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    Wolf Marshall Celebrates George Benson

    VG sends a birthday shout-out to George Benson with help from “Fretprints” columnist Wolf Marshall, who plays the jazzbo-axer favorite “Stella By Starlight,” which George recorded for the Tenderly album with McCoy Tyner. Wolf ’s using his ’66 Gibson Super 400CES formerly owned by George and played/shown on the covers of “The New Boss Guitar” and “It’s Uptown.” He’s plugged straight into a ’65 Fender Twin Reverb with Jensen speakers. Happy 74th, George! Keep up with Wolf at www.WolfMarshall.com.

    Kentucky HeadHunters’ Greg Martin Honors Chuck Berry

    Greg Martin says “Condolences to Chuck’s family from Vintage Guitar, The Kentucky HeadHunters and myself. We’re all students of Chuck Berry and we’re still learning. Chuck and his pianist Johnnie Johnson are back together again, the original rock n’ roll team. In honor of Chuck, I’m playing a few of his licks on a 1959 Gibson ES-345, straight into a 1966 Fender Champ.” Greg also remembers Chuck in his newest “Head Shop” online column HERE.

    God gave us rock n’ roll and Chuck Berry was one of His messengers

    Vintage Guitar magazine Presents Greg Martin's Head Shop

    This is a regular series of exclusive Vintage Guitar online articles where The Kentucky Headhunters’ Greg Martin looks back on influential albums and other musical moments. We have lost the poet laureate of rock n’ roll, Mr. Chuck Berry. The news came from St. Louis yesterday, March 18th, truly a sad day for music. As

    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

    Star Board: Rudy Jaramillo

    Star Board: Rudy Jaramillo

    Rudy Jaramillo is quick to mention that his effects setup is very simple. “I go into my 1) Boss tuner, then to a 2) Boss Blues Driver that has been modded. I don”t know what was done, but it makes an amp sound more like itself, if you know what I mean. From there, the

    AmpRX BrownBox Voltage-Reduction Unit

    AmpRX BrownBox Voltage-Reduction Unit

    Vintage-Safe Voltage

    AmpRX BrownBox Voltage-Reduction Unit Price: $269.00 (list) Contact: www.amprx.net Amplifier repairman and builder Patrick Geraghty was frustrated with the sound of his own vintage-styled builds. They seemed to lack the vintage tones of the ’60s and ’70s. In addition to examining components, he also began to look at the disparity between the wall voltages of

    Echoplex EP-2

    Sam Phillips didn’t invent tape echo with his mid-’50s recordings of Elvis, but he just as well may have. So influential, so inspirational were those songs – with their warm, glorious slap-back echo created in Sun’s control room by two jerryrigged tape recorders – that budding rock-and-rollers everywhere had to have it. With the arrival


    Bill Kirchen

    Telemaster Offers A Word To The Wise

    Trying to top 2006’s Hammer Of The Honky-Tonk Gods, Bill Kirchen’s eighth solo album, would seem a mighty tall order. Then again, he set what would have been a surprisingly high bar for anyone else with his ’94 solo debut, Tombstone Every Mile. Word To The Wise (Proper American) manages to push the Tele-toting “King

    3rd Power Dream Weaver

    Tone Cubed

    3rd Power Dream Weaver Price: $3.299 Info: www.3rdpower.com. Purchasing a new amp is much more than buying a piece of gear – think of it as hiring out a job. In most cases, you hope this new employee will help you sound great, cover the required tonal bases, prove reliable, and have the right amount

    Robert Cray

    Robert Cray

    Four Nights Of 40 Years

    Five-time Grammy winner Robert Cray has always played serious blues. But, early on, he sidestepped a genre that would descend into pentatonic hackery in favor of brilliant songs, soul-drenched vocals, and emotional guitar playing. Cray is all about dark, passionate yarns and hypnotic groove. His current project, 4 Nights Of 40 Years, is a retrospective

