Vintage Fender Strats, Custom Shop & Boutique S-types, Guitar Parts, Auctions & Sales!


Dallas Guitar Show Summary

Guitar Jam Daily features an excellent write-up on the 30th Annual Dallas International Guitar Festival, along with HUNDREDS OF PHOTOS!!!

Classic instruments valued at five and SIX figures were on display at the show, as well as soundstage performances from Eric Johnson, Rick Derringer and many others.

When you visit GJD's photo streams, click on a photo from a slideshow and manually step thru the photos. These photos are larger and clearer than the slideshow versions. Use the slideshow for quick back-forward navigation.

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American Deluxe Strat-- A Fresh Classic

It just occurred to me I oughta blog about Strats once in a while.

Fender's American Deluxe Stratocaster- pictured above- reflects the classic look, with nice upgrades i.e.: locking tuners, "noiseless" pickups, neck heel relief and S-1 switch.

The satin finish and aged/tinted white plastic pieces make the guitar appear like it lives in a humid, smoke-filled environment. If that doesn't sound yummy to you, consider that such an environment reflects the classic juke joint/road house/bbq establishments which gave birth to what a Strat does best. But thanks to virtual merchandising, rest assured your new American Deluxe will emerge from its case smelling as fresh as a Salt Lake City House of Blues club.

Then there's those Cobalt-Samarium pickups. In case you're wondering, Samarium is Sm on the periodic elements table (I thought it had something to do with Samurai's...). Cobalt-Samarium is used in making permanent magnets that are highly resistant to demagnetization. This caught my attention because of a story I once read about a guy whose guitar mysteriously lost its tone. Somehow, they determined that his pickups were demagnetizing from the electric motors of the commuter trains the guitarist often rode. A clever tech restored the guitar's tone with a basic TV repair degaussing ring.

So just know that thanks to Cobalt-Samarium, this Strat can keep that train arollin' all night long and remain virtually fresh sounding. Fresh smell and fresh sound.

Click image for more details at Fender website.

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BOSS TU-12 Guitar Tuner Unchanged

The TU-12 chromatic tuner hasn't changed in over 20 years! At all. Same features, cosmetic appearance and PRICE! I paid about $70 for one around 1985, and that's what they go for today.

This makes the BOSS TU-12 a candidate for end of the universe status as far as I'm concerned.

Comedian Lewis Black believes the end of the universe is a spot in Houston where two identical Starbucks coffee joints face each other from opposite sides of the street.

Boss TU-12 @ zzounds

Compare Cost (complete merchant directory)

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Tom Morello Demonstrates Effects- Why Not?

If anyone can demonstrate effects it's Tom Morello. Morello is an interesting guitar player with interesting approaches to creating sounds and utilizing effects.

Anyone who writes "SOUL POWER" across the front of his Strat is on the our side.

I kinda put him in an Adrian Belew meets Les Claypool at Beck Hansen's house to listen to backwards G3 concert recordings category...

Formerly with Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave, Morello is also known for his solo acoustic folk gig called The Nightwatchman. Now that's a spectrum of work.

A cool GW Tom Morello clinic video is posted in 2 parts. Tom explains his effects chain, and demos many of his techniques in detail. This can be inspirational stuff for anyone in a rut whose toys are gathering dust. Tom applies his imagination.

The vids below originate from Guitar World Magazine. So make sure to also go there and subscribe to their very fine publication!!!

Tom Morello Video Clinic Part 1
Tom Morello Video Clinic Part 2 for tons of hard to find & top FX pedal brands!
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A Strat For Friday #29 - Rees F7S

British luthier Clive Rees builds beautiful guitars with some interesting features. Click on the photo to visit F7S page for better photo quality and tons of details.

A few hi-lites that really impressed me include the body design, neck heel and pickup switching.
Built for sustain the chambered mahogany body core is capped with maple and also capped in the back with a separate piece of wood. Notice the brass between the core and the outer layers-- "...The central working core of the guitar is relatively decoupled from the perimeter. This minimizes the damping effect of the guitarist's body and clothes ...".

The neck heel design has major relief due to the use of ultra strong, thin carbon fiber plates (be sure you check this feature).

