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    CURRENT ISSUE We catch up with Steve Lukather, Doyle Bramhall, II, Elvin Bishop, Ana Popovic, Erik Schenkman, Dan Donegan, Steve Tibbetts, and Abe Ovadia. Wolf Marshall schools us on the history and licks of Hound Dog Taylor, “Pop ’N Hiss” dishes on Def Leppard’s Pyromania, and Dan Forte’s “Check This Action” features root-rock acts worth hearing. Our “Hit List” reviewers guide you to the best new music, while VG Approved Gear highlights toys for your jam room (or gig rig). You’ll love in the February issue, available now!

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    Jack Bruce

    Shadows and (Erstwhile) Short-Scale Basses

    Veteran bassist Jack Bruce is back in action with a new album and tour. Best known for his membership in the legendary British trio, Cream (with Eric Clapton and drummer Ginger Baker), Bruce has stayed active over the decades, and his dynamic bass playing and searing vocal style are inimitable. In a recent conversation with

    Steve Wariner’s ’62 Fender Jazz Bass

    An eye-popping collectible in its own right, this Olympic White ’62 Fender Jazz Bass scores a few points higher on the scale not only because it has been in the same family for decades, but mostly because it’s owned by star country picker/singer Steve Wariner. Wariner grew up in Fishers, Indiana, then a semi-rural small

    Bobby “Blue” Bland

    The Guitarists of Blues’ Crown Prince

    On June 23 of last year, the blues lost one of its greatest singers with the death of Bobby “Blue” Bland at age 83. Best known for a 20-year run with Duke Records that yielded such classics as “I Pity The Fool,” “I’ll Take Care Of You,” and his reworking of T-Bone Walker’s “Stormy Monday

    Victoria Silver Sonic

    Victoria Silver Sonic

    Sonic Intoxication

    For nearly 20 years, Victoria Amplifier Company has been making head-turning retro-styled amps. Mark Baier and his crew recently introduced the Silver Sonic, a lower-watt version of their popular Golden Melody amp that pulls together a host of features and circuit cues from the golden era of tweed amps. The Silver Sonic sports an elegant

    Danelectro Baby Sitar Home Feature Image

    Danelectro Baby Sitar

    Paint It Sunburst

    Legend has it that during a break in the filming of Help!, George Harrison picked up a sitar left behind by the prop men and attempted to play it. Soon after, he began taking lessons from sitar virtuoso Ravi Shankar. Then, when John Lennon brought forward the droning drop-D composition that became “Norwegian Wood (This

    Sturdy and “Purdy”

    Dashboards Pedalboards

    Founded in 2010 by guitarist Ashley Dasher and based on his vision of the ideal touring pedalboard, Dashboards offers well-crafted, easy-to-use pedalboards. And they look sharp, too! With lightweight, yet sturdy, one-piece aluminum construction, they’re dressed up with a powder-painted finish and polished chrome handles. Our test pedalboard had an optional backlit logo, 1/4″ solderless

    Star Board: Rudy Jaramillo

    Star Board: Rudy Jaramillo

    Rudy Jaramillo is quick to mention that his effects setup is very simple. “I go into my 1) Boss tuner, then to a 2) Boss Blues Driver that has been modded. I don”t know what was done, but it makes an amp sound more like itself, if you know what I mean. From there, the

    Dewa Budjana

    Dewa Budjana

    Fusion/Progressive/World Music from Indonesia

    Back home in Bali, Indonesia, guitarist Dewa Budjana is noted for his work with the pop band Gigi, but recently, he has also been collaborating with noted Western drummers and bassists on a series of instrumental jazz and fusion albums. A fan of John McLaughlin’s work in Mahavishnu Orchestra, Budjana’s first electric guitar was an

    Reilander’s Muckbucker Pickups

    Fat, But Not Tubby

    Reilander’s Muckbucker Pickups Price: $199 (set) Info: www.reilandercustomguitar.com In the 1970s, great guitar-pickup winders began wrapping extra wire on humbuckers, touting the resultant higher output and greater low-end response. Though this approach to pickup construction makes it easier to “overdrive” certain amps, most neck pickups that were given this overwinding sounded muddy, and most such

    Seth Walker

    Gotta Get Back

    Seth Walker has issued a string of fine records that come together in his latest. Walker and Dave Gross man the six-strings on a collection of strong cuts, and while the approach offers plenty for guitar-music fans, it’s subtle. Electric licks are prominent on the funky “Fire In The Belly” and the funky New Orleans

    John 5 - Telewiedler

    John 5

    Telewielder

    Since ditching his spot backing alternative-metal singer Marilyn Manson 10 years ago, superhuman guitarist John 5 has used his skills to spread the gospel of guitar far and wide while artfully dodging the pigeonhole of “rock shredder.” At just 17 years of age, John Lowery moved to Los Angeles from his Michigan home. There, he

    Steve Khan

    Backlog

    Steve Khan has spent the last few albums mixing Latin music and jazz. The project has worked beautifully, culminating in this effort that takes tunes from Thelonious Monk, Bobby Hutcherson, Ornette Coleman, Steve’s dad Sammy Cahn, and others and mixing the styles in a way that lets Khan and band shine. Let’s talk about Khan’s

    Henry Garza

    Henry Garza

    From Tragedy to Revelation

    Los Lonely Boys’ new album, Revelation, draws from several influences while retaining the band’s Texas/Mexican identity. Collaborating with a group of top-tier tunesmiths, Revelation weaves pop, reggae, soul, and conjunto influences. It follows guitarist Henry Garza’s recovery from a violent fall from the concert stage. After a stretch in the hospital, he’s excited about getting

    Home Feature Image

    Larry Parypa

    Sonics Thunder

    “I never thought this would happen to us all these years later,” marvels Sonics guitarist Larry Parypa on the reception the band is getting on its current tour. On what should’ve been be a slow Thursday night at the Wonder Bar in Asbury Park, the band played to a packed house of patrons young enough

    Rodney Crowell

    Close Ties

    Rodney Crowell, who gained fame during country’s New Traditional era of the 1980s, has always drawn from his personal life for inspiration. He doubled down on that on his 2001 album The Houston Kid and continued a decade later in his autobiography Chinaberry Sidewalks. This new album continues that approach. Co-producers Jordan Lehning and Kim

    Martin 5-18

    Martin 5-18

    The Martin style 5-18 is the smallest guitar in Martin catalogs; at the lower bout, it measures 11.25″, while at the upper bout it is 8.25″. And its body is just 16″ in length, with a scale of 21.4″. In 1930s catalogs, the style 5-18 and the less expensive matching size 5-17 were listed with

    Newman Guitars Lake Placid Blue

    Portrait in Blue

    Excitement at the arrival of this offset beauty was dampened by the sad news that its creator had passed away July 1. Ted Newman Jones was known for building guitars in the 1970s for Keith Richards, who helped finance the workshop where Ted crafted customs for a who’s-who of players. While Newman arguably gained most

    Ear-to-Ear Violence

    How Ron Wood’s New Barbarians Saved the Stones

    Today, the Rolling Stones continue to perform live, more than 50 years since their first gig. But few realize how an unsung side project formed and funded by Ron Wood played a pivotal role when the band was on the verge of collapse. Here’s a look at the story.