Riku Karvonen: Hasta La Twista!

    Riku Karvonen shows us the ’63 Fender Jaguar he played throughout the Halibears ’ new album, Hasta La Twista. Here, he “noodle(s) some old school rock and roll to set the mood,” then jams on the opening track, “Twisting Sister.” The Halibears are part of Dan Forte’s surf-instro roundup in the October installment of “Check This Action.” Read it HERE!

    On the new episode of “Have Guitar Will Travel,” host James Patrick Regan speaks with singer/songwriter John Smith, whose playing is influenced by master guitarists ranging from Nick Drake and John Renbourn to Ry Cooder and Jimmy Page. They discuss John’s new album, “The Fray,” touch on the guitars in his collection, and dig into

    Peter Frampton

    Part One: The Humble Pie Years

    Formed with two formidable front men in Steve Marriott and Peter Frampton, Humble Pie was one of the earliest “supergroups” to emerge from the British Invasion and embody aspirations beyond pop. Marriott rocked audiences as vocalist of Small Faces, which scored hit singles with “Itchycoo Park,” “All or Nothing,” “Tin Soldier” and “Lazy Sunday.” Frampton

    There’s irony in the fact that Leo Fender, creator of the first solidbody electric guitar to be mass-produced, wasn’t the adventurous sort. Rather, history tells us he was a pragmatic, conservative guy for whom form very much followed function – a fact borne out in the bread-and-butter realities exhibited by the Telecaster. Fortunately, Leo’s tastes

    Pete Anderson

    Disciple of the Hook

    Detroit native Pete Anderson made a name for himself in the ’80s, playing a ton of twang while Dwight Yoakam sang. In the last 20 years, though, he has become known as an player who can adroitly back virtually any act, a first-rate music producer, and a record-label head. A disciple of ’50s rock-and-roll and

    James Trussart SteelCaster

    Rust Never Sleeps

    James Trussart’s guitars exist on a plane of their own. With their peerless styling, the builder’s guitars-as-art are nonetheless fully functional, gigable axes. Trussart began building violins, dulcimers, and hurdy-gurdies from metal in the late ’70s. In 2000, he switched locales from his native France to California and, subsequently, to building guitars. His most famous

    PRS SE Custom Semi-Hollow

    Multi-Functional Gem

    While most guitarists are familiar with PRS (and some dream every day of adding one of the company’s Private Stock axes to their collection), the company’s import SE line typically gets much less play in the git-tar press. Developed at the request of Carlos Santana so beginners and “weekend warriors” could experience playing a PRS

    Dave Davies

    Dave Davies

    Personal Songs and Power Chords

    For more than a half-century, the world has known of guitarist Dave Davies and his raucous electric sound, thanks to the earliest hits of the Kinks. The band’s third single, “You Really Got Me” (released in August, 1964) and “All Day and All of the Night” (debuting that October) were sonic primers for budding guitarists.

    Matchless Superchief 120

    A maker at the forefront of the “boutique amp” movement, Matchless is known for its Class-A designs – that is, cathode-biased amps with no negative feedback, which take the Vox formula to new places. Over years of listening to conversations regarding “the most powerful amp you ever played” and such, one model is mentioned time

    The Carr Artemus

    A Blend of Dick, Leo, and Steve

    Steve Carr made a name for himself building fine amplifiers such as the Slant 6V and the Rambler. His Artemus model used four EL84 tubes, but was not a subtle variation on a classic design, but rather offered a powerful blend of Dick Denney, Leo Fender, and Steve Carr. Though the term “American meets British” is overused in the amp biz,


    Mark Tremonti

    Rock Star, Amp Snob!

