The latest model in Ernie Ball Music Man’s Steve Lukather signature series was designed to answer Lukather’s demand for an instrument that is simple yet versatile. The Luke3 (a.k.a. LIII), available in dual humbucker (HH) and humbucker-single-single (HSS) configurations, is a high-class workhorse that any serious player will appreciate for its playability and extensive tonal

Bruce Kulick

Wielding Power On BK3

With his new album, BK3, Bruce Kulick brings out the big guns on what he calls his “…strongest solo disc ever.” Collaborating with friends old and new, he infused their personalities to create an album diverse in style and tones. He also raised the bar on his own musicianship. Kulick recently took us behind the

Robbie Robertson

The Many Sides of

It’s difficult to say which is more ironic: the fact that Robbie Robertson, one of rock guitar’s true stylists, is more famous for his songwriting, or that beneath the minimal, compositional style that marked his work with The Band hid one of the most animalistic maniacs in rock guitar history. • The son of a

John Entwistle

John Entwistle 1944-2002

John Entwistle Ode to the Ox 1944-2002 By Ward Meeker Pop music lovers – especially those with an ear tuned to gear and how it’s used – know that John Entwistle ranks as one of the most influential bassists in the history of rock and roll. Some would argue there is none higher. Before Entwistle,

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

Charlie Parr

A Muse From Olden Times

Charlie Parr makes new music from olden times. And he makes it the old way – not only using just the simplicity of a National resonator, a bottleneck slide, boot-stomping rhythms, and his voice, but also traveling like a modern-day Delta blues man. Instead of Robert Johnson’s Hudson Terraplane, though, Parr is driving – and

Clapton’s Fool

History’s Greatest Guitar?

Eric Clapton’s The Fool. A name immediately recognizable to guitarists, yet baffling to others. What is Clapton’s Fool? Very simply, it is one of the most important and famous electric guitars in the history of the instrument. In the hierarchy of guitars, the bottom of the pyramid’s capstone is made up of guitars that are

Lipe Guitars Maestro

Lipe Guitars Maestro

Whole Lotta Mahogany

Lipe Maestro Price: $4,900 Contact: lipeguitars.com; phone (818) 352-6212 Mike Lipe has a wall of gold records. Why? Not because he’s a musical star, but because he’s a star to the stars. A former top builder at Ibanez, his creations have helped Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Andy Timmons, and many others become luminaries on the

Peavey RJ-IV

Peavey RJ-IV bass, serial number 04938996. Photo: Bill Ingalls Jr. Instrument courtesy of Naffaz Skota. Americans by the millions “know” Randy Jackson. But not many realize that his gig as one of three judges on TV’s “American Idol” is just the tip of the iceberg in his long musical career. The veteran bassist has played

PRS Alex Lifeson Signature

PRS Alex Lifeson Signature

Grand Designs

PRS Alex Lifeson Signature Price: $8,999 (list) Contact: www.prsguitars.com What do you call the most beautifully made production acoustic you’ve ever seen? You might consider calling it the Paul Reed Smith Alex Lifeson Signature acoustic guitar. With a European spruce top that has enough bear-claw figure to lead one to suspect they brought in a

Furry Lewis' 1968 Gibson B-25N

Furry Lewis’ 1968 Gibson B-25N

Heart In Hand

Born in the heart of Mississippi’s fabled Delta region – from whence also emerged Robert Johnson and the blues-music form that co-opted the geologic term, Walter “Furry” Lewis was seven years old when his family moved to Memphis circa 1907. Geographically poised as a gathering point for sharecroppers emigrating from the deep south to various

Brown’s Guitar Factory Lap Steel

Steel Yourself

At the beginning of amplified music, one of the first instruments to get a magnetic pickup was the Rickenbacker “frying pan” lap steel – the first of many electrified lap steels made at one time or another by guitar companies including Gibson, Fender, and, of course, Silvertone. Attend a guitar show today, and you’re likely

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

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Pete Huttlinger

A Narrative (and album) From the Heart

To call Pete Huttlinger a survivor is an understatement. The notable Nashville fingerpicker has fought back from a major stroke and end-stage heart failure to record the most important album of his career, McGuire’s Landing. The effort began years ago, and Huttlinger had recorded some of its tracks before being sidelined by his health. A

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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John Page Classic Ashburn

Turn the Page

With the creation of John Page Classic Guitars in 2006, the guitar builder, designer, and co-founder of the Fender Custom Shop opened a new chapter in his already illustrious career. After launching a line of custom guitars earlier this year, Page teamed up with HRS Unlimited and a Japanese manufacturer to build a more-cost-friendly “custom

Nancy Wright

Playdate!

The ubiquitous saxophonist of the San Francisco blues scene for 30 years, Nancy Wright finally stepped to the fore and released her solo debut in 2009 – a fine instrumental outing in a Blue Note jazz vein. On her third offering, the type of seasoning that comes from decades of “sideman” and bandmate work (recording

E.W.S. BMC2

E.W.S. BMC2

Tiny Green Giant

As mini-sized pedals continue to gain in popularity they are also becoming increasingly refined and versatile in their layouts. One of these, the popular BMC (Bass Mid Control) from E.W.S Japan (a partner with Xotic), has been reworked with some added features. The resulting BMC2 is a compact but powerful mid booster with three added