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.
Our annual “Pedal Issue” is one for the record books-literally: At 272 pages, it has been verified by Inquiry Management Systems, an independent publishing research firm, as the largest single issue of a US guitar magazine ever. It’s also the first PG ever to have four randomly distributed covers, each featuring a fully functional custom pedal with the issue’s cover lines printed directly on its face. (The pedals are a JAM Pedals RetroVibe, a DigiTech Whammy, a Diamond Pedals Halo Chorus, and an Electro-Harmonix Big Muff Pi, and you can enter to win them at premierguitar.com Oct. 19 through Nov. 16.) Inside, the issue is packed with 30+ stompbox reviews, three features-on Rolling Stone Ron Wood, Iron Maiden, and Zakk Wylde-a profile on “5 Boutique Stompbox Builders You Should Know,” a profile on Electro-Harmonix founder Mike Matthews, a wrap-up of Experience PRS 2010, and reviews of three guitars and two amps.
This month brings a trilogy of hot-rod makeovers that’ll pique the interest of all types of players: a commissioned ’80s PRS CE redo, a Squier Tele twangified with a Bigsby and Curtis Novak pickups, and a cheap axe transformed into a weird wonder by eccentric luthier Yuri Landman. Our artist features include interviews with rhythmic blues players Eric Bibb and Habib Koité about their Brothers in Bamako project, as well as a chat with Nashville hero JD Simo about his psychedelic rock debut. We also go inside the shop of legendary guitar tech and builder Bob Bradshaw. In the gear department, we review Teye’s R-Series La Gitana bass, Epiphone’s 1962 Sheraton E212T, the Roland GA-112 amp, Carvin’s HH2 Allan Holdsworth, Van Amps Sole-Mate Jr., and the Takamine P3MC acoustic. In pedal news, we take a look at Mesa/Boogie’s new line, TC Electronic’s Flashback X4, the Strymon Mobius,and the Vox StompLab IIB for bass.