stratocaster

Michael Gregory Jackson, putting his Superman into it, onstage with his Stratocaster Deluxe.

photo by Jon King

When the lifelong 6-string freedom fighter found himself burdened by the weight of systemic racism in an increasingly hostile climate, he found solace in the healing power of his git boxes—and a new solo album.

During the climax of the final piece of an ensemble concert held at a gallery in New Haven, Connecticut, guitarist Michael Gregory Jackson climbed up a stepladder so tall that an acrophobic would have a heart attack just looking at it. Once high up in the sky, Jackson let loose a bucket of ping-pong balls in the direction of the audience. “Kinetic motion, sonically beautiful, startling, if not shocking,” recalls Jackson, “The concept was to break and disturb the plane and formality—the distance between the performers and the audience. To add a little mayhem and surprise. It also sounded great.”

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Rig Rundown: Wolf Alice's Joff Oddie

Joff Oddie shows PG his own Jag-Master creation and then plasters it with pedals bending (and distorting) space and time.

Listening to the tidal wave in “Giant Peach,” the riotous “Moaning Lisa Smile,” or the punked-up “Play the Greatest Hits,” it’s hard to imagine Wolf Alice as an acoustic duo. Then talk to Joff Oddie about his integral use of effects—“These pedals can do such crazy things; to not do crazy things with things that can do crazy things seems odd”—and the band’s origin story becomes even more improbable. But it’s true: Wolf Alice started with guitarist/singer Ellie Rowsell and guitarist Oddie playing acoustic-folk music during open-mic nights in North London pubs.

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PRS SE Silver Sky John Mayer Signature Demo | First Look

An affordable version of John Mayer’s signature solidbody sacrifices little in the way of tone and quality, and sells for well under a grand.

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