Holiday Gear Finds 2022
Looking for more great gear for the guitar player in your life (yourself included!)? Check out this year's Holiday Gear Finds!
The J-45 is Gibson's best-selling acoustic of all time. Nicknamed "The Workhorse" and first introduced in 1942, this iconic acoustic has become the cornerstone of its round-shoulder, dreadnought line. World-renowned for its full, balanced expression, warm bass, and excellent projection, the J-45 has been refined to carry this legacy to new heights. The Gibson J-45 50s Faded delivers full-spectrum sound with incredible dynamic range, warm mids, and tight, punchy bass. Now available with a faded satin nitrocellulose lacquer finish that accentuates the guitar's vintage vibe and equipped with a modern LR Baggs pickup and electronics package for studio and stage use. A hardshell case is also included.
The PRS SE Standard 24-08 is a mahogany-body workhorse guitar with powerful humbucking and true single-coil tones in one instrument. Its PRS TCI “S” pickups are paired with a 3-way toggle switch and two mini-toggle coil split switches that individually split the humbuckers into true single coils for a total of eight pickup configurations. Players can enjoy two full octaves thanks to the 24-fret, 25” scale length rosewood fretboard and wide thin maple neck, and the PRS patented, molded tremolo gives players added flexibility and control over their playing. With sonic range and rock-solid reliability, the PRS SE Standard 24-08 will keep you playing without compromise.
Explore new guitar voicings and open tunings with the new Kaepo™, Gruv Gear's creative tuning guitar capo! Removable fretting pads can be set to any combination for nearly unlimited possibilities. Move the Kaepo quickly up and down the fretboard like a regular capo, without any tedious clamping or setup. Adjust the 7 individual fretting pads without any tools. Kaepo is also compatible with Gruv Gear's new Twistune™ rechargeable color tuner, for quick and convenient tuning on-the-fly. Works with most 6- and 7-string acoustic and electric guitars.
The Gruv Gear Kaepo is available on its own or bundled with the new Twistune tuner. Combine two or more Kaepos to open up even more tuning creativity!
The FlyBy Ultra comes packed with sleek upgrades while keeping the break-away laptop bag design of the original FlyBy. New features include an ultra-tough 1680D Ballistic Nylon exterior, reflective trim for visibility, waterproof zipper tape and new, larger compartments. The FlyBy Ultra also brings ergonomics to the next level with a luggage pass-through, and upgraded straps.
This is the tour pack that DJs and digital creators around the world carry and swear by. Get ready for the ultimate creator experience.
JBL 3 Series MKII powered studio monitors make JBL performance available to every studio. The JBL Image Control Waveguide and refined transducers offer stunning detail, precise imaging, a wide sweet-spot and dynamic range that enhances the capabilities of any workspace. Featuring patented technologies derived from the JBL 7 Series and M2 Master Reference Monitors and, sporting a sleek, modern design, JBL 3 Series delivers outstanding performance and an enjoyable mix experience at an accessible price. Special sale pricing begins Thanksgiving day with the 305PMKII at $109 EA, 306PMKII at $149 EA, 308PMKII at $199 EA, and the LSR310S subwoofer at $299.
Oh no! Stripped a tiny screw on your favorite guitar? Or even worse, scratched your guitar when the wrong screwdriver slipped? Never have that awful feeling again. StewMac has put together the ULTIMATE screwdriver set for every guitar owner. They tracked down all of those tiny specialty and hard to find bits—and we added a few of their favorite problem solvers. The StewMac Guitar Tech Screwdriver Set replaces a whole drawer full of bulky tools with exactly what you need. The set includes 36 essential bits for guitars, basses, and more, plus an easy-grip handle and extender. The included compact hard case is spill-proof and easily fits in your toolbox or guitar case (it’s a must-have for gigs). You won't find this at any hardware store—it’s only at StewMac.
Xvive’s U2, U3 and U4 wireless systems make going wireless easy, reliable and affordable, all with high-fidelity 24-bit/48kHz sound! They all recharge with any 5V USB power source, broadcast over a range of up to 90 feet, and have an imperceptible 5 ms of latency.
