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    JohnnyWinter

    Greg Olliver

    Johnny Winter: Down and Dirty
    Johnny's Blues

    In an intimate scene in this DVD’s bonus features, after a short interview and solo slide performance at home (“Murdering Blues” on his ’64 Gibson Firebird V), Winter says, “I love playing guitar. It’s the only thing I’ve ever been really great at.” The key word is “great,” and that’s a major understatement. Before his

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    Tommy Emmanuel

    The Song’s the Thing

    Tommy Emmanuel cautions against using “the V word” – virtuoso – when describing his work. “I want to make musical statements that stand the test of time,” he said. “I want what I’m doing [to be] more accessible, so I’m mostly interested in singers and songwriters, and want to be influenced by them.” Emmanuel’s latest

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    Rivera Shaman Series Pedals

    Holy Tones

    Rivera Shaman Series Pedals Price: $299 each (street) Info: www.rivera.com. With roots stretching to the late ’70s, SoCal-based Rivera Amplification is best known for their handbuilt-in-the-U.S.A. tube amps. Not to be overlooked, however, are the firm’s pedal offerings, specifically their Shaman series of effects boxes. With the exception of the Acoustic Chorus Shaman, all were

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    La Baye 2X4

    1967, the Summer of Love. Everything still seemed possible, and anything went. No more war, racial and gender equality, Fresh Cream, the Beatles best record ever, the Jimi Hendrix Experience. Phew! What a difference the next year would bring! And that applied to guitars. None more than this classic minimalist La Baye 2×4 “Six.” This

    MTD Kingston Rubicon 6-22

    MTD Kingston Rubicon 6-22

    Crossing the Rubicon

    MTD Kingston Rubicon 6-22 Price: $999 Info: www.mtdkingston.com Intuitive, player-oriented design, prime materials, and first-class execution distinguished Michael Tobias’s work even before he began concentrating on innovative electric basses in the late 1970s. And let’s not forget Michael Tobias Designs (MTD) helped introduce the newfangled term “ergonomic” to electric guitars and basses. The Kingston Rubicon

    Schertler’s JAM 150

    Schertler’s JAM 150

    Plays Well with Others

    Schertler’s JAM150 Price: $1,249.99 (list); $999.99 (street) Info: www.schertler.com Schertler’s JAM150 is a compact combo amp capable of pulling double-duty as an acoustic amp and a multi-instrument PA. Built in Italy and engineered in Switzerland, its elegant design is matched by its natural acoustic timbres and versatile feature set. The handsome wood cabinet (also available

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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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    Gretsch Jet Firebird

    One of the flashiest Jets in the Gretsch Company’s Air Force

    Given the number of jet-related model monikers in Gretsch’s 1950s and ’60s catalogs, one might get the impression the company built airplanes. There were the flashy “fighters” like the Duo-Jet, Silver Jet, and Jet Fire Bird. Then there were the sturdy, reliable “tankers” represented by laminated archtops like the Corsair and the seldom-seen Jet 21. On the “commercial”

    Mike Keneally

    Mike Keneally

    Gainfully Employed

    Mike Keneally has made a career of inconspicuously assisting Frank Zappa, Andy Partridge, Steve Vai, Dethklok, and Joe Satriani fulfill their musical vision. But, there is another side to this multi-instrumentalist and sideman. Besides pulling triple-duty as a keyboardist, guitarist, and producer, Keneally is a prolific composer. He is compiling a catalog of music from

    Joel Hoekstra

    Joel Hoekstra

    Busy Smilin’

    When does Joel Hoekstra sleep? To say the always-smiling guitarist has a full plate is an understatement. For several years, he has juggled performing with the smash hit Broadway musical Rock of Ages, toured with the holiday sensation Trans-Siberian Orchestra, and served as a member of melodic hard-rockers Night Ranger. He amicably parted ways with

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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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    PRS 25th Anniversary Swamp Ash Special NF

    From Jimi to Eric to Angus

    PRS 25th Anniversary Swamp Ash Special NF Price: $3,908 (retail)/$2,329 (street) Contact: PRSguitars.com. The PRS 25th Anniversary Swamp Ash Special NF is a guitar that attempts to thread many needles: depending on your pickup and amp selections, it can cover most tonal bases between Fender and Gibson, and then some. And that’s just for starters.

