Influenced by Benson, Montgomery, and Christian: Jorge Garcia

Jazz guitarist Jorge Garcia brings many flavors to his musical table. Here, his ’77 Ibanez Artist helps him exhibit a bit of “Dedicated To You,” the tasty title track from his latest album. Read our review in the August issue. Read Now!

Influenced by Benson, Montgomery, and Christian: Jorge Garcia

Jazz guitarist Jorge Garcia brings many flavors to his musical table. Here, his ’77 Ibanez Artist helps him exhibit a bit of “Dedicated To You,” the tasty title track from his latest album. Read our review in the August issue. Read Now!

Naia Izumi

Intuitive Artistry

It’s difficult to pigeonhole the music of Naia Izumi, a singer/songwriter who’s also one of the most uncanny guitarists around. “I make music I’m not hearing,” says Naia, who was diagnosed with autism at the age of 16. On his new album, A Residency in the Los Angeles Area, he uses two-handed tapping, chiming chords, whammy-bar […]

Eight decades ago, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer revealed the story of Paul H. Tutmarc debuting his latest invention – a solidbody electric bass. The 1935 article includes a photograph showing the suave gentleman demonstrating the instrument (to a young woman), roughly the size of a cello, and includes Tutmarc’s story of carving it from white pine. […]

Effector 13 Improbability Drive

“Beam Me Up, Jimi” - The Effector 13 Improbability Drive - spacey, fuzzy, and funky

We understand how you might react. “Another drive pedal?” There are so many… a lot of them similar, or nearly identical? But then again, some are different… (Cue Captain Kirk voiceover…) Prepare, then, gearhead followers, to embark on a journey of drive, fuzz, and distortion unlike anything you’ve experienced before! Just step aboard (okay, on) […]

Luther Dickinson

Luther Dickinson

Acoustic Odyssey

When Luther Dickinson isn’t writing and performing with the North Mississippi Allstars or on the road with The Black Crowes, he plays the acoustic guitar – and lots of it. He recently released an acoustic instrumental record called Hambone’s Meditation, a project called The Wandering featuring female singers from North Mississippi and Memphis, and the […]

Carvin Audio VLD1 Legacy Drive

Legend In A Box

When Steve Vai needed a portable preamp to take on the road to emulate his signature amp tones, Carvin Audio obliged. Their VLD1 Legacy Drive is Vai’s Legacy amplifier in a box – and it travels a whole lot easier than a half stack. Using 12AX7 tubes and circuitry found in Vai’s signature amps, the […]

Replacing Rotted Tuning Keys on a ’62 ES-335

Buttons for a Buzzcock

Steve Garvey played bass in the seminal punk band Buzzcocks during its classic era – 1977 to ’81 – with guitarist Steve Diggle, drummer John Maher, and front man/guitarist Pete Shelley. His work is heard on the first three albums, which included hits like “I Don’t Mind,” “What Do I Get?,” and their biggest, “Ever […]

Wampler Effects Pedals

Filling the Gaps

Brian Wampler, who developed a reputation first for modding effects pedals, then for building originals including a custom overdrive for heavy-hitter country picker Brad Paisley, plays by the rules set forth by the best boutique builders: employ first-rate components, true-bypass wiring, and excellent fit and finish. Instructions are clear and thorough, and Wampler even pays […]

Brian Ray

Brian Ray

From Blues to Beatles

Brian Ray spent the last 11 years playing guitar as Paul McCartney’s side man. While such duty would be a career topper for pretty much any player, Ray is also thrilled about his new band, The Bayonets, and his forthcoming signature-model Gibson. How does one get a gig with a Beatle? Well, the gig came […]


Gibson ES-335 Joe Bonamassa Signature Model

A Semi-Hollow For Joe

Gibson ES-335 Joe Bonamassa Signature Model Price: $3,335 (street) Contact: gibson.com. The collaboration of Gibson and blues-rocker Joe Bonamassa began with a limited run of goldtop Les Paul’s in 2009, followed by a more-affordable Studio version and another Custom Shop version, the latter sporting a beautiful flamed-maple top. Gibson and Bonamassa have teamed up again […]

