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    Greg Martin Marks John Lee Hooker’s Birthday

    John Lee Hooker, who was born on this day 104 years ago, was a huge influence on Greg Martin and the guys in Kentucky HeadHunters. In honor of Hook, Greg said, “I tuned my ’62 ES-335 to open G, plugged into an old Fender Champ, and played a variation of ‘Boogie Everywhere I Go.’ Get those John Lee Hooker records out – and don’t forget to boogie!” Keep up with Greg at www.kentuckyheadhunters.net.


    Eric Clapton

    I Still Do and Crossroads Revisited
    Still Slowhand

    There’s a lot of looking back going on here. For his 23rd solo album, Eric Clapton reunites with producer Glyn Johns, who not only worked with the Rolling Stones on Sticky Fingers and engineered several albums by Led Zeppelin, but produced Slowhand in 1977 and its follow-up, Backless. And, 39 years on, it’s not surprising

    Throughout most of the 1970s, Les Pauls ruled the guitar roost. But toward the end of the decade, some players became interested in more-sophisticated electronics, especially active circuitry. Suddenly, souped-up guitars by Alembic, B.C. Rich, Ibanez, and Aria Pro II surged in popularity. This new trend did not take Gibson by surprise, and the challenge was

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    Chris Poland

    Metal Fusion Equinox

    Chris Poland’s signature legato was born from tragedy. As a teen, his left hand accidentally punched through a plate-glass window and cut tendons in his fingers. He lost the ability to bend his index finger, and lost feeling in his pinkie. As a result, he learned unique fretting techniques that set the bar for inventive

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    The Beatles’ Casinos

    John Lennon with his Epiphone Casino in December, 1968, on the set of “Rock ‘n’ Roll Circus.” Photo: Andrew Maclear/Redferns.[/caption]Of all the guitars the Beatles made famous, the only one that John, Paul and George had in common was the Epiphone Casino. Each owned a Casino and used it for countless recordings and performances. Paul

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    Howard Roberts

    In his prime, Howard Roberts played more than 900 studio dates annually and recorded the hippest guitar records of the era. His legion of fans still revere his incalculable influence and musical legacy. Vesta Roberts, who grew up in a family of lumberjacks, gave birth to Howard just three weeks before the Wall Street Crash

    Magnets and Magic The PAF – Yesterday, Today

    Magnets and Magic

    The PAF – Yesterday, Today

    When it came to launching a solidbody electric guitar, Fender beat Gibson to the punch with its Broadcaster model in 1950. Big G, though, had a cross to counter the upstart’s jab. When it followed with a solidbody in ’52, Gibson’ Les Paul boasted star-player affiliation, fancy gold finish, superior craftsmanship, and thicker-sounding P-90 pickups.

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    National N-275

    Gibson is widely known for its guitars, mandolins, and banjos, but many are unaware the company built instruments for nearly 30 brands for several distributors and music store chains, primarily from the 1920s through the early ’40s. Some of the best-known names include Kalamazoo, distributed by Gibson, and Recording King, which was distributed by Montgomery

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    Analog Man BC183 Sun Face

    Here Comes the (Black Hole) Sun

    Analog Man BC183 Sun Face Price: $185 Contact: www.analogman.com Mike Piera has been building his line of stomp boxes bearing the Analog Man name since the mid ’90s. Famous for a wide assortment of pedals with a vintage vibe, Piera boasts a customer list that includes guitar aficionados like Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Doyle Bramhall II,

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    Rickenbacker Transonic

    Rickenbacker Transonic TS100 Topology: Solid State Output: 100 watts RMS Controls: Volume, Treble, Bass controls and Hollow, Mellow and Pierce switches on each channel; Tremolo Speed and Depth, Reverb, and Fuzz-Tortion on Custom channel. Speakers: two 12″ Altec 417. A major artist’s endorsement of a piece of gear is often seen as a springboard to

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    Tommy Smith

    Leogun’s Led Zep Connection

    Some of the loudest buzz – literally and figuratively – in music surrounds the London-base power trio Leogun, fronted by guitarist/vocalist Tommy Smith. The band’s neo-retro sound has drawn comparison to Led Zeppelin, but Smith is influenced by a long list of names. “I’m lucky I was brought up in a household where music was

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    Les Paul

    2007 Hall of Fame Player

    In 1952, Gibson’s new Les Paul model was becoming one of the company’s most popular guitars, and though there was no way of knowing it at the time, it would ultimately achieve mythical status in the realm of the electric solidbody – and do much the same for the man whose name it carried. Lester

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    Beauty and the Bastards

    Redemption Road

    This album is a set of songs beautifully assembled by guitarist Danny Mangold. He recruits various friends, including his former Minneapolis–St. Paul buddy Charlie Bingham on guitar. Bingham was the lead guitarist in Twin Cities stalwarts the Lamont Cranston Band and the Hoopsnakes. Mangold was the guitarist in the Metro All-Stars. Neither lives there anymore,

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    Jack Bruce

    Shadows and (Erstwhile) Short-Scale Basses

    Veteran bassist Jack Bruce is back in action with a new album and tour. Best known for his membership in the legendary British trio, Cream (with Eric Clapton and drummer Ginger Baker), Bruce has stayed active over the decades, and his dynamic bass playing and searing vocal style are inimitable. In a recent conversation with

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    Shuggie Otis

    Return Of The Prodigy

    The son of bluesman Johnny Otis, Shuggie Otis was born into a world of blues, R&B, nightclubs, and stages. As a guitar prodigy, he played in his father’s band, and as a teen was signed to Epic Records. The albums Here Comes Shuggie Otis, Freedom Flight, and Inspiration Information made him the most talked about

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    Selmer Modele Jazz and Stimer M.10 Amp

    Electricfying Early Jazz

    In the 1930s, the quest for volume was the Holy Grail of guitar construction, as guitarists sought instruments to slice through the sound and fury of a jazz band. And when Django Reinhardt began playing his revolutionary jazz, he played it on a revolutionary new jazz guitar.

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    Guyatone LG-160T

    The Secret's Out!

    Like plants, Japanese guitars have an almost secret life of which few people outside are aware. While many Americans in the ’60s were seeing fairly low-end commodity guitars at the neighborhood Western Auto, there was actually a thriving and fairly innovative domestic guitar scene that produced some cool and relatively decent guitars, including this Guyatone

    Gibson Grenada Five-string

    Gibson Grenada Five-string

    The Gibson Granada five-string banjo is primarily known for being played by Earl Scruggs, who had an enormous impact on the sound and style of bluegrass music after joining Bill Monroe’s Blue Grass Boys in late 1945. The Granada was first issued in 1925 with a ball-bearing style tone ring and two-piece flange. Though it

    Andrew Watt

    Andrew Watt

    On Being With Hughes & Bonham

    Andrew Watt’s star was rising on the New York club scene when bassist Glenn Hughes took his career up a notch. Hughes and drummer Jason Bonham needed to augment their latest project, and Watts had the vibey chops needed to turn their California Breed album into a reality. You’re a young guy. Why are you

    Peavey’s Razer, Mystic, and Foundation

    Peavey’s Razer, Mystic, and Foundation

    Contrasting Chronologies

    Just a handful of years after Peavey turned the world of electric guitar upside-down with its T-60 guitar and T-40 bass, the company was feeling its oats. While the T series caught attention because their bodies were carved by computer numerical control (CNC) machinery that produced very consistent, durable, instruments, they also weren’t overly appealing,