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Top 10 Big 5 Interviews of 2022

This year’s quick-hit interviews revealed that Phil Collen sees a connection between your vibrato and ego, how a short-scale Strat is rocking Neal Schon’s world, Halestorm hates “Instagram guitar” faces, and Steve Vai’s secret weapon.


10. Lzzy Hale & Joe Hottinger

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Plus, which Halestorm guitarist’s custom Explorer is coolest—her baritone or his brand-new Mod Collection buy?

9. Band of Horses' Ben Bridwell

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Band of Horses’ Ben Bridwell admonishes us (and himself) on how to “get your shit together” and stop annoying bandmates.

8. Dropkick Murphys' James Lynch

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Dropkick Murphys’ James Lynch on the cleverly hidden 1/4" jack on his go-to guitar. Plus, the sage advice from his dad that formed the foundation of his success.

7. Kirk Fletcher

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Bluesman Kirk Fletcher on his favorite Gibson ES-345 mods, and why we all need to push the soul “button” more.

6. Queensrÿche’s Michael Wilton

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Plus, why the platinum-selling progger has stuck with the same guitar brand for 30+ years.

5. Orianthi

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Plus, how her childhood Hendrix T-shirt figured into her latest signature PRS guitar.

4. Steve Cropper

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Plus, the Booker T. & the MG’s legend shares the toughest part of working with other musicians in the studio.

3. Mastodon’s Bill Kelliher

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Plus, how he minimizes stress during the riff-writing process.

2. Journey's Neal Schon

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Plus! The Journey legend talks about the short-scale Custom Shop Strat currently rocking his world.

1. Steve Vai

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Plus, what the shred shaman looks for in a guitar, and the surprising solo artist whose catalog he always has on hand.

On this season finale episode, the actor and musician leads a Prine-inspired songwriting session about how few tools we have in our collective toolbox.

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John Mayall in the late ’80s, in a promo shot for his Island Records years. During his carreer, he also recorded for the Decca (with the early Bluesbreakers lineups), Polydor, ABC, DJM, Silvertone, Eagle, and Forty Below labels.

He was dubbed “the father of British blues,” but Mayall’s influence was worldwide, and he nurtured some of the finest guitarists in the genre, including Eric Clapton, Peter Green, Mick Taylor, Harvey Mandel, Coco Montoya, and Walter Trout. Mayall died at his California home on Monday, at age 90.

John Mayall’s career spanned nearly 70 years, but it only took his first four albums to cement his legendary status. With his initial releases with his band the Bluesbreakers—1966’s Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton; ’67’s A Hard Road, with Peter Green on guitar; plus the same year’s Crusade, which showcased Mick Taylor—and his solo debut The Blues Alone, also from 1967, Mayall introduced an international audience of young white fans to the decidedly Black and decidedly American genre called blues. In the subsequent decades, he maintained an active touring and recording schedule until March 26, 2022, when he played his last gig at age 87. It was reported that he died peacefully, on Monday, in his California home, at 90.

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Featuring enhanced amp models, a built-in creative looper, AI-powered tone exploration, and smart jam features.

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Donner andThird Man Hardware’s $99, three-in-one analog distortion, phaser, and delay honors Jack White’s budget gear roots.

Compact. Light. Fun. Dirt cheap. Many cool sounds that make this pedal a viable option for traveling pros.

Phaser level control not much use below 1 o’clock. Repeats are bright for an analog delay. Greater range of low-gain sounds would be nice.

$99

Donner X Third Man Triple Threat
thirdmanrecords.com

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A huge part of the early White Stripes mystique, sound, ethos, and identity was tied to guitars and amps that, at the time, you could luck into for cheap at a garage sale. These days, it’s harder to score a Crestwood Astral II, or Silvertone Twin Twelve with a part-time job in the ice cream shop. Back in the late ’90s, though, they were a source of raw, nasty sounds for less than a new, more generic guitar or amp.

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