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Monthly Archives: July 2007

Ray Mason – Old School


Ray Mason – Old School Ray Mason’s music, while being full of wonderful chord changes, quiet vocals, and lyrics with discreet meaning, is also quirky and hard to define. On this disc, the title cut is a light pop tune (in the best way) that displays that quirkiness with lines like, “Now it’s 30 years […]

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Speedster 25 Watt Deluxe and Class A 40 amps

Flat-Out in Two Gears

It’s one of the great comeback stories in the history of boutique amps – short as that history may be. In 2003, manufacturing engineer/entrepreneur/guitar buff Joe Valosay contacted the founders of the then-defunked Speedster Amplifiers. After hearing of the company’s demise, Valosay wanted to help resurrect the brand. So, in late ’03, Speedster Amplifiers, LLC […]

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Al Kooper – Black Coffee


Al Kooper – Black Coffee A passing glance at the resume Al Kooper has amassed over nearly a half-century is enough to make anyone ask, “What do you have to do to get inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame?” Playing organ on “Like A Rolling Stone” would be a good place to […]

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Vox AC30 Brian May Custom Limited Edition

Tone Like Brian's? Yes, You May!

Save for its singular single-knob control panel in bright red finish, a quick glance at the new Vox AC30 Brian May Custom Limited Edition amplifier reveals little if anything that separates it from the typical AC30. With its familiar brown-diamond grillecloth, black tolex, white and gold piping, trio of carrying handles, and full-radius plastic corners, […]

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Elliot Easton

Driving The New Cars

In the late 1970s, The Cars rolled out of Boston to become the preeminent American band to carry the “new wave” flag. Its sound was fittingly sleek, while sporting obvious garage-rock roots. And in a formula that propelled its album sales to platinum status, The Cars trademark songs were decidedly pop, with a distinct album-rock […]

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Richard Leo Johnson – The Legend Of Vernon McAllister


Richard Leo Johnson – The Legend Of Vernon McAllister A fascinating, unexpected concept album of acoustic steel-string instrumentals. Johnson has been compared to Michael Hedges, and, like that late innovator, his music is a bit too intense to fit the “new age” tag, even if no one knows where else to pigeonhole him. He lists […]

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John Fogerty – The Long Road Home


Since Creedence Clearwater Revival disbanded 33 years ago, its catalog has been anthologized in every conceivable way, culminating with a six-disc boxed set of every track the band ever laid down, including its pre-CCR incarnations. What makes this 25-cut, single-disc set unique is that it’s the first time Creedence hits and bandleader John Fogerty’s solo […]

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Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble – Live At Montreux 1982 & 1985


By now, every guitar fan worth his salt knows the story behind these two concerts by Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble at the legendary Montreux Jazz Festival. Appearing in 1982, the boys were actually booed, but ended up winning over more important folks in the process. In 1985, they returned triumphantly as conquering heroes. […]

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Pretenders – Pirate Radio (1979-2005)


Pretenders – Pirate Radio (1979-2005) Chrissie Hynde and the Pretenders made an astonishingly large number of good records, and it’s sometimes easy to forget how good they were. That’s why boxed sets like this are so handy; it’s hard not to smile or reminisce when you hear “Stop Your Sobbing,” “Talk of the Town,” and […]

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July 2007


FEATURES TELE OF TWO LEGENDS The Amazing Story of One Unique Fender One day in the mid 1950s, up-and-coming thoroughbred jockey Bill Shoemaker was playing host to his friend, bandleader Hank Penny, who had come calling with a special gift in a brown case. By Ward Meeker DAVID BROMBERG Bandleader Turned Shopkeeper Tries One More […]

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