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Nils Lofgren

Nils Lofgren’s resumé stretches 47 years and counting. He joined Neil Young’s band at age 19 and was a member of Crazy Horse before his own band, Grin, landed a record deal in 1971. After Grin, he forged a solo career and in ’84 joined Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. His tenure with ... ...

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Van Wilks

Texas-born guitarist/vocalist Van Wilks’ first new album in a decade, 21st Century Blues, is full of loud Texas tones. Born in Galveston, he grew up in Lubbock and Brownwood, “…and I’m still growing up in Austin!” he laughed. In 1964, Wilks’ father and uncle bought him a Tulio guitar and Alamo amplifier (with a Jensen alnico ... ...

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Joe Stump

Metal virtuoso Joe Stump believes Ritchie Blackmore, Uli Jon Roth, and Michael Schenker form the holy trinity of European metal guitar. And he should know. Not only has he built a long career creating incendiary music, he’s a Professor at The Berklee College of Music. His latest album, The Dark Lord Rises, is a heartfelt ... ...

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Ray Cummins

Chester and Lester were enamored of his talent. Moreover, they called Ray Cummins a friend, and his journey includes turning adversity into a career as one of the country’s more-respected guitar soloists. Though a modest guy, Cummins would have every right to boast of his amazing credentials. For starters, he’s enjoyed headline status at the ... ...

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Pat Rush

If the name “Pat Rush” doesn’t immediately ring a bell, the names of people he’s played with – Muddy Waters, Johnny Winter, James Cotton, Allman Brothers, Dr. John, Jeff Healey – certainly should. VG recently sat down with Rush to discuss his long career and some of the more incredible instruments in his collection. You ... ...

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Kurdt Vanderhoof

When it comes to thrash metal, the “Big 4” – Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, and Anthrax – get credit for popularizing the style. But there were other trailblazing bands at the dawn of thrash, including Metal Church. The band recently issued its 11th album, XI, which included a reunion with singer Mike Howe. We recently spoke ... ...

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Tony Valentino

Most fans of classic-rock radio know The Standells garage-punk classic “Dirty Water,” which was listed in Rolling Stone’s “Top 500 Songs That Shaped Rock Music.” The guitarist who created that recording’s iconic riff is still very active in music. Having just released a new single, “Late Night Radio,” with singer/songwriter Dan Markell, Tony Valentino is ... ...

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André Larson, National Music Museum Visionary, Dies at 74

Dr. André P. Larson, founding director of the National Music Museum, died March 24. He was 74. Born in Minnesota to music educator/bandleader/instrument collector Arne B. and Jeanne (Kay) Larson, André grew up in Brookings, South Dakota, and as a high-school student was active in the All-State Band and All-State Orchestra. After graduating in 1960, he ... ...

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Gibson’s Crest Models

Gibson has produced two guitars bearing the “Crest” name. While both designs date to the 1960s, they’re very different instruments. The first incarnation was a single-cutaway with design ties to the L-5CT, while the second looked more like a fancy ES-335 with a shortened neck. In almost every way – size, construction materials, appointments, and ... ...

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Mod Squad

Bear with us for a moment as we get technical. As electronics textbooks explain it, a modulation effect is one that varies the pitch, intensity, frequency, amplitude, phase, or other characteristic of an electromagnetic wave. In guitar-speak, this simply means a stompbox that messes up your sound so it’s way cool – think tremolo, vibrato, ... ...

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