The Prestige Classic TBK

Hidden Treasure

One of the best-kept guitar secrets, Prestige is a small Vancouver-based operation that has flown under the radar for 18 years. The company farms its own tonewoods, which are shipped to Korea, where the guitars are built then shipped back to British Columbia, for finishing and hardware installation. Its Classic TBK model is a slimmed-down […]

Fire Custom Shop Sweet Chilli and Carpe Diem Overdrives

Brazilian Heat

There are some nifty analog effects pedals coming out of São Paulo, Brazil, nowadays, and among them, Fire Custom Shop should be on your radar. Fire Custom’s small but efficient staff allows them to maintain maximum quality control over their top-notch products while offering a variety of effects pedals and accessories. It’s no fluke that […]

St. Blues Scoundrel

St. Blues Scoundrel

Walking the Dog

St. Blues Scoundrel Price: $1,898 (list)/$1,349 (street) Contact: www.saintblues.com Intended as a versatile instrument for the player with a budget for just one boutique guitar, the St. Blues Scoundrel is a double-cutaway with a P-90 in the neck position and a humbucker in the bridge. There’s a bolt-on maple neck with maple fingerboard (also available […]

Burlison & Sugg

Demon Eye, At Your Service

Demon Eye mixes the best elements of ’70s hard rock and ’80s metal, and delivers the goods in tight, dark fashion. The North-Carolina-based quartet recently unleashed its second album, Tempora Infernalia, and guitarist-vocalist Erik Sugg and guitarist Larry Burlison recently sat to discuss the project. What guitars and amps did you use on the album? […]


Fender 5E7 Bandmaster

Preamp tubes: one 12AY7, two 12AX7 Output tubes: two 6L6s, fixed biased Rectifier: 5U4G tube Controls: Volume, Volume, Treble, Bass, Presence Output: 28 watts RMS +/- Speaker: three 10″ Jensen P10R Two decades ago, when renewed appreciation of Fender’s narrow-panel tweed amps of the late ’50s really started to boom, the Bassman was generally considered […]

D’Angelico’s EX-DC and EX-SD

D’Elegance and Power

D’Angelico’s EX-DC and EX-SD Price: $1,769 list/$1,259 street (EX-DC); $1,659 list/$1,185 street (EX-SD) Info: www.dangelicoguitars.com John D’Angelico produced just 1,164 guitars during his career on Kenmare Street in New York City, but each was a remarkable instrument created at the height of the jazz era. Today, the brand is in revival, and while new D’Angelico […]

Retro and Wonderful

The EHX Mainframe Bit Crusher

The Mainframe Bit Crusher is a nasty little pedal that warps, mangles, distorts and produces lo-fi digital sounds and trippy sci-fi gizmo textures reminiscent of computers and video games of the ’80s and early ’90s. Packed with beaucoup features, the Mainframe provides sample-rate reduction ranging from 48kHz to 110Hz. Additional filter functions warp signals even […]

The Paul Butterfield Blues Band

Got A Mind To Give Up Living: Live 1966
Rare, Bluesy, and Beyond

A surprisingly large contingent of people in high school or college in 1965 will tell you that less than two years after the Beatles’ big-bang appearances on “The Ed Sullivan Show,” the album that really changed their lives was the eponymous Paul Butterfield Blues Band. In fact, their lives were probably altered before the end […]

David Bromberg

The Blues, the Whole Blues, and Nothing But the Blues
Swearing On The Blues

David Bromberg likes to quote the great fiddler Johnny Gimble, who once famously said, “There’s only two kinds of music – ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ and the blues.” Suitably, Bromberg has devoted much of his life to playing the blues in its myriad forms. The multi-instrumental maestro boasts a lengthy resumé, including playing at the side […]

’53 Gibson Les Paul Junior

Gibson records say the Les Paul Junior was introduced in 1954. But this instrument has tone and volume pot codes from ’53. It also differs in regard to other specifications, most notably that its neck joint is unlike that on any other Junior.