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    Greg Martin’s tribute to Big Bill Broonzy

    In tribute to Big Bill Broonzy, Greg Martin brushed up on his country-blues licks and grabbed one of his favorite parlor guitars.  “Eric Clapton and Ron Woods have cited Big Bill as a major influence, not to mention Muddy Waters, Memphis Slim, Ray Davies, John Renbourn, Rory Gallagher, Ben Taylor, and Steve Howe,” he said. Here, Greg plays a variation of Broonzy’s 1941 classic, “Key to the Highway.” Enjoy! Keep up with Greg at www.kentuckyheadhunters.net


    An amp maker at the very heart of the British guitar boom of the late ’50s and early ’60s, Selmer was, for a time, the leader in the field, though it’s all too easy to forget. Briefly ahead of Vox, certainly ahead of the fledgling Marshall, this was a company that had it all to

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    Gibson’s “Non-Reverse” ’Birds

    In the ’60s, Gibson strived mightily to meet the demands of players of all levels while also working to maintain its image as industry leader. One of its primary attempts at the latter involved the Firebird guitars and Thunderbird basses introduced in ’63. Marked by innovative neck-through construction, unique features and looks, the Thunderbird’s full-size scale

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    1942 Martin D-45

    The Martin D-45, offered by the company from 1933 through 1942, is well-known as the Holy Grail of acoustic guitars. While players and collectors may argue whether it is the absolute best guitar ever made, in terms of value, it easily outdistances any other acoustic model in the vintage market. Ironically, the D-45 was not

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    The Morley Rotating Wah

    Chromed Tone

    There was a time in the mythic ’70s when guitarists were real men and lugged around 15-pound Morley Rotating Wah pedals to gigs and studios. And if they weren’t real men, they had roadies who were! From the accelerator-like pedal to the chrome-plated chassis, Morley’s RWV and the firm’s other super-duty pedals were the American

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    Robben Ford

    The Space Between the Notes

    When it comes to blues, Robben Ford has always been inspired by the most profound practitioners of the form and gone his own way with the understanding that true blues is about honesty and individuality. His latest, Bringing It Back Home, joins his indelible style and touch with the compositional talents of Allen Toussaint, Earl

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    Jordan Boss Tone

    Little Fuzz with the Big Buzz

    In the august and revered Hall of Fame of Fuzz, the Jordan Boss Tone deserves a prominent pedestal. Perhaps it should be in a cabinet of cute curiosities. Or maybe it’s as a memento mori, an example of a dead end in the search for overdriven guitar tone bliss. Either way, there should be a

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    Blackstar’s HT Series Pedals

    Gain to the Third Power

    Blackstar Amplification is known for its successful Artisan, Series One, and HT amp lines. Its new HT effects line includes boxes for delay, reverb, modulation, distortion, drive, and boost. All pedals in the series use a heavy-duty 6.25″ x 4.75″ x 2.25″ die-cast chassis with top-mounted controls, side-mounted 1/4″ jacks, tube window, on/off stompswitch with

    Teye Guitars Gypsy Queen

    Teye Guitars Gypsy Queen

    The Art of Tone

    For Austin-based Teye Guitars, taking guitar construction to new artistic heights has been a basic tenet since their inception. Mastermind luthier Teye Wijnterp, an accomplished guitarist, forged his concept of playable art during years of touring. Today, players around the world, including Rich Robinson of the Black Crowes, Zac Brown, and Grammy-nominated guitarist Joe Taylor,

    Musicvox Space Cadet and MVX-15 Studio Custom

    Musicvox Space Cadet and MVX-15 Studio Custom

    Rockin’ Down the House

    Musicvox Space Cadet and MVX-15 Studio Custom Price: $999 (Space Cadet)/$699 (MVX-15) Contact: www.musicvox.com For nearly two decades, Musicvox’s designs have captivated players and fans, appearing in Austin Powers and in the hands of serious players and bands like Keith Urban, Allen Woody, Polyphonic Spree, and Redd Kross. The company’s latest super-retro entries are the