U2 Guitar Wireless System is the go-to plug-and-play solution for guitarists and bassists, giving you five hours of trouble-free wireless freedom on a single charge.
The U3 Microphone Wireless System turns any dynamic microphone into a wireless mic, in seconds. It can also be used to replace an XLR cable in other applications—for example between a mixer and a powered speaker cabinet!
The U4 In-Ear Monitor Wireless System gives you a beltpack receiver for your in-ears or earphones and a transmitter to connect to the mixer; up to six musicians can use the system at a time, even with separate monitor mixes.
For more info on these and other Xvive products, visit www.xvive.com and Play Free!
Engineered for great tone and long life, our proprietary, featherweight coating keeps strings sounding and feeling new for longer. Tone-killing elements like corrosion, dirt, oil, and sweat are no match for Elixir® Strings.
Our Phosphor Bronze with NANOWEB® Coating is rich and full-bodied with sparkling high-end clarity and a smooth feel.
See a line up of all of our acoustic guitar strings here - https://www.elixirstrings.com/guitar-strings#acoustic
Revolutionary Design and Features:
Optimize your pedalboard layout with durable, snug fitting, strong and lightweight risers. Tailor your pedalboard to fit your stompbox collection and your style of playing!
Space Saving, Easy Wire Routing:
Our riser footprint is virtually the same as the pedal for which it was designed. Whether it's Boss, Wampler, Strymon, MXR, Ibanez, Electro Harmonix, Walrus, Earthquaker Devices, TC Electronic, JHS or any of the popular pedals, our risers take up no more space than the pedal itself. An added benefit of the Elephant Foot design is the ease with which you can route signal and power cables. There's plenty of space under each riser and multiple attachment points for tie-wraps.
Unique Features of Elephant Foot Risers
• Strong yet lightweight
• Cables route easily underneath
• Anchor point for tie wraps
• Hidden screw holes for a super-strong connection to either wood or metal pedalboards
• Works with hook & loop, cloth cable ties or tie wraps
• Unique Pedal "Frames" for your first row of pedals
• Risers can be customized
• 3D printed from eco-friendly PLA
Available in seven standard colors and custom colors available on request.
Benefits of Elephant Foot Risers
• No more accidental pedal stomps
• No annoying pedal wobble when stomping
• No more sloppy pedalboards
• Optimized Pedalboard layouts
• Easy, neat cable routing
• Custom riser sizes available in multiple colors
• Preserve resale value of pedals
D'Addario XPND Pedalboard
XPND is the pedalboard that adapts to you. With XPND's patented telescoping technology, you can easily adjust the length of the board to add, subtract, and rearrange pedals how you want, when you want.
The original Cloudlifter® Mic Activator® adds tons of ultra-clean gain to dynamic and ribbon microphones and are the perfect stocking-friendly gift for any musician (or yourself)! Made in the USA. Get Lifted. Get Gifted!
The Horus-WB-FX is the latest model to be developed within the popular Caparison Horus range.
This newly designed fixed bridge version features a carefully considered body construction featuring a Walnut top and an Australian Blackwood back. This unique fusion produces a full rounded tone with a sweet emphasis on the upper mids ensuring clarity, focus and a distinct separation of notes, even with the most extreme gain-saturated down tunings.
When combined with an upgraded Caparison designed, sustain rich, high mass bridge (which effortlessly copes with a myriad of acute tunings and string gauges) Jescar jumbo stainless steel Frets and a specifically designed set of Caparison pickups, the Horus-WB-FX is more than capable of producing arena filling rock tones or creating more subdued, distinctively rich and bell like cleans.
The Horus-WB-FX plays like an absolute dream and features all of the beautiful aesthetic qualities that you have come to expect from Caparison Guitars. The striking body design is complimented by three stunning new finishes and also comes with a choice of either an Ebony or Maple fret board..
The Woman Tone is Aclam’s tribute to Eric Clapton’s amazing sound during his Cream era. The sound that turned him into a god. An accurate approach to the unique tone he attained with a simple yet effective combination of a P.A.F equipped Gibson and 100W Marshall stacks all the way up.
