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Articles by Michael Ross

AJ Ghent’s Stand-Up Steel

August 13, 2015
From sanctified beginnings to high-energy secular soul, this steel guitarist forged his own way.
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Richard Thompson: The Incomparable Alchemist

June 25, 2015
The iconoclastic virtuoso revisits his roots on a new album produced by Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy.
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Forgotten Heroes: Pops Staples

June 23, 2015
The gospel guitarist who took his tremolo-shaken country blues from Sunday mass to the masses.
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Pedal to the Metal: A Short History of the Pedal Steel Guitar

February 17, 2015
Trace the evolution of the planet’s most mechanical—and for some, most mysterious—stringed instrument.
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Bill Frisell: To the Great Beyond

October 30, 2014
With his inventive touch, the prolific guitarist takes his latest musical exploration, Guitar in the Space Age, back to the future.
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Forgotten Heroes: Curtis Mayfield

October 6, 2014
Explore the life, music, and legacy of the ’60s soul and funk pioneer.
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Forrest Custom Guitars DB Boost B and G Bender Review

September 2, 2014
Double-bender T-style delivers seemingly infinite tones and textures.
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Forgotten Heroes: Bruce Langhorne

June 9, 2014
You may not know his name, but “Mr. Tambourine Man” helped pioneer ’60s folk-rock with his amplified Martin flattop.
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Joe Satriani: Outside the Box

April 15, 2014
With a new autobiography and a 15-disc box set chronicling his musical past, the silver surfer reveals how he learned to really play.
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The Codependent Guitarist: The Art of Being a Sideman

March 25, 2014
Seasoned players explain how to succeed as a supporting guitarist.
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Spoiled Guitarists: That Guitar Costs How Much?!

February 10, 2014
Are guitarists spoiled or lucky?
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Builder Profile: XAct Tone Solutions

August 22, 2013
Greg Walton and Barry O’Neal of the Nashville-based pedal outfit talk about the stompboxes and effect systems they’ve built for Tom Petty, Oz Noy, Keith Urban, and other top players.
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Interview: Josh Smith: Artist vs. Demo Artist

August 12, 2013
How the L.A.-based bluesman balances demo videos, sessions, tours, and a rejuvenated solo career.
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Builder Profile: Visual Sound

May 11, 2013
As a teenager, Bob Weil taught himself how to build stompboxes by disassembling off-the-rack pedals and adding the features he wanted. Before long, he was coming up with his own designs and taking them to industry trade shows. Then he enlisted the help of DIY pedal guru R.G. Keen, and the two came up with their now-famous line of stompboxes that fall somewhere between boutique and mainstream.
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Builder Profile: Bob Bradshaw

February 4, 2013
In the early 1980s, Bob Bradshaw paired his engineering skills with his passion for music and guitars. Before long, he was one of the most talked-about and sought-after builders of amp- and effects-switching systems on the planet—a tech to stars like Eddie Van Halen, Steve Vai, Mike Landau, Steve Lukather, and countless others.
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