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    Steepwater Band’s Jeff Massey Homors Tony Iommi

    Jeff Massey is a proud fan of Black Sabbath and guitarist Tony Iommi, who just turned 69. In Tony’s honor, Jeff grabbed his Gibson SG and ran it through a Fulltone Tube Tape Echo and into an Orange Retro 50 head with matching 1×12 cab to play pieces of the classic two-fer “Jack The Stripper”/“Fairies Wear Boots” along with “Wicked World.” Keep up with Jeff and the Steepwater Band at www.steepwater.com.

    Mark Nomad Celebrates Randy California

    Opening with a bit of Spirit’s “I Got a Line on You,” Mark Nomad offers an ode to the late Randy California, who would’ve turned 66 today. “I saw Spirit in 1969, and Randy was playing a Silvertone with lipstick-tube pickups,” Mark said. “His beautiful ballad, ‘Nature’s Way,’ was prescient, and is more relevant today than ever.” For this bit, he’s playing a Fender Custom Shop ’59 Journeyman Tele through a mid-’70s Princeton Reverb. Keep up with Mark at www.marknomad.com.

    Greg Howe

    Best Of Both Worlds

    Greg Howe enjoyed a somewhat overwhelming reception when he appeared in the Carvin booth at the January NAMM show. One of rock-fusion’s most forward-thinking guitarists, he was there to launch a new signature guitar and mingle with fans of his current band project Maragold, which bridges the gap between funk fusion and pop. Few musicians

    Jerry Riggs

    Jerry Riggs

    Heavy Metal Forever

    Jerry Riggs grew up in the ’60s/early ’70s, and though his hometown of Knoxville, Tennessee, wasn’t a mecca like Nashville or Macon, he says, “I was lucky to be exposed to a lot of great music, from Chet Atkins to James Brown, from Hendrix to traditional Appalachian mountain folk songs. I’m privileged to have grown

    ZT Extortion Expressive Distortion

    Mutant Distortion

    ZT Amplifiers put their name on the map four years ago with the compact Lunchbox solid-state amp. Now they continue along the road less traveled with the Extortion Expressive Distortion. For a departure from tonal convention the pedal features an analog overdrive that can be used on its own or enhanced with a digital signal

    Eastwood’s Airline Bighorn

    Goin’ “Old-Store”

    Most everyone has seen a department-store-catalog guitar (or two!) from the ’60s or ’70s. With their funky, cool body shapes and smorgasbord of knobs and switches, their looks grabbed ya’. Trouble was, they were usually plagued with cut-rate hardware and electronics, low build quality, and crude playability. The latest creation from Eastwood, the Airline Bighorn,

    Carr Impala

    Big-Block Tone

    Carr Impala Price: $2,490 (retail, in black); $2,640 (two-tone) Info: www.carramps.com. While the new Carr Impala amplifier gets its name and some of its aesthetic inspiration from the classic Chevy muscle car, its tone inspiration comes from one of the classic ’60 workhorse amps – the Fender Bassman. The Impala’s overall look and vibe are

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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


    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

    Hall of Fame – Innovators

    From 1991 to the present — read about each Readers’ Choice Awards Innovators.

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    Larry Alan Guitars’ The Harlot

    Siren Song

    Hot idea: pack a sturdy-yet-petite 1590B casing with specially selected parts rendering a powerful, variable guitar overdrive, add a couple of vintage-look knobs, a titillating pinup-girl graphic, and call it The Harlot. On second thought, include a pinup graphic inside the meticulously wired box. That’s right, there are two pinup girls. We know – we

    Strobel Rambler Travel Bass

    Traveling in Style 

    As a rule, travel guitars and basses are intended to help one keep up their chops while on the road for work or vacation. But Florida-based Strobel Guitars strives for something a bit more on the professional end of the spectrum – a travel bass that easily breaks down to fit into carry-on luggage, yet

    Hull Amplifiers’ Model H5

    Hull Amplifiers’ Model H5

    Pretty, Stunning

    Hull Amplifiers’ Model H5 Price: $3,199 (list) Contact: www.hullamps.blogspot.com A beat-up ol’ blackface amp can be a thing of beauty, like an old muscle car showing its miles in patches of gray Bondo. But there’s something to be said for an amplifier that’s truly as beautiful to look at as it is to play, with

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    Mu-FX Octave Divider

    The Mu Is Back

    This is rocket science. Or at least as close as a stompbox gets. Sure, building a pedal that tweaks a guitar’s signal around and about isn’t exactly putting a man on the moon. But then, when an effects mastermind like Mike Beigel launches a new box, it’s almost guaranteed to propel your sound into the

    Full Dozen, Semi-Hollow

    12 Variations on a Classic Design

    To complement our February 2016 issue survey of the semi-hollow electric guitar, we tested 12 examples of the form as it exists today. Plus, check out 2 featured articles in the issue “Thinkin’ Thin — Heroes of the Semi-Hollow” and “47 Semi-Hollow Guitars” on pages 86-94 (may need to tap the PREVIEW button) of the

    Realistic Entertainer-34

    As prolific as the Radio Shack chain was in the ’60s, it’s surprising we don’t see more vintage Realistic guitar amps today. Maybe they were never valued enough to be handed down, much less hunted down. If anything, you’re likely to have stumbled on the Carnival 34, a straightforward 1×12″ combo, but even those are

    Aaron Moreland

    Where Zeppelin Meets Son House

    Growing up in a small Kansas town, 38-year-old Aaron Moreland took up guitar at 15, and his first garage band played classic-rock throwbacks like “Tush” and “China Grove,” occasionally getting more contemporary with R.E.M. and the Black Crowes. By 2001, when he met singer/harpist Dustin Arbuckle at an open mic, he’d immersed himself in acoustic

    The Paul Butterfield Blues Band

    Got A Mind To Give Up Living: Live 1966
    Rare, Bluesy, and Beyond

    A surprisingly large contingent of people in high school or college in 1965 will tell you that less than two years after the Beatles’ big-bang appearances on “The Ed Sullivan Show,” the album that really changed their lives was the eponymous Paul Butterfield Blues Band. In fact, their lives were probably altered before the end

    Robbie Robertson

    The Many Sides of

    It’s difficult to say which is more ironic: the fact that Robbie Robertson, one of rock guitar’s true stylists, is more famous for his songwriting, or that beneath the minimal, compositional style that marked his work with The Band hid one of the most animalistic maniacs in rock guitar history. • The son of a


    The Guild and Gibson Johnny Smith Models

    The name “Johnny Smith” is synonymous with class, elegance, and style. Most guitar players are familiar, if not with the man or his music, certainly with the guitars that bear his name. The instruments reflect Smith’s unique approach to playing and jazz guitar, in particular – ultra-smooth and restrained, yet sophisticated. From the Gretsch Synchromatic