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Author Archives: Pete Prown

Phil Collins, Billy Cobham

Face Value, Hello, I Must Be Going, The Atlantic Years 1973-1978
Great Guitar Albums From Non-Guitarists
 

Sometimes non-guitarists make great guitar albums. These expanded reissues from drummers Billy Cobham and Phil Collins are cases in point. After a blistering career in the Mahavishnu Orchestra, Cobham went solo and released a spate of excellent fusion albums, compiled here in an (more…)

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Magnatone Varsity

Less is More, Plus
 
Magnatone Varsity

Magnatone Varsity Price: $1,699 (list); $1,799 (as tested) Contact: www.magnatoneusa.com Magnatone earned a cult of admirers in the mid 20th century. Buddy Holly and Lonnie Mack used the company’s amps, and Neil Young still has a 280 Stereo model in his live rig. (more…)

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Tim Lerch

Tele Jazz Master
 
Tim Lerch

If you watch any of Tim Lerch’s videos online, his virtuosity is immediately apparent. What may throw you is his use of a Telecaster, an axe more closely associated with blues, country, and rock. But in Lerch’s hand, it becomes a killer jazz-blues machine, perfect for (more…)

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Vibesware Guitar Resonator GR-Junior II

Sustain For Days
 
Vibesware Guitar Resonator GR-Junior II

Vibesware Guitar Resonator GR-Junior II Price: $175 (list, depending on exchange rate) Contact: www.vibesware.com In the beginning, there was the E Bow, a handheld device that used a powered magnet to create infinite sustain and feedback. Then came “sustainer” pickups, which were (more…)

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Avante Gryphon

Game Changer?
 
Avante Gryphon

Avante Gryphon Price: $1,495 (street) Info: www.veilletteguitars.com People bandy about the term “game changer” so often these days it barely means a thing, but the Avante Gryphon may be just that. Avante is the import line of Joe Veillette, who has long been crafting fine (more…)

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Oddfellow Caveman Drive

Tone Evolution
 
Oddfellow Caveman Drive

Oddfellow Caveman Drive Price: $174.99 (list) Info: www.oddfellowfx.com. Handmade in California, the Oddfellow Caveman Drive is a boutique pedal whose simple layout belies its tonal complexities. But even before hooking this stompbox into your signal chain, right off the bat, you have to dig (more…)

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Anthony Phillips

Progressive 12-String Master
 
Anthony Phillips

Ant Phillips was a founding member of Genesis and, along with guitarist/bassist Mike Rutherford, created the signature 12-string acoustic sound that marked the band’s classic albums. Phillips left the group after 1970’s Trespass album to study music, but his ’77 solo debut, The Geese and the Ghost, is regarded as a prog classic. It also […]

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Pat Metheny

the Unity Sessions
 
Pat-Metheny

This film of Pat Metheny’s talented Unity Band is another gem in his long career, featuring both live performances and insightful interviews. The Unity quintet is more of a straight-ahead jazz ensemble than the Pat Metheny Group, featuring the fierce tenor sax of (more…)

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Adrian Legg

The Wizard of Strings
 
Adrian Legg

Aside from witty asides on social issues, natural disasters, and Renaissance history, Adrian Legg’s formidable fingerstyle and deep musicality remain his calling card. His latest album, Dead Bankers, continues the bedazzlement. On “Marco’s Bounce,” you put a piece of foam under the strings to create (more…)

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Effectrode Fire Bottle Magnetic Pickup Booster

The Box That Went to Harvard
 
Effectrode’s Fire Bottle Magnetic Pickup Booster

Effectrode’s Fire Bottle Magnetic Pickup Booster Price: $255 Contact: www.effectrode.com The Effectrode Fire Bottle is a pedal that deviates from the norm and offers something fresh. Unlike a chorus, distortion, or phaser that delivers a definite “effect,” the Fire Bottle is (more…)

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