Preparing a good meal is a bit like making music: It takes practice and the right ingredients. Lukas Nelson and PG staff discuss guitarists they’d want to make magic in the kitchen with.

Q: What guitarist would you want to cook with and why?

Lukas NelsonPromise of the Real
A: I’d probably want to cook with Keith Richards. I heard about his recipe for bangers and mash, and after all his time in Jamaica, he must be a great cook. Nothing better than putting a record on in the kitchen, having a nice joint, and cooking delicious food.

Current obsession: I’ve been really into the entire sessions of Frank Sinatra and Antônio Carlos Jobim. I listen to them often and they put me in a really centered mood. Also, The Gentle Side of John Coltrane is a really great, mellow soundtrack to life.

Trevor VargasReader of the Month
A: I’d like to BBQ a massive chuck roast over oak with Low guitarist Alan Sparhawk. My studio is in the garage, so it would be fairly convenient. Sparhawk is utterly fantastic, always evolving. A master of minimalism, which makes his infrequent Neil Young-esque leads all the more humongous.

Current obsession: Delay pedals. I’ve limited myself to only two on my board at any one time. Right now it’s a Source Audio Nemesis for when I need something precise, and the Analogman ARDX20 when it’s time for some soup.

Perry BeanNashville Video Editor
A: Anyone who knows me is bound to be aware of my unwavering appreciation for Indian food. My pick is Freddie Mercury! Not only was he the most interesting musician ever, rumor has it he was also “Foodie Mercury.” Born Farrokh Bulsara, Freddie was Parsi (Indian of Persian decent), and loved to cook Parsi dishes. His favorite recipe for chicken dhansak was posted online by his former assistant.

Current obsession: Citizen’s As You Please. Mixed by Ken Andrews, this record has killer tones, amazing hooks … I haven’t been able to stop jamming it. This band masterfully mixes grunge-era grooves with post hardcore/shoegaze vibes to create some incredible rock ’n’ roll.

Ted DrozdowskiSenior Editor
A: Taj Mahal, Buddy Guy or both. Taj has a reputation for his Creole and Caribbean cooking, and Buddy’s gumbo is legendary. I pride myself on a few keystone New Orleans dishes—but being in a kitchen with those guys, cooking and talking music. C’mon! That’s like cooking with Yoda and Master Oogway.

Current obsession: Just had an LR Baggs Element pickup system installed in my old Guild D25C to replace a cheap-o pickup from the ’90s, and it’s amazing how much it sounds like itself when I plug it in. Rich, vibrant, and ringing. Loving it!

Tessa JeffersManaging Editor
A: I love Latin cuisine, so I’d want to cook with Carlos Santana. We could invite Badi Assad to impart a Brazilian touch to our feast. Then we could have an after-dinner, world-music dance party.

Current obsession: Hurray for the Riff Raff! On record, the New Orleans-based Americana group mixes Alynda Segarra’s Puerto Rican heritage, Bronx upbringing, and thoughtful lyrics with stripped-down folk arrangements. But live, they ignite the house with a fuller, sassier rock vibe that sends Segarra’s poetry ablaze. I love a band that jumps outta boxes. Pa’lante!

An all-analog polyphonic amplitude synthesizer that alters the attack and decay time of any sound source without sacrificing the fidelity of the original tone.

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A newly designed koa wonder that packs a punch.

Incredibly easy to play. Well-balanced tone.

Not as visually stunning as other koa models.


Taylor 724ce

Hawaiian koa has been a favorite of boutique acoustic builders for ages. It has a cool tone personality, somewhere between rosewood and mahogany. It can be used for both back and sides and for top wood, and it’s beautiful. It’s also pretty expensive. The good news is that Taylor’s new 724ce is built with a breed of Koa that actually helps players save a few bucks.
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Kenny Greenberg with his main axe, a vintage Gretsch 6118 Double Anniversary that he found at Gruhn Guitars in Nashville for a mere $600. “It had the original pickups, but the finish had been taken off and the headstock had been repaired. So, it’s a great example of a ‘player’s vintage instrument,’” he says.

On his solo debut, the Nashville session wizard discovers his own musical personality in a soundtrack for a movie that wasn’t, with stops in Africa and Mississippi hill country.

Kenny Greenberg has been Nashville’s secret weapon for decades. He’s the guitarist many insiders credit with giving the Nashville sound the rock ’n’ roll edge that’s become de rigueur for big country records since the ’90s. It’s the sound that, in many ways, delivered country music from its roots to sporting events.

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