Five Iconic American Guitars And The Men Who Helped Make Them Famous

For this independence day weekend, we’re talking about iconic American guitars and the people who helped make them famous. We can’t get to all the great guitars made here in the states, so we picked five instruments that you’ll recognize by their look and their sound: the Gibson Les Paul, 355 and Flying V and the Fender Stratocaster and Telecaster. We’ll listen to five American musicians who have made their name on these instruments and marvel at how they took an inanimate object of wood and metal and gave it life.

Listen Now

Make It Funky!

Usually on the Pickup, Joe and Matt focus on the links between the blues and rock as mapped out by the giants of the guitar. But seeing as Joe was just in the studio with a funk band called Rock Candy Funk Party

Listen Now

Blues On The Silver Screen

There are lots of concert videos out there, but not as many films where blues takes a leading role. For this week’s edition of the Pickup, Joe and Matt put their heads together to come up with their top five blues films – where the music is a major part of the plot.

Listen Now

Cream Rises To The Top

The recent passing of bassist Jack Bruce was a real loss for those of us who love blues and rock. Bruce was best known for his work in the power trio Cream. The band was only together for a short time, but in that brief span was able to chart a new course for combining blues, rock and psychedelia into a potent and loud mix. Today on the Pickup, Joe picks his favorite five Cream tracks, recalls playing a gig with Jack Bruce and explains how the band continues to influence his career as a musician.

Listen Now

The Roots Of Blues Deluxe

Joe Bonamassa’s third studio album Blues Deluxe has been a longtime fan favorite. Packed with covers of blues standards and a few choice originals, it’s a record that marks Joe’s beginnings as an independent artist. Today on the Pickup, Joe and Matt look back on the album’s musical inspirations and the peculiar conditions of its creation: Joe and his manager scraping together enough money to rent studio time above a Sbarro’s, using borrowed gear and recycling a retouched photo from a previous album shoot.

Listen Now

More Strat Masters

Everyone can agree that the Fender Stratocaster is one of the most popular and versatile electric guitars ever made. But once you start picking its best players, well, it seems that nobody can agree. After an initial attempt to pick the top 5 strat masters, Joe returns to the topic with Matt and they try to pick (another) top 5. See whether you agree with their choices!

Listen Now

New Release Round Up

The new season is here and, with it, a fresh crop of new blues and guitar CDs. Joe and Matt may be curmudgeons, but they do appreciate new music and have picked out five recent albums to call to your attention. You’ll hear recordings from a recovering Walter Trout, Muddy Waters’s eldest son and a full track from Joe’s new album, Different Shades of Blue

Listen Now