Inside the latest VG
Published monthly since 1986

Monthly Archives: April 2010

Kendel Carson – Alright Dynamite


Kendel Carson may have titled her debut Alright Dynamite, but from the way guitarist John Platania’s graceful intro eases the ear into to its opener, “Baby Lay Down,” it’s clear Carson’s heat is more smoldering than explosive. Like Roseanne Cash, Carson has a subtle but kitten-ish approach which only works when one has the goods […]

Posted in Music | Comments closed

Tony Iommi

Heaven and Hell: This Mob Still Rules!

Toni Iommi photo: Rick Gould. There is an undeniable power generated when certain musicians join forces. That is most definitely the case with Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler, Vinny Appice, and Ronnie James Dio, who originally connected in Black Sabbath following frontman Ozzy Osbourne’s departure in 1979. Since their reunion tour in 2007, this lineup has […]

Posted in Artists | Comments closed

Hallmark Swept Wing Semi-Hollow


1967 Hallmark Swept Wing semi-hollow bass, serial #003127. Photo: Michael G. Stewart. Instrument and image courtesy of Bob Shade. The murky history of guitar brands and builders from the Bakersfield area of California is part of American guitar lore. One of the most striking designs to emerge from that area in the 1960s was the […]

Posted in Classic Instruments | Comments closed

Pete Huttlinger

Solo Tribute to Stevie Wonder

If such an award was given, Nashville-based guitarist Pete Huttlinger’s third solo album could be nominated for the “Most Unique and/or Obvious Album Title Pun,” as his Fingerpicking Wonder is a tribute to singer/songwriter Stevie Wonder. Huttlinger was interviewed in VG‘s July ’01 issue, following the release of his first album, Naked Pop, which consisted […]

Posted in Artists | Comments closed

Daion Headhunter HH-555


1982 Daion Headhunter HH-555 in Honey sunburst. The trajectory of the Japanese guitar industry in many ways has mirrored that of the United States, though in a slightly compressed timeframe on the front-end because America had a fairly big head start. In any case, people worked for someone, had a better idea, went out on […]

Posted in Classic Instruments | Comments closed

Brad Gillis

Hard Rock, High Profile

Brad Gillis. Photos by Pat Johnson. San Franciso Bay-area guitarist Brad Gillis has led something of a storied life. He was only 19 years old when he transitioned from playing guitar in his parents’ garage to playing in Rubicon, a funk band that was looking to add a harder rock element with the help of […]

Posted in Artists | Comments closed

Xaviere XV 700

Lofty Promises, Fulfilled

The Massachusetts-based is an instrument/parts importer that carries a complete line of goods, from pickups and vibratos to knobs and pots. Its guitar line, dubbed “Xaviere,” consists of 11 single-cutaway solidbody guitars (the XV 500/700 line) and three thinline semi-hollowbodies. The solidbodies range in price from $300 to about $1,150, with the primary difference […]

Posted in Gear | Comments closed

Albert King with Stevie Ray Vaughan – In Session


Hard to imagine that the only way this album was put back in print was by Concord re-releasing its Stax back-catalog. Shot in late 1983 for a Canadian television show, Vaughan was at the time mostly known for his playing on David Bowie’s Let’s Dance album. He and King met years earlier, and the story […]

Posted in Music | Comments closed

Bunker Pro-Bass


Photo: VG Archive. Instrument courtesy of Rick King. Marketed before Steinberger headless instruments or the Kramer Duke series (VG, August ’04), the early-’70s Bunker Pro-Bass was radical for its time – even if it wasn’t all that radical for musician/inventor Dave Bunker. In fact, if you were familiar with Bunker’s work in the ’60s, the […]

Posted in Classic Instruments | Comments closed

Carlos Santana

Holding That Tone

Carlos Santana. All photos by Rick Gould. Carlos Santana is illustrating a point. “Most people play like this – around the note,” he says, making a fist with his left hand and rolling his right hand around it. “I play like this,” he explains, inserting his right index finger into the middle of the fist. […]

Posted in Artists | Comments closed