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    Nate Westgor Salutes Vintage Guitar.

    Nate Westgor, head honcho at Willie’s American Guitars, grabbed some great guitars to send best wishes to VG in honor of the magazine’s 30th anniversary. Check it out as he noodles on a ’55 Fender Esquire, a Gibson Custom Shop ’59 ES-355TD, a Fender Custom Shop Caballo Tono Ligero, and a rare ’63 Gretsch Nashville “two-tone.” Keep up with Nate at http://www.williesguitars.com/

    James Patrick Regan Honors Stone Temple Pilots’ Dean DeLeo and More!

    James Patrick Regan grew up being influenced by all kinds of music from many sources – radio, TV, MTV, etc. So it’s no surprise he absorbed licks like those offered here in belated honor of birthday boys Dean DeLeo (of Stone Temple Pilots) and Rick Springfield (be sure to catch James’ surprise tribute at the end!). “I’m using Dunlop Super Bright Strings into a Dr Z Carmen Ghia amp and my Trailer Trash pedalboard with an MXR Distortion+ and a Keeley compressor, all wired with George L’s cables,” he said. Keep with James and his band at www.thedeadlies.com/


    Santana IV

    This lineup reunites Carlos Santana with guitarist Neal Schon and other members of the 1970–1973 Santana band, reigniting their unique mix of Latin-rock, soul, jazz-rock fusion, and heavy Afro-Cuban beats. Listen to “Shake It” for a modern spin on old-school Santana, Carlos jamming on the wah-wah for the main track, while Schon is let off

    Big Knob Pedals

    What’s in a Name?

    Big Knob Pedals Price: Tube 808, $139; Echo Flex, $149; Vibe Tone, $159; Octavius, $129 (all list) Contact: www.bigknobpedals.com Gary Kibler started making pedals almost by accident. Originally from Los Angeles, Kibler moved to London when his wife was offered a terrific job. With a background in IT at Sony Studios, Kibler found work at


    Mary Kaye

    Beyond the Stratocaster Connection

    Most informed guitar enthusiasts associate veteran “lounge” guitarist Mary Kaye with the unique ’50s Fender Stratocaster model (blond finish, gold hardware) that has assumed her proper name as its designation. However, it’s ironic that she never owned a “Mary Kaye” Strat in the time that she brandished one in publicity photos of the Mary Kaye

    Anthony Phillips

    Anthony Phillips

    Progressive 12-String Master

    Ant Phillips was a founding member of Genesis and, along with guitarist/bassist Mike Rutherford, created the signature 12-string acoustic sound that marked the band’s classic albums. Phillips left the group after 1970’s Trespass album to study music, but his ’77 solo debut, The Geese and the Ghost, is regarded as a prog classic. It also


    Jim Marshall

    Father of the Mighty Marshall Stack

    When it comes to guitar amplifiers, two names stand tall beyond the others: Leo Fender and Jim Marshall. Even “civilians” recognize these names. Two names, from two different countries, with two very individual sounds. Although Marshall’s original amplifier designs were largely influenced by Fender’s original Bassman, the resulting amplifier later took on a whole new

    Vibesware Guitar Resonator GR-Junior II

    Vibesware Guitar Resonator GR-Junior II

    Sustain For Days

    Vibesware Guitar Resonator GR-Junior II Price: $175 (list, depending on exchange rate) Contact: www.vibesware.com In the beginning, there was the E Bow, a handheld device that used a powered magnet to create infinite sustain and feedback. Then came “sustainer” pickups, which were mounted internally on a solidbody – also cool, but you lost your neck


    Neil Giraldo

    Guitarist, Producer, Partner

    Quiz time, guitarheads. What was the second video played on MTV? If you guessed “You Better Run” by Pat Benatar, you win. And, since there was no guitarist in the Buggles’ video for the prophetic track “Video Killed the Radio Star” (the first video aired) that makes Benatar’s longtime bandleader/producer/husband Neil Giraldo the first guitarist

    Scott Holiday

    Scott Holiday

    Unrivaled Son

    Regardless of the state of pop or rock music, it’s invigorating when a group comes along to remind us what rock and roll sounds like when it’s written from the soul, played from the gut, and delivered with conviction. Offering all but the smell of the hot EL34s, Rival Sons’ latest album, Great Western Valkyrie,


