Gear fanatics rejoice! Our cover story this month details the droolworthiest guitars, basses, amps, and effects from Musikmesse—Europe’s biggest show for new music toys. On top of that, we’ve got 18 guitar and bass reviews—including gear from G&L, Alvarez, Mesa/Boogie, Moog, TC Electronic, Greer, Matthews Effects, Mastro, Taurus, and Function f(x)—as well as a six-pedal overdrive roundup featuring stomps from J. Rockett Audio, Way Huge, T-Rex, SviSound, Visual Sound, and Sonic Fusion. Meanwhile, our totally stacked feature section includes interviews with Faith No More’s Billy Gould and Jon Hudson, Courtney Barnett, JD McPherson, Built to Spill’s Doug Martsch, Torche’s Steve Brooks and Jonathan Nuñez, and Alabama Shakes’ Brittany Howard and Heath Fogg. Plus, we’ve got an eye-popping excerpt from celebrated photographer Jay Blakesberg’s new book, Guitars That Jam: Portraits of the World’s Most Storied Rock Guitars.
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.