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    James Patrick Regan Celebrates Cat Stevens’ Birthday!

    James Patrick Regan uses his Gibson J-200 (with Dunlop strings) to play “Wild World” in honor of singer/songwriter Yusuf Islam (born Steven Georgiou, but you likely know him better as Cat Stevens) on his 69th birthday. And stay tuned for another hidden surprise birthday lick! Keep up with James and his band at www.thedeadlies.com and catch him this Saturday with the Cherry Road Gang.

    Epiphone Crestwood

    ’60s Un-Gibson Solidbody

    Gibson’s acquisition of Epiphone in 1957 presented a tremendous challenge to guitar designers and marketers at the company. One challenge was to design a new solidbody instrument that could be produced at the Kalamazoo factory using existing tooling and production lines. Another was to make it visually distinct from Gibson’s Les Pauls. The answer? The

    Taj Mahal

    Labor of Love

    Taj Mahal plays all sorts of folk, keyboard, and percussion instruments – and just about anything with strings. His deceptively easygoing approach to music – a trot rather than a frenzied gallop – has made for a long fruitful career. As a bandleader, he introduced us to some truly fine musicians, including guitar greats Ry

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    Michael Schenker

    Acoustic Album, Electric Gear

    One of the most influential guitarists in hard rock history, Michael Schenker has imbued the music of UFO, Scorpions, and his own MSG with soaring, light-speed guitar solos. More recently, he released Gipsy Lady, an album by his Schenker-Barden Acoustic Project, one of several non-electric projects he’s working on, and he also maintains a brisk

    Tedeschi Trucks Band

    Live From The Fox Oakland
    All The Way Live

    Live albums can be a remedy for contract disputes or a way to stall for time during a creative dry spell. For Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks, it’s really the best way to be heard on a recording. Live is their natural habitat. When they’re feeding off each other and the raw energy of an

    The ViVi-Tone Aggrandizer

    The ViVi-Tone Aggrandizer

    • Preamp tubes: 6C5, 6F5 • Output tubes: two 6B5 • Rectifier: 80 • Controls: Volume, on/off switch • Speaker: 10″ field coil • Output: barely scraping double digits… if you’re lucky. “Aggrandize: v.tr. 1. increase the power, rank, or wealth 2. cause to appear greater than is the case.” So says the Oxford English

    John 5 and the Creatures

    Season of the Witch
    The Horror

    Making good music requires a stimulating muse or inspiration. For some it’s love, happiness, loss, or regret. For guitarist John 5 inspiration comes in the form of interests that have occupied many a childhood: Horror comics, monster movies, and heavy metal. These influences along with virtuoso shred guitar, the television show “Hee-Haw,” and solid composing

    National Style 3 Hawaiian

    Metal-bodied guitars built by the National String Instrument Company before World War II represent a giant leap in guitar design and technology. When they debuted in 1926, they were startling in both appearance and sound; there was simply nothing else like them. Throughout the ’20s, the guitar gained popularity with rising prominence of radio artists

    Delta Labs Concept 1

    Delta Labs Concept 1

    Preamp tubes: Two 6U8A, two 12FQ7, in addition to more-common types Output tubes: eight 33JV6 horizontal-output tubes Rectifier: solidstate Controls: Volume, Treble, Mid, Bass, Resonance, Distortion; Echo effect: Mix, Repeat, Delay; Tremolo: Speed, Intensity. Pushbuttons for voicing. Output: 300 watts RMS +/- Speaker: two 12″ and four 10″ Eminence speakers You’d be forgiven for assuming

    Seth Lover

    Seth Lover

    Humbuckers and Other Lover innovations

    The history of the musical instrument business is full of stories, from the drab to the miraculous. Some bean counters will busily push their way to the forefront, grabbing for a piece of history, while others quietly create. Seth Lover peers out at me from the doorway of his humble Southern California ranch house looking

