Scotty Moore

Can't Keep a Good Man Down

As the world marks the 50th Anniversary of the recording of “That’s Alright Mama,” one can’t help but wonder what life would be like today if Scotty Moore had told Sam Phillips he didn’t think much of Elvis Presley during their fateful audition. Who would have become the King of rock and roll? Moore recently

Keith Nelson

Buckcherry Gear Jammer

Over the last few years, Buckcherry has offered a lot of music to fans – online via its monthly Singles Club releases, a greatest hits album, an EP, and it’s latest full-length release, Rock and Roll, which hits stores (including the band’s own, online) this month. Co-founder/guiding force Keith Nelson is a guitarist with a

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The D’Angelico Excel Mandolin

The 1,164 archtop guitars made by John D’Angelico have brought him great renown as the finest individual archtop guitar builder in the history of the instrument. His mandolins, however, are seldom talked about, even though – if this particular example from the early 1940s is any indication – they are worthy of the same attention.

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Joe Walsh

Life’s Still Good

Whether coughing up the second-most-memorable talk-box lick of the ’70s, kicking the Eagles into overdrive, or wryly expressing his views on subjects ranging from rock-and-roll excess to lawn mowers to a good ol’ set of double Ds, Joe Walsh has earned a rep for delivering a message, usually sans musical nuance. The guitarist/songwriter/ producer/actor who

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Laney L50 Head and L412 Cab

Classic British Tone

Laney L50H/L412 Price: $1,990 (head); $1,499 (cab) Info: laney.co.uk. Lyndon Laney is no stranger to fans of the iconic British stack. Established in 1967, Laney Amplification found its early fame thanks to Tony Iommi’s commanding use of the company’s amps with Black Sabbath. Following the reign of Sabbath, they became an amplifier of choice for

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Ampeg R-12-R Reverberocket

1962 Ampeg R-12-R Reverberocket Preamp tubes: two 6SL7, two 6SN7 Output tubes: two 6V6, cathode-biased Rectifier: 5Y3 Controls: Volume, Tone, Dimension (reverb), Speed, and Intensity (tremolo) Speakers: Jensen Special Design C12R Output: approximately 18 watts RMS In the view of Ampeg main man Everett Hull, rock and roll was not a musical form to which

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Reilander’s Muckbucker Pickups

Fat, But Not Tubby

Reilander’s Muckbucker Pickups Price: $199 (set) Info: www.reilandercustomguitar.com In the 1970s, great guitar-pickup winders began wrapping extra wire on humbuckers, touting the resultant higher output and greater low-end response. Though this approach to pickup construction makes it easier to “overdrive” certain amps, most neck pickups that were given this overwinding sounded muddy, and most such

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Roland V-Studio 20

The Roland V-Studio 20

Roland V-Studio 20 Price: $300 (street) Info: www.rolandus.com. Home digital recording has come a long way in the last 20 years, to the point where top bands are cutting full albums at home. But there is still a learning curve for the uninitiated, and the software and hardware choices are dizzying. Enter Roland, whose V-Studio

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Gibson’s Depression-Era Exports

Many aren’t aware that some of the archtop guitars Gibson produced during the Depression were marketed under different brand names, including Kalamazoo, Recording King, Cromwell, Fascinator, and Kel Kroyden, among others. These shared similar features and construction techniques with the low-line Gibson-branded instruments such as the L-30 and L-50: a spruce top, mahogany body and

Six-String Kicks

Six-String Kicks

Wood from Famed Bowling Alley Set to Sing

Few things scratch America’s cumulative itch for nostalgia like Route 66 – the famed wagon-trail-cum-highway that offered passage to those migrating west from Chicago in the mid 19th century, then later became known as Main Street America.  For decades, the road provided the means to a living for entrepreneurs who set up shop offering food,

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

Visual Sound’s H20 V3 Liquid Chorus & Echo and VS-XO Premium Dual Overdrive

Visual Sound’s H20 V3 Liquid Chorus & Echo and VS-XO Premium Dual Overdrive

A Step Further

Visual Sound’s H20 V3 Liquid Chorus & Echo and VS-XO Premium Dual Overdrive Price: H20 V3 $199 (list); VS-XO $199 (list) Contact: www.visualsound.net Since bursting on the scene with its Visual Volume, Tennessee-based Visual Sound has earned a reputation for sounding great and for solid construction. The company has introduced the next step in its

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Danelectro’s Four-String Basses

The guitars and basses made by Danelectro in the ’60s epitomized “no frills.” And though they were considered the nadir of American-made electric instruments of their time, many a babyboomer cut their musical teeth on one. The construction of most “classic” Danelectro-made guitars and basses – whether they were branded as Danelectro or the more-popular

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Kurt Hendrick

History of the Mystery

One of the most enigmatic brands in the recent history of American guitars was Hendrick, the funky solidbody electrics created by designer Kurt Hendrick. • The son of an aerospace engineer, Hendrick grew up in the 1960s near the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Space Center Houston (when it was called the Manned Spacecraft Center)

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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.

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National Westwood

Whether Valco – the company that made National guitars in the 1950s and ’60s – was actually inspired by U.S. geography when it created its legendary “map” guitars is unknown, but they may well have simply meant to be eye-catching in the dry days before the Beatles ignited the mania for electric guitars. Whatever the

Kiko Loureiro

Kiko Loureiro

Metal-Fusion From Brazil

“When I would play with musicians from the neighborhood, I noticed that my passion for Brazilian music was making me different from other guys,” explains guitarist Kiko Loureiro, a player who found his niche by combining his Brazilian heritage with his love of metal, shred, and fusion. His current album, Sounds Of Innocence, seamlessly blends

ZT Extortion Expressive Distortion

Mutant Distortion

ZT Extortion Expressive Distortion Price: $269 retail, $199 street Contact: www.ztamplifiers.com ZT Amplifiers put their name on the map four years ago with the compact Lunchbox solid-state amp. Now they continue along the road less traveled with the Extortion Expressive Distortion. For a departure from tonal convention the pedal features an analog overdrive that can

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