The Grateful Dead & The Doors

The Grateful Dead: 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition, The Doors: 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition
A Tale of Two Cities

The Grateful Dead profoundly shaped the trippy San Francisco sound of 1967, while to the south, the Doors crafted a harder-edged approach to psychedelia in Los Angeles. Both bands released their debut albums exactly 50 years ago, and each platter has been reissued in grand style. By the release of their first LP in early

Blackstar ID:30TVP

Tone in the Digital Domain

Blackstar ID:30TVP Price: $399.99 Info: www.blackstarampsx.com. Since forming in 2007, Blackstar has been building user-friendly amplifiers and attracting high-profile artists like Leslie West, Neal Schon, and Gus G. The company’s ID series would seem to represent the next logical step: Blackstar’s first digital non-tube amp line. The 30-watt entry in the ID series has many

Jeff Beck

He Can’t Help It... He Just Keeps Getting Better

In 1985, speaking of the ’83 Action Research into Muscle Distrophy (A.R.M.S.) Tour that united Yardbirds alumni Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page, and Eric Clapton, the latter stated, “At that time and for many months after that, I began to think of Jeff as probably being the finest guitar player I’d ever seen. And I’ve been

Feature Guitar

Cardinal’s Magpie

Bird in Hand

Cardinal Magpie Price: $4,300 Contact: www.cardinalinstruments.com While most folks are happy to buy guitars off the rack, the Cardinal Magpie is a prime example of today’s handcrafted, built-to-order guitars that exist apart from the masses. Coming from the shop of Austin, Texas, luthier Sam Evans, the Magpie exudes old-world craftsmanship and crisp attention to detail.

Steinar Karlsen

Nordic Surf Slinger

Scandinavia is no stranger to good “instro” music. The past 60 years have produced guitar-fueled legends like the Spotnicks (Sweden), Jørgen Ingmann (Denmark), and Laika & the Cosmonauts (Finland). Hailing from Norway is Steinar Karlsen, a fine player who instinctively understands the guitar music of the early ’60s. On his new album, Tur, Karlsen covers

Dickerson Standard Lap Steel

Though today they are viewed as little more than curious relics of a lost era, during the Great Depression, “mother of toilet seat” Hawaiian lap steels were one of the most popular types of guitar. You could argue that these little electrics blazed the trail for the later popularity of electric Spanish guitars. There were

Fender’s J Mascis

Fender’s J Mascis Artist Jazzmaster - J’s Rockin’ Axe

Introduced in the late 1950s as Fender’s “jazz guitar,” the Jazzmaster was also supposed to compete in the market with Gibson’s semi-hollow ES line. But despite its very specific moniker, the guitar never caught on with the jazz crowd. Lucky for Leo, the Jazzmaster was hijacked by many of the top surf and instrumental bands

’53 Gibson Les Paul Junior

Gibson’s records tell us the Les Paul Junior was introduced in 1954. But here we have what appears to be a 1953 example. This instrument has no serial number on the back of the peghead, though the tone and volume pot codes indicate they were made in 1953, and the guitar differs in specifications from

Coco Montoya

Hard Truth

It’s been awhile since Coco Montoya’s last studio effort, but he comes out firing here. From the Albert King-style blast that kicks off the opener, “Before The Bullets Fly,” to the loud, raucous blues rock of the closer, “Truth Be Told,” He is spot on. The tunes here cover a lot of ground. “I Want

Budda’s Baby Budda Amp Head

Big-Boy Tone

Budda’s Baby Budda Amp Head Price: $1,199.99 (retail) Info: www.budda.com. Budda Amplification staked its claim in 1995 with the Twinmaster boutique amplifier. Its hand-wired construction and user-friendly tones were hits in the guitar community and led to a broader line of amplifiers that catered to modern guitarists who craved old-school touch responsive. The Baby Budda

Ray Gomez

A Time for Honor

One of the hottest guitarists to emerge from the mid-’70s fusion scene was Ray Gomez, who first became known through his virtuosic performance on Stanley Clarke’s landmark School Days album. We talked with Ray as he was preparing to release his new album, Honor.   You’ve been working on your new album Honor for the

Nate Najar

This Is Nate Najar

Nate Najar plays accessible jazz on a classical guitar and applies classical technique to match. This album showcases the music veteran playing a variety of tunes that range from Chopin’s “Prelude in E Minor (op.28 no.4),” Chick Corea’s “500 Miles High” and “Chick’s Tune,” as well as Jobim’s “Insensatez (How Insensitive)” and “O Morro Não

ALVINLEE_HOME-MAIN-BIG

Ten Years After

Woodstock Music & Arts Festival, August, 1969

Click Here to read the Alvin Lee obituary. In the summer of 1968, America was starting to hear about a new blues movement exploding in England, primarily in the hipster clubs of London. Riding the wave of the worldwide success of the Rolling Stones, groups with raw sound and power such as The Yardbirds, The

Guild’s Orpheum Slope Shoulder 14-Fret Rosewood Dreadnought

Guild’s Orpheum Slope Shoulder 14-Fret Rosewood Dreadnought

Reviving the ’30s

Guild’s Orpheum Slope Shoulder 14-Fret Rosewood Dreadnought Price: $4,999 (list); $3,799 (street) Info: www.guildguitars.com. Compared to Martin’s longstanding factory location in Pennsylvania, Guild’s acoustic guitar factory has been a gypsy. The company first produced guitars in Hoboken, New Jersey, before moving to Waverly, Rhode Island, then to Corona, California, followed by Tacoma, Washington. Today, New

J.D. Simo

Remembering Duane Allman

Chicagoan J.D. Simo began playing professionally at age 10 and just five years later was on the road full-time, eventually ending up in Nashville. He faced tough times while making a name for himself, but today he’s barnstorming the globe fusing his visceral musicality with influences from the greatest blues and roots artists in America.

Gibson 1928 L-1 Blues Tribute

Blues Time Machine

Gibson 1928 L-1 Blues Tribute Price: $4,255 retail; $3,299 street Info: www.gibson.com. The Gibson L-1 boasts the kind of intriguing history that makes it a legend. In the late 1920s, it was the company’s low-end model. But Mississippi Delta blues man Robert Johnson happened upon one: two surviving photographs show him holding an L-1, though

Hall of Fame – Players

From 1994 to the present — read about each Readers’ Choice Awards Players.