Ron Jackson: Standards and Originals

Jazz guitarist Ron Jackson is a specialist on the seven-string. Here, he uses his Eastman AR810CE-7 with a Benedetto S7 pickup (made by Seymour Duncan) and La Bella Jazz Tape Strings to show us “Walk Fast,” from the new album with his trio, “Standards and My Songs.” Catch our review in the May issue.
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Ron Jackson: Standards and Originals

Jazz guitarist Ron Jackson is a specialist on the seven-string. Here, he uses his Eastman AR810CE-7 with a Benedetto S7 pickup (made by Seymour Duncan) and La Bella Jazz Tape Strings to show us “Walk Fast,” from the new album with his trio, “Standards and My Songs.” Catch our review in the May issue.
Read Now!

Mick Fleetwood & Friends

Celebrate the Music of Peter Green & Early Years of Fleetwood Mac

British blues icon Peter Green passed away July 25, 2020, at the age of 73. As one of the founding members of the original Fleetwood Mac with Mick Fleetwood and John McVie, Green influenced a generation of guitarists. His exquisite phrasing and tone were his hallmark as he interpreted American blues for a switched-on generation. […]

In the 1930s, the quest for volume was the Holy Grail of guitar construction, as guitarists sought instruments to slice through the sound and fury of a jazz band. And when Django Reinhardt began playing his revolutionary jazz, he played it on a revolutionary new jazz guitar.

Chris Hillman 

Time Between; My Life as a Byrd, Burrito Brother, and Beyond

Though he began as a California bluegrass mandolin picker, Chris Hillman cemented his place in rock history as the Byrds’ original bassist and (with Gram Parsons) co-founder of the Flying Burrito Brothers. His memoir offers candid perspectives on his six-decade career, with plain-spoken portraits of personalities he worked with, particularly the notoriously erratic Parsons. Entering […]

Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals

Call It What It Is
Magnificent Criminals

  The difference between Ben Harper and other contemporary blues-based artists is that Harper’s blues reflects the reality of his surroundings. If one chooses to use the blues as a canvas for personal artistic expression, re-packaging subject matter about trains, mojos, devils, and hellhounds are disingenuous. The late Nina Simone had this to say on […]

Gittler Classic Home Feature Image

Gittler Classic

Back to the Future

The Gittler guitar was invented in the late 1970s by Allan Gittler, whose vision to reduce the guitar to its most essential elements led him to design an instrument that looked like a cross between modern art and a musical fishbone. The instrument gained a following that included Andy Summers of The Police, who famously […]

S’Alright (Or Left)

Southpaw Guitars Marks 35 Years

Even before they started jamming together on old Gibson acoustics in the mid ’70s, Jimmy Duncan and Bill Townsend, co-founders of the lefty-dedicated Southpaw Guitars, were avid fans of music. Longtime friends who spent their days working as carpenters in Houston, they caught dozens of live acts at venues ranging from the Astrodome and Summit […]

Avante Gryphon

Avante Gryphon

Game Changer?

Avante Gryphon Price: $1,495 (street) Info: www.veilletteguitars.com People bandy about the term “game changer” so often these days it barely means a thing, but the Avante Gryphon may be just that. Avante is the import line of Joe Veillette, who has long been crafting fine American guitars. His new Korean-made line presents the package in […]

Headway EDB-2 Equalizer Direct Blend Preamp Home Main

Headway EDB-2 Equalizer Direct Blend Preamp

Make Way

Headway EDB-2 Equalizer Direct Blend Preamp Price: $475 (retail)/$320 (street) Info: www.headwaymusicaudio.com. Designed in England and manufactured in Korea, the Headway EDB-2 is a 5.75″ x 3.75″ x 1.5″ box with a feature set that makes it ideal for acoustic guitarists who need an ultra-low-distortion connection to a PA or sound-reinforcement amplifier. The EDB-2 has […]

Fixing Tuner Holes in a Rare Gibson

Replacement Plague

I’ve worked on plenty of old Gibsons, but guitars like this 1939 J-55 are rare. It’s only the second one I’ve ever seen, and first I’ve worked on. It was brought to the shop for a neck reset, bridge removal/re-glue, and new frets, nut, saddle, and new tuners. After the difficult repairs were done, I […]

Vox’s AC30CH and V212C Cabinet

Get Back

The Beatles helped popularize Vox amps, and Sir Paul tours with them today because they still have that sound – classic chime and overdriven grind. Introduced in ’59, Vox’s AC30 delivers 30 watts of brilliant, jangly top-end with help from a quartet of EL84 tubes. Listen to the Beatles, early Stones, Queen, or U2 and […]

Darryl Jones photo: P. Baumbach

Darryl Jones

Stones’ Side Man, Ron Wood Fan

“Unofficial” Rolling Stones bassist Darryl Jones, who replaced Bill Wyman in 1994, readily admits that playing with the carousing rockers has been a revelation compared to working with stern jazz masters like Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, and Wynton Marsalis. “What I’ve learned from Mick and Keith is that rock and roll is fun. It’s not […]

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 […]

Charlie Ballantine

Midwest Expressive

Befitting a guitarist from America’s heartland, Charlie Ballantine’s mixes jazz, folk-rock, surf/instro, blues, pop, and country into a simmering pot of guitar sound and style. His instrumental work is beautiful and complex, ranging from melodic journeys to raging heavier sounds. Charlie’s latest CD is Where is My Mind?, a strong album that marks him as […]

Saucerful of Strats

Pink Floyd Catalog Gets a Massive Reissue

By any standard, Pink Floyd has one of the mightiest catalogs in rock and roll – a 14-album pantheon dating from 1967 to ’94 that has few rivals. Every so often, EMI remasters the batch with fresh sonics, and the latest round gives Floydheads serious reason to rejoice. The big news is what’s being called […]

BC Audio JTX45 Octal Plex

Plexi Class

In an amp world full of boutique clones, Bruce Clement has developed a unique twist on the venerable ’60s British plexi circuits using octal preamp tubes, true point-to-point wiring, and a range of customizations. The result is an amp with a voice of its own – and possibly one of the best plexi-style amps ever. […]

The Grateful Dead & The Doors

The Grateful Dead: 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition, The Doors: 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition
A Tale of Two Cities

The Grateful Dead profoundly shaped the trippy San Francisco sound of 1967, while to the south, the Doors crafted a harder-edged approach to psychedelia in Los Angeles. Both bands released their debut albums exactly 50 years ago, and each platter has been reissued in grand style. By the release of their first LP in early […]


Rhapsody In Purple

A year after his death, VG remembers Prince, a musical revolutionary, whose emergence was jarring, even for the most youthful and open-minded. Supremely talented on several instruments, guitar was an early and obvious love.

Steve Cropper

Homage to Lowman Pauling

All but forgotten today, with his low-slung guitar, stylish rhythm licks, and tasty leads, Lowman Pauling was one of the great guitar heroes of the ’50s. Guitarist for the R&B doo-wop band the 5 Royales, not only did Pauling pick melody lines and play leads, he also composed many of the band’s songs, sang in […]

Novax Sweet Annie

Silver Anniversary

Remember chuckling at the Rick 481 slant-fret guitar? Or wondering about those fret intervals on Joni Mitchell’s dulcimer, or the flying frets on Ravi Shankar’s sitar? Ralph Novak did. But he took it all a step further, patenting his Fanned-Fret design in 1989. To celebrate, Novax Guitars has introduced their 25th anniversary Sweet Annie electric […]