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    Uriah Heep’s Mick Box

    Mick Box plugged his Carparelli S4 into his Engl Artist (with a Dunlop 535q wah and Carl Martin chorus pedal in-between) to show us the big riffs from the Uriah Heep tracks “Grazed By Heaven,” “Too Scared To Run,” “Take Away My Soul,” and “Knocking At My Door.” Be sure to read our feature interview with Mick in the March issue. READ NOW!!


    Fantastic Negrito

    Fantastic Negrito and his Epiphone Zenith Masterbilt take it old-school with soul on “A Cold November Street,” from his third album, “Please Don’t Be Dead.” The disc just won the 2019 Grammy for Best Contemporary Blues Album. Read our review in the March issue. READ NOW!!


    Marty Friedman

    En Fuego on Inferno!

    As he gears up for a co-headlining tour with Ozzy Osbourne guitarist Gus G., Marty Friedman has 13 solo albums of his own material to pick through. He’s going on the road in support of his latest album, Inferno. The album includes guest appearances by Alexi Laiho, Danko Jones, Rodrigo Y Gabriela, and Jason Becker,

    Album of the Year

    From 2012 to the present — read about each Readers’ Choice Awards Albums.

    The Electro-Harmonix Germanium 4 Big Muff Pi

    Smooth Successor

    Electro-Harmonix Germanium 4 Big Muff Pi Price: $133 (list)/$99.75 (street). Contact: ehx.com. The Big Muff Pi overdrive is the effect stompbox that put Electro-Harmonix on the map, and in the decades since its introduction, it has undergone changes both subtle and substantial. Today, the company’s lineup includes no fewer than 10 versions including the newest,

    Mick Ralphs Home Thumb

    Mick Ralphs

    Back To Bad Co., And Beyond

    Guitarist Mick Ralphs, whose pulverizing riffs were first heard in the late ’60s in the original Mott the Hoople, has charged back into the limelight. Mott was a ferocious quintet, and one of the most highly-underrated bands of that era. Ralphs’ six-album experience in the band was followed by his tenure in Bad Company, a

    Mu-FX TruTron 3X

    ToneVille Amplifiers Broadway

    Red-Carpet Ready

    ToneVille Amplifiers Broadway Price: $2,295 Contact: www.tonevilleamps.com What is it that drives boutique amp builders to expend gallons of skull sweat striving for a more-perfect union between the pluck of steel strings over wire-wound magnets and obsolete 1950s audio technology? If you have to ask (or if you can’t appreciate the differences between an overdriven

    Status Quo’s Francis Rossi

    On Guitars, Music, and Elusive Success

    “I’m only as good now as I should have been when I was 25,” laughs Francis Rossi, the 64-year-old lead guitarist, singer, and co-composer in Status Quo. “That’s why I practice at least two hours every night. I’ll watch some guitarist in a band opening for us and think, ‘I can’t bloody watch this,’ because

    Jim Kelley FACS Reverb

    Truly a deserving name in the early era of the “boutique” amp scene, Jim Kelley is also an extremely under-recognized one. After working at Music Man amplifiers and other jobs in electronics in the 1970s, Kelley formed Active Guitar Electronics in Tustin, California, in 1978 and began building tube amps under his own name in

    The Fender Stratocaster

    Aiming High

    In 1953, Leo Fender started planning a new standard guitar – the Stratocaster. His partner, Don Randall, who headed Fender Sales, Inc., came up with the name before the design was even completed. Of course, the new Fender would compete with Gibson and Epiphone professional models. But Leo intended even more. He believed his continued

    Electrifying Sounds of Post-War Guitar

    Road to Rock

    The Electrifying Sounds of Post-War Guitar

    Fans often mark the beginning of rock and roll as either Elvis Presley’s Sun Sessions or Bill Haley & the Comets’ “Rock Around the Clock,” both recorded in 1954. But three years earlier, in early March of 1951, Jackie Brenston & His Delta Cats were credited on a 78-rpm single called “Rocket 88.” Played in

    Tom Principato

    Bridging the Big Pond

    Tom Principato’s 18th album, Live and Still Kickin’! portrays the energy of its title and was recorded on two continents. A follow-up to Live & Kickin’ (from 1999), the majority of it was recorded at the Barns of Wolf Trap, in the cultural center in Vienna, Virginia – a venue Principato chose for its intimacy,

    Caroline Gnagy

    Texas Jailhouse Music: A Prison Band History
    Stars Behind Bars

    Sometimes the most interesting books are ones that delve into a subject readers didn’t know about and never considered. And except for now-elderly people who were around the right place at the right time, especially during the decade beginning in the late ’30s, most of us would be unaware of the existence and details of

    Ruby Dee and the Snakehandlers

    Little Black Heart
    Full-Throttle Rockabilly

    Ruby Dee, guitarman Jorge Harada, and crew serve up 200-proof rockabilly. Their brand of music is not Stray Cats glitz or Reverend Horton Heat psychobilly; instead, this is traditional rockabilly – a little bit country, a little bit R&B and the blues, all finger-snapping good. Based – not surprisingly – from Austin, Texas, the band

    Peavey Forum

    Peavey Forum Basses

    Durable, Dependable

    In his 2003 book, American Basses, author Jim Roberts noted that for all of Peavey’s innovative offerings in the 1990s, “…the company hadn’t forgotten their regular customers,” specifically citing the company’s mid-’90s Forum as a “good old meat-and-potatoes bass.” The Forum series did indeed exemplify the builder’s efforts to adhere to founder Hartley Peavey’s mantra

    Martin 000-18HS

    The Martin 000-18HS

    According to Martin company records and research by late Martin Historian Mike Longworth, Cable Piano Company, in Atlanta, special-ordered at least three Martin 000-18HS guitars in 1937. Two others have previously emerged – serial numbers 67197 and 67198 – and this one recently found its way to Nashville for a Martin event featuring company historian

    GizmoAudio’s Ripsaw and Sawmill Jr.

    GizmoAudio’s Ripsaw and Sawmill Jr.

    Just Like the First Time

    Durham Electronics’ ReddVerb Price: $180 each (list) Info: www.gizmoaudio.com Most guitar players’ first pedal was a distortion/OD, often acquired after enduring the taunts from friends and/or bandmates who whisper about how their tone was “thin” and “weak.” The experience takes them down the road to experimentation; the weeks and years that follow becoming a haze

    Jeff Beck

    Loud Hailer

    Since the late ’90s, Jeff Beck has been fusing equal parts blues, jazz-rock, and heavy-duty electronica; this time he’s added spoken-word sections and vocals over the big, throbbing grooves, thanks to singer Rosie Bones and co-guitarist Carmen Vandenberg. Carmen is a young Brit player, and her bluesy leads and elegant chords nicely complement Jeff’s raw,

    EHX Tortion JFET Overdrive

    EHX Tortion JFET Overdrive

    EHX Tortion JFET Overdrive Price: $198.67 (list)/$179 (street) Contact: www.ehx.com Having teenage metal-shredders at home makes one appreciate that a little overdrive can go a long, long way. Note to sons – not all songs benefit from being played “at 11.” In the real world, bandmates expect you to sit back in the mix from