june 2016

An ultra-portable, easy-to-use tool that helps you capture ideas before they’re a distant memory.

We all have moments when we want to throw our smart phone or tablet out the window. But when you’re in a more tech-appreciating mood, it’s fascinating to consider all the things these devices can do to make our lives easier. One such thing that continues to evolve is convenient and mobile recording for guitarists.

IK Multimedia’s new iRig Acoustic is a patent-pending, MEMS (microelectromechanical systems) mic pickup that easily clips to the lower rim of a soundhole. The iRig plugs into a device’s headphone/input jack, and there’s a female output jack on the in-line cable for headphones or routing to another monitor. Download IK Multimedia’s free AmpliTube Acoustic app and, voilà, you’re in business with a mobile acoustic-recording rig for under $50.

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Armed with a '54 Tele and a Fender Champ, Lage leads his Arclight group, bassist Scott Colley and drummer Kenny Wollesen, through a spirited set at Rockwood Music Hall in New York City. "When it sounds good and everything clicks in, you don't feel like you're a pretender," says Lage.

Photo by Scott Friedlander

After outgrowing the “child prodigy” label, the virtuoso guitarist returns to his first love, the Telecaster.

More than two decades ago, guitarist Julian Lage became enamored with the simple curves of the late, great Leo Fender's Telecaster. “When I was about 4 I asked my dad for a guitar," says Lage, now 28. Even as uniquely talented as Lage was at a young age, it was understandably difficult to take a preschooler's request too seriously. Lage's father, who was working as a waiter at the time, was given a full-size poster of Bruce Springsteen with his iconic Esquire. “My dad was a visual artist, so he traced the poster onto a piece of plywood and made two copies. One for me and one for my brother." Each night Lage would sleep with the faux-caster until an unfortunate spill from his bunk bed damaged it. “I still have it. Aesthetically, the Tele was always my kind of guitar."

After dabbling in duo projects with Wilco's Nels Cline and the Punch Brothers' Chris “Critter" Eldridge, Lage looked inward for 2015's World's Fair, his first solo guitar album. “That was probably the most comprehensive look at what I liked at the time," says Lage. Arclight, his latest release, has led Lage to re-embrace the ideals and concepts he first grew to love while holding that plywood Tele from his childhood. Joining Lage is bassist Scott Colley and drummer Kenny Wollesen, both well-established veterans of the jazz and improv scene in New York.

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