    Many of the people we today consider “guitar heroes” – Eddie Van Halen and Stevie Ray Vaughan, to name a couple – spent more than their fair share of time stowed away in their bedrooms, playing guitar while other kids in the neighborhood played baseball, kick the can, or spin the bottle. Rock guitarist Mark

    Lotus Pedal Designs’ Snowjob Underdrive

    Lotus Pedal Designs’ Snowjob Underdrive

    Love That Yellow Snow

    You may be wondering, “What in the world is an ‘underdrive’ pedal?” Good question. Well, you know the traffic-jam of overdrive pedals you likely have crowding around your amp, all designed to push it into blissful distortion? An underdrive does the opposite. It drives from your guitar. Which brings up that Beatles-versus-Stones-type debate about the

    Fishman Fluence Classic Humbucker Set

    Fishman Fluence Classic Humbucker Set

    Classic Retrofit

    Fishman recently released the revolutionary Fluence series pickups that utilize an active, hum-canceling pickup design. Following our review of their Single-Width pickups (VG, March ’15) we take a look at their Classic Humbuckers for retrofitting guitars that use standard-size humbucking pickups. The Fishman Fluence Classic Humbucker set consists of two pickups constructed from numerous layers

    Arlen Roth

    No Stone Unturned

    To guitarists raised on his “Hot Licks” instructional video series, session and touring great Arlen Roth is something of a legendary figure. His latest release, Paint It Black, is the third in a series of instrumental albums that takes a fresh look at timeless songs by preeminent figures in pop music. As its title infers,

    Lollar’s Gold-Foil Pickup

    After the Gold Rush

    Lollar’s Gold-Foil Pickup Price: $180 (list, each) Info: www.lollarguitars.com Gold-foil pickups are exotic beasts – just like many of the 1960s Japanese-made Teisco guitars that sport up to four of them crammed between neck and bridge. These pickups may look like the grille of a ’59 Eldorado, but Teisco aficionados will tell anyone that original

    Ray Cummins – Guitar Tutorial #2

    Ray Cummins – Guitar Tutorial #2 Ray Cummins’ latest exclusive tutorial for VG includes a breakdown of double-note harmony playing and backward fingerstyle rolls. Keep up with Ray at raycummins.com. See more lessons, we are adding new lessons monthly! Ray Cummins’ latest exclusive tutorial for VG includes a breakdown of double-note harmony playing and backward

    Eastwood La Baye 2x4 Devo Signature Model

    Eastwood La Baye 2×4 Devo Signature Model

    Whip It Good

    For decades, guitarists have lovingly referred to their solidbody guitars as “planks.” In the mid ’60s, a small builder called LaBaye upped the ante by offering a guitar truly was a plank. The La Baye 2×4 Six was a minimalist guitar offered as a cheapo, and in the ’70s found notoriety in the hands of

    Terry Dolan

    Terry Dolan
    44 Years Later

    The market is flooded with previously unreleased albums and reissue CDs containing alternate takes. It must be simple to get something like that released, right? Guess again. It’s hard to imagine, but a major-label album by a popular San Francisco singer/songwriter languished in some warehouse more than 40 years after it was recorded – and

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

    Greg Lake’s 
Zemaitis Doubleneck

    Twice as Heavy

    With progressive-rock juggernaut Emerson, Lake & Palmer, bassist/vocalist Greg Lake (1947-2016) played more than one instrument made by the renowned British luthier Tony Zemaitis. Known for their fancy tops of pearl or exquisitely engraved metal, Zemaitis instruments were truly handcrafted works of art, and the list of players who ordered them reads like the ultimate

    ZZ Top

    The First 20 Years, Un-Remixed

    Usually, the hook with boxed reissues is that they include previously unreleased songs, alternate takes, live material, and maybe some extra tchotchkes like rare photos, revisionist essays, or poster reproductions. Sometimes it’s remixed versions of familiar hits. It’s rare that the main attraction is un-remixed albums the way they came out 40-odd years ago –

    Crucial Audio’ Die Götterdämmerung Germanium Fuzz/Ring Modulator

    Ring Tones

    Named by Flaming Lips guitarist Steven Drozd after composer Richard Wagner’s Ring Cycle opera, Crucial Audio’s lavishly named Die Götterdämmerung Germanium Fuzz/Ring Modulator is a wild, wicked pedal. (Note the double pun of germanium and Ring Modulator.) Built in Delaware by pedalsmith Steve Kollander, this box, as its name suggests, features two effects in one