At first glance, I instantly considered the elaborate pickup switching too busy and geeky, however the placement is very ergonomic, and Rees himself says it's "...undoubtedly over-kill for stage work..." and intended for studio gigs. A simpler alternative configuration is also available, employing one standard Strat 5-way switch with a push/pull on the tone knob for the humbuckers.

And hey, the headstock actually doesn't suck either.

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O'Brien Amp Offers Unique Feature Guitarists Want!

Ed Note: 9/13/08 - Recent follow-up on O'Brien Amps discovered their website down. Further web research turned up random forum chatter indicating that O'Brien may no longer be in business. Anyone with source specific info. is welcome to comment at our Facebook page. jp

The OBRIEN Variable Gain™ circuit (OVG™) is a patented feature which allows seamless panning between channels, thus replacing conventional channel switching.

It's that simple. See the footpedal in front of the cabinet-- now that's channel "switching"-- instead though, it's now more accurately referred to as channel "morphing"!

Seem too good to be true?
Why haven't the big name amp builders incorporated this?

Good questions... I guess Tim O'Brien is just smarter than the average amp bear. And he has US Patent 5,977,474 to prove it.

Still skeptical? Well, in a recent Steve Morse interview, Steve says he's "experimenting" with the O'Brien's, and according to Tim O'Brien, others on-board now include Derek Trucks and Warren Haynes. If you're into "experimenting"-- I say go for the good stuff.

Joe Bonamassa is on O'Brien's artist list, and Nashville area Blues guitarist Scott Holt is very happy with his O'Brien's which he's been using for 3 years. Check the latest O'Brien comments at Harmony Central. has details, but currently lacks a much needed demo video. They've been quite busy trying to fill orders, so the website hasn't gotten enough attention. I highly recommend adding O'Brien to your gear radar and periodically re-checking their website for updates, because things are really happening for them these days.

"...The patented OVG™ circuit (US Patent 5,977,474) is operated by our dynamic foot pedal control. In the back position the amp runs clean with lots of headroom. As the pedal is rolled forward gain is blended to the signal, with the maximum amount of gain in the full forward position. Dial in the settings and find your tone, whether you’re into rich vintage gain or metal. The independent channel controls set the outside blending parameters and the foot controller gets you everything in between..."

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Jo Shaw Taylor Video Rocks!!

Piece of the Sky

Strat-o-Sister and Young Guitar Wonder Jo Shaw Taylor on video!! See our previous post on JST HERE. Her Myspace has great tunes, plus a recent Youtube video interview.

And check out Jo Shaw Taylor at and

Strat-o-Sisters Directory

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A Strat For Friday #28 - Gigliotti GS

Gigliotti Brass Top Guitars

Gigliotti Metal Top GuitarsThe Gigliotti GS guitar, created by Patrick Gigliotti (jill-au`-tee) in Tacoma, WA, is a chambered semi-hollow body with a metal top of either brass or aluminum. There's also metal in the headstock face.

The metal is cut and finished using a waterjet process, resulting in the very cool, pearly looking top.

Visit the website for lots more details & pics:

Check out a Joe Bonamassa video to see & HEAR a Gigliotti in action!

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Monte Montgomery Plucks Little Wing Plumb Clean!

Monte Montgomery shows us how to build up chops for electric by practicing a little on acoustic. Check out the top on that Alvarez! This guy could probably strip a car without any tools! Finally, a respectable arm wrestling challenger for Ani DiFranco.

Did I mention he's another damn Texan-- what's in the water down there anyway??

Hey Monte! Get yourself a chambered body Strat with P-90's, string it with 13's and send that poor Alvarez down to Florida to retire in peace!

What a great Superglue commercial!! Pin It Now!


Soave Guitar Festival In Verona Italy

The Soave Guitar Festival happens April 28-30 in beautiful Verona Italy. It's officially known as the 16th National Festival of the Electric and Acoustic Collectible Guitar.

I won't be there, but some friends in Italy asked me to post about it. Check the link at the bottom for more details. This looks like a very cool festival. Many Italian & European guitarists will be performing and doing clinics.

American artists performing include Carl Verheyen, John Jorgenson, Monte Montgomery & Tommy Emmanuel.

