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This month we feature interviews with country superstar Keith Urban, jazz-fusion bass legend Stanley Clarke, and the two guitarists and bassist from the mind-bending prog-metal outfit Last Chance to Reason. We also bring you highlights from the 2011 NY Amp Show, and share the touching story of the late British Royal Air Force pilot Alf Binnie and the 1940s archtop that he treasured from the time he was imprisoned in a Nazi POW camp until his final days as a ski instructor in Canada. In addition, the third installment in our Forgotten Heroes series focuses on genre-hopping session legend Cornell Dupree. Reviews this month include the new Gibson Les Paul Studio Baritone, Fernandes V-Hawk Elite, Batson No. 5 acoustic, Anacon Technology Zagray! head, Empress Multidrive, Trombetta Tornita!, Metal Pedals XXX HardCore, Kustom KXB500 bass head and DE115NEO cab, Reverend Thundergun and Justice basses, and Vox TB35C2 Bruno combo.
In addition to talking to Gene Baker about his involvement with the boutique consortium of designers at Premier Builders Guild, we go back in time to look at the rise of B.C. Rich-one of the most iconic guitar brands of the 1980s. Dream Theater’s John Petrucci and John Myung talk about thriving after the apocalypse of founding drummer Mike Portnoy’s departure and their subsequent epic, A Dramatic Turn of Events. We also interview Primus’ bass-and-guitar freak show-Les Claypool and Ler LaLonde-to find out how friendship and new tone toys resurrected the most bizarre power trio of the last 25 years. And then we talk to mind-boggling classical guitarist Matt Palmer about his evolution from learning Yngwie tunes to redefining classical guitar with an incredible new nylon-string picking technique. We also take you way outside the box with Avant Guitar 101: Alternate Attacks-a how-to feature that explores the unorthodox playing approaches of iconic experimentalists Keith Rowe and Fred Frith. In the gear-review room this month, we take a look at the new Line 6 POD HD, the Collings 290 DC, the Dingwall Z3 bass, the Blackstar HT-5R, the Amptweaker TightMetal, the Yamaha A3M acoustic, the DV Mark DV40 212, the MXR M87 Bass Compressor, the Hughes & Kettner TubeMeister 18, and the Gretsch G6128T-GH George Harrison Signature Duo Jet.
Premier Guitar July 2014: This month we take you back in time to check out 10 bizarre vintage-guitar oddities from the ’60s and ’70s—instruments from Avalon, Eko, Guyatone, Teisco, Wurlitzer, and more. In our interviews section, we talk to blues legend Johnny Winter, the War on Drugs’ Adam Granduciel, the String Cheese Incident, and Mastery Bridges’ John Woodland. We also deep-dive with the Minnesota State College “Red Wing” luthiery school, and go aboard the Yes prog-rock cruise. And our latest Forgotten Heroes piece looks at the life of folk-rock legend Bruce “Mr. Tambourine Man” Langhorne. Gear reviews this month include the Mooer LoFi Machine, Hotone Opto Tremolo, MXR Echoplex Preamp, Fender Custom Shop 60th Anniversary 1954 Heavy Relic Strat, Keeley Seafoam Chorus, Zon Mosaic Mojo, Cordoba Acero D9-CE, ZVEX Fuzzolo, GJ2 Shredder, Electroplex Rocket 42, EBS Classic 500 and ClassicLine 210, and Hermida Dover Drive.