- Eric Clapton's Cream Sound in a box:
Aclam has distilled and bottled in a stompbox the key elements that shaped Eric’s rig. Reproduce his unique rhythmic and solo tones, fine-tuned using both live and studio recordings of Cream.
- Artwork by The Fool's Guitar artist: Marijke koger:
Responsible for the psychedelic decoration of Clapton’s Gibson SG nicknamed “The Fool”, Marijke has created a unique artistic interpretation of the Woman Tone that looks stunning!
- Custom humbucker pickup simulation circuit & tone control:
A pickup simulation circuit emulating the tonal characteristics of a P.A.F style pickup has been incorporated to reproduce the “Woman Tone”. With its buffered input, the guitar signal won’t be affected. Use compressors, fuzzes or whatever effect you want in front of the Woman Tone, and it will retain its tonal characteristics.
- Touch sensitive plexi-inspired overdrive using discrete components:
Inspired by Clapton’s 100W full stacks it results in a powerful overdrive with a great British character! Designed having blues-rock in mind, it will perfectly suit any guitar player seeking a vintage tone!
A hot new gear company from Canada, Templo Devices jumped on the scene with their flagship lithium-battery powered amp aimed at electric guitarists.
Focused on creating problem-solving products with tonal excellence, they've since released several small-batch pedals with wide appeal. Including SPLYCE, a versatile mini-mixer for using a microphone with a guitar rig, the atmospheric TRIPLO modulation pedal and the REEL DEAL tape preamp, as well as their exciting upcoming release, the Pocket Studio Compressor. There is always something exciting coming from this northern innovator.
With plenty of great deals for the holiday season, they have a little something for everyone.
Meet the Taylor GS Mini, one of the world's most popular acoustic guitars: a smaller body and a compact feel with a big, bold tone that punches far above its size. Based on a scaled-down version of our Grand Symphony body shape, GS Mini guitars boast solid tops and a variety of tonewood options serving up different flavors of vibrant acoustic tone. The GS Mini family is also home to the GS Mini Bass, a super-compact four-string acoustic bass with a slinky feel and a punchy response. Whether you're looking for a campfire guitar, a songwriting tool or just a great-sounding acoustic that's up for anything, the GS Mini has you covered.
DR-05X Stereo Handheld Recorder
The TASCAM DR-05X stereo handheld recorder is a great-sounding portable recording solution with helpful workflow options. Use the TASCAM DR-05X's built-in omnidirectional condenser microphones to capture vibrant stereo recordings anywhere, anytime. Use Auto Recording mode to automatically engage recording when audio signals reach a certain level. Use the Overwrite function to make easy punch-in audio replacements. Or use the TASCAM DR-05X as a 2-input/2-output USB audio interface with your Mac or PC. Whatever your portable 2-channel recording needs are, the TASCAM DR-05X has you covered. It's a fantastic and easy way to record your ideas, rehearsals, or gigs. Simply remove the SD card and pop it into your computer and send your song ideas to bandmates or collaborators. It's small enough to take with you everywhere and fits easily in a guitar case or small bag.
The cardioid MD 421 has been one of Sennheiser’s most popular dynamic microphones for decades. The large-diaphragm, dynamic capsule handles high sound pressure levels, making it a natural for recording guitars and drums. The MD 421's full-bodied cardioid pattern and five-position bass control make it an excellent choice for most instruments, as well as group vocals or radio broadcast announcers. One listen and you'll know why it’s a classic.
Every once in a while, a product comes out that makes you go “Wait… WHAT?!?!”. Well, those words are music to our ears! This game-changing pedalboard allows you to power all your pedals, including pedals that need isolation and different voltages, with a single power source. Yep, either our rechargeable battery or AC adapter fires up all your pedals without additional power bricks. No more Velcro carpet to rip pedals off! You can literally change pedals on the fly. But the flexibility of EARTHBOARD doesn’t end there – Our Lifeline Tether carries power off the board to connect a WAH, or daisy-chain multiple EARTHBOARDs together. EARTHBOARD comes in 2 sizes: double row (holds 12 standard size pedals) and single row (holds 6 standard size pedals). They are available as Complete Pedalboard Systems (includes all necessary components to play) or as a Build-a-Board and "ala cart" accessories!
