Robert Johnson and J.J. Cale represent the yin and yang of Eric Clapton’s musical influences. On one side is Johnson, the famously troubled Thirties-era Mississippi bluesman who moaned about hellhounds on his trail, spooks around his bed and those lowdown, shakin’ chills. On the other side is Cale, the famously laidback singer-songwriter from Tulsa who penned laconic odes to singin’ whippoorwills, “chugalugging” and shakin’ tambourines.
Another Summer NAMM Show has come and gone! As always, Guitar World was there in force, shooting photos and videos, gathering endless gear news and trying out (and gawking at) all the new cool stuff being introduced for 2014.
Black Keys guitarist and singer Dan Auerbach is obsessed with arcane, el-cheapo mid–20th century guitars: Teiscos, Nationals, Supros, Silvertones. But that fixation is rivaled only by his passion for collecting vintage vinyl and under-the-radar new music. “Yesterday, I was listening to some dub [reggae] that I have on vinyl,” he says. “And this morning, I was listening to some South American Sixties psych music.”
While in Bon Jovi, guitarist Richie Sambora saw a million faces and rocked them all. But nothing will quite compare to three very intimate live performances he has planned to mark the anniversary of the birth of Les Paul, who would’ve turned 99 this past June 9.
If you play an electric guitar, your woodshedding sessions demand an amp that not only reveals the details and nuance of your playing but also sounds great—so great that it makes you want to practice more and become the best guitarist you can.
A stomp box may seem like an insignificant item in the history of rock and roll, but it’s hard to imagine how some of the greatest songs of the Seventies and Eighties would have sounded without the influential role of MXR pedals.