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    Johnny Smith

    An American Treasure

    Jazz guitarist Johnny Smith died at his home June 11, 2013, two weeks shy of his 91st birthday. Arguably the most respected and revered guitarist of the modern era (1950 to present), Smith was sincerely humble and reserved about his extraordinary talent. In 1999, his peers and friends celebrated his career with a gala at

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    Laney L50 Head and L412 Cab

    Classic British Tone

    Laney L50H/L412 Price: $1,990 (head); $1,499 (cab) Info: laney.co.uk. Lyndon Laney is no stranger to fans of the iconic British stack. Established in 1967, Laney Amplification found its early fame thanks to Tony Iommi’s commanding use of the company’s amps with Black Sabbath. Following the reign of Sabbath, they became an amplifier of choice for

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    J.D. Simo

    Tele-Free Trio

    J.D. Simo moved to Nashville seven years ago and quickly landed in the coveted hot spot as the lead guitarist in the Don Kelley band. After four years playing four nights a week in Nashville’s lower Broadway district, Simo took a hard left, forming a power trio that bears his name (with bassist Frank Swart

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    Gibson’s 1941 SJ-100

    Second Coming

    Gibson 1941 SJ-100 Price: $3,868 (list)/$2,999 (street) Info: www.gibson.com Sporting a unique “stair step” headstock, the first Gibson SJ-100s began trickling out of the Kalamazoo factory in 1939. This original design lasted only two model years before it was replaced in 1941 with a second version that was itself soon discontinued, this time due to

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    McElroy OM Model

    OM, Gee!

    McElroy OM Model Price: $7,500 (base; $8,500 as reviewed) Info: www.mcelroyguitars.com. Brent McElroy is a Seattle luthier specializing in high-quality acoustics. One of them, the OM Model from his Generation 2 series, is inspired by old-school Martins. The concert-body guitar sports a bear-claw Adirondack spruce top (so named for its wide, raked grain), Madagascar rosewood

    Burton, Garrett, Lee, and Wilcox Join Forces

    Burton, Garrett, Lee, and Wilcox Join Forces

    Telecaster Summit

    For guitar lovers and roots-music fans, the place to be in July ’13 was British Columbia. The Vancouver Island MusicFest held a true summit meeting of masters of the Telecaster (with an asterisk). Britain’s Albert Lee is acclaimed for his work with Emmylou Harris, Eric Clapton, the Everly Brothers, and others. Amos Garrett played the

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    Vox Pacemaker V-3

    1965 Vox Pacemaker v-3 Preamp tubes: three Mullard ECC83 (12AX7) Output tubes: two Mullard EL84, cathode-biased, no negative feedback Rectifier: Mullard EZ81 Controls: Volume, Treble, Bass, Speed, Depth Speaker: gold 10″ Oxford “Vox Bulldog” Output: approximately 17 watts RMS No doubt the mere appearance of that Vox logo and the diamond grillecloth beneath it has

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    Magnatone Twilighter

    King of Vibrato

    Magnatone Twilighter Price: $2,249 (12″ combo, list) Info: www.magnatoneusa.com. Magnatone is dead, long live Magnatone! The original Magnatone amp company died in 1969 after several decades of making storied “Golden Voice” amps noted for their “real” vibrato effect. Buddy Holly played his Strat through one, Scotty Moore swore by his, and Neil Young remains a

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    1964 Fender Bassman

    1964 Fender 6G6-B Bassman Preamp tubes: four 7025 (12AX7 types) Output tubes: two 5881 (a more-rugged 6L6 type), fixed-bias Rectifier: solidstate Controls: Bass Instrument channel: Volume, Treble, Bass; Normal channel: Volume, Treble, Bass; shared: Presence Output: 50 watts RMS Utter the word “Bassman” in guitar circles, and most players’ minds rush to the tweed-covered 4×10″