See video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S3iwDgLnN6w&t=8s
The Nobels ODR-1(bc) has bass cut, 9-18 volt input, and glow-in-the-dark knobs. The ODR-1 is rated the best overdrive by Nashville studio guitarists and creates a natural, tube-amp style overdrive that is versatile, amp-like, and affordable. The ODR-1 has been on the market for over 30 years and remains the number one choice. Creates crunchy rock and blues sounds or extra boost for soloing without smothering the natural character of your guitar's tone. The Spectrum controls optimizes tones from single coil chime to powerful humbucker rock. When adjusting the Spectrum control up or down the circuit ensures you have plenty of clarity and full dynamic range.
Bass cut switch
Solid metal chassis
Nobel's remote control jack switching system
German Engineering. Made in China.
Click here for Audio Clips
Modeled after Orangewood’s full-size Oliver guitar, the Oliver Jr. is a scaled-down version of Orangewood’s best-selling grand concert model. But don’t let the small body fool you. Sporting a beautiful, woodsy solid mahogany top, this junior guitar sings a bold and bright tone that’s easy to love. Whether you’re looking for your new travel companion or simply want a compact guitar to live near your couch, you can’t go wrong with this perfect-sized guitar.
Prefer a full-size model? This holiday season, every Orangewood guitar includes a professional set up and free shipping right to your door with a premium gig bag included. Plus, get extended holiday returns until January 31st. That’s over 60 days of commitment-free playing, so you can gift a guitar that they’re sure to love.
Jump straight in and explore 100 presets, the CODE50 has all you need to start performing and recording with. 50W of power that’s portable enough for you to practice at home or in the garage. Sync with your phone or online so it’s always with you for those creative moments. This fully digital amp is loaded with 14 MST preamps, 4 MST power amps and 8 MST speaker cabinets for you to create sounds that suit you. Using the Gateway App you can connect via Bluetooth to control CODE and stream music from your iOS or Android device. MyMarshall has a global library of user presets that you can upload to and download.
Catalyst® 100 is a 100-watt, dual-channel 1x12 combo amplifier that performs like a traditional guitar amp—while providing the increased versatility of a modern amp. Catalyst 100 offers six Original Amp Designs—ranging from pristine clean to modern high-gain—crafted using our renowned HX® sound design techniques to ensure exceptional tone and feel. Ideal for stage or studio.
• 100-watt, dual-channel 1x12 combo amp (with optional LFS2 footswitch)
• Catalyst 100 operates like a traditional amp—but provides increased versatility
• 6 Original Amp Designs—pristine clean to modern high-gain
• Dedicated Boost and Reverb sections (6 reverb types), 18 Effects (3 types)
• Power attenuator (half power, 0.5 watts, Mute) for reduced volume
• XLR line output for pro connection to P.A. or recording devices
• Effects loop and Power Amp input for integrating external devices
• MIDI In via DIN connector
Every Tool You Need in One Acoustic Pedal
We created the Venue DI so you can travel light, set up fast, and sound incredible anywhere you plug in. The Venue DI gives you complete control by combining a full-isolation DI output, 5-band EQ with adjustable low & hi-mid bands, variable clean boost, and chromatic tuner all in one acoustic pedal. With its all-discrete signal path, hi-graded semiconductors, and exclusive use of audiophile grade film capacitors, the Venue DI is on par with the world’s elite preamps and provides a studio quality sound for the stage.
The LP-6 V2 is Kali's best-selling studio monitor, and it's made its mark in studios across the globe ranging from humble home setups to state-of-the-art recording facilities.
Kali's innovative 3-D imaging waveguides create a crystal-clear stereo image, and also help the speakers to perform their best in challenging acoustic spaces. Kali-programmed boundary EQs take this a step further, tailoring the sound of the speaker for its placement on stands, on a desk, or close to walls.