    The Charvel Model 4

    Certain guitar brands develop a mystique among aficionados – sometimes it’s even deserved! Somewhere on this continuum lie Charvel USA guitars made in the early ’80s in San Dimas, California. Curiously, that “San Dimas guitar” mystique didn’t rub off to its foreign cousins like the Model 4 – the fine Japanese-made Charvels produced beginning in

    Golden State-Lone Star Blues Revue

    Golden State-Lone Star Blues Revue

    Welcome to a cross-country meeting of blues minds. The first release from this group of veteran California and Texas bluesmen features guitarists Little Charlie Baty, an Alabama-to-California transplant grounded originally in Chicago blues and erstwhile leader of Little Charlie and the Nightcats, and Anson Funderburgh, acolyte of fellow Texans like Lightnin’ Hopkins and Freddie King.

    Dave Specter

    Dave Specter

    Chicago Style

    Dave Specter’s Message In Blue is chock full of imaginative instrumentals, great guest vocals, and blistering guitar work from Specter. But that’s not what he likes most about it. As with all his records, Message covers a lot of ground. Still, Specter sees himself as a blues guitarist. “People don’t realize how much the blues

    Brian Tarquin

    Brian Tarquin

    No Idle Hands

    Brian Tarquin is more than keeping busy. In the space of six weeks, he recently released two very different instrumental CDs centered on his playing with a multitude of guests, and he published a coffee-table book about guitars. Guitars For Wounded Warriors is a tribute to those who have served. “I wanted to really give

    Fender’s ’68 Custom Deluxe Reverb

    Fender’s ’68 Custom Deluxe Reverb

    Improving on a Good Thing

    Fender’s ’68 Custom Deluxe Reverb Price: $999.99 list Contact: www.fender.com In 1968, Fender gave its amp line what collectors today look back on as a major facelift when it introdued the silver-and-turquoise silkscreened faceplate and aluminum “drip edge” grille trim. The company recently reissued that classic look with its ’68 Custom Deluxe Reverb, but this

    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

    Gibson’s First Reissue Les Pauls

    Gibson’s First Reissue Les Pauls

    On the Road to ’59

    Strings and Things Les Paul Many articles have been written about how guitarists and dealers in the mid/late 1970s and early ’80s were asking Gibson to build a Les Paul that more closely conformed to ’59 specs. The following is not an attempt to rehash any of them, but rather to provide an overview of

    Jazz singer and bassist Esperanza Spalding performing at the North Sea Jazz festival 2012 in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Photo: JBreeschoten/Wikimedia.

    Esperanza Spalding

    Emily’s D+Evolution

    Popularly known as that cute female jazz bassist with the Afro who bogarted the Best New Artist Grammy away from Justin Bieber in 2012, Esperanza Spalding’s new album is soul-jazz surrealism at it’s finest. Spalding courageously sidesteps the acid chick jazz of her female contemporaries. In its place is theatricality, poetry, joy, and the progressive

    Gibson Custom Colors in the 1960s

    Burning Embers, Chilled Whites

    Unlike its rival from the West Coast, Gibson did not readily embrace the concept of offering custom-color finishes. It wasn’t averse to custom work or colorful finishes, but saw them more as a consequence of its wider range of stringed instruments – acoustics, electrics, and associated clientele. While competitors like Fender, Gretsch, Harmony, and Rickenbacker

    Fargen Olde 800 MKII, Sonic Edge J&J Overdrive

    Decades of Tone

    The Fargen Olde 800 MKII Price: $1,949 Info: www.fargenamps.com. For 10 years, Ben Fargen has established a reputation for building amps based on British and American designs, and for offering aftermarket mods to expand/enhance other builders’ designs. Fargen’s new nod to the British stacks of yore is the Olde 800 Mk2. A 25-watt head fueled

    Furry Lewis' 1968 Gibson B-25N

    Furry Lewis’ 1968 Gibson B-25N

    Heart In Hand

    Born in the heart of Mississippi’s fabled Delta region – from whence also emerged Robert Johnson and the blues-music form that co-opted the geologic term, Walter “Furry” Lewis was seven years old when his family moved to Memphis circa 1907. Geographically poised as a gathering point for sharecroppers emigrating from the deep south to various