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    Rocky Athas – Dictator

    Watch Rocky Athas and his Fender Strat jam with his band on “Dictator,” from the new album, “Shakin’ the Dust.” Read our review of the album in the September issue. READ NOW!!


    Tyler Morris – Thunder

    Check out Tyler Morris and his band (vocalist Craig Rawding, drummer Don Culp, and bassist Kevin McIntyre) playing “Thunder.” Tyler’s using his signature Dean Thoroughbred (with Fishman Fluency pickups) through his Tyler Morris Designs (TMD) pedals and into a Fender Blues Junior. His custom strap was made by Carlino. Find out more about Tyler’s new release HERE!!


    Michael Sweet

    Frontman, Shredder

    The yellow-and-black attack of the Christian-metal band Stryper has returned. The band’s new album, Second Coming, helps mark 30 years of preaching their metal gospel and selling more than 10 million albums worldwide. The band returns to the spotlight with a renewed sense of vigor and passion. Second Coming is 16 tracks including re-recordings of

    The Fender Bullet Deluxe/JP-90

    No Frills, Didn’t Fly

        Fender has tried more than once to market basses with a low-budget vibe. And while the idea is laudable, most of the offerings never really caught on. In the early ’80s, Fender – then owned by CBS – was on a downward slide thanks in part to quality-control issues and uninspired products. And

    Fender’s ’68 Custom Deluxe Reverb

    Fender’s ’68 Custom Deluxe Reverb

    Improving on a Good Thing

    Fender’s ’68 Custom Deluxe Reverb Price: $999.99 list Contact: www.fender.com In 1968, Fender gave its amp line what collectors today look back on as a major facelift when it introdued the silver-and-turquoise silkscreened faceplate and aluminum “drip edge” grille trim. The company recently reissued that classic look with its ’68 Custom Deluxe Reverb, but this

    Soldier’s Story

    Six Strings Document Tale of the “Blue and Gray” in World War I

    Through blood, dirt, rain, and all other forms of hell in the trenches of World War I, U.S. Army Private Ben Miller witnessed the healing power of music as it emanated from his cheap flat-top. Miller enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1907, and while records do not indicate where he was assigned, the guitar went with him. Later, as

    Felix Martin

    Mechanical Nations

    Sometimes six strings just ain’t enough. Venezuelan Berklee alum Felix Martin uses 14 and sometimes 16 strings to explore the contrapuntal galaxy of progressive melody and rhythm. Sounding like a Chapman Stick player, Martin totes a real guitar – but with a lot more strings! A left-handed guitarist, he designs his own instruments to create

    Brad Whitford

    Aerosmith’s Master of Wicked Licks

    Aerosmith’s 2011 Back On the Road tour was a two-month jaunt that consisted of 18 shows and took the band to places it had never been in Latin America before concluding in Japan. Normally, such a tour doesn’t create much hoopla, but this was different. The band hadn’t played there in seven years, but more

    Squirrel Nut Zippers

    Beasts of Burgundy

    Rare it is when a band forms, blows the doors off with their music, falls apart, regroups – and hits new highs. In fact, this first new album from the Squirrel Nut Zippers in 18 long years just may be one of their best. Like their landmark 1996 album Hot, this is a kaleidoscopic whirl

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    Joe Bonamassa

    Driving

    Joe Bonamassa’s latest record, Driving Towards The Daylight, is a return to the blues. After two successful studio albums with the heavy-rock band Black Country Communion, Bonamassa’s latest solo effort explores some of his early influences. While covering Robert Johnson, Howlin’ Wolf, and Willie Dixon, he got help from heavyweight guitarists including Brad Whitford, Pat

    Movie Star, Rancher

    Mid-’50s Muse of Wire and Wood

    In the years immediately after World War II, Americans were settling into a new way of life, and plunging headlong toward an economic prosperity never before experienced by everyday people. Change was also afoot among the nation’s guitar manufacturers. Having been restricted by materials shortages and/or re-tooling to bolster the war effort, guitar makers like

    Walden Sean Harkness 12-String, CG4070E

    Grand-Auditorium Cousins

    Walden Sean Harkness 12-String, CG4070E Price: $1,100 (Sean Harkness Model); $1,350 (CG4070E-CERT) Info: www.waldenguitars.com. With 16 years of producing attractive, understated instruments, Walden Guitars puts an accent on quality materials and environmental awareness. If you are looking for a heavily inlaid showpiece to hang on your wall, look elsewhere; Walden specializes in guitars that emphasize

    Nels Cline

    Lovers
    Blues Notes and So Much More

    Nels Cline has quite the musical resumé, and yet has always been hard to pin down. Whether doing some form of fusion, manning the lead-guitar chair in Wilco, or serving up dissonance and sound in various solo projects, he never can be pigeonholed. Now, there’s this latest – a very ambitious project that, according to

    Loar LH-309 VS Archtop

    One Cool Cat

    Loar LH-309 VS Archtop Price: $569.99 (street) Contact: theloar.com As the retro craze delves deeper into six-string history, a spate of non-cutaway archtops have hit the market, celebrating an era when giants like Eddie Lang, Lonnie Johnson, Charlie Christian, George Barnes, Eddie Durham, Carl Kress, and Oscar Moore laid down cool chords, sultry bends, and

    Vibesware Guitar Resonator GR-Junior II

    Vibesware Guitar Resonator GR-Junior II

    Sustain For Days

    Vibesware Guitar Resonator GR-Junior II Price: $175 (list, depending on exchange rate) Contact: www.vibesware.com In the beginning, there was the E Bow, a handheld device that used a powered magnet to create infinite sustain and feedback. Then came “sustainer” pickups, which were mounted internally on a solidbody – also cool, but you lost your neck

    Sonny James's Epiphone Excellente

    Epiphone Excellente

    Sonny James' Epiphone Excellente

    The Epiphone Excellente was the fanciest flat-top Gibson made in the 1960s, and to some ears it was Gibson’s best. But in its seven-year production run, from late ’63 until the last were shipped in ’70, only 141 Excellentes were sold. A Brazilian-rosewood/square-shouldered dreadnought, the Excellente was almost called the Sonny James Southern Gentleman model. If

    Mark Knopfler

    Straitforward

    Very early in life, Mark Knopfler had a connection with music. His mother cared for the family while BBC programs like “Listen with Mother” played on the radio with its child-oriented stories, songs, and nursery rhymes. But it was an uncle named Kingsley who had the biggest impact on young Mark’s informal music education when

    Ty Tabor

    On a Roll

    King’s X guitarist Ty Tabor is on a roll. Despite the band being on hiatus due to bassist Dug Pinnick’s health issues, Tabor stays busy with side projects like Jelly Jam, with Rod Morgenstein and John Myung. He operates a commercial audio mastering facility, and his new solo album, Nobody Wins When Nobody Plays, showcases

    Warren Haynes

    G-Mule Shout!

    Gov’t Mule’s blues-based rock has never followed a formula, opting instead for an improvisational modus operandi that gives its music unique breadth and scope – a fact supremely illustrated in its new album, Shout! An 11-song outing and the band’s first studio album in four years, the double disc – recorded at bassist Jorgen Carlsson’s

    Kelly Mulhollan

    True Faith, True Light: The Devotional Art of Ed Stilley
    Divine Inspiration

    Arkansas farmer Ed Stilley was plowing his fields in 1979 when he was struck down by a heart attack; lying in the dirt, he had a vision that God wanted him to build guitars and give them to children around the country to make music. Once recovered, he began crafting instruments of his own design,