With accuracy and translation at the forefront, the LP-6 delivers transparent, full sound that gives you a complete picture of your mix. Whatever you mix on the LP-6, you can be sure that it will translate nicely to other speakers, earbuds and headphones, car systems, or whatever else your listeners are using for playback.
The H90 Harmonizer® is Eventide's next-generation multi-effects pedal. Whether you want high-quality bread and butter effects or experimental sounds unheard, the H90 has everything you need to inspire your creativity with an intuitive UI designed with players in mind. Discover why top artists and producers have chosen Eventide through the years with 62 effect algorithms and hundreds of Program combinations curated for a variety of instruments and genres. With its comprehensive I/O and flexible routing options, the H90 is designed to be the heart of your rig.
Wilkinson's R series range of pickups are the result of Trev Wilkinson's years of creating and listening to thousands of pickups. Time spent with legendary and iconic individuals such as Seth Lover and Leo Fender, with whom Trev questioned about all aspects of sound, construction materials and production methods. All this combined knowledge has been the template for the R Series range of pickups, a pickup range Trev is proud to place his signature on, and say " These are the finest pickups Wilkinson has produced in the history of the company".
Featuring Single Coil's for both S and T style guitars, P90 and Humbucker models, the R Series has era specific models to capture the tone and vibe of the time and the players that influenced generations of players and Hybrid designs to influence future players.
For a limited time only, get two FREE expansion packs with the purchase of a five-piece guitar rack. Showcase your collection while safely and securely storing seven to ten guitars. The Hercules GS525BP-HA205 is covered with Specially Formulated Foam rubber at all contact points and features a one-piece design that sets up and tears down easily. The guitar yoke is designed for acoustic, electric, and bass guitars with four pick slots on each yoke. This special pack comes with a total of seven guitar yokes leaving room to expand to ten. Available while supplies last.
Ultimate DSP 2 channel noise reduction pedal. Patented technology that will remove the 50Hz or 60Hz and all associated hum harmonic components with total transparency. Combined with the patented Decimator G technology and dynamic sliding low pass filter, the Hum Extractor is the pinnacle of noise reduction technology. The Hum Extractor technology is dynamic in operation which compares the level of the audio signal to the hum harmonic components. Dynamically removes hum components when they become dominant. Made in the USA.
Click here for video
With the multi-touch display integrated with HILAVA OS, the LAVA ME 3 provides easy access to play and customize tons of built-in effects and loops.
Comprising eleven of Brian Wampler’s favorite delays, the Wampler Metaverse is a full-featured, small-footprint multi delay stomp box that is fully programmable, preset capable, has stereo inputs and outputs, allows full MIDI control, and has an expression input that you can assign to ANY of the parameters. The Metaverse also comes with a software version of the pedal via a set of 11 AU and VST3 plugins compatible with most popular DAWs - FREE to all customers that register their Metaverse online.
• Studio quality conversion 48 kHz Sampling rate with 24-bit audio
• Full 20Hz to 20kHz frequency response
• 11 Studio-quality vintage and modern delay effects
• Simple user interface
• All parameters controllable via an outboard expression pedal
• 8 onboard preset locations to save your favorite patches, 128 total via MIDI
• Full MIDI control with CC and PC commands
• Stereo or Mono I/O
Gator's Transit Series acoustic gig bags provide rugged case-like protection without sacrificing the lightweight portability of a bag. The red soft-lined interior and thick foam padding safeguard your guitar from drops and bumps, just like a regular case. A weather-resistant blended fabric exterior protects against the elements and features backpack straps, each with a concealable zipper pocket to switch between backpacking and briefcase carry modes. So for the gear you love the most, Guard it with Gator.
Experience exceptional clarity and articulation in a Filter’Tron format with Lindy’s unique Fralin’Tron design. Featuring a focused single-coil vibe with a rich, warm midrange and crisp attack, you’ll wonder where this pickup has been all your life. When Lindy started designing the Fralin’Tron, he did so with a particular goal: to get as much clarity and articulation as possible out of this design.We’re thrilled with the result! Our Fralin’Tron features a scooped midrange and defined bass and highs. In addition, you can expect more nuance out of the wound strings, unlike the original design. Furthermore, the treble strings have a round, warm quality, making our Fralin’Tron perfect for all styles of music – from clean to dirty. Lastly, this pickup features a dynamic and punchy attack that gives you back what you put into it.
