Much like the eats you’d find down on Bourbon Street, the music of New Orleans draws from a smorgasbord of influences.

Anders Osborne$0 Black Eye Galaxy$0 Alligator$0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 Much like the eats you’d find down on Bourbon Street, the music of New Orleans draws from a smorgasbord of influences. Armed with a worn Stratocaster (usually tuned to open-D and sporting a capo), Sweden-native Anders Osborne combines heavy riffs, psychedelia, and an introspective sense of lyricism on Black Eye Galaxy to tackle a range of topics from life as a junkie, to his relationship with his adopted homeland of Louisiana.$0 $0 Osborne has never been afraid to get heavy. Thanks to drummer and co-producer Stanton Moore, Osborne brings the thunder here, too, but in a subtle way. He covers the gamut of Americana styles, infusing a country blues feel into “Tracking My Roots” and then taking things way out into the land of exploratory jams with “Black Eye Galaxy.” The biggest surprise is the closing track, “Higher Ground,” which opens with a pensive string section evoking more of the contemporary classical scene rather than the gumbo-infused blues that permeates the Delta region. Even though there’s little to no guitar, the track cements Osborne as a standout songwriter. The grooves and tones are so deep, it’s like what Jackson Browne might sound like if hegrew up hanging out with Jimmy Page in New Orleans. By casting such a wide swath, it can be risky for artists to keep cohesiveness throughout—but not for Anders. If you seek rock with substance, take a trip South and check out Black Eye Galaxy. —Jason Shadrick $0 $0 Must-hear tracks: “Send Me a Friend,” “Black Eye Galaxy”

This 1964 Vibrolux Reverb arrived in all-original condition, right down to a two-prong power cord and a death cap wired to the ground switch. The author’s well-worn Strat is the perfect companion.

How our columnist’s risky purchase turned out to be a dusty pre-CBS jewel.

This month, I’d like to share the story of my 1964 Fender Vibrolux Reverb. It was a really risky purchase that had some big surprises.

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Fat tones from a sweet niche where Les Paul, Gretsch, and Telecaster share the limelight.

Copious, unexpected tones. Cool, useful bass contour control. Very nice build quality. Excellent value.

Heavy.

$1,199

Reverend Flatroc Bigsby
reverendguitars.com

4.5
5
4
4.5

If you only pay casual attention to Reverend guitars, it’s easy to overlook how different their instruments can be. Some of that may be due to the way Reverends look. There are longstanding styling themes and strong family likenesses among models that can make differentiation a challenge for uninitiated guitar spotters. For instance, the Flatroc reviewed here has more or less the same body as the Charger, Buckshot, and Double Agent OG (which has an entirely different body than the more Jazzmaster-like Double Agent W). If you don’t have an experienced Reverend enthusiast at your side, it can all be a bit mind bending.

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