Premier Guitar July 2015: Our cover-story this month is a heartfelt tribute to the late blues legend B.B. King, who passed away just as we were going to press (don’t miss the accompanying, never-before-heard interview on premierguitar.com). We’ve also got brand-new interviews with an incredibly diverse set of artists, including the Word’s Robert Randolph and Luther Dickinson, Torres, My Morning Jacket, Bumblefoot, David Torn, Dwight Yoakam, and fingerstylist James Blackshaw. Our 16 in-depth gear reviews this month include not one but tworoundups—three small-bodied acoustics from Taylor, Martin, and Larrivée, and four 1×12 bass combos from Hartke, Ampeg, Fender, and Ashdown—as well as a look at Fender’s new American Standard Stratocaster HSS Shawbucker, the Orange Rockerverb 50 MKIII, pedals from Gurus, Seymour Duncan, and Wren and Cuff, and more.
Pedal freaks rejoice! We’ve got info and close-up photos of 10 of the coolest stomp stations from our recent Rig Rundowns—from Pixies to Brent Mason, the War on Drugs, Larry Carlton, Brand New, Jonny Lang, Death from Above 1979, Bring Me the Horizon, the Gaslight Anthem, and Third Eye Blind. Then we’ve got a gallery of your pedalboards, which often give the pros’ boards a serious run for their money. We’ve also got a review roundup of “spring-reverb” pedals—Subdecay’s Super Spring Theory, Mojo Hand Fx’s Dewdrop, and Catalinbread’s Topanga—new photos from our Gwar and Lucinda Williams Rig Rundown video shoots, and a DIY feature with setup and maintenance tips for 12-string guitars. Our artist interviews this month include chats with Robert Pollard, Cancer Bats’ Scott Middleton, and Consider the Source’s Gabriel Marin. Other gear reviews include toys from MXR, Eastwood, Veillette, Tone Bakery, TC Electronic, T-Rex, Schertler, BC Audio, Red Witch, Outlaw, Electro-Harmonix, and Stone Deaf.
Gear fanatics will find a lot to love in this issue. For starters, our cover story details 44 new instruments, amps, and effects that wowed us at the Winter 2015 NAMM show. And our reviews start out with a roundup of four face-melting metal and hard-rock amps—Randall’s Ola Englund Satan, Engl’s Invader II E642/2, Mesa/Boogie’s Mark Five:25, and Friedman’s Double J Jerry Cantrell signature model. We also take a look at new gear from Ibanez, Demeter, Fender, Free the Tone, Radial Engineering, Dawner Prince, Acoustic, GreenChild, Phil Jones, and Slick Guitars. Rounding things out, we’ve got an in-depth feature on the history of steel guitar, as well as interviews with a wide array of players—from Imagine Dragon’s former jazzbo Wayne Sermon to avant-gardist Ben Chasny, experimentalist Oliver Ackermann from A Place to Bury Strangers (and Death by Audio pedals), tone alchemist Reine Fiske from Sweden’s the Amazing, and globetrotting acoustic adventurer Sir Richard Bishop.