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.
Our annual pedalboards of the stars issue gives you an up-close-and-personal look at the coolest stomp stations from Billy Gibbons, Eagles of Death Metal, Slipknot, John Fogerty, Heart, Between the Buried and Me, My Morning Jacket, and Best Coast. We’ve also got a MIDI-guitar primer by Avi Bortnick—who incorporates a laptop into his rig onstage with jazz legend John Scofield—that shows you how to get started with minimal cost and surprising ease. In our interviews section this month we talk to Ben Monder and Tim Lefebvre about the sessions for David Bowie’s farewell masterpiece, as well as speak with Anthrax’s Scott Ian and Jonathan Donais (formerly of Shadows Fall), Gemma Thompson from London-based post-punk outfit Savages, Brad Shultz and Daniel Tichenor from Cage the Elephant, Sun Club’s Mikey Powers and Shane McCord, and Ride’s Andy Bell and Mark Gardener. Gear reviews this month include the Music Man St. Vincent, the PRS SE A15AL Alex Lifeson thinline acoustic, Dr. Z’s Z-Lux, Mesa/Boogie’s Subway D-800 bass head, the Dusky D20 head, ThorpyFx’s Muffroom Cloud, F-Pedal’s Eddie Kramer-designed PhazeVibe Lite, Dr. No’s RoadRunner Octave Fuzz Wah, and more.
PG scoured the floor at the annual Summer NAMM gear expo in Nashville, and our cover story this issue shares the deets on the most enticing new guitars, basses, amps, effects, and doodads to watch for at your local shop. In other gear coverage, our reviews section includes a practice-amp roundup that gives you the straight dirt on five new combos—the Marshall CODE 25, Vox AV30, Ibanez TSA5TVR, Orange Crush 35RT, and Roland Blues Cube—as well as reviews of Fender’s new American Elite Telecaster, Peavey’s revamped Classic 30, Schecter’s Michael Anthony signature 4-string, the Alvarez Delta00TSB, Source Audio’s Nemesis, the Alexander La Calavera, EarthQuaker Devices’ Spatial Delivery, the Ashdown RM-500-EVO, Ibanez’s Mini Chorus, Jim Dunlop’s Mini Volume, Electro-Harmonix Bass Preacher, and more. Meanwhile, our interviews this month include chats with Les Claypool and Sean Lennon, Bjarte Lund Rolland and Maciek Ofstad from Norwegian metal outfit Kvelertak, former Black Crowe Rich Robinson, Thrice’s Dustin Kensrue and Teppei Teranishi, Eric Krasno, and Scandinavian experimental guitarist Stian Westerhus.