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Monthly Archives: April 2004

Glen Burtnik

Styx Southpaw (and much more)

The assimilation of New Jersey guitarist/bassist/songwriter Glen Burtnik into the bass player slot of the current incarnation of Styx is only the tip of the iceberg concerning the left-handed musician’s experiences. He has written mega-hits in more than one genre, fronted the house band at the Stone Pony, gigged with Marshall Crenshaw, and at the […]

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Dweezil Zappa

Sustaining the Zappa Legacy

As the eldest son of the legendary Frank Zappa, Dweezil Zappa followed in his father’s footsteps by developing into a talented guitarist and songwriter. The Zappa son has released several solo discs, and collaborated with his brother and sister, Ahmet and Moon Unit, and others. Although he grew up in a musical family and has […]

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John Mayall and Friends – Along For the Ride

Along For the Ride

John Mayall (VG, July ’98, and look for a new talk next month) has been doing it for so long it seems he’s always been there. And he has. In a career that has lasted nearly 40 years and produced almost 50 albums (not including compilations, of which his name graces another 40!), Mayall has […]

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Bo Diddley – A Man Amongst Men

A Man Amongst Men

Okay, it seems kind of weird to write a review of a guy who’s in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but this is such a good album that I had to. We know Bo isn’t going to play any killer licks a l Stevie Ray or Clapton. But he will play that classic […]

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Chris Whitley – Dirt Floor

Dirt Floor

Chris Whitley’s music is primal. On his amazing debut album, Living With the Law, and the followup limited-run live promotional EP, Poison Girl, he created a desolate landscape of ghosts rising out of his haunting lyrics, pounding National Triolian guitarwork, and blues-drenched singing. After his debut success, he lost himself in the joys of overdriven […]

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Marshall MXL V57M

Big-buck mic sounds - small bucks required

If you do any serious recording, analog or digital, you a need a great mic. Condenser mics have been the de facto standard for recording music and voice since World War II, and that hasn’t changed. However, the price of a good large-diaphragm condenser mic has been out of reach for most recording aficionados – […]

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Kendrick Canary

Purrdy bird with loads of chirp

Kendrick Amplifiers recently added a new variation of its Continetal guitar, their line’s Les Paul-inspired guitar. Dubbed the Canary, it’s monikered after the wood used to make its top. We recently grabbed one for a once-over… three or four times. Here’s what we found. Construction The Canary is a Les Paul-style instrument made with a […]

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Standel Amplifiers

Recapturing the Classic Sound

Contrary to what some fledgling vintage guitar and amplifier enthusiasts may think, amplifier brands other than Fender were made in California during the ’50s, the decade some consider the golden age of electric guitars and amps in the Golden State. Magnatone is one example, but the early Standel amplifiers made by company founder Bob Crooks […]

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Manuel Ramrez Fakes

Classic Fakery: Manuel Ramrez's

In 1997, Jamie Bellizzi, Empire Music, California, contacted me with photos and descriptions of an instrument he had recently found which appeared to be an 1869 Antonio de Torres in fabulous condition. Owned by Jamie’s neighbor, the instrument had been part of the family estate, having been acquired in Spain many decades ago. However, Jamie […]

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Electro/Rickenbacher Amps

Pre-WWII Electro/ Rickenbacher Amps

Introduction Experiments at marketing electrified musical instruments and their accompanying amplifiers may have started in the late 1920s, but it wasn’t until the early ’30s that any long term commitments were made by manufacturers. Even though a number of short-lived attempts followed the 1927 release of “All AC”/battery-less radios, the first company to really dive […]

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