The great Junior Parker sang, “You will feel like dying when you get these kind of blues.” But he sang it over an infectious rhythm, to an upbeat melody. Such is the ability of the blues to interweave sad and happy. It’s not monochromatic; it traverses the gamut of human emotion. I’ll be honest: A […]

It’s ironic that Robbie Robertson was famous mostly for his songwriting, because beneath the minimal, compositional style that marked his work with The Band hid a true guitar stylist and one of the most animalistic in rock history. The man who went from wild guitar solos with Ronnie Hawkins to penning classics like “The Weight” […]

Fretprints: Ty Tabor

X Marks the Spot

The turbulent 1980s ended with a tsunami of bands seeking new sounds. Trends like classic-rock redux, blues/roots revivals, nu-metal, grunge, and divergent alternative styles purveyed by Red Hot Chili Peppers, R.E.M., Jane’s Addiction, and Faith No More dotted the horizon. Among the inimitable genre-defying outfits was King’s X, a power trio (guitarist Ty Tabor, bassist […]

In the early days of the American electric guitar/amplifier industry, Standel was known for building high-quality amplifiers used by the likes of Merle Travis and Joe Maphis. In fact, a true classic now prized among amp aficionados was Standel’s 25L15, which had a J.B. Lansing D-130 speaker. But one of the more curious/convoluted tales of […]

Andrew White Guitars’ Freja 1013W

Shape Shifter

Though electric guitars have undergone radical change since the world first laid eyes on Rickenbacker’s “frying pan,” acoustics have rarely strayed from tradition. Andrew White is tweaking the system. The West Virginian has reinterpreted the shape and dimensions of acoustic-guitar design, finding a median between jumbo and dreadnought with his Freja 1013W NAT. The Freja […]

Holy Cripes!

The Story of Jerry Garcia’s Last Guitars

Steve Cripe left a unique legacy in the annals of music history. He was not a guitar player, not a songwriter. In fact, you may not even know his name. But the guitar builder became part of the fabric that makes up the story of the Grateful Dead when he built guitars for the legendary […]

Doug MacDonald and the Three T’s

Jazz Veteran Brings the Swing! West-Coast jazz legend Doug MacDonald used his Benedetto Bravo to show us a bit of “Lester Leaps In,” from his new album, Live In Hawaii. To read our review, read the January issue. Read Now!

Victoria Amplifiers Tone Movements Mojotone Vintage Guitar magazine Amp Home

A Bit Of Insight From Mark Baier, the Mind Behind Victoria Amplifier

The guys visit Victoria Amplifiers founder Mark Baier to discuss the differences between tweed and blackface Fenders, how transformers affect overall sound, and differences in preamp tubes.

Beat Portraits: Burns Volume 4

Shadows and Light

In Beat-era England, before The Beatles, one band reigned supreme – The Shadows. Starting as Cliff Richard’s backing group, this foursome launched an incredibly successful string of guitar instrumental hits with “Apache” in 1960. Far and away the most influential musical act in Britain, their trademark sound was achieved with Fender Guitars and Vox amplifiers. […]

Mundell Lowe

Jazz All Around

Mundell Lowe is arguably the most successful jazz guitarist of his era. He routinely performed with such luminaries as Charlie Parker, Lester Young, Billie Holiday, Dizzy Gillespie, Bill Evans, Sarah Vaughn, and many others. He perpetuated a career as a major name on the jazz circuit for seven decades and can look back on a life […]

Cheetah Chrome

The Dead Boys Live Again

As the punk rebellion exploded in 1977, the New York scene became dominated by the Ramones, Television, Patti Smith, Richard Hell & the Voidoids, and (newly transplanted from Cleveland) a group called the Dead Boys. More than 40 years later, two original members – guitarist Cheetah Chrome and drummer Johnny Blitz – have re-created the […]

Fabrizio Grossi leads band through exclusive take on “Right Down Below.”

