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    Nate Westgor Salutes Vintage Guitar.

    Nate Westgor, head honcho at Willie’s American Guitars, grabbed some great guitars to send best wishes to VG in honor of the magazine’s 30th anniversary. Check it out as he noodles on a ’55 Fender Esquire, a Gibson Custom Shop ’59 ES-355TD, a Fender Custom Shop Caballo Tono Ligero, and a rare ’63 Gretsch Nashville “two-tone.” Keep up with Nate at http://www.williesguitars.com/

    James Patrick Regan Honors Stone Temple Pilots’ Dean DeLeo and More!

    James Patrick Regan grew up being influenced by all kinds of music from many sources – radio, TV, MTV, etc. So it’s no surprise he absorbed licks like those offered here in belated honor of birthday boys Dean DeLeo (of Stone Temple Pilots) and Rick Springfield (be sure to catch James’ surprise tribute at the end!). “I’m using Dunlop Super Bright Strings into a Dr Z Carmen Ghia amp and my Trailer Trash pedalboard with an MXR Distortion+ and a Keeley compressor, all wired with George L’s cables,” he said. Keep with James and his band at www.thedeadlies.com/


    Santana IV

    This lineup reunites Carlos Santana with guitarist Neal Schon and other members of the 1970–1973 Santana band, reigniting their unique mix of Latin-rock, soul, jazz-rock fusion, and heavy Afro-Cuban beats. Listen to “Shake It” for a modern spin on old-school Santana, Carlos jamming on the wah-wah for the main track, while Schon is let off

    The banjo and American music cross paths in a remarkably entangled web of complexity. The banjo was brought to the New World – conceptually, at least – by African slaves who used it to create music subsequently appropriated by 19th-century white entertainers, who created blackface minstrelsy, which became the basis of Vaudeville and a great


    Dan Fogelberg’s Gretsch White Penguin

    Dan Fogelberg’s success as a singer and songwriter far overshadows his reputation as a musician, but the man whose tenor voice and sentimental songs ruled the Adult Contemporary charts in the early 1980s was actually quite an accomplished guitarist. Evidence is on The Innocent Age and Windows and Walls – the albums that yielded his

    PRS Alex Lifeson Signature

    PRS Alex Lifeson Signature

    Grand Designs

    PRS Alex Lifeson Signature Price: $8,999 (list) Contact: www.prsguitars.com What do you call the most beautifully made production acoustic you’ve ever seen? You might consider calling it the Paul Reed Smith Alex Lifeson Signature acoustic guitar. With a European spruce top that has enough bear-claw figure to lead one to suspect they brought in a


    Thin Lizzy’s Scott Gorham and Vivian Campbell

    Live and Still Dangerous!

    Thin Lizzy has cemented its place in history as one of the most influential rock bands of all time. Recognizable by its harmonized twin-guitar leads and a hard-edged sound, Lizzy inspired generations of musicians in the U.K. and around the world. The classic and most identifiable lineup paired guitarists Scott Gorham and Brian Robertson, though

    Neal Schon

    Neal Schon

    “The Guitar Is My Voice”

    Long before Neal Schon helped Journey sell more than 80 million albums, he was a rock-fusion gunslinger who turned down Eric Clapton’s request to join Derek and the Dominos so he could tour with Santana when he was 15. With all his success, Schon still craves the rock-fusion that was a part of the early


    Music Man Game Changer

    Twelve Tons of Tone

    Music Man Game Changer Price: $2,275 (street) Contact: www.gamechanger.music-man.com Since the introduction of the electric guitar, builders have sought ways to increase the variety of tones that can be had from an instrument; in 1959, Gibson created the Varitone circuit for its ES-345, and in the decades since, virtually every company has attempted some means


    Jeff Golub

    Unfinished Business

    The route taken by Jeff Golub in making Train Keeps A Rolling is unlike that followed by any other artist. Just as his previous record, Three Kings, was released, Golub suffered the collapse of one of his optic nerves, which caused loss of sight in that eye. The condition doesn’t typically affect the sight in


    TWA GD-02 Great Divide Analog Synth Octaver

    Mono Monster

    TWA GD-02 Great Divide Analog Synth Octaver Price: $399 Info: www.godlyke.com . Despite its cumbersome name and the fact it looks like it might require an MIT degree to use, the TWA GD-02 Great Divide Analog Synth Octaver is simple and relatively intuitive to use – and a lot of fun. At its heart, the


    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

    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


    The Electro-Harmonix Superego Synth Engine


    Electro-Harmonix Superego Synth Engine Price: $283.60 (retail); $212.70 (street) Contact: www.ehx.com Building on the success of its Freeze Sound Retainer (a.k.a. the world’s shortest looper), the Electro-Harmonix Superego Synth Engine is a “short” sampler pedal, but with more control and options. The Superego not only allows the player to capture or freeze notes and chords


    Robert Randolph

    The Sacred Steel, Family, and SRV

    Living testament to the versatility of the pedal-steel guitar and a rarity in pop music, Robert Randolph adroitly addresses the challenge of acting as front man of the Family Band despite mostly having to sit to play, taking command of a show by sheer force of his playing. Whether accompanying others or going on one


    Doobie Brothers

    A Discussion with Tom Johnston and Patrick Simmons

    American music rarely is more pure than when it comes from the minds, hands, and mouths of the Doobie Brothers. A rare mix of talent, the Doobies have, since their inception, been fronted by two musicians with unique voices and distinct guitar styles, each of which has driven the band’s sound from Tom Johnston’s huge

    The Epiphone Excellente

    The Epiphone Excellente

    When Gibson acquired Epiphone in 1957, the plan was to introduce a new line of Epis that would be made in the Gibson factory but designed to be slightly less expensive than the equivalent Gibson model. It worked out that way in the electric line of the 1960s, where the more expensive Epis had mini-humbuckers

    Spencer Kirkpatrick

    Spencer Kirkpatrick

    Jammin’ Southern Hero

    In the ’70s, Hydra was a Southern-rock band that owed more to the heavy British blues of Cream and Free than Skynyrd. Its secret weapon was lead guitarist Spencer Kirkpatrick, a player whose licks led the band through three LPs before it disappeared. Today, Spencer continues to gig while working at Atlanta Vintage Guitars. Before


    ValveTrain 205

    Five Watts, Just So

    Rick Gessner is a tweed amp enthusiast who has more than made a splash since entering the fray in 2005. His versions of tweed-era Fender classics (with subtle refinements), along with his Spring Thing reverb unit, have been making waves with players from Pat Travers to Brad Paisley. The ValveTrain 205 is Gessner’s interpretation of


    Ibanez Artcore AF105NT

    Class Axe

    Ibanez has always had two distinct personalities – first as a purveyor of shreddy solidbodies for the hard rock/metal crowd, but also as a maker of fine archtops, thanks to famous users like George Benson, Pat Metheny, and John Scofield. In the ’90s, the company started to brand many of its low-/mid-priced hollowbodies as the

    Martin OM-18P Plectrum Guitar

    Martin OM-18P Plectrum Guitar

    While the most commonly played and collected Martin guitars have a six-string neck, the company has also made a number of historically noteworthy four-strings. Beginning in the 1920s and carrying into the ’60s, it produced several tenor guitars. In the ’30s, it offered plectrum guitars in an era when tenor banjos and guitars were far