The Rolling Stones

Blues & Lonesome

The Rolling Stones’ first album of new material since 2005, “Blues & Lonesome,” drops today. Here’s a review by VG Music Editor Michael Dregni. Mick Jagger’s famous 1968 statement – “What’s the point in listening to us doing ‘I’m A King Bee’ when you can hear Slim Harpo do it?” – has been a (sometimes)

On this latest album, Ronnie Earl and his band freely and unabashedly mourn and honor the late David Maxwell, the Broadcasters pianist who died in 2015 at age 71. While Earl and his musicians express their grief by playing the blues simple, straight, and emotional, the opener, “Mother Angel,” offers a gorgeous, uplifting instrumental theme

Text by Dave Hunter Data compiled by Alan Greenwood and Gil Hembree Vintage Guitar is marking 25 years of publication with a year full of features. Using data compiled for The Official Vintage Guitar Price Guide 2011, we continue the celebration with a list of the 25 most valuable amplifiers – those that helped create

Jon Kammerer Guitars’ Pegasus

Jon Kammerer Guitars’ Pegasus

This Horse Has Wings

Jon Kammerer Guitars’ Pegasus Price: $2,300 (list) Contact: www.jonkammerercustoms.com Anyone who has ever plugged an acoustic guitar into an amp or PA is well-acquainted with the bone-crushing howl of hollowbody feedback. It’s not a happy sound. And in a live setting, it can be almost impossible to dial in enough volume to sit in the

Gibson J-35

Gibson J-35

Dreadnought guitars originated as early as 1916 with instruments made by Martin and distributed by Ditson, followed in 1931 with guitars sold by Martin under its own brand. The first Martin dreadnoughts were 12-fret slot-heads with an extended slope-shouldered body; in early ’34, the company introduced a square-shouldered dread with a 14-fret neck. Gibson entered

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Mosrite Basses

The Golden Decade: Ventures and Beyond

Mention the Ventures to a pop-music aficionado and the conversation will likely focus on the surf-music phenomenon of the early 1960s or – if that person also happens to be instrument-savvy – the band’s affiliation with Mosrite guitars and basses. Though the partnership lasted only a half-decade, the Ventures have been perpetually associated with Mosrite,

Tone Pump Solara Studio

Tone Pump Solara Studio

Clean ’N Dirty

Tone Pump Solara Studio Price: $1,099 (list) Contact: www.tonepumpamplifiers.com The story is a familiar one. A guy learns to repair amps and then gets frustrated with the shortcomings of the stock amps available. So he starts offering modifications to existing amps before going off the deep end. That’s when he gets the hare-brained idea to

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25 Most Valuable Guitars

Data compiled by Alan Greenwood and Gil Hembree Vintage Guitar is marking 25 years of publication with a year full of cool giveaways and features. This month, we continue the celebration with a list of the 25 guitars that, thanks to certain players, songs, and the laws of supply and demand, have become exceedingly valuable.

Devi Ever:FX Big Distortion Sound Machine

Devi Ever:FX Big Distortion Sound Machine

Enough is Never Enough

Devi Ever:FX Big Distortion Sound Machine Price: $200 (list) Contact: www.devieverfx.com Want fuzz, crunch, and overdrive? How about all at once? The Devi Ever:FX’s Big Distortion Sound Machine is a gnarly pedal that pushes the sonic envelope with guitar, electric bass, or whatever tool (it would be insane on electric piano, for example). The Big

St. Blues Juke Joint Series

St. Blues Juke Joint Series

Domestic Bliss

With the elimination of its Korean-made Pro Series and the introduction of the Juke Joint Series, Memphis-based St. Blues can boast an entire lineup made in the good ol’ U.S. of A. St. Blues’ initial offerings in the Juke Joint Series include the Bluesmaster and Mississippi Bluesmaster guitars, along with the Legendary Bass. With their

