges on TV’s “American Idol” is just the tip of the iceberg in his long musical career. The veteran bassist has played

    Fender Princeton, Deluxe, and Tremolux

    Three Small Tweeds

    Fender Princeton, Deluxe, and Tremolux

    From 1954 through ’59, the Fender Electric Instrument Mfg. Co. built guitar amplifiers with controls mounted atop using “chickenhead” knobs that go to 12, and covered with “the finest airplane luggage linen.” This line represents the company’s classic “tweed era,” and from the diminutive Champ to the mighty Twin, it remained virtually unchanged throughout the


    Gibson EB-2

    Kalamazoo’s Biggest Bass Innovation?

    In the mid 1950s, Gibson president Ted McCarty was paying close attention to two new instruments impacting the musical-instruments market – the solidbody electric guitar and the electric bass. Both had been developed by an upstart company called Fender, and Gibson’s original solidbodies, the Les Paul guitar and Electric Bass (VG, February ’06) were introduced

    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