This month we bring you the industry’s fastest and most comprehensive summary of the world’s biggest gear show-more then 30 of the coolest new guitar and bass toys from Musikmesse in Frankfurt, Germany. We also talk to avant-jazz mastermind Bill Frisell about his new Floratone album, and then chat with riff-rocker Billy Duffy about using his Gretsches and multi-amp setup on the Cult’s new Choice of Weapon. We also take you to New York City’s theater district to talk to the guitar gurus who bring 6-string glory to three of Broadway’s hottest numbers-Book of Mormon,Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark, and Rock of Ages. We also shine the spotlight on the astonishing career of Forgotten Hero Johnny “Guitar” Watson-a funk icon whose groovin’ lines have been sending aftershocks through modern music for 30+ years. Then, for both novices and vets, we delve into the oft-overlooked tonal implications of steel strings and picks with two in-depth features that explain archaic terminology and suggest new ways to approach your sound. Reviews this month include the new Gibson Jeff Tweedy SG, Jackson Ampworks Newcastle, Ibanez Gerald Veasley 6-string bass, Taylor 710ce Rosewood, Alairex H.A.L.O. overdrive, Jason Z. Schroeder Chopper T-Pine, Mojo Hand Nebula IV phaser, Orange OR50H reissue head, Rivera Sustain Shaman, and Peavey Headliner bass head and 4×10 cab.
Premier Guitar January 2012: We begin the new year with an excerpt from Craig Hopkins’ new book, Stevie Ray Vaughan: Day by Day, Night After Night – His Final Years, 1983-1990 [Backbeat Books]-which features never-before-seen pics of the Strat god and his gear. We also talk to jazz legend George Benson about his new album, Guitar Man, the Roots’ “Captain” Kirk Douglas about spearheading a soul-music resurgence, and quirky bluesman Oz Noy about his latest outing. Our cover story is a profile of Teuffel Guitars’ Uli Teuffel-a meticulous post-modern luthier whose designs are as headturning as they are controversial. We also hear the story of how one instrument collector scoured the internet to track down the first Steinberger bass prototype-which has been missing for more than 35 years. Gear reviews this month include the Fender Eric Clapton Twinolux amp, Larrivée Bakersfield, Aguilar Tone Hammer 500 head and SL 112 cab, Martin 000-15 12-fret, four Red Witch Seven Sisters pedals (with the other three available as web-exclusive reviews), Brubaker JJX-4 bass, Schecter Hellraiser Solo-6 E/A, Orbit Psychoplex Deluxe, Ampeg GVT52-112 guitar combo, and CEC Amplification Toll-Free Express head.
Take a look inside the incredible Rickenbacker instrument archive and at some of the most visually striking, influential, and groundbreaking instruments in modern music. Our artist interviews this month run the gamut from Nashville session ace Brent Mason talking about his new instructional DVD to former AC/DC bassist Mark Evans discussing his new tell-all book to shredmeisters Tosin Abasi and Javier Reyes giving us the lowdown on the new Animals as Leaders album. We also visit with Top Hat Amps’ Brian Gerhard about his vintage Vox- and Marshall-style designs that are used by such renowned players as Steely Dan’s Walter Becker and Los Lobos’ David Hidalgo and Cesar Rosas. Reviews this month include the 3 Monkeys Virgil, MJ Guitars GrooveMaster, Hartke Kilo bass head, Mesa/Boogie Mini Rectifier Twenty-Five, Hagstrom Viking, Mario Guitars Serp, David Allen pickups, Spaceman Gemini III, Visual Sound Dual Tap Delay, and Two-Rock EXO 15.