McElroy OM Model Price: $7,500 (base; $8,500 as reviewed) Info: www.mcelroyguitars.com. Brent McElroy is a Seattle luthier specializing in high-quality acoustics. One of them, the OM Model from his Generation 2 series, is inspired by old-school Martins. The concert-body guitar sports a bear-claw Adirondack spruce top (so named for its wide, raked grain), Madagascar rosewood

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    Steve West

    Life Since “Louie, Louie”

    What constitutes a Guitar Hero? Is it Hendrix or Van Halen, or is it your seminal six-string inspiration? Or what about someone whose solo on an iconic hit is forever engrained in your head? The latter category is where you’ll find Steve West, lead guitarist on Paul Revere and the Raiders’ classic version of “Louie,

    Have Guitar Will Travel – 012 Ken Emerson

    In this episode of Have Guitar Will Travel Podcast James speaks with Ken Emerson. Ken is one of the world’s most highly regarded traditional Hawaiian slack key & steel guitarists living today. He is an excellent player of both and he switches easily between them during his performances. We speak about his connection and playing

    Elektron Analog Drive

    Big Swede

    Take a look at your pedalboard. You probably have three or four overdrives and fuzzes hooked up – and are looking to find the cash and real estate to add more. Hold your horses and consider instead Swedish maker Elektron’s Analog Drive. Yes, it’s large and needs 12-volt power. But then again it holds eight

Telecaster Thinline

    Weight-Loss Trial

    Born in turbulent times on the downslope of the “guitar boom,” Fender’s Telecaster Thinline has always existed in the shadow of its classic older sibling. But it does not lack for devotees. By the summer of 1967, multimedia conglomerate CBS had taken full control of Fender and was beginning to exhibit a greater regard for

    Music Man’s JP13

    Petrucci Pick

    Music Man’s JP13 Price: $3,500 Info: www.music-man.com. Music Man has a knack for building blazing artist models for the likes of Steve Morse, Albert Lee, and John Petrucci – three artists known for their incendiary guitar styles. The latest Petrucci offering, the JP13, has a deceptively utilitarian appearance, but its neck, body, and electronics are

    Dallas Rangemaster

    The Dallas Rangemaster

    Eric Clapton christened it “woman tone.” On the famed 1966 “Beano” album, John Mayall’s Blues Breakers With Eric Clapton, the guitarist ran his Les Paul Standard into a Marshall Model 1962 JTM45 2×12 combo. Legend has it he added a Dallas Rangemaster Treble Booster to his signal path on several tracks. With the amp controls

    Warwick Thumb Bass

    Generational Innovation

    Founded in the early 1980s by Hans-Peter Wilfer, Warwick has a familial connection to another well-known German brand from a time when that nation was divided following World War II. Wilfer’s father, Fred, founded Framus in 1946, and Hans-Peter worked at the company’s facility before it closed in the ’70s. His desire to build stringed

    Milbert Amplifiers GAGA D-60

    Shape Shifter

    The Milbert Amplifiers GAGA D-60 Price: $2,950 list Info: www.milbert.com/gaga Gear reviews, whether describing guitars or amps, often speak to the versatility of the equipment in question. While some gear tabbed as “versatile” may be capable of several tasks when in the right hands, few pieces can be reasonably expected to be jacks of all

    Lace Cybercaster LS

    Modern Mixer

    The mere name of Don Lace’s Cybercaster may set calloused fingertips to head-scratching. After all, “cyber” connotes cutting-edge, futuristic. How could that possibly jibe with “caster,” which implies beloved mid-century designs? Truth be told, though, cutting-edge and retro go hand in hand on the sleek Cybercaster, which gives off a hint of Selmer on its

    Rick Richards

    Bona Fide Sweet Southern Tone

    Rick Richards exudes sweet, classic Southern Rock tone like finely distilled bourbon. From his work with the Georgia Satellites, former Guns ’N Roses guitarist/songwriter Izzy Stradlin, and now The Western Sizzlers featuring Blackberry Smoke front man Charlie Starr, Richards’ playing is hot as ever. The Sizzlers dropped their debut record (For Ol’ Times Sake) in

    Justin Hayward

    Prolificity and Perceptions

    In addition to touring and recording with the legendary English band, Moody Blues lead guitarist/vocalist Hayward released his most recent solo album, Spirits of the Western Sky, in February. Such work affords him the option of writing songs in a different style. One of numerous aspiring musicians who as a youngster listened to Radio Luxembourg

    Album of the Year

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

    Gary Hoey

    Reverence and Feel

    On Dust & Bones, Gary Hoey continues his foray into blues using one part guitar virtuosity, one part production skill, and two parts homage. It’s a muscular blues-rock recording with fat tones, a primal rhythm section, and plenty of pentatonic diversity. Wailing over feisty shuffles and post-Hendrix blues-rock, Hoey is taking his artistry to new

    Rich Robinson Re-Launches

    Solo Again

    Ah, glorious cohesion. For guitarist Rich Robinson – who today records and tours solo after serving as co-founder and musical driving force in the Black Crowes – it’s been too long coming. Fans of real rock and roll will forever appreciate how the Crowes helped keep it afloat with its 1990 debut album, Shake Your

    Martin Turner

    Low-End Unorthodoxy

    When he transitioned from playing guitar, former Wishbone Ash bassist Martin Turner kept a pick in his right hand and developed a style that combined fluid, melodic lines with an overdriven sound reminiscent of John Entwistle and Chris Squire. On his third solo album, Written in the Wind, he showcases instrumental skill as well as

    Glen Campbell

    1936-2017: A Legend Departs

    The end of Glen Campbell’s journey was a matter of time once he and his family announced his Alzheimer’s diagnosis in 2011. With the media watching, his career ended with a farewell tour backed by a band that included several of his children. He was 81 when he died at a care facility in Nashville

    Xaviere XV-950

    Jazzy Looks, Multi-Purpose

    Gibsonguildgretsch! Cumbersome as it may be in word form, Xaviere’s XV-950 gracefully combines attributes from the “big trio.” The XV-950 employs a classic Florentine cutaway body measuring a small-ish 15″ at the lower bout, 2″ thick at the edge, (25/8" at the arch), and is made with hand-laid laminated maple front and back. There is