Author Archives: Tom Guerra

Colby Dual Tone Booster 50

Double Versatile

Colby DTB50 Price: $3,800 (head); $750 (cabinet) Contact: www.colbyamps.com From 1978 through 2010, Mitch Colby helped Marshall become a preeminent name in amplifiers. He recently founded Colby Amplification, where he builds amps by hand, one at a time, and his first model, the Dual Tone (more…)

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Brian Ray

From Blues to Beatles

Brian Ray spent the last 11 years playing guitar as Paul McCartney’s side man. While such duty would be a career topper for pretty much any player, Ray is also thrilled about his new band, The Bayonets, and his forthcoming signature-model Gibson. How does one get a (more…)

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Paul Nelson

Main Man to the Blues Man

Paul Nelson is not only Johnny Winter’s second guitarist, but the blues icon’s musical director, producer, songwriter, and – many say – life saver. Fans who have recently seen Winter will attest to Nelson’s guitar prowess and ability to complement Winter. The resulting fireworks provide some of (more…)

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Jay Geils

Blues and Archtop

If you grew up listening to music in the ’70s, you probably associate the name J. Geils with a five-piece band that played raucous rock and roll to hip-shaking partiers. Led by guitarist John “Jay” Geils, the group toured the world and recorded more than a dozen albums, selling millions through the early ’80s. Originally […]

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Bare Knuckle Pickups’ PAT Pend, Flat ’52, and Mule

Bruising Tones

Bare Knuckle Pickups’ PAT Pend, Flat ’52, and Mule Price: $125-$340 Info: www.bareknucklepickups.co.uk. From the ever-expanding world of boutique pickups comes a builder out of southwest England who creates a handmade, hard-hitting alternative – Bare Knuckle Pickups. We received three sets of pickups from Bare Knuckle; the Mule (humbuckers), Blackguard Flat ’52 (more…)

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Music Man Game Changer

Twelve Tons of Tone

Music Man Game Changer Price: $2,275 (street) Contact: www.gamechanger.music-man.com Since the introduction of the electric guitar, builders have sought ways to increase the variety of tones that can be had from an instrument; in 1959, Gibson created the Varitone circuit for its ES-345, and in (more…)

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The Siegmund Doppler Vibe

The Faster We Go, the Rounder We Get

Siegmund Doppler Vibe Price: $495 Info: www.siegmundguitars.com. It’s been said that Buddy Guy was the first guitarist to put his instrument through a Leslie rotating speaker. Supposedly, this was done in a pinch after his amp crapped out during a 1965 session for Junior Wells’ (more…)

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Budda Verbmaster 112

Versatile 18-Watter
Budda Verbmaster 112 Home

Budda Verbmaster 112 Price: $1,800 (street) Contact: budda.com As part of its Hand-Wired series, Budda has reissued the tube-rectified Verbmaster 1×12 combo that differs from similarly powered amps because it’s a two-channel with reverb and a second (hotter) input. The Verbmaster uses the same (more…)

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Andy Fraser

Finally Free

Andy Frasier In the late 1960s, Free emerged as a four-piece blues rock powerhouse – a bridge between Cream and Led Zeppelin. Fronted by the incredible voice of Paul Rodgers and the stinging guitar of (more…)

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The Pixies

Alternative Godfathers

In the late 1980s, the Pixies’ unique brand of punk, pop, and guitar rock almost singlehandedly created the alternative music movement that flourished in the early ’90s. Its sound served as the blueprint for a host of new artists including Nirvana, and was cited (more…)

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