Is the “monkey grip” the pinnacle of superstrat design aesthetics? Is this still the coolest we've got, folks? The definition of superstrat still seems to be an S-type guitar with a humbucker in the bridge configured to HSH, HSS, HH or just the H … plus a Floyd or Kahler locking trem system. Did I leave out anything?
Who’s the “Most Interesting Man in the World”? Is it really the Dos Equis beer guy? Naahhh! It could be guitar builder Boaz Elkayam! The highly respected luthier and musician travels the world, sometimes by motorcycle, building stringed instruments to support traveling the world for the purpose of meeting other luthiers and discovering more methods, materials and building techniques, in spite of language barriers and other cultural differences.
When the Rev. Billy Gibbons isn’t playing a Gretsch Billy-Bo or a Pearly clone on the road, there's no telling what the Texas guitar connoisseur might be sportin’! A short YouTube clip from a July 2011 show in France features Billy with a sexy T-type by TAO Guitars of Brussels, Belgium. The El Mirage axe is a one-off guitar for Gibbons springing from TAO’s T-Bucket platform, a sort of space-age, George Jetson, retro-modern T-type interpretation.
The youngest of four guitar-playing brothers, all of whom play lefty and upside-down, Eric Gales was a fretboard monster early on, raised on a healthy diet of Jimi Hendrix via his older siblings. Before the mainstream successes of Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Joe Bonamassa, Derek Trucks, Jonny Lang, John Mayer and others of his generation, Gales, aka “Raw Dog,” was jamming with gods like Shawn Lane and Carlos Santana and getting interviewed by Arsenio Hall.
Guitar Zero: The New Musician and the Science of Learning is a recent book release by Gary Marcus, an author and MIT-educated cognitive psychology research professor who teaches at New York University.
Matt Nowicki of North Carolina-based Red Rocket Guitars is the one-man show behind his line of Atomic Retro Customs, and he's a featured luthier at Destroy All Guitars. You've gotta visit both sites and check out the very cool guitars Matt builds. He goes waaay beyond the typical F-type bolt-ons of so many small shops these days, as you'll discover. Fans of retro Sci-fi art are also in for a treat!
Michelle Kath Sinclair, daughter of the late great Terry Kath, is seeking financial assistance to complete a documentary film about her father. Terry was a guitarist and founding member of the band Chicago. His guitar skills were praised early on by Jimi Hendrix.
Sexy Euro Strats just make sense! And more than a few European builders are getting into it these days. Luthiers Thomas Orgler and Klaus Eiken craft solid-body electric instruments with the same old-world attention they put into their classical guitar building.
Usually I’m not a fan of over-ornamented and over-inlayed guitars composed of a dozen different woods. But since the Temples of Syrinx will soon require that all guitars be made from recycled Prius battery casings, let’s take a moment to appreciate how far we’ve gotten with tree flesh.
The fresh buzz around my networks this week includes the hook-up of an indie fusion guitar phenom with an exciting new Euro guitar brand. Those not yet familiar with Bryan Baker or Magneto Guitars can discover them now.