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What Bohlinger Plays: Open-E Pull-Off Lick


A flexible fuzz conjures a unique voice with a vintage accent, with a helping of delectable overdrive sounds on top.

Inhabits a unique tone space on the Brit-fuzz spectrum. Rich low- and mid-gain overdrive, boost, and distortion sounds. Top quality. Thoughtful design.

Highest gain fuzz sounds can be toppy.


Great Eastern FX Co. Focus Fuzz


Fuzz boxes don’t get much prettier than the Focus Fuzz from Great Eastern FX Co. And if you’re into mid-to-late-’60s fuzz, you may well find they don’t come much cooler sounding either. Great Eastern founder David Greeves describes the sound of the Focus Fuzz as something between a Tone Bender, a Fuzz Face, and a Dallas Rangemaster. Citing those touchstones is not unusual when reaching for a way to describe a new vintage-style fuzz. But in the case of the Focus Fuzz, Greeves isn’t making offhanded claims. The Focus Fuzz truly seems to thread a line between the open, bassier qualities of a germanium Fuzz Face and the fierce, metallic, buzzy compression of a Tone Bender. At lower gain settings, it approximates the performance of a Rangemaster in many respects. It’s responsive to playing guitar volume and tone dynamics. And it’s even tempered at both ends of the gain spectrum, too. Moderate gain settings dish bushels of killer overdrive sounds and jangly near-clean tones. If you can’t find a cool dirt sound here, you might consider frog farming instead.

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Garnett hits the floor with his Huss & Dalton dreadnought. The guitars are hand-built in Staunton, Virginia, at the company founded by Jeff Huss and Mark Dalton.

NV Photography

The guitarist’s experimental string band music opens new vistas for bluegrass, jazz, classical composition, and improv on his stunning debut album, Imitation Fields.

Ben Garnett’s debut album opens bravely, almost daring the casual listener to give up before anything recognizable as a tune emerges from the speakers. Instead, we hear a collage of abstract sound—a tape spooling backwards, spectral voices, and stringed instruments being rubbed and scraped. Out of these two minutes of gentle cacophony, an angular theme emerges, tentative at first, played on banjo and fiddle. Then the idea organizes itself into the punchy, gypsy-derived melody of “Thirty One Mouths.” And with that, the remarkable Imitation Fields gets underway.

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Tuttle and Strings first recorded together on Strings’ 2017 release, Turmoil & Tinfoil.

Photo by Alysse Gafkjen

Looking back on their latest releases, the two bluegrass phenoms and friends sit down with one another to talk musical heritage, stage fright, gear, and more.

In any music scene, it’s natural that talented contemporaries will find each other and form fast, harmonious fraternity. It’s no surprise, then, that Nashville-based bluegrass virtuosos Billy Strings and Molly Tuttle became close friends and collaborators as early as 2017—when they were both just 24—and, as is now somewhat common knowledge, were one-time roommates. Tuttle was first featured on Strings’ full-length release, Turmoil & Tinfoil, and a few years later, Strings guested on Tuttle’s Grammy-winning 2022 album, Crooked Tree, on the track “Dooley’s Farm,” while performing together often in the interim.

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