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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,

    Dale Watson

    Dale Watson

    Keep On Truckin’

    The seeds of the latest album from Dale Watson were sown in 1998, when he released The Truckin’ Sessions . The Truckin’ Sessions 2 followed in 2009, and now he follows with a three-CD set, The Truckin’ Sessions Trilogy . Watson says it wasn’t planned. “I really didn’t think about it until I was on

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    Amptweaker’s TightFuzz and Bass TightFuzz

    A Good Buzz

    Amptweaker’s TightFuzz and Bass TightFuzz Price: $280 retail/$199 street (TightFuzz); $310 retail, $219 street (Bass TightFuzz) Info: www.amptweaker.com. Since the birth of the fuzz pedal in 1960s, its scratchy, buzzy, sometimes “psychedelic” sound has freed the creativity of many guitar players. Now, the crew at Amptweaker is seeking to feed that creative “buzz” with its

    Fred Newell

    Fred Newell

    Steelin’ Away

    Guitarist Fred Newell’s best-known gig – as a member of the house band on “Nashville Now” – ended more than two decades ago. In the time since, though, he has barely missed a step. Newell has backed artists including Waylon Jennings, Porter Wagoner, and dozens of other frontline artists, and in more recent times, gigged

    Keb Mo

    Keb’ Mo’

    Writing by Subtraction

    Keb’ Mo’s latest album, Blues Americana, nearly wrote itself. “Going in, I had planned to make a solo acoustic record,” he said. “I got the songs together, but felt it didn’t really hold up. So, I made the record like I wanted – started simple, with guitar and vocal and a click track, because I

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    Jeff Beck

    He Can’t Help It... He Just Keeps Getting Better

    In 1985, speaking of the ’83 Action Research into Muscle Distrophy (A.R.M.S.) Tour that united Yardbirds alumni Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page, and Eric Clapton, the latter stated, “At that time and for many months after that, I began to think of Jeff as probably being the finest guitar player I’d ever seen. And I’ve been

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    Gretsch 6120 Tenor

    Elvis Costello’s Gretsch 6120 Tenor

    This 1958 Gretsch Chet Atkins 6120 four-string tenor guitar is a very rare variation of the model. Gretsch built other tenors, including the Duo Jet, archtop acoustic, and archtop electric tenors of various other models. Gretsch was not alone in making tenors. Martin, Gibson, and Epiphone all produced tenor versions of many of their standard

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    Jeff Golub

    Unfinished Business

    The route taken by Jeff Golub in making Train Keeps A Rolling is unlike that followed by any other artist. Just as his previous record, Three Kings, was released, Golub suffered the collapse of one of his optic nerves, which caused loss of sight in that eye. The condition doesn’t typically affect the sight in

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    Martin Elegant, a.k.a. “Lula”

    It’s an extraordinarily rare event to find a high-grade, historically significant mid-1800s guitar in a pawn shop, but that is indeed where this Martin was discovered. When found in Nashville in the mid 1970s, it was recognized as an exceptional instrument with ornamentation far in excess of any typical Martin of that time, but only

    Univox Uni–Fuzz & Super–Fuzz

    Univox Uni–Fuzz & Super–Fuzz

    Full, Fat Fuzzzy

    Pete Townshend sent many a guitar and amp to an early grave. But there’s no known evidence of him doing the same with effects pedals. Never mind that spearing a Rickenbacker through the heart of a Hiwatt provided much more Shakespearean drama than stomping on a lowly stompbox. Perhaps, though, he simply didn’t need to

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    Mark Tremonti

    Rock Star, Amp Snob!

    Many of the people we today consider “guitar heroes” – Eddie Van Halen and Stevie Ray Vaughan, to name a couple – spent more than their fair share of time stowed away in their bedrooms, playing guitar while other kids in the neighborhood played baseball, kick the can, or spin the bottle. Rock guitarist Mark

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    Loar LH-309 VS Archtop

    One Cool Cat

    Loar LH-309 VS Archtop Price: $569.99 (street) Contact: theloar.com As the retro craze delves deeper into six-string history, a spate of non-cutaway archtops have hit the market, celebrating an era when giants like Eddie Lang, Lonnie Johnson, Charlie Christian, George Barnes, Eddie Durham, Carl Kress, and Oscar Moore laid down cool chords, sultry bends, and