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Acoustic Guitars

On her new solo record, Laura Jane Grace goes back to her two most trusted partners in crime: her voice and her acoustic guitar.

Photo by Travis Shinn

On her new solo record Hole in My Head, the folk-punk singer and Against Me! founder gets back to basics: her voice and her guitar against the world.

Laura Jane Grace’s schedule from last December through the first month of the new year was, to put it gently, busy. She performed with Dinosaur Jr. at Brooklyn’s Music Hall of Williamsburg, then spent some time in the studio working on a top-secret cover project. She got married in Las Vegas, and flew to Mississippi for a week of recording with Drive-By Truckers’ Matt Patton. She hopped up to Memphis for Lucero Family Christmas, then played solo dates in St. Louis, Denver, Omaha, Minneapolis, and Lawrence, Kansas. In early January, she performed at a star-studded fundraiser in Wisconsin before jetting to Greece for a string of solo shows. Grace doesn’t take the intensity for granted. Over her 25 years as a professional musician, she’s learned the value of momentum.

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Pantera Rig Rundown with Rex Brown and Zakk Wylde
Rig Rundown: Pantera's Rex Brown & Zakk Wylde

The original Cowboys from Hell bassist reclaims his spine-rattling position as the band's charging piston, while his guitar brother brings his fleet of Wylde Audio gear and a few tone sweeteners from Dimebag Darrell's private stash.

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A 97-year-old flattop with beautiful inlays, built by the Larson brothers in the late 1920s.

Photo by George Aslaender

Built in the 1920s by the storied luthiers, this guitar has maintained an exceptional tone over the years.

From around 1900 up until World War II, Swedish immigrant brothers Carl and August Larson’s two-man, Chicago-based workshop turned out an amazing assortment of handmade instruments. Their products ranged from ukuleles to harp guitars, standard guitars, mandolins, mandolas, mandocellos, and even a mandobass. I found this 97-year-old Larson brothers flattop at the 1994 New York Guitar Show, when interest in the brothers’ work was on the rise but the actual instruments were hard to find, with even many experienced dealers knowing little about them.

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Joe Silvius, an exotic tonewood specialist at Martin, has been with the company for 27 years.

Before Joe Silvius started working for Martin 27 years ago, he thought he was going to become a professional baseball player. When his shoulder told him he could no longer pitch, however, he was forced to come up with a plan B. He grew up five minutes away from the Nazareth, Pennsylvania, factory, and, given that his father, brother, aunts, and uncles had all worked there, taking that path for himself only made sense. Unexpectedly, it turned out to be an ideal one.

“I can’t explain it. It’s incredible. It really is,” he says. “Obviously there’s thoughts—I’m sure everybody has them—of something else, maybe better, but I can’t see anything better than this.”

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Top 10 Rig Rundowns of 2023
Best Rig Rundowns of 2023

PG's video crew recounts their favorite moments from this year's interviews and counts down the most-popular episodes—featuring some obvious big-hitters like Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Billy Strings, Steve Vai, and Alter Bridge—that culminate with a few surprises that top out the list.

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