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

The Rolling Stones

Blue & Lonesome

The Rolling Stones’ first album of new material since 2005, “Blue & 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)

Picture the archetypal 1930s blues man, photographed with a studio backdrop, jaunty hat, knowing leer…. What else do you see? A guy with not too much money, that’s what! That’s why the guitar in his lap was usually something like a Gibson L model – small, shapely, and sunburst. The iconic Robert Johnson L-1 was

Luker Chameleon Combo

The Luker Chameleon Combo

True to Its Colors

The Luker Chameleon Combo Price: $1,850 (list) Contact: www.lukeramps.com Considering the state of modern vacuum tubes, a surprising number of great tube amps are currently being built. And of those, every once in a while a truly exceptional amp that is also an astonishing value finds its way through the front door. The Luker Chameleon

Jim Peterik

Jim Peterik

The Ides of a Century

Most dictionaries define “ides” as the middle of a month, based on the Roman calendar. The most famous are the Ides of March, which is also the name of a horn band from Chicago that formed in 1964, with its most famous hit being 1970’s “Vehicle.” Its lead guitarist, Jim Peterik, would go on to

GIBSON F-7 1934

1934 Gibson F-7

Prior to Gibson’s innovations, mandolins were bowl-back instruments with a lute-like back usually constructed with rosewood or maple back ribs and a bent spruce top with an oval sound hole. Earlier guitars typically had flat tops and backs, and were designed for gut strings. In 1898, he received a patent for the concept of constructing

Vintage Instruments and the Ban on Ivory Trade

Vintage Instruments and the Ban on Ivory Trade

A presidential executive order issued February 11 proposes a wide ban on trade in ivory has widespread implications for trade in vintage musical instruments as well as antique art, furniture, firearms, swords, knives, and jewelry. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service has been tasked with writing and enforcing new regulations for import, export, and domestic trade

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Greg Lake

Recalling the Music

Bassist/vocalist/songwriter Greg Lake came to notice in 1969 as member of King Crimson and his membership in Emerson, Lake and Palmer cemented his place in the pantheon of progressive-rock icons. He also recorded numerous solo albums; his most recent, Songs of a Lifetime, is a career retrospective. “The idea came during the writing of my

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The Pigtronix Envelope Phaser 2

Sophisti-Phaser

Pigtronix Envelope Phaser II Price: $249 (street). Contact: Phone (631) 331-7447; Pigtronix.com. Pigtronix effects are known not only for their tones, but their sophistication. So it’s no surpise that the Envelope Phaser II has a potentially daunting array of control knobs and switches, some with familiar names (Sensitivity, Depth, Speed), others less common (Resonance, Staccato,

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Frank Gambale

Soulmine

Frank Gambale has had an amazing career playing the music he loves. From being the go-to guy for sweep-picking, and later replacing Al DiMeola in Return To Forever, Gambale drops jaws wherever he goes, and whether playing straight jazz, instrumental rock, or contemporary fusion, he plays from the heart and head. Gambale’s current project is

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’53 Gibson Les Paul Junior

Gibson’s records tell us the Les Paul Junior was introduced in 1954. But here we have what appears to be a 1953 example. This instrument has no serial number on the back of the peghead, though the tone and volume pot codes indicate they were made in 1953, and the guitar differs in specifications from

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Danelectro Viscount

1961 Danelectro Viscount Preamp tubes: two 12AX7, one 6AU6 Output tubes: two 6V6GT Rectifier: 6X5 Controls: Volume, Tone, Vibrato Strength, Vibrato Speed Output: 12 watts RMS Amp nuts of yesteryear likely aspired to the delights of Fender, Vox, or Marshall, or maybe hankered after high-end creations from Mesa/Boogie or others who were pushing the envelope

Grant Geissman

Grant Geissman

Jazz-Rock Renaissance

’70s culture may have provided a target-rich environment for parodied depictions of giant Afros, bell-bottom jeans, and Saturday Night Fever, but anyone who was alive then remembers Chuck Mangione’s Feels So Good. Huge in 1977, the album remains symbolic of the jazz-pop that was strong at the time. The extended guitar solo on the title

Martin OM-18P Plectrum Guitar

Martin OM-18P Plectrum Guitar

While the most commonly played and collected Martin guitars have a six-string neck, the company has also made a number of historically noteworthy four-strings. Beginning in the 1920s and carrying into the ’60s, it produced several tenor guitars. In the ’30s, it offered plectrum guitars in an era when tenor banjos and guitars were far

Perfect Curves Fender’s Stratocaster Turns 60

Perfect Curves

Fender’s Stratocaster Turns 60

Sixty years down the road since its creation, the Fender Stratocaster is the default image of the electric guitar for nearly all the human race. From early adopters like Buddy Holly to pioneering masterminds like Jim Hendrix and living legends like Eric Clapton, it has been a stalwart, always at hand for superstars, bedroom pickers,

Roy Buchanan

Roy Buchanan

Roy Buchanan The Life and Times of Roy Buchanan By Phil Carson Roy Buchanan and his battered 1953 Telecaster guitar got inside your head and grabbed you in the gut. He had eclectic musical tastes, an arsenal of techniques, a devotion to craft, and something to say. And he said it with soul. Those are

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Fender Harvard

Given the current craze for semi-small “home” and “recording” amps, Fender’s 5F10 Harvard of 1955-’60 could be the ideal tweed amp, yet, in its day, it fell between two stools and never sold in large numbers. Or, make that three stools. With the Champ and Princeton in its rear-view mirror and the Deluxe and Tremolux

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Airline ’59 Custom 1P and Epiphone ’61 Casino 50th Anniversary

Having a Rave-Up!

Epiphone ’61 Casino 50th Anniversary Price: $1,415 (with tremtone); $1,332 (with stop/trapeze tailpiece) Contact: www.epiphone.com Airline ’59 Custom 1P Price: $899 (with case) Contact: www.epiphone.com Fifteen years ago, you couldn’t give away some of the less-popular guitars from the ’60s, whether they were models with P-90s or cheapo imports from Japan and Germany. Today, however,

SCOTTY MOORE's GIBSON ES-295 Vinatge guitar Magazine

Scotty Moore’s Gibson ES-295

First Guitar of Rock and Roll

Like a hound dog hit by lightning, the first notes of rock and roll blasted out of radios across the country in July of 1954, courtesy of Elvis Presley’s supercharged-hillbilly singing on “That’s All Right” and “Blue Moon Of Kentucky,” backed by Scotty Moore’s guitar. It was the twang heard ’round the world. That guitar

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Lee Ritenour

Lee's Six-String Theory

Lee Ritenour’s career accomplishments are the stuff of greatness. With thousands of classic recording sessions and more than 40 albums bearing his own name, Ritenour continues to work his magic straddling the world of jazz, rock, fusion, and Latin music. Ritenour’s Yamaha Six String Theory Guitar Competition recently came to a close, and 16-year-old guitarist