Enter your vote in the form below for a chance to win a Supro guitar/amp prize package valued at $4,379! Each year, Vintage Guitar magazine honors those who inspired and awed us as guitar players, fans, and listeners by inducting great players, innovators, and instruments to the VG Hall of Fame. We also choose Album

The mandolin originated in the Middle East as a bowl-back instrument. Crusaders brought it back to Europe and early Italian builders evolved the design, giving it four paired strings tuned like a violin but with a back similar to a lute (also of Arabic origin). In the mid 1890s, Orville Gibson revolutionized mandolin design, structurally

Worland Prairie

Built For Speed

Worland Prairie Price: $1,950 Info: www.worlandguitars.com. It’s been well-documented how car-crazy vets and teens in postwar America reimagined the American automobile. Some shaved, sprayed, and slammed contemporary two-door sedans, creating the custom car. Others invented the hot rod when they stripped prewar coupes and roadsters to their bare essentials, stroked and bored their Flathead mills,

Slash

Slash

Still Burning

When a poll by BBC Radio tells you you’ve written the second greatest guitar riff of all time, (Jimmy Page’s “Whole Lotta Love” placed first) it’s got to feel good. “Sweet Child O’ Mine” has some tasty licks, but Slash is not one to bask in past glories. You can find him on the road

First ’Burst

In May of 1958, a worker at the Gibson factory pulled two Les Paul guitars – serial numbers 8 3087 and 8 3096 – off the line and sprayed their bodies yellow in the center, bordered in red. The result of months of experimentation, Chicago Musical Instrument Company (Gibson’s parent) hoped the look would imply

Musicvox Space Cadet and MVX-15 Studio Custom

Musicvox Space Cadet and MVX-15 Studio Custom

Rockin’ Down the House

Musicvox Space Cadet and MVX-15 Studio Custom Price: $999 (Space Cadet)/$699 (MVX-15) Contact: www.musicvox.com For nearly two decades, Musicvox’s designs have captivated players and fans, appearing in Austin Powers and in the hands of serious players and bands like Keith Urban, Allen Woody, Polyphonic Spree, and Redd Kross. The company’s latest super-retro entries are the

Saga Gitane DG-250M

Saga Gitane DG-250M

One Loud Blond

Saga Gitane DG-250M Price: $949 Info: www.sagamusic.com Features: Open-gear 14:1-ratio tuners, solid spruce top with “petite bouche” oval soundhole, birdseye maple back and sides, ebony fingerboard, maple neck, zero fret, bone nut, mustache bridge, Selmer-style tailpiece, wood binding. Saga Instruments has established itself as a keeper of the vintage flame: the company, with its Chinese

Guild in the Post-Fender Era

Guild in the Post-Fender Era

Round and Round She Goes

Since its beginnings in 1952, Guild has gone through many changes in ownership, location, marketing approach, and design philosophy. In the course of a change in ownership and three moves, the Guild line has seen major changes in materials, structural specifications, equipment, personnel, and techniques. It has been a strange odyssey, indeed. When Fender bought

Scott Henderson

Scott Henderson

Vibe Station

On his new album, Vibe Station, Scott Henderson once again redefines fusion within a groove-heavy power trio format. As always, the blues informs his jazz-rock workouts with virtuosic jabs of rock edginess and humor. Despite Henderson’s obvious talents, he’ll be the first to say he’s all about hard work and intestinal fortitude. Famous for his

The G&L El Toro

At the beginning of 1983, Leo Fender was just more than three years into his last guitar-manufacturing venture when he decided to diversify the company’s bass lineup. Until that point, G&L had marketed the one-pickup L-1000, the two-pickup L-2000, and the no-frills SB-1 and SB-2 models – all with fairly traditional, straightforward designs. The brand’s

Blackberry Smoke

Blackberry Smoke

Beyond Southern Musical Borders

Comparisons between Blackberry Smoke and earlier Southern-rock bands may be inevitable, but the Atlanta-based quintet takes such observations in stride. “That’s way better than being compared to the Bay City Rollers,” wisecracked vocalist/guitarist Charlie Starr, who recently went on the record with VG along with bassist Richard Turner. “The musical freedom those bands enjoyed is

McElroy OM Model

OM, Gee!

McElroy OM Model Price: $7,500 (base; $8,500 as reviewed) Info: www.mcelroyguitars.com. Brent McElroy is a Seattle luthier specializing in high-quality acoustics. One of them, the OM Model from his Generation 2 series, is inspired by old-school Martins. The concert-body guitar sports a bear-claw Adirondack spruce top (so named for its wide, raked grain), Madagascar rosewood

Adrian Legg

Adrian Legg

The Wizard of Strings

Aside from witty asides on social issues, natural disasters, and Renaissance history, Adrian Legg’s formidable fingerstyle and deep musicality remain his calling card. His latest album, Dead Bankers, continues the bedazzlement. On “Marco’s Bounce,” you put a piece of foam under the strings to create a percussive effect. I owe the foam trick to [Brazilian

Jack Bruce 1943-2014

Jack Bruce 1943-2014

Jack Bruce, an icon of electric bass, died October 25 in Suffolk, England. Best known for his work with Cream in the 1960s, he was born to musician parents in 1943. As a youngster, he underwent formal music training on cello, then shifted to upright bass, and though he fancied jazz and also played guitar

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Avid Technology Eleven Rack

Rack and Roll

The proliferation of digital guitar gear grows by leaps and bounds every year as more players learn to love the world of tones and effects offered by the technology. You’ll obviously get no argument from us that tube amps and analog stompboxes are great, but for more and more musicians, digital is here to stay.

Richmond Empire

Rocking the Dynasty

Canada’s Richmond Guitars offers instruments with a retro vibe and styling coupled with fine modern components. Their latest offering, the single-cut Richmond Empire, epitomizes the company’s efforts. The Empire may look like old-school, but of course, looks can be deceiving. Close inspection reveals its three-piece body with maple center and poplar wings, and 243/4″-scale bolt-on

The Creation

Action Painting
Biff Bang Pow!

Hard as it seems to imagine, there are U.K. bands of the ’60s who’ve remained obscure and unsung despite increasingly enthusiastic digging into that era. Case in point: the Creation. Contemporaries of the Who and Kinks, during their heyday of 1965-’68, the Creation shared a producer with both bands: Shel Talmy. Despite that, their greatest

Slim Harpo and Martin Hawkins

Buzzin’ the Blues: The Complete Slim Harpo and Slim Harpo: Blues King Bee of Baton Rouge

Mick Jagger admonished the world back in 1968, “What’s the point in listening to us doing ‘I’m A King Bee’ when you can listen to Slim Harpo doing it?” His statement not only summed up the early philosophy behind the Rolling Stones – despite the band’s superlative cover of that song, and later of “Shake

Hank’s Protos

How Hank Garland Helped Gibson Develop Two Models Not Called Byrdland

There are guitars, there are great guitars, there are great historic guitars and there are great historic guitars bearing deep provenance. And then there are guitars of such immense mystique, provenance, and cultural significance they are transcendent, shattering ceilings set by previous standards. Two such instruments were crafted by Gibson at the height of its