The DL-225 is handcrafted exclusively from all mahogany, producing a warm and brilliant sound. The soundboard of the DL-225 features a vintage bracing pattern resulting in outstanding projection and tone with brilliant highs, strong midrange and subtle but full bass. The DL-225 has an extremely bright and dynamic sound. This guitar has the sound of a large body guitar. In a fingerpicking demonstration comparison we did with a name brand dreadnought the DL-225 was +3 dB louder.
Its smaller size and depth make the DL-225 a very comfortable guitar to play.
Click here for video and audio examples
Wampler Pedals Ratsbane
If you are looking for a single pedal solution with multiple degrees of gain from light overdrive to full out saturated fuzz tones, then you’ll surely love the Ratsbane. The Ratsbane is based on a true benchmark sound amongst guitarists that has been heard on thousands of famous recordings.
In typical Wampler fashion, Brian improved the circuit’s flexibility by adding two new switches. The Gain switch offers three distinct choices. In the middle gives you the “stock” gain for this pedal. The left position offers a firm, yet smooth boost in gain, whereas the right delivers an insane level of creamy distortion. The Voice switch subtly alters the compression and clipping of this pedal. It tightens the distortion to be more manageable with greater levels of gain, while rolling back some of the fuzz qualities, to deliver a modern, high gain distortion.
Click here for video clips
Its 38-watt output, powered by a quartet of EL84 tubes, is designed to provide lots of headroom and response for discerning players.
The original idea behind Jet Black was to bring the Black Cat’s trademark sound to players who needed more volume. With a second pair of EL-84s doubling its output, common sense suggested it’d be louder and tighter, but no one was quite prepared for the tones the Jet Black would unleash.
Unleash Your Creativity with the Jet Black
The Jet Black offers guitarists an unrestrained and visceral playing experience. Its 38-watt output, powered by a quartet of EL84 tubes, provides awesome headroom and response for discerning players. With two channels, tremolo, FX loop and reverb, the Jet Black is an ultra-versatile tool for shaping your sound.
Channel 1: The revamped first channel is bold and clear, making it perfect for clean tones and harmonically rich edge of breakup sounds.
Channel 2: The second channel is versatile and fresh, suitable for a wide range of rock-oriented tones. It successfully captures the essence of classic and modern guitar sounds, boasting its own unique character and swagger.
3-Band EQ: The new 3-band EQ allows precise control over your tone, with a pronounced mid/high response that cuts through the mix, unlike traditional "British Voice" amplifiers, the Jet Black carves its own niche in the sonic spectrum, ensuring that it shines in a two-guitar band setup without contributing to a volume war.
Reverb and Tremolo: Rarely found on rock-oriented amps, meticulously tuned reverb and tremolo circuits are included to complement the amplifier's ultra-wide range, delivering lush and noise-free effects with adjustable depth and speed.
FX Loop and Line Out: The Jet Black features a transparent FX Loop for connecting external effects without hassle. A line out simplifies the use of external impulse responses or re-amping. The amplifier also offers various speaker outputs to accommodate different setups.
Footswitch: The included two-button footswitch provides convenient control over the tremolo and channel selection.
The Bad Cat Jet Black amplifier will be available from, November 21, 2023, through select Bad Cat dealers and online retailers.
For more information, please visit badcatamps.com.
There are still special places where the heart of American music beats like a kick drum. Experience them while you can, and be inspired.
Since the ’80s, I’ve spent a lot of time traveling to the obscure corners where great American roots music is made. Recently, I went to Bentonia, Mississippi, for the 75th anniversary of the Blue Front Cafe, a little juke joint so close to the railroad tracks that its walls shake when the City of New Orleans rumbles by. The place is run by Jimmy “Duck” Holmes, who inherited it from his parents. He was 1 year old when they opened its doors, and, at 76, Jimmy takes great pride in unlocking those same blue doors every day.