The Strat pictured in the Festival poster is one of two instruments named the "Elviscaster", designed to commemorate the 30th anniversary of Elvis' death. With graphics by Renzo Pagliani, one guitar will be placed in the Soave festival's museum and the other will be raffled off to attendees.

Here's a link:
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Stratoblogster Labs Discovers Backup Tuner

I discovered that my Philips Sonicare toothbrush oscillates in the key of C. In fact, it's C4 "middle C"-- 262 hz!!

When my prized Boss TU-12 tuner finally died and I couldn't find my stash of A440 tuning forks, I got desperate-- yeah, I know there are a zillion free tuning sites online.

But this is interesting, and I actually contacted Phillips customer support and was told that all Sonicare models oscillate at the same specific frequency, making it safe to assume that they're all "C4".

The Phillips support person didn't realize the C thing, but did say that this specific frequency has been determined ideal for helping to break up tarter, plaque and so forth.

Maybe instead of annual dental cleaning visits you could crank a talk box up to TEN with the tube in your mouth and blast the C4 note. I wonder if Jeff Beck, Joe Walsh, Peter Frampton, Joe Perry and Ritchie Sambora have lower tarter levels than average people?

With this key maybe even Country musicians can have cleaner teeth...

Stratoblogster Labs

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Guitar Amp Audio Samples Online


Lonestar's Michael Britt oughta be happy with a rig like this! Besides the fine assortment of Amp-age , the guitar pictured is a Tom Anderson Cobra with P-90's. Talk about a tone arsenal!

Bogner features tons of their amp models in audio samples from various endorsing players like Britt. Click the image for Bogner's ear candy directory page.

Electric-Guitar-Review also features a German music dealer website with audio sample clips of several top gourmet amp brands.

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Quinn Sullivan Jams With Buddy Guy!

Blues guitar kid
Strat-o-Brother Quinn Sullivan, one of our earlier featured Young Guitar Wonders-- now 8 years old, recently shared the stage with Buddy Guy at a Zeiterion Theater performance in New Bedford, MA. Click on the image for the complete story.

Our earlier post includes a video clip of Quinn on the Ellen DeGeneres show at age 6.

Here's a Youtube LINK of Quinn performing While My Guitar Gently Weeps.

Young Guitar Wonders Directory


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Voltz Pedal Board DC Power Supply System

Amperor Music will be introducing their new Voltz DC power supply system at the 30th Annual Dallas International Guitar Festival, April 20-22. If you're attending the fest, look for them and get a demo. Here's a way to organize your pedals and eliminate the 60Hz hum.

From website:
"Introducing the most advanced effect pedal power supply ever - Voltz! A large 6.0Ah battery coupled with an integrated AC/DC and DC/DC charger allows you to power up to 20 pedals at a time, up to eight hours in one charge anywhere in the world! ...

No more 60 cycle hum or ground loop hiss to worry about... The Voltz system is 100% guaranteed to solve all of your noise problems in your guitar effects pedal rig."

Amperor has several DEMO VIDEOS on Youtube for those of us not able to make the Dallas Show.

Amperor Links:


Dallas Guitar Fest:
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Read The Stratocaster Chronicles

John Mayer and Jeff Beck seem to be saying, "Yeah, read The Stratocaster Chronicles!!"

Get Tom Wheeler's book at Amazon
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A Strat For Friday #27-- Don Imus Relic Model

For this special Friday the 13th edition, I couldn't resist the social commentary.

Pictured is the Don Imus Custom model after receiving additional relic/aging "touches", compliments of the Rutgers University girls basketball squad.

Watch for it this Summer as Don takes his latest Blues revue on the road...

related post

FRIDAY Strat Archive

Hi-end Strats

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Nothing to Do With Strats, But So What...

I just cannot get over this one. Yesterday was Cheetah's 75th birthday!! It was on the news.

Cheetah (pictured, right), popular co-star in the old 1930's Tarzan flicks with Maureen O'Sullivan and Johnny Weissmuller (L-R), is the oldest chimp known. He's livin' the high life these days down in Palm Springs.

Lookin' pretty good on the news clip, he enjoyed the birthday celebration with some cake and a soda. When asked for his secret to longevity, he replied, "Oooh Oooh Oooh Aaarrrrggghhh!!" Rumor has it, Cheetah is slated to replace Dr. Robert Jarvik as the commercial spokesperson for Lipitor as he has a better face for television.

