NEWS this mornin’...
Gibson reissues L6S Gibson’s L6S was the go-to guitar for Carlos Santana and Al Di Meola in the early ’70s and now it’s making a return to the fleet. The L6S was based on the Gibson L5S carved-top solidbody, and the reissue remains true to the original but with a few mods. The single cutaway body and slim profile neck are solid maple, there are 24 medium jumbo frets (it was the first Gibson with a full two-octave fingerboard) and there are two nitro finish options, antique natural or silverburst. The L6S’s two Alnico humbuckers and six-position ‘chickenhead’ pickup selector promise a breadth of tone that led the great Santana to call the guitar his ‘rainbow’. The L6S is considered by many to be an underrated instrument, and now it has a time to shine once again. There’s more over at www.gibson.com.
Hubert Sumlin RIP
1931-2011 Howlin’ Wolf’s legendary yet modest guitar player epitomised bravery, inspiration and playing for the song…
One of the blues world’s most admired guitarists, Hubert Sumlin, has died of heart failure aged 80. Sumlin spent much of his professional life as right-hand man to the legendary Howlin’ Wolf, and his subtle and unique electric fingerstyle sound influenced many of the best-regarded players of the ’60s rock-blues boom, including Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton and Keith Richards.
Sumlin was born in Mississippi and raised in Arkansas, where he was given his first guitar aged six. Having taught himself how to play, Sumlin began his career as a regular face on the Chicago blues scene, where he took up the position of second guitar for Wolf and soon became an indispensable part of Wolf’s haunting blues sound. For a brief time in 1956 Sumlin also did a stretch for Muddy Waters (earning himself a mouthful of broken teeth from the Wolf), but returned to
Wolf’s band after a punishing year’s worth of touring. With Wolf’s passing in 1976, he continued with his band until 1980, which they renamed the Wolf Pack.
Sumlin was rarely seen without his 1955 Gibson Les Paul goldtop, on which he concocted his own distinctive style with a uniquely biting tone. Not only was Sumlin nominated for four Grammys, he also ranked 43rd in Rolling Stone’s ‘100 Greatest Guitarists Of All Time’ and he was finally inducted into the Blues Foundation’s Hall Of Fame in 2008.
Sumlin could also take centre stage, and he put out a string of solo records from 1964 through to his final effort, 2004’s Blues Music Award-winning About The Shoes, featuring Keith Richards. As a final testament to his far-reaching influence, Jagger and Richards insisted they cover the costs of his funeral.
10 Guitar & Bass FEBRUARY 2012
Jim Dunlop has collaborated with blues-rocker Joe Bonamassa for the new Bonamassa Signature Cry Baby wah pedal. Looks-wise, the new unit has a swanky copper top with a sleek ‘smooth-finish’ black casing to match his faultless fingerplay and dapper image. Specifications include vintage-style ‘through-hole’ components, an output buffer that counters impedance imbalance with old-school fuzz pedals, a Halo inductor to sweeten your tone and a switch for true-bypass or non-true-bypass. The wah is engineered to have a wide vocal sweep range, making it one truly characterful option for your pedalboard. The new Dunlop wah costs $169.99 from www.jbonamassa.com, and comes with a free T-shirt. Happy soloing!