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Monthly Archives: January 2010

Frank Marino

Tools of the Trade

Photo: Willie G. Moseley. For most pro musicians, this is what it’s all about. While a collection of classic guitars can be respected or admired by lovers of the instrument, most musicians earn their living using road instruments. They may indeed be vintage, but often they’re modified for the sake of sound. Veteran guitarist/vocalist Frank […]

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Epiphone Valve Junior and Valve Special amps


Epiphone Valve Junior Through the years, a number of amplifier manufacturers have tried their hands at producing budget tube amps. The problem with the vast majority of these items was that they were not primarily tube amps, they were primarily low-budget amps. Their main audio function was to give the listener the distinct feeling that […]

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Mike Morgan & the Crawl – Stronger Every Day


Texas-born Mike Morgan returns with his 13th album of original songs, layering blues with a funky rhythm that captures the essence of Muscle Shoals and Beale Street all at once, and does a credible job. Morgan has a strong voice and develops rich melodies that stay true to blues structures and context, but also bring […]

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Dingwall Super J

Jammin' J-Style

Dingwall Super J While Dingwall Designer Guitars’ Super J bass is unquestionably inspired by the Fender Jazz Bass, it’s separated from the typical run-of-the-mill clone by several things, including its use of the patented Novax Fanned Fret system and a laundry list of high-end components and proprietary features. In the Super J, Dingwall starts with […]

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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 Paul Kossoff, the group’s rhythm section consisted of Andy Fraser on bass and Simon Kirke on drums. Besides being a […]

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Ibanez Destroyer II


1985 Ibanez Destroyer II DT-250. Photo: Michael Wright. Back in 1958, when Gibson unleashed its now legendary trio – the Explorer, Flying V, and Moderne – its designers probably had no idea how big the shapes would become. Certainly, the response to these innovative guitars at the time gave no indication. They tanked pretty quickly. […]

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DST MarWatt and UV6 amplifiers

Small-Watt Punch

DST MarWatt/UV6 Bob Dettorre and Jeff Swanson are longtime gearheads who played in bands starting when they were just kids. As adults, one went to college and worked a “real” job, while the other tackled life as a working musician. A couple years ago, they established Dettorre/Swanson Thermionics (DST) Engineering. Dettorre, the son of a […]

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Hanburt Electric Guitars

Rarities From The Pacific Northwest

Hanburt “Style 1″ in maple. Photo by Julie Woods. Black walnut “Style 1″. Photo by Julie Woods. As a brand of American electric instruments, the name “Hanburt” is about the furthest thing from being a household term. Nevertheless, the recently documented saga behind this obscure line of electric guitars that originated just prior to World […]

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Jake Shimabukuro

Ukulele, Van Halen-Style!

Photos: Kaz Tanabe, courtesy Hitchhike Records. “Hey, have you seen that guy? You know… that guy! Have you seen him yet? He’s amazing!” That’s the question bouncing around the country ever since a video clip of “that guy” – Jake Shimabukuro – performing an impromptu solo version of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” began showing […]

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Rick Derringer

Six-String Knight

Photos courtesy Rick Derringer. Rick Derringer’s latest record, Knighted by the Blues, is an amazingly varied album from a guitarist who has been in the music industry for more than four decades. Highlighted by a player who’s still in top form, playing as well as ever, the disc reflects Derringer’s attitude and the fact he […]

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