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Premier Guitar December 2015: PG spends the entire year putting a ridiculously diverse lineup of gear through a rigorous battery of tests, and this issue recaps the Premier Gear award-winning guitars, basses, stomps, amps, and accessories that blew our minds in 2015. And this is no snob’s club either—the coveted Premier Gear prize goes to a wide array of equipment that stands apart from the crowd due to astounding tones, flexibility, build quality, and value. We also have brand-new reviews on Cort’s Matt Bellamy signature guitar, the Vox AC10, La Bella’s Olinto bass, Benson’s Monarch combo, Analog Man’s Black Logo envelope filter, Hovercraft’s Ionostrofear Fuzz, the Boss Waza Craft DM-2 analog delay, and more. We’ve also got a full house in the artist-interview department: We talk to the one and only Billy F. Gibbons about his Afro-Cuban-inflected solo album, Perfectamundo, visit with classic-rock legend John Fogerty from Credence Clearwater Revival about his iconic career and new memoir, Fortunate Son: My Life, My Music, chat with Deafheaven’s Kerry McCoy about the brutal-but-ethereal New Bermuda, get psych-rock scion Kurt Vile’s story on his Southern-rock-tinged new album, and catch up with Brazilian nylon-string virtuoso Badi Assad about her new LP of pop and electronic-dance-music covers. And our latest Forgotten Heroes piece examines the life and career of Miles Davis sideman Pete Cosey, whose gnarly tones and playing hinted at a more “out” Hendrix.
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.
The vaunted annual Pedal Issue returns! This year it sports an amazing cover by noted French illustrator/guitarist/stompbox-junkie McBess, as well as 33 guitar- and bass-pedal reviews by our astute team of pedal addicts. But that’s not all—we also take you inside the wacky labs where the folks at Union Tube & Transistor, Chase Bliss Audio, Hungry Robot, Fuzzrocious, Mantic Conceptual, Cusack Music, 3Leaf Audio, and Darkglass zap unicorns with shrink rays to put clangorous tones in little metal boxes. Meanwhile, our artist interviews this month include chats with Rage Against the Machine and Prophets of Rage bassist Tim Commerford, Screaming Females’ Marissa Paternoster and “King” Mike Abbate, jazz maestro Charlie Hunter, possessed Australian bluesman C.W. Stoneking, and Deerhoof’s John Dieterich and Ed Rodríguez. We also visit with the brain trust behind Recovery Unplugged, Jail Guitar Doors, and other rehab centers that have found success using guitar and musical activities to help patients overcome substance addiction. And finally, our latest Forgotten Heroes piece recounts the rich life and legacy of the father of free-jazz guitar, Sonny Sharrock.