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    Greg Martin celebrates Willie Nelson’s Birthday!

    Singer/songwriter and country-music legend Willie Nelson turns 84 today. In his honor, VG contributor and Kentucky Headhunters’ co-founder Greg Martin used his Gibson Custom Shop signature Les Paul (#15) straight into a ’67 Fender Super Reverb to play a bit of “Night Life,” which was a hit for Ray Price in 1963. “It’s one of my favorite Willie compositions, and features phenomenal steel-guitar work by Buddy Emmons,” Greg said. Keep up with Greg at kentuckyheadhunters.net.


    Eric Clapton

    Live in San Diego with Special Guest J.J. Cale

    With Eric Clapton’s 2014 announcement that he would no longer tour, his tribute album to J.J. Cale the same year, and subsequent revelation that he’d been suffering from peripheral neuropathy, the double-CD release of this 2007 concert recording makes total sense. Cale, Clapton’s longtime inspiration who died in 2013, made a rare appearance with E.C.,

    Jamie Kime

    Jamie Kime

    Lord Of The Jam

    Jamie Kime’s first solo record, Alleys, displays a mix of lush guitar tones, poignant soundscapes, and evocative panoramas. We recently sat with him to discuss it, and his recent gig touring with Zappa Plays Zappa project, featuring Franks Zappa’s son, Dweezil. Was there a theme when you started recording Alleys? A lot of the tunes

    Brad Paisley

    Keep Pushing Play

    Ten years into what has become a stellar career, when Brad Paisley hits your town to play a show these days, it’s with nine semi tractor-trailer rigs and a fleet of buses. His five studio albums have all reached multi-platinum status and he has volleyed 12 songs into the #1 position on the country charts.

    GJ2 Arete 5-Star

    Monster of Rock

    Bergen Guitars ST and TL Price: $3,999 Info: www.gj2guitars.com. Grover Jackson is a name forever associated with classic metal and custom “superstrats,” thanks to Randy Rhoads and iconic bands like Iron Maiden, Megadeth, Def Leppard, and Anthrax. Grover has moved on from the original Jackson brand (now owned by Fender), and is producing his own

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    Robin Trower

    20 Albums In

    On his 20th album, Something’s About to Change, Strat stalwart Robin Trower once again dives into the blues for a set of songs redolent of Albert and B.B. King. As he has done on earlier solo records, the former Procol Harum guitarist carries the vocals and even tackles bass duties. “I’m quite different as a

    Tele of Two Legends

    The Amazing Story of One Unique Fender

    One day in the mid 1950s, up-and-coming thoroughbred jockey Bill Shoemaker – long before he gathered 8,833 career wins (including 11 in Triple Crown events) while running more than 40,000 races – was playing host to his friend, western swing bandleader Hank Penny, who had come calling with a special gift in a brown case.

    The ViVi-Tone Aggrandizer

    The ViVi-Tone Aggrandizer

    • Preamp tubes: 6C5, 6F5 • Output tubes: two 6B5 • Rectifier: 80 • Controls: Volume, on/off switch • Speaker: 10″ field coil • Output: barely scraping double digits… if you’re lucky. “Aggrandize: v.tr. 1. increase the power, rank, or wealth 2. cause to appear greater than is the case.” So says the Oxford English

    Gibson GA-CB Custom Built

    Gibson GA-CB Preamp tubes: three 6SJ7, two SQ7, two Sj5 Output tubes: two 6L6 Rectifier: 5T4 Controls: Microphone Gain, Instrument Gain, tremolo Intensity and Frequency, Treble, Bass; four-position Jensen High Frequency Control Speakers: one 15″ Jensen Type H Coaxial Output: approximately 30 watts RMS The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there,”

    Dave Stewart

    Six-Strings, Studios, and Songs

    Guitarists often cite instruments as sources of inspiration. For musician, songwriter, and producer Dave Stewart, it wasn’t a ’57 Strat or a ’Burst that recently caused a creative flurry, but a guitar far more pedestrian. Stewart and bandmate Annie Lennox rose to fame in the early ’80s as the Eurythmics, a pop duo that, especially

    Butch Walker

    Butch Walker

    Hummingbirds and Ghosts

    Butch Walker readily admits that when it comes to his life as a musician, performer, and producer, he has some decidedly “first-world problems,” like when a guitar he’d like to use on a song (or to photograph for a magazine spread!) happens to be at his Nashville studio instead of his other one, in L.A.

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    Teye Super Coyote

    Zemaitis Redux

    Teije Wijnterp has been around. Born in the Netherlands, he studied flamenco guitar in Spain before relocating to Austin and eventually joining Joe Ely’s band. Through his years as a pro musician, Teye (as he is commonly known) kept a running “bitch list” of problems that frustrated him with guitars he could buy. When it

    Terry Dolan

    Terry Dolan
    44 Years Later

    The market is flooded with previously unreleased albums and reissue CDs containing alternate takes. It must be simple to get something like that released, right? Guess again. It’s hard to imagine, but a major-label album by a popular San Francisco singer/songwriter languished in some warehouse more than 40 years after it was recorded – and

    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

    L-5 to Super 400

    L-5 to Super 400

    The Story of Gibson’s Big Archtops

    The archtop guitar is a uniquely American instrument which can be traced directly to the creative genius of one person – Orville Gibson. In the mid 1890s, the man who later formed the company started building guitars and mandolins with carved tops and backs, and though his creations were quite different from a modern jazz

    Cimarron Guitars’ Model P

    From the Parlor to the Stage

    Cimarron Guitars has being making custom instruments since 1978 in the dry, mild climate of southwest Colorado. The company’s Model P guitar gets its name from its parlor-guitar-sized body (“parlor” guitars were popular in the late 19th/early 20th century, when small social events often occurred in parlors where music was played; the instruments typically were

    Elliot Easton

    Elliot Easton

    Shifting Gears Again

    Not long after he released an instrumental album with an aggregation known as the Tiki Gods, veteran southpaw guitarist Elliot Easton abruptly put the project into stasis when an opportunity arose to make music with fellow veteran musicians. The new band is known as the Empty Hearts, and includes Wally Palmar (Romantics) on guitar and

    Larry Mitchell

    “Great Time To Be a Guitar Player”

    Larry Mitchell’s guitar-centered “Ah ha!” moments run the gamut from Roy Clark, Van Halen, Prince, and Elvis. With a string of instrumental records, Mitchell is also a Grammy-winning producer and has toured as a guitarist with Billy Squier, Ric Ocasek, and Tracy Chapman. Whether he’s in the control room calling the shots, or onstage performing