    Metal Pedals JH-3

    Metal Pedals JH-3

    Swiss-Army Distortion

    Metal Pedals JH-3 Price: $235 (list) Contact: www.metalpedals.com Like a Swiss Army knife, the multifunction Metal Pedals JH-3 Johnny Hiland has more options than you’d expect in such a small package. Hiland, solo artist and session man for folks from Toby Keith to Hank III, was so inspired after playing through Metal Pedals’ Bomb Shell

    Teye Apache

    Sound, Feel, Mojo

    One of three stunning L-series models (along with its brothers, the El Toro and Cleopatra) introduced by guitar builder Teye, the single-cutout/mahogany-body Apache has a maple cap that echoes a Les Paul, and most guitarists will instantly recognize the influence of Tony Zemaitis in its etched-aluminum plates and inlaid faux turquoise. Workmanship on the Apache

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    Singular Sound BeatBuddy

    Drums Even You Can Play

    Everyone knows a good drummer joke. Or two. Drummers are indeed a special breed. Singular Sound’s BeatBuddy drum-machine pedal, however, is no joke. And as the first drum-machine-in-a-pedal designed for guitarists, it, too, is special. The BeatBuddy provides Charlie Watts in a box – along with Buddy Rich, Al Jackson, Jr., and John Bonham thrown

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    Louis Electric Buster

    Beyond Deluxe

    Louis Electric Buster Price: $1,595. Info: louisamps.com Lou Rosano has been building amps in the Fender vein for more than 17 years. His first build wound up in the hands of the late Danny Gatton, and other greats who have played through his Louis Electric amps include Keith Richards, John Fogerty, Jorma Kaukonen, and Hubert

    Paul Gilbert

    Mr. Big Takes it Down a Notch

    Paul Gilbert and the crew that makes up Mr. Big – bassist Billy Sheehan, drummer Pat Torpey, and vocalist Eric Martin – reunited a couple years ago on the heels of a Gilbert gig at the L.A. House of Blues where he, Sheehan, and Torpey jumped onstage together. Digging the vibe, they soon called Martin,

    Various Artists

    Bill Frisell and Thomas Morgan and Dominic Miller

    Bill Frisell is a living jazz icon, famed for his ethereal tone and snaking post-bop lines. Here, he partners with Thomas Morgan for a live set – just guitar and standup bass – cut at the Village Vanguard in New York. It’s intimate and beautiful, as you’d expect from ECM. “It Should Have Happened A

    Roland V-Studio 20

    The Roland V-Studio 20

    Roland V-Studio 20 Price: $300 (street) Info: www.rolandus.com. Home digital recording has come a long way in the last 20 years, to the point where top bands are cutting full albums at home. But there is still a learning curve for the uninitiated, and the software and hardware choices are dizzying. Enter Roland, whose V-Studio

    Ernie Ball’s MVP Volume/Gain Expression Pedal

    Ernie Ball MVP Volume/Gain Expression Pedal

    Total Control

    Ernie Ball’s MVP Volume/Gain Expression Pedal Price: $179 (list); $129.99 (street) Info: www.ernieball.com. Just when you thought you were done building the perfect pedalboard with all the coolest overdrives and time-based effects, you realize you need to control your sound. No doubt, a volume pedal is the way to go for controlling the volume of

    Immix Eleven V-Series 30 Amp/Cab

    Immix Eleven V-Series 30 Amp/Cab

    Lights! Sound! Action!

    Immix Eleven V-Series 30 Amp/Cab Price: Amp $1,995 (list); cabinet $895 (list) Contact: www.immix11.com Remember the first time you encountered the Rick 331LS Light Show guitar? You thought, wow, that’s cool, but how does it sound? The Immix Eleven V-Series 30 is a head/speaker design with a little light show all its own, but with

    Taylor T3

    Tone Poet

    The Taylor T3 Price: $2,998 Info: www.taylorguitars.com. Some guitar players never touch a tone knob, while others view it as the Holy Grail of guitar controls. If that sounds like you, put up your antenna and tune to the Taylor T3, a semi-hollowbody electric that provokes many tonal questions. Is it a rock axe? Jazz