So there ya have it... I'm not ready to make him a Strat-o-Brother, but he's still pretty amazing!
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Scott Henderson's Trem Tortured Blues

A recent youtube search revealed lots of new Scott Henderson performance clips. Henderson has been
building up clips on his own Youtube channel, which will probably stay online awhile. Otherwise, Scott is notorious for having unauthorized vids removed.

I like this video because the sound quality allows you to really hear the clean overtones and trem technique. If anyone builds a bridge from Jeff Beck to Allan Holdsworth, it's Scott Henderson.

Jeff Beck and Scott Henderson both have that bare knuckle, old school sheet metal fabricator approach to bending and wringing out emotion with their guitars. Enjoy!
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April is INTERnational Guitar Month

That's right, INTERnational Guitar Month! I heard this on the radio yesterday-- wish I'd been told sooner.

Here I am having lunch with my Strat.

According to Wikipedia (reputable source), April is also:

Chocolate Eaters Month
Stress Awareness Month
Alcohol Awareness Month
National Humor Month
National Pecan Month
National Welding Month
Mathematics Awareness Month
VD Awareness Month

and many more...

Yes, April is an important month. Oh yeah, It's also National Slack Off at Work Month.

But the only INTERNATIONAL item is International Guitar Month. Apparently, when the leaders of Earth assembled to decide upon the international stuff, they couldn't get a majority vote on chocolate or humor. Another interesting thing is that any item with the word "awareness", refers to a disease or dysfunctional condition. So, Mathematics really IS bad! AND, slacking off at work is something we needn't concern ourselves with. Human progress marches on.

It's good to get these things sorted out, especially before April 15th...

So, celebrate INTERNATIONAL Guitar Month because you'll have global support!
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Guitar Amp Deals & Auctions Online Directory

Guitar Amps at
Amp Deals @

Vintage -  Boutique Guitar Amps

Safe buying tips.

Vintage boutique guitar amps for sale( I found this image kickin' around the web. Dunno who made it, but kudos to whoever did.)

Stratoblogster's eBay Amp Finder is a consolidated directory of Guitar Amplifier searches on Ebay. Results sort from highest price down, so you don't have to wade thru t-shirts, misc parts, amp covers and cheesy lower end stuff.

Refer to the EBAY VINTAGE GUITAR AMPLIFIER GUIDE for more valuable tips.


(scroll down for boutique amp dealers)

FENDER (vintage & hi-end)

MUSIC MAN (1974-1984)

MARSHALL (vintage & hi-end)

PRS Amps


ALESSANDRO (Dumble taste, but no Dumble Dinero?)




RedPlate (Favorite in Blues community)




THD (Flexi 50)













Z.VEX (mini nano amps & effects)

PEAVEY (hi-end: JSK, 5150, 6505)

(amp lines still being added )


REVERB.COM - Vintage, New & pre-owned.

Willcutt Guitars - Dealer for Bad Cat, Two-Rock, Victoria, Divided by 13, CARR, Mesa Boogie, Dr. Z, Burriss and more!

Warpdrive-Music - Dealer: Mesa Boogie, Soldano,  Maven, Headstrong, Dr. Z, Vox, GK, H&K, Fender, Blackstar, plus vintage/used amps.

The-Music-Zoo Dealer: Swart, Tone King, Swart, Two-Rock, Jackson Amp Works, AER, Greer, Marshall, EVH, Fender, Orange...

Do we promote your brand, or help sell your gear?
Feel free to tip.



Note: Listings change, so check back.


Related Resource Directories:

Tube Resources & Suppliers


PIMP YOUR STRAT - Wiring diagrams & mods

If you didn’t read this at Guitar Blog, it’s been bootlegged! ©2006 - 2013 JP Holesworth. All rights reserved. This article may not be reprinted, distributed or duplicated without author’s written permission.

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Video Tabs Archive Helps New Guitar Players

Video Tabs Archive is a no-nonsense, easy to navigate web resource for beginning and intermediate players seeking tab and guitar lessons video clips. The vids are a compilation of free lesson clips from youtube, well organized into categories of most popular, recently added and basic skills lessons. Song tabs are posted below the videos on each song page.

