Some guitars get no respect, at least historically. At the dawn of the ’70s, Gibson’s original (1963-’65) Firebirds were already being hailed as classics, while the versions that replaced them were denigrated as another example of the company’s late-’60s decline. Second-generation Firebirds are often cited as being “post-McCarty,” but the fact is Gibson president Ted […]

Blues-rock barnstormer Ana Popovic’s latest is about love, perseverance, strength, and survival. After rising victoriously from 14 cancer treatments in 2020, Popovic continues to push the envelope of her artistry by dropping her unique blend of searing, hot-wired guitar within the context of funk, R&B, rock, blues, and pop. Power is the sound of a […]

Belgium Born, Delta Fostered Brussels native Ghalia Volt moved to the U.S. in 2013 to busk in music-rich cities like Chicago, St. Louis, Memphis, Nashville, and Clarksdale, Mississippi, where for three straight years she played the Sunflower River Blues & Gospel Fest. Fresh off an appearance on CBS’ “60 Minutes,” she sat with her Silvertone […]

Fretprints: Kim Simmonds

Ode to the British Blues Icon

Leader and guiding spirit of Savoy Brown, Kim Simmonds was an architect of the ’60s British Blues movement. A powerful influence on countless guitarists, he epitomized the form and set its evolution to blues-rock, progressive, hard rock, and heavy metal. Born December 5, 1947, in Wales, Kim Maiden Simmonds (see our remembrance in the March […]

Pop ’N Hiss: Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble’s Texas Flood

The Blues, Reborn

Music in the early ’80s was dominated by the shiny blips and bloops of keyboard-driven new wave and the first rumblings of fleet-fingered guitar explosions of glam metal. The blues, meanwhile, was virtually forgotten, though its embers were being fanned by devotees like Dallas-born Stevie Ray Vaughan and his debut album, Texas Flood. Backed by […]

Jerry and Gordon Kennedy

"It's a Two-Man Collection"

Guitarist/producer Jerry Kennedy, recipient of four Grammy awards, is proud of his three sons, all of whom are accomplished musicians and songwriters. The Nashville veteran’s oldest, Gordon, is a Grammy-winning songwriter (Song of the Year for co-writing Eric Clapton’s “Change the World”) and a Grammy-winning guitarist (he was the other guitar player on Peter Frampton’s […]

Long Train Runnin’: Our Story of the Doobie Brothers

Tom Johnston, Pat Simmons, Chris Epting

For 50 years, the Doobie Brothers’ feel-good hits have been radio staples. In these pages, vocalists/guitarists Tom Johnston and Pat Simmons share memories and insights such as how the much-hyped psychedelic band Moby Grape was a massive influence. In 1968, a college-aged Pat Simmons went to San Francisco to see a Jimi Hendrix gig at […]

Chris Bishop Oscar Jordan Vintage Guitar magazine

Chris Bishop

Wizards and Technology

Riff rockers Crobot have been promoting their first album, Something Supernatural, with a live show offering full-bombast rock, contagious funk, and science fiction. The band’s success is owed in part to the sonic interludes of guitarist Chris Bishop, who has discovered the missing link between crashing power chords, funky riffs, and hallucinogenic guitar effects, Your […]

Scott Sharrard

Destined for the Gig

Anyone who has seen the Gregg Allman Band in person or caught its new CD/DVD, Back to Macon, Ga, knows guitarist/musical director Scott Sharrard covers a lot of musical ground. Sharrard learned guitar with help from his father, who taught him a Jimmy Reed 12-bar blues rhythm (in the key of A) so dad could […]

Johnny Marr

Brit Gets a Git

When pop-music fans in the U.K. talk about guitar heroes, they tend to put more stake in the way a player’s work fits, contextually, into that of his band. To wit, in a 2006 poll, BBC listeners were asked to choose the best guitarist to emerge since 1980, and many of the 30,000 who responded […]

Musicvox Space Cadet 12

Chime Machine

Musicvox Space Cadet 12 Price: $899 (direct) Contact: musicvox.com As you may have read in Michael Wright’s profile of the Spaceranger guitar (September ’11), Musicvox started producing kooky, retro-styled solidbody guitars in the ’90s and was prominently featured in the comedy film Austin Powers. The company was on hiatus for a decade and recently returned […]

Martin 0-42

The Martin 0-42

Through the years, Martin’s dreadnought, OM, and 000 guitars may have gained the most notoriety. But for the sweetest and best-quality sound, Martin itself recommends the size 0, exemplified by this 0-42. There’s obviously a catch to that statement, since only two of Martin’s current offering of over 200 models are size-0 guitars. The recommendation […]

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 […]

Ernie Ball’s MVP Volume/Gain Expression Pedal

Ernie Ball MVP Volume/Gain Expression Pedal

Total Control

Ernie Ball’s MVP Volume/Gain Expression Pedal Price: $179 (list); $129.99 (street) Info: www.ernieball.com. Just when you thought you were done building the perfect pedalboard with all the coolest overdrives and time-based effects, you realize you need to control your sound. No doubt, a volume pedal is the way to go for controlling the volume of […]

Roy Treviño

Joining the Conversation

With his new self-titled album, South-Texas-based guitarist Roy Treviño accomplished his goals by simply being himself and letting the music flow. “I’d made a couple records before, but I’d put limitations on myself,” he said. “For instance, it had to be electric blues or whatever. As a result, I didn’t feel like those albums were […]

Toy Caldwell Jim Summaria, http://www.jimsummariaphoto.com

Toy Caldwell

Marine and Marshall Tucker Guitarist Toy Caldwell

One of the earliest VG interviews Willie G. Moseley did with a veteran “Southern rock” musician was a conversation with erstwhile Marshall Tucker guitarist Toy Caldwell in 1992. Toy was just embarking on a solo career, on his own terms. Willie had no idea at the time that he and his brother Tommy were both […]

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 […]

Santa Cruz HT/13 Happy Traum

Fingerstyle Dream

In a career spanning more than 60 years, Happy Traum has been a fixture of the American folk scene, from the Village to Woodstock and the New World Singers to a duo with his brother, Artie. Along the way, he made collaborative stops with Bob Dylan, Allen Ginsberg, and a galaxy of folk stars. His […]

Ray Cummins Vintage Guitar magazine Video Lessons

Ray Cummins – Guitar Tutorial #3

Ray Cummins – Guitar Tutorial #3 For his latest tutorial, Ray Cummins plays his Gibson Country Gentleman plugged into a late-’80s Boss DD 2 delay and a Lexicon reverb through his ’89 Roland JC 77 amp running direct to the console. At the end, he plays a bit of “Finger-Flying with Ray.” Keep up with Ray at www.raycummins.com. See more […]

Koll Super Glide Almighty

Grady’s Choice

What do you get when you cross a Jazzmaster, Les Paul, Gretsch Duo Jet, ES-335, and Tele? You just might end up with an axe from Koll Guitar, a Portland-based builder who’s been at it for more than three decades. One of their instruments is the Super Glide Almighty, a retro-themed electric with a chambered […]

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