Analog Man Bi-Comprossor

Analog Man Bi-Comprossor

Fresh-Squeezed Sounds

Analog Man Bi-Comprossor Price: $275 Info: www.analogman.com Mike Piera, a.k.a. Analog Man, is known for creating pedals with a vintage flavor. Clients include guitarists who want to achieve that classic “tight” or “squashed” guitar signal associated with players like Lowell George and Mark Knopfler, as well as a multitude of country pickers. For guitarists who

ASIA Symposium

The ASIA Symposium

Kinship and Connections

As much a celebration of kinship as it is an educational forum, the biannual Association of Stringed Instrument Artisans (ASIA) Symposium, held at East Stroudsburg University, in Pennsylvania, is mini mecca for guitar builders and hobbyists ranging from novices to top professionals and manufacturers. Held in alternating years with the Guild of American Luthiers (GAL)

’Bursting with Surprises

’Bursting with Surprises

Celeb Guitars Make a Splash at U.K. Guitar Show

Peter Hoarty and his wife, Gail, have been hosting guitar shows in England since 1998, when they rented space to sell a few of the 50-some vintage amps and more than two dozen guitars that had begun to flow out of the couples’ house and into their garage-cum-music-room. “I began collecting valve amps at a

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Fargen Olde 800 MKII, Sonic Edge J&J Overdrive

Decades of Tone

The Fargen Olde 800 MKII Price: $1,949 Info: www.fargenamps.com. For 10 years, Ben Fargen has established a reputation for building amps based on British and American designs, and for offering aftermarket mods to expand/enhance other builders’ designs. Fargen’s new nod to the British stacks of yore is the Olde 800 Mk2. A 25-watt head fueled

Robert Cray

Robert Cray

Four Nights Of 40 Years

Five-time Grammy winner Robert Cray has always played serious blues. But, early on, he sidestepped a genre that would descend into pentatonic hackery in favor of brilliant songs, soul-drenched vocals, and emotional guitar playing. Cray is all about dark, passionate yarns and hypnotic groove. His current project, 4 Nights Of 40 Years, is a retrospective

Gibson Style R Harp Guitar Feature Image

Gibson Style R Harp Guitar

Harp guitars with a standard six-string guitar neck and varying numbers of sub-bass harp-style strings have been made by a variety of American builders. Some of the best-known include Gibson, Joseph Bohmann (of Chicago), Knutson (Seattle), and the Larson brothers (Chicago), who made them primarily under the brand of Dyer (a distributor based in St.

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Elvis Presley

The Albums Collection
Guitar Royalty

Should you ever forget why the King is the King, this ultimate boxed set of Elvis’ 57 albums and soundtracks, plus three CDs of rarities and outtakes, will set you straight all over again. Yes, Col. Tom Parker may have sent him off on a wild goose chase with his film career. And yes, there

Jack Bruce

Jack Bruce

Surging Septuagenarian

Bassist/vocalist Jack Bruce, who turned 71 in May, recently released Silver Rails, his first solo album in a decade, with songwriting help from several longtime collaborators. Bruce recruited numerous guitarists for the project, as well one of his offspring, and the results exemplify the styles of the participants. “I was thrilled that all of the

Redplate Amps’ BluesMachine66

Redplate Amps’ BluesMachine66

Welcome to the Machine

Redplate Amps’ BluesMachine66 Price: $2,799 (list) Contact: www.redplateamps.com Redplate builds boutique amplifiers with point-to-point wiring and meticulous hands-on attention to detail. Their BluesMachine66 1×12 was created for the discerning guitarist with a predilection for British flavors. Its 12AX7 preamp tubes run at 50 watts using KT66 power tubes. The BluesMachine66 has knobs and switches galore,

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Gibson Style J Mando-bass

Decades before Audiovox or Leo Fender dreamed of making a fretted electric bass, Gibson started manufacturing fretted acoustic mando-basses that were tuned the same as an upright bass. Joe Spann, author of Spann’s Guide to Gibson 1902-1941 has assembled serial and work-order number information documenting Gibson’s production prior to World War II, which indicates mando-bass