There's even video on how to change your strings.

Other performance videos of popular guitarists are included to provide playing examples and inspiration.

A recommended site for new players on a budget, seeking more interactive orientation with guitar playing and songs. Save yourself LOTS of web surfing time.
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Fredrik Strand Halland- Young Guitar Wonder

I can't tell you much about Fredrik because I don't read or understand Norwegian. All I've gathered is that he's 12, lives in Norway, likes Stevie Ray Vaughan... a lot and plays a Strat. Who deserves the SRV reincarnation vote this week-- Fredrik Halland, Dusty Ciggaar or Nick Sterling?

Or is there a little Strat-o-Sister out there who will kick all their butts?

Stay tuned... Ever since I replaced my mouse pad with a ouija board, these Voodoo Chilluns keep appearing.

Discover more about Fredrik at
Special thanks to FSH's fans for the update!!

Young Guitar Wonders Directory

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A Strat For Friday #26 'Redhead' From Flickr

This gem is featured at Flickr by a talented luthier/photographer in Flickr's guitar photo community. Click the image to check out more of his work

Here's the specs:

Body: Maple with lacewood veneer cap
Pickguard: Burled maple
Neck/Fretboard: Padauk* (notice matching knobs)
Bridge: Wilkinson
Pickups: EMG-- appear painted to match padauk neck

Custom matching strap. The headstock is standard shape but the same deep red padauk wood. If any Strat ever looked like Texas, it would be this one.

*Paduak is an exotic hardwood primarily found in Central and West Africa. CLICK HERE for more info.


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Montreal Band THE DEARS Stolen Gear ALERT!


On April 2nd, Patrick Krief of the Montreal Quebec band The Dears had all his gear stolen. Several guitars and pieces of equipment were taken, including Patrick's treasured 1998 Fender Standard Strat (pictured), for which a $1000 reward is offered.

Here's a complete list of the stolen items followed by Patrick's web/contact links:

Fender Standard Stratocaster 1998
$1000 reward
serial #: Mz0198625
details : White, with white pick guard and maple neck. This guitar has 4 Black Graphite saddles and 2 regular. It has strap locks and a brown leather strap. The white plastic tip on the Whammy bar is cracked

Gibson SG special vintage
details: Dark wood grain unvarnished (the back of the headstock was cracked and glued back and sanded. The mark is visible but slight)

Epiphone Casino Tobacco burst

Zoo customs Black wood chrome hardware with bigsby
details: This guitar is completely unique, it says zoo customs on the headstock, and the headstock design is a shape that no other guitar has (kind of a warped rectangle)

Guitar Valleyarts Standard pro 0939

Fender Jazz Bass
details: Yellow wood finish made in Japan

IMAC 5.2 computer
serial#: W86380c4wh5

Kaser External Drive
serial # Y8FUN063250GB

Line 6 Guitar POD
serial#: Poda024037491900

Alesis Amp RA500
serial#: (21)a405010451000

Fender Mini practice amp
details: Hand held

Peavey 50 watt guitar amp

Traynor Amp head
details: Converted from a combo

Yorkville PA amplifier
details: Carpet casing

Suzuki Omnichord
serial #: 073291

Roland Xp-10 Keyboard
details: The display is slightly defective

details : 66 key Midi controller

All the guitars were taken with their respective cases

they also took our oil heater, just to make sure the broken window keeps the room nice and cold.


Recover your stolen gear with:
SNAGG RFID Microchips
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Guitar Straplock System Worth Drinking For

Strat-o-Sister Lori Linstruth has discovered a most refreshing, economic and dependable Straplock method, utilizing the red gaskets from Grolsch swing top stoppers. It takes two beers to set up a guitar. If you have several guitars, don't try to set 'em all up in one night.

Get the entire scoop at Lori's blog: Play Like A Girl.

On a related note, I recently stuck 2 new Guinness bottle caps to the vol/tone knobs of my '72 Tele Thinline, natural finish. The latest cap from Guinness is gloss black with a gold harp, which goes perfectly with the natural ash body and MOT pickguard. I stuck them on the dome knurled knobs with double stick adhesive, from the good folks at 3M. As you can imagine, the crