Premier Guitar features affiliate links to help support our content. We may earn a commission on any affiliated purchases.

Hannah Wicklund & the Steppin Stones: "Ghost" Song Premiere

Hannah Wicklund plays custom Tom Anderson guitars, like this Drop Top Classic S-style, through an Orange half-stack.

At it for a decade, this young blues-slinger’s self-titled new album marks a musical coming-of-age for the bandleader. Listen to the exclusive premiere of her new single, “Ghost.”

A bandleader since the age of 9, guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter Hannah Wicklund is no newcomer to the music industry. Today, as frontwoman of her blues/alt-rock trio Hannah Wicklund & the Steppin Stones, the 20-year-old’s stage presence and guitar playing is pure voltage. But with the release of her new self-titled album, she feels as though she’s reached a benchmark. “I’ve been putting out music with the band since I was 12. I feel like for the first time, I was able to draw from my life completely,” she says. “I feel like my life finally caught up.”

That personal touch is certainly felt on “Ghost,” a Premier Guitar exclusive song premiere and the second single off the album, which drops in late January. Wicklund’s scarlet-toned vocals drip over a steady blues-rock groove punctuated by gnawing electric guitar—which echoes the songwriter’s bitter resentment towards the titular “ghost” that haunts her. “A house made with love, but I burned it down,” she sings with cool contempt. Halfway through, the song’s edge transforms with ominous vocal harmonies, and Wicklund exercises that contempt with a short yet incisive solo that expresses it in a way the lyrics can’t.

As a listener, Wicklund’s head is buried in the classics. Rockers from the ’60s and ’70s such as Jeff Beck, Tom Petty, and Fleetwood Mac speak proudly through her musical penmanship over the course of her new album. Its wide range of sounds span aggressive, overdriven power chords to introspective acoustic fingerpicking. Capturing raw authenticity in the studio was a guiding force for the recording process, which Wicklund says wrapped in just a week. Look for our full feature interview with Hannah Wicklund & the Steppin Stones in the near future. In the meantime, you can visit their homepage to learn more about the powerhouse singer/songwriter and her trio, along with current tour dates.

YouTube It

Check out Hannah Wicklund and her band the Steppin Stones in action on “Bomb Through the Breeze,” another track from her upcoming release.

The Return of Johnny Cash—John Carter Cash Interview
The Return of Johnny Cash—John Carter Cash Interview on Johnny’s New Songwriter Album

The Man in Black returns with the unreleased Songwriter album. John Carter Cash tells us the story.

Read MoreShow less

John Bohlinger puts an AI tool to the test—and finds a dog that says meow.

The AI driven paradigm shift is upon us, and it’s happening much quicker than we anticipated. You’ve undoubtedly seen AI make amazing stuff, but I was shocked when I checked out AI songwriting site suno.com. When prompted, I typed: “An acoustic-rock-style song. Dog is a compassionate counselor to humans but secretly a serial killer.”

Read MoreShow less

Frank’s Guyatone LG-60 features an old Bigsby and alternate headstock shape, along with single-coil pickups that look sort of like humbuckers.

In the midst of his explorations of Japanese guitar culture, our columnist stumbled upon a vintage collector who also happens to be part of the Pokémon design team.

So, how many of you know about Pokémon, the popular video-game and card series? I missed out on the initial Pokémon craze of the ’90s, and its continuation while I later was toiling my way through college, but when my son was in kindergarten around 2016, we started to play Pokémon Go—another game in the Pokémon series—on my smartphone.

Read MoreShow less

As he approaches his 80th year, Chris Smither remains a potent songwriter and guitarist whose work is truly timeless—carved from experience and a deep perspective into the human condition.

Photo by Jo Chattman

The veteran fingerstylist and songwriter—who’s had his songs covered by Bonnie Raitt, Emmylou Harris, and others—ponders the existential while celebrating the earthly. He also talks about the trajectory of his six-decades-long career, and how he learned to stop doing what’s unnecessary.

Now well into his sixth decade as a performer, with more than 20 albums behind him, singer-songwriter Chris Smither is doing some of his finest work. His vivid lyrics and resonant baritone on his new recording, All About the Bones, are elevated by his inimitable guitar style.

Read MoreShow less