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    Ray Cummins’ Birthday Tribute to Chet Atkins

    See Vintage Guitar Online contributor Ray Cummins’ tribute to the late Chet Atkins on what would’ve been his 93rd birthday. Ray opens with an original song called “Summer Daze,” then mixes Chet licks with more of his own. Ray is using his ’98 Gibson Country Gentleman through an ’80s Boss DD-2 and Lexicon reverb into his Roland JC-77. Keep up with Ray at raycummins.com


    John 5 and the Creatures

    Season of the Witch
    The Horror

    Making good music requires a stimulating muse or inspiration. For some it’s love, happiness, loss, or regret. For guitarist John 5 inspiration comes in the form of interests that have occupied many a childhood: Horror comics, monster movies, and heavy metal. These influences along with virtuoso shred guitar, the television show “Hee-Haw,” and solid composing

    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

    Jerry Riggs

    Jerry Riggs

    Heavy Metal Forever

    Jerry Riggs grew up in the ’60s/early ’70s, and though his hometown of Knoxville, Tennessee, wasn’t a mecca like Nashville or Macon, he says, “I was lucky to be exposed to a lot of great music, from Chet Atkins to James Brown, from Hendrix to traditional Appalachian mountain folk songs. I’m privileged to have grown

    GJ2 Arete 5-Star

    Monster of Rock

    Bergen Guitars ST and TL Price: $3,999 Info: www.gj2guitars.com. Grover Jackson is a name forever associated with classic metal and custom “superstrats,” thanks to Randy Rhoads and iconic bands like Iron Maiden, Megadeth, Def Leppard, and Anthrax. Grover has moved on from the original Jackson brand (now owned by Fender), and is producing his own

    Fender Acoustic Pro and Acoustic SFX

    Curved Air

    Fender has been making acoustic guitar amps for decades – now they’re reinventing the genre, and their designers deserve a round of applause both for the visual makeover and the sound quality. Unlike standard guitar amps, the Acoustic Pro and Acoustic SFX draw their appeal from mid-century Scandinavian design, featuring curving, blonde-laminate cabinets that cradle

    John Pisano

    John Pisano

    The Godfather of Jazz Guitar

    He’s a straight-ahead jazz guitarist who wrote a smash-hit pop song that’s still yielding handsome royalties. In addition, he has recorded and toured the globe with artists such as Tony Bennett, Barbra Streisand, Burt Bacharach, Natalie Cole, Peggy Lee (for whom he conducted the Dallas Symphony Orchestra), Diana Krall, Sergio Mendes, Manhattan Transfer, and many

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    Overture JS-Session

    Do-It-All Guitar?

    Overture JS-Session Price: $ 1,499. Info: overtureguitars.com When designing a new guitar, builders often face a quandary. Some go to extremes to be original, while others tend to “re-create” the same ol’ thing. The Overture Guitars JS-Session is a departure; not a simple reissue or copy, instead, its body contours and edges give it a

    Carvin’s AE185-12

    Stairway to Heaven

    Carvin’s AE185-12 Price: $1,239 (base retail) Info: www.carvinguitars.com. Most guitarists love the sound of a 12-string, but the thought of owning one often raises several questions. Should you get an acoustic or an electric? What about controlling feedback onstage? And aren’t they hard to tune? Carvin attempts to answer all of these questions with the

    Artists of the Year

    From 2014 to the present — read about each Readers’ Choice Awards Artists.

    Taylor T3

    Tone Poet

    The Taylor T3 Price: $2,998 Info: www.taylorguitars.com. Some guitar players never touch a tone knob, while others view it as the Holy Grail of guitar controls. If that sounds like you, put up your antenna and tune to the Taylor T3, a semi-hollowbody electric that provokes many tonal questions. Is it a rock axe? Jazz

    Country Player of the Year

    Vince Gill Awarded in 2016 For decades, Vince Gill has stood as one of a handful of contemporary country stars (Brad Paisley, Steve Wariner and Keith Urban being the others) blending vocal and guitar virtuosity with powerful, eloquent songwriting. Despite changing trends, Gill, a Grand Ole Opry member since 1991, retains a steadfast belief in

    Seth Lover

    Seth Lover

    Humbuckers and Other Lover innovations

    The history of the musical instrument business is full of stories, from the drab to the miraculous. Some bean counters will busily push their way to the forefront, grabbing for a piece of history, while others quietly create. Seth Lover peers out at me from the doorway of his humble Southern California ranch house looking

    Johnny Winter

    Returning To His Roots

    In December, 1968, Mike Bloomfield asked Johnny Winter to perform at the Fillmore East in New York at a Super Session jam with Al Kooper. That night, Winter played B.B. King’s “It’s My Own Fault” and blew away the audience. Reps from Columbia were in attendance, and Winter was signed to the biggest advance in

    KJ Audio Hanwell 50

    KJ Audio Hanwell 50

    Shake The Walls

    KJ Audio Hanwell 50 Price: Head $1,900; cabinet $1,600 Contact: www.kjaudio.com No apologies: Minneapolis-based amp designer Kristopher Johnson’s Hanwell 50 boutique amp is built to rock. The amp was inspired by the four-input, 50-watt Marshall JMP MKII Master Volume amps of the mid ’70s, but Johnson hot-rodded this, modded that, and made his own monster

    The Soldano

    Super Lead Overdrive

    One of the leaders of what we might call the second wave of high-end high-gain tube amps, Soldano has been making a big noise since 1987 – the year Michael J. Soldano released his first production model, the Super Lead Overdrive (SLO-100). The SLO’s ability to churn out searing lead tones with a certain sonic

    Marty Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives

    Way Out West

    For decades, Stuart has been one of country music’s biggest champions, and may yet be its savior. His Fabulous Superlatives are one of the tightest, most authentic country bands and possibly the most versatile – as demonstrated on the RFD Channel’s “Marty Stuart Show,” where they’ve backed everyone from Kitty Wells to Sam Moore. As

    Lollar’s Gold-Foil Pickup

    After the Gold Rush

    Lollar’s Gold-Foil Pickup Price: $180 (list, each) Info: www.lollarguitars.com Gold-foil pickups are exotic beasts – just like many of the 1960s Japanese-made Teisco guitars that sport up to four of them crammed between neck and bridge. These pickups may look like the grille of a ’59 Eldorado, but Teisco aficionados will tell anyone that original

    Steve Wariner

    The C.G.P. Connection Willie G. Moseley

    Steve Wariner is among the handful of guitarists designated as a certified guitar player (C.G.P.) by Chet Atkins. The last guitarist to receive the personal honor, Wariner served a pallbearer at Atkins’ funeral in 2001. He also performed at the service. In the dozen years since the release of No More Mr. Nice Guy, Wariner