Ready for the Soul Garage Experience? Fabrizio Grossi gathered the Soul Garage Experience for this VG-exclusive take on “Right Down Below,” from their new album, “Counterfeited Soulstice.” That’s Fab’s (eh hem) well-worn Fender RG-29 bass, while Derek Day is using his California Redondo. Read our review of the album in the January issue. Read Now!

Andrew Hendryx on a ’64 Fender Mandocaster

 Andrew Hendryx Demoing ’64 Fender Mandocaster On a recent mandolin safari, Andrew Hendryx visited a shop in Asheville, North Carolina, and had a go on a ’64 Fender Mandocaster. In true safari fashion, he explored some interesting tones! Keep up with Andrew at www.andrewhendryx.com

Toronzo Cannon

Blues The Chicago Way

“I’m not trying to be a starving artist at 48 years old,” says blues man Toronzo Cannon when asked if he’d consider playing blues full-time. A bus driver for the Chicago Transit Authority by day, as a guitarist he headlines local blues clubs, plays festivals, and goes on frequent tours to Europe. He recently signed […]

Fretprints: Roy Lanham

Hillbilly Jazz Takes Hollywood

Woefully under-recognized guitarist Roy Lanham was a favorite of leading country and jazz pickers and rock innovators; Merle Travis extolled his musicianship, and when Barney Kessel sought him out for coaching on country picking, Lanham exclaimed, “Take off your boots and hat, and you can be a great jazz player!” Emerging when musical boundaries were […]

Jack Petruzzelli

Jack Petruzzelli

Fab Sideman For Osborne, Wainwright, Smith

“The first time the Beatles were on Ed Sullivan, I was in my mother’s womb,” says Jack Petruzzelli. “That was February ’64, but then when they appeared the second time I was out of the womb.” What could be more appropriate for the guitarist/keyboardist of the Fab Faux, the spot-on Beatles tribute band featuring Jimmy […]

JHS 3 Series

Budget Boutique

JHS’ seven new 3 Series pedals strip away cosmetics and frills. History has told us that simple pedal designs can sacrifice key elements. Is that the case here? Presented in plain white aluminum boxes, the series includes an Overdrive, Distortion, Fuzz, Chorus, Delay, Reverb, and Compressor. And economy doesn’t end with the spare window dressing. […]

Hound Dog Taylor, Son Seals, and Others

Alligator Records 40th Anniversary Collection

“I’m A Woman” sings Koko Taylor in her face-smacking distaff take on Bo Diddley’s “I’m A Man” to open this collection of Alligator’s best, past and present. Telecaster god Albert Collins follows with “I Ain’t Drunk,” a joyous ode to intoxication chased by feverish, industrial-strength slide guitar on “Strange Feeling” from Michael Burks, a bluesman […]

Farewell to a Venture

Nokie Edwards 1935-2018

Nole Floyd “Nokie” Edwards, former lead guitarist and bassist with The Ventures, passed away March 12 from complications related to ongoing medical problems. He was 82. Edwards was born May 9, 1935, in Lahoma, Oklahoma, the son of Elbert and Nannie Edwards. He began playing guitar at age five, as well as the mandolin, bass, […]

Eric Clapton

A Return To The Crossroads: Slowhand Meets Mr. Johnson

In many ways, 2004 marks a return to the crossroads for Eric Clapton. With his latest disc, Me And Mr. Johnson, the guitarist pays homage to one of his principal influences – the incomparable Robert Johnson. For Clapton, Johnson is the true master of blues guitar, and completing this album was a mammoth achievement. Although […]

Marty Stuart

A Country-Music Odyssey

Marty Stuart’s life is the stuff of movies. Just nine years old when he started singing and playing guitar in his own band, while his grade-school classmates in Mississippi were digging the Beatles and Rolling Stones, he was fixated on the hardcore country sounds of Merle Haggard and Buck Owens. In 1970, after seeing country […]

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