    Acoustic Remedy’s ClimaStand Display Case

    Open and Shut

    Acoustic Remedy ClimaStand Price: $899 (walnut) Info: www.acousticremedycases.com Most players have at least one guitar they would like to display in a manner that allows them to enjoy its beauty while keeping it easily accessible. But if you have pets or small children, or live in a dry climate, it’s just not safe to leave

    Mu-FX TruTron 3X

    ToneVille Amplifiers Broadway

    Red-Carpet Ready

    ToneVille Amplifiers Broadway Price: $2,295 Contact: www.tonevilleamps.com What is it that drives boutique amp builders to expend gallons of skull sweat striving for a more-perfect union between the pluck of steel strings over wire-wound magnets and obsolete 1950s audio technology? If you have to ask (or if you can’t appreciate the differences between an overdriven

    EVH Wolfgang WG Standard

    EVH Wolfgang WG Standard

    Atomic Punk

    EVH Wolfgang WG Standard Price: $799.99 (list); $599.99 (street) Contact: www.evhgear.com Decades after the release of the first Van Halen album, universal acceptance of Edward Van Halen as the last musician to revolutionize the electric guitar periodically rises and falls. About every five years or so, renewed admiration and respect is often followed by indifference

    Carl Bradychok

    Carl Bradychok

    Rockabilly’s Newest Guitar Wizard

    Carl Bradychok’s instrument and genre of choice seemed destined from day one. “There are pictures my parents took of me as a baby, sitting in front of the TV watching ‘Carl Perkins and Friends,’ from ’85 – ‘The Rockabilly Session.’” Born in 1991, he got his first guitar at seven and was playing professionally at


    PRS SE Custom Semi-Hollow

    Multi-Functional Gem

    While most guitarists are familiar with PRS (and some dream every day of adding one of the company’s Private Stock axes to their collection), the company’s import SE line typically gets much less play in the git-tar press. Developed at the request of Carlos Santana so beginners and “weekend warriors” could experience playing a PRS

    Stromberg Master 400

    Stromberg Master 400

    The Stromberg Master 400, measuring a gigantic 19″, is considered by many to be the ultimate orchestral rhythm guitar. The instrument of choice for Freddy Green with the Count Basie Orchestra and other players who needed the ultimate in power and projection to cut through a brass band or full orchestra without the benefit of

    Return of the Trashmen

    Return of the Trashmen

    Bird Is Still The Word

    Surf’s up – again! Thanks to the prodding of guitarist/impresario Deke Dickerson, The Trashmen recently recorded their first album in 25 years. “I was an obsessed fan,” Dickerson says of the band, whose 1963 hit “Surfin’ Bird” vaulted it to near-legendary status. “They were doing rockabilly mixed with surf, and it was unique in that


    Railhammer Hyper Vintage Humbucker

    Poles Apart

    Railhammer Hyper Vintage Humbucker Price: $139 list / $89 direct Contact: railhammer.com Developed by Joe Naylor of Reverend Guitars, Railhammers are passive humbuckers that use a combination of pole pieces on the treble side and rails on the bass side. It’s an interesting motif with an effective purpose. The Railhammers’s six oversize poles under the

    Ronnie Montrose

    Remembering Ronnie

    Phillips Finishes Guitarist’s Final Recordings

    Ricky Phillips has many fond memories of his friendship and musical association with Ronnie Montrose (1947-2012). The bassist is finishing a recording project by the late guitarist on which he had participated prior to joining Styx. Montrose and Phillips met in the early ’80s, but didn’t collaborate until 20 years later, when Montrose needed a

    1986 Dumble Overdrive Special

    1986 Dumble Overdrive Special

    The exalted amps of Alexander Dumble have been legendary since he began building in the late ’60s, and have become more so over the course of the past decade, with several notable “boutique” makers launching their own lines on the backs of Dumble-inspired designs. It’s a rare thing, then, in the face of all this


    Echopark Ghetto Bird

    Sweet Emotion

    Echopark Ghetto Bird Price: $6,800 (as reviewed) Contact: www.echoparkguitars.com You know you’re holding something special when the guy who previously borrowed your review guitar was none other than Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry, who apparently used this very Echopark Ghetto Bird – officially called Ancient Sinker Redwood Case Study #002 – for some recent recording work.