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    James Patrick Regan Celebrates Cat Stevens’ Birthday!

    James Patrick Regan uses his Gibson J-200 (with Dunlop strings) to play “Wild World” in honor of singer/songwriter Yusuf Islam (born Steven Georgiou, but you likely know him better as Cat Stevens) on his 69th birthday. And stay tuned for another hidden surprise birthday lick! Keep up with James and his band at www.thedeadlies.com and catch him this Saturday with the Cherry Road Gang.

    Epiphone Crestwood

    ’60s Un-Gibson Solidbody

    Gibson’s acquisition of Epiphone in 1957 presented a tremendous challenge to guitar designers and marketers at the company. One challenge was to design a new solidbody instrument that could be produced at the Kalamazoo factory using existing tooling and production lines. Another was to make it visually distinct from Gibson’s Les Pauls. The answer? The

    Paul Gilbert

    Mr. Big Takes it Down a Notch

    Paul Gilbert and the crew that makes up Mr. Big – bassist Billy Sheehan, drummer Pat Torpey, and vocalist Eric Martin – reunited a couple years ago on the heels of a Gilbert gig at the L.A. House of Blues where he, Sheehan, and Torpey jumped onstage together. Digging the vibe, they soon called Martin,

    Van Wilks

    Stormin’ out of Austin

    Texas-born guitarist/vocalist Van Wilks’ first new album in a decade, 21st Century Blues, is full of loud Texas tones. Born in Galveston, he grew up in Lubbock and Brownwood, “…and I’m still growing up in Austin!” he laughed. In 1964, Wilks’ father and uncle bought him a Tulio guitar and Alamo amplifier (with a Jensen alnico

    Carl Verheyen

    The Tools of Trading 8s

    Carl Verheyen is a member of that elite (and shrinking) group of musicians known as “session guitarists.” Super-qualified pickers, they’re the hired guns brought in for the most demanding and important recording dates. They command triple-scale fees, but work in a pressure cooker where time is money, where skillsets call for expertise in blues, jazz,

    Michael Schenker

    Temple Of Rock

    Michael Schenker has had the kind of stormy past that could give Keith Richards a run for his money. He will forever be tied to iconic bands such as The Scorpions, UFO, and The Michael Schenker Group, but he’s his own man. Along with newfound sobriety, Schenker’s latest solo album, Temple Of Rock, ushers in

    GIBSONEDS1275-HOME-MAIN-BIG

    Gibson EDS-1275 and EMS-1235

    It’s hard not to associate doubleneck electric guitars with images of Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page or fusion guru Mahavishnu John McLaughlin in the ’70s; however, the fact is that by the time the Big Js were stopping shows with these multi-headed beasts, they were already relics of the past. Doubleneck Spanish guitars got their first

    The Fender Stratocaster

    Aiming High

    In 1953, Leo Fender started planning a new standard guitar – the Stratocaster. His partner, Don Randall, who headed Fender Sales, Inc., came up with the name before the design was even completed. Of course, the new Fender would compete with Gibson and Epiphone professional models. But Leo intended even more. He believed his continued

    National Model N-720

    Star of an Era's End

    Most acoustic guitar players will likely show disdain for any instrument with a bolt-on neck. Even though there have been many great guitars – from Maccaferri (and before) to Seagull – sporting respectable versions. In my more naïve younger years, I used to attribute such ungainly guitars to Japanese manufacturers, or maybe the Italians, as

    Gibson Johnny Smith

    In 1961, Gibson’s Johnny Smith model not only associated Gibson with one of the most popular guitar stylists of the day, it also brought high-quality amplification and high-quality acoustic sound together for the first time. From Gibson’s first electric “Spanish” guitar, the ES-150 of 1936, Gibson had fashioned an electric guitar by cutting a hole

    Jenny Boyd

    Jenny Boyd

    Searching For The Source

    Dr. Jenny Boyd is founder and director of Spring Workshops, “organizing psychotherapeutic groups for people in need of personal development.” She is also the “Jennifer” who inspired Donovan’s “Jennifer Juniper.” Like her sister Pattie, Jenny became a model in swinging-’60s London. Pattie married and divorced both Beatle George Harrison and Eric Clapton; Jenny married and

    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,

    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

    Gemma Ray

    The Exodus Suite

    Gemma Ray might rock the neo-’50s look, but she’s no Wanda Jackson wannabe; her songs and guitar work are not held in check by any known musical category. Instead, the tunes are like escapees from the expectations and trappings of mainstream pop. And she’s been prolific, cutting six previous albums as well as several EPs.

    Ray Cummins

    Pal of Chet, Friend of Les

    Chester and Lester were enamored of his talent. Moreover, they called Ray Cummins a friend, and his journey includes turning adversity into a career as one of the country’s more-respected guitar soloists. Though a modest guy, Cummins would have every right to boast of his amazing credentials. For starters, he’s enjoyed headline status at the

    Sturdy and “Purdy”

    Dashboards Pedalboards

    Founded in 2010 by guitarist Ashley Dasher and based on his vision of the ideal touring pedalboard, Dashboards offers well-crafted, easy-to-use pedalboards. And they look sharp, too! With lightweight, yet sturdy, one-piece aluminum construction, they’re dressed up with a powder-painted finish and polished chrome handles. Our test pedalboard had an optional backlit logo, 1/4″ solderless

    Tinsley Ellis

    Screaming On The Inside

    “Red clay is what you see here in Georgia,” says Tinsley Ellis of the inspiration behind his new album, Red Clay Soul. “That’s what the ground looks like. I wanted an album that depicted the sound, look, and feel of the region.” Saturated with that ambiance, the disc brings together Ellis’ signature heart-crushing lyrics, stinging

    Richie Kotzen

    Goin’ Supergroup

    Veteran guitar monster Richie Kotzen has done it all from opening for The Rolling Stones, recording with Stanley Clarke, to coming to the rescue for Poison and Mr. Big. Having recorded a stack of solo albums, he now joins former Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy and Mr. Big bassist Billy Sheehan, to form The Winery

    Martin Turner

    Low-End Unorthodoxy

    When he transitioned from playing guitar, former Wishbone Ash bassist Martin Turner kept a pick in his right hand and developed a style that combined fluid, melodic lines with an overdriven sound reminiscent of John Entwistle and Chris Squire. On his third solo album, Written in the Wind, he showcases instrumental skill as well as

    Burton, Garrett, Lee, and Wilcox Join Forces

    Burton, Garrett, Lee, and Wilcox Join Forces

    Telecaster Summit

    For guitar lovers and roots-music fans, the place to be in July ’13 was British Columbia. The Vancouver Island MusicFest held a true summit meeting of masters of the Telecaster (with an asterisk). Britain’s Albert Lee is acclaimed for his work with Emmylou Harris, Eric Clapton, the Everly Brothers, and others. Amos Garrett played the