According to the 2020 census, there are 318 people in Bentonia. I would imagine all of them have been to the Blue Front, which, based on my two days there listening to local and regional musicians play on a plywood stage in the dirt and gravel lot surrounding the club, seems to be a nexus of community. Sure, there were tourists like me, including some from Maine and Japan, but many of the locals I encountered spoke about how they’ve been coming to Jimmy’s club for years—decades, even—for music and friendship. One patron told me he had his first beer at the Blue Front. Another got married there, right by the interior window to the kitchen, where you order catfish or cheeseburgers.
Stepping inside, the place has the funky furnishings you’d expect from a rural juke, right down to a jar of pickled pigs’ feet on the bar. But it also has a positive vibe. The crowd is racially mixed, and some patrons are gay and out, and nobody cares. The Blue Front is a place to hang out and be yourself.
“The place has the funky furnishings you’d expect from a rural juke, right down to a jar of pickled pigs’ feet on the bar.”
Of course, the future of the Blue Front is uncertain. It needs a new roof, and, at Jimmy’s age, the day will come when it also needs a new operator. What happens then, or if funds for the roof can’t be raised, is a question mark. Meanwhile, the club stands as a beacon of music history, past and present. It’s where Henry Stuckey and Skip James traded licks, and where both men indoctrinated Jimmy in the style known as Bentonia blues. That genre is the result of Stuckey learning open-minor-key tunings from Bahamian servicemen during World War I, and incorporating them into the sounds of home—then teaching his music to Skip James, who remains the style’s most famous exponent. (Check out James’ “Devil Got My Woman” for a case of the Bentonia willies.) Rarely can we point to a single town, let alone a single place, where a distinctive musical style ignited and was nurtured, to eventually reach the world. Bentonia and the Blue Front are such a place.
Earlier this year, the Blues Foundation presented Jimmy with a Keeping the Blues Alive award. It was a long overdue acknowledgement of all the sweat and heart he has put into making the Blue Front the longest operating juke joint in Mississippi—and possibly the U.S. Keeping the blues alive is something he does at the Blue Front every day, in the most practical way possible, without fanfare, advertising, or the expectation of awards. And as Stuckey and James did for him, Jimmy is passing the music to a new generation of players for whom the lonesome sound of Bentonia blues resonates.
For gas money and maybe a couple days on the road, or a flight and a car rental, you can go to the Blue Front, too. Or to Clarksdale, Mississippi, where the sound of unvarnished blues still rings out at places like Red’s Lounge, the Delta Blues Alley Cafe, Hambone Art & Music, the Bluesberry Cafe, and Ground Zero Blues Club. Or to Wild Bill’s in Memphis. Or the Sahara Lounge in Austin, Texas, where blues, free jazz, and African music rub elbows. Or Kermit’s Treme Mother in Law Lounge, originally opened in New Orleans by R&B singer Ernie K-Doe and now owned by trumpeter and singer Kermit Ruffins.These places are unique to the ecosystem of American music. Without them, the enlightening, inspiring, and entertaining experiences people share within their walls would not exist. And they are all fragile—potentially one more pandemic, a fire, or some unanticipated expense from going away. So, if you’re making travel plans for 2024, why not put a trip to the Blue Front, or the Sahara, or any other bona fide musical wellspring you’re aware of, on your agenda? These are places where magic happens. You won’t regret the trip. And if you do stop at the Blue Front, tell Jimmy I said hello.
Positive Grid’s mighty mini amp has taken the world of practice—and stage—by storm. Here’s the lowdown on the original Spark amp, the Spark MINI, the Spark GO, the new Spark CAB, and the company’s flexible, tone-hopping controller. Most are sale-priced for the holidays.
The holiday season is upon us, and if you're on the quest to find the ultimate gift for the guitarist in your life, or perhaps you're treating yourself, look no further. We're about to take you on a journey through the world of Spark series amps – the gifts that sound right for any guitarist's wishlist. With numerous awards and an ever-growing community of over 500,000 players worldwide, these amps have certainly made their mark.
And the best part? Fantastic deals on Spark start now. There’s a Spark for every type of player (bassists included!) – so let’s find the one that fits you.
Spark - The Complete Jam Package
Let's kick things off with the Spark guitar amp and Bluetooth speaker – the trailblazer in the Spark series. This 40W practice amp doesn't just fill the room with incredible sound; it puts you in the driver's seat of your own tone. But what really makes Spark stand out is the incredibly powerful smart app that works seamlessly with the entire line of Spark series amps. Packed with all the gear and innovative smart features, it's your gateway to instant jamming fun. Looking for that perfect tone? You've got access to a whopping 50,000+ tones and custom presets created by guitarists worldwide to get you started. Plus, who needs bandmates when you've got Smart Jam? Just start playing, and the AI creates a real-time drum and bass track for you.We're just scratching the surface here. It's no wonder why over half a million guitarists worldwide are playing more guitar than ever with Spark, now completely customizable to fit your unique style. And don't forget to check out the official Traveler Gig Bag – a must-have for any Spark owner on the move.
Spark MINI - Portability Meets Power
For those who crave portability without compromising on power, meet the Spark MINI. Don’t let its size fool you. This 10W portable beast of an amp features a passive radiator that delivers unbelievable sound and punchy bass that’ll have you questioning why all amps aren’t this compact. And our favorite part – Spark MINI features a built-in rechargeable battery that provides up to 8 hours of jamming or music listening, perfect for impromptu jam sessions at the office, home, or anywhere that inspires you. Seriously, take it to the park or the beach; it's always ready to roll.
Spark MINI has even earned the praise of guitar legends like Zakk Wylde and Paul Gilbert, both of whom crafted their own limited-edition versions which, unfortunately for you, sold out. But don’t fret, they also created custom presets that can be downloaded for free in the Spark app and are available to all Spark users.
Spark GO - The Ultra-Portable Wonder
Ever wonder what it was like to have an amp on you…all the time? Spark GO is a 5W wonder so small it can slide right into your gig bag or suitcase without hogging precious space. In fact, you might even forget that you packed it in the first place! It’s the personal guitar amp that fits the unique style of every guitarist – regardless of skill level. Touring guitarists across the globe are falling head over heels for this tiny powerhouse, and for excellent reasons. They've discovered that not only does it deliver surprisingly big sound for an amp its size, but also the incredible convenience of Spark GO, turning hotel rooms and tour buses into impromptu jam spaces.
Just in time for the holidays, you can take home a Spark GO for under $100 USD. While you’re at it, pick up the new carrying case, to ensure your musical sidekick is well-protected from the rigors of the road.
Spark CAB - It's Time To Get Loud
Sometimes, you need that extra oomph in your sound, and that's where Spark CAB comes into play. It's not just about making your music louder; it's about making it shine. But make no mistake, this cab is LOUD! Designed for Spark amp owners hungry for more volume during live performances or jam sessions, Spark CAB is a 140W FRFR (Full Range, Flat Response) powered cabinet that perfectly complements any Spark series amp. Plus, it's great for cranking up the volume on other gear like keyboards, modelers, or even an extra amp with line level outs.
Spark Control - Elevate Your Spark Experience
Now that you’ve decided which Spark series amp works best for you (or the lucky person you’re gifting it to), it’s time to pair it up with the ultimate Spark accessory – Spark Control. It allows you to effortlessly (and wirelessly!) switch between presets, fine-tune settings, control music, and more, and it’s compatible with every Spark series amp. Besides, a good pedal is something every guitarist needs. Say goodbye to fiddling with controls and knobs when you need to switch tones. Set up your favorite preset, assign them to Spark Control, and you can seamlessly switch them on the fly without ever missing a beat.
With the holidays racing towards us faster than one of Paul Gilbert's legendary solos, let this list guide you in your quest for the perfect gift. So, this holiday season, let's celebrate the joy of giving with the best gift of all: music. And remember to treat yourself; you've earned it.Looking for more gift ideas? Visit our Holiday Gift Guide to snag the best deals of the year.