bluegrass

The happy reunion of Mark O'Connor and his old Martin resulted in a sequel to his foundational 1978 acoustic guitar album, Markology. Back then, he was already a star violinist and a mandolin player of note. Photo by Maggie O'Connor

Photo by Maggie O'Connor

When an injury sidelined his 6-stringing 20 years ago, he committed to violin superstardom. Now, O'Connor returns to his 1945 Martin D-28 for the rapturous, virtuosic Markology II.

In 1997, Mark O'Connor faced every guitarist's worst fear. He was teaching at his O'Connor Method String Camp that summer when he developed a debilitating case of bursitis in his right elbow. "Doctor's advice was that I limit or discontinue some of the activity that caused the bursitis, as the condition wasn't going to disappear entirely," O'Connor explains. As a multi-instrumentalist with a high-level violin career, he had a choice to make. "I sacrificed the guitar and mandolin to preserve my violin playing. I was very sad to see it go, but I needed to preserve my ability to play the violin, because it was the thrust of my career."

Read More Show less

Bogner's beastliest amp is made miniature—and still slays.

Excellent sounds in a portable and very affordably priced package.

A footswitchable clean channel and onboard reverb would make it perfect.

$329

Bogner Ecstasy Mini
bogneramplification.com

4.5
5
4.5
4.5

The original Bogner Ecstasy, released in 1992, is iconic in heavy rock circles. Though it was popularized and preferred by rock and metal artists (Steve Vai and Brad Whitford were among famous users), its ability to move from heavy Brit distortion to Fender-like near-clean tones made it appealing beyond hard-edged circles. Even notorious tone scientist Eric Johnson was enamored with its capabilities.

Read More Show less
Rig Rundown: IDLES

See how chaotic co-pilots Mark Bowen and Lee Kiernan bring five pedalboards to mutilate, mangle, and mask their guitars into bass, synth, hip-hop beats, raging elephant sounds, and whatever “genk” is.

Do you hear that thunder? That’s the sound of strength in numbers. Specifically, it's the sound of four 100-watt stacks. (Actually, one is a 200-watt bass tube head.) IDLES’ guitarists Mark Bowen and Lee Kiernan finally have the firepower to match their fury. (Original members singer/lyricist Joe Talbot, drummer Jon Beavis, and bassist Adam Devonshire fill out the band. Kiernan took over for guitarist Andy Stewart after 2015 EP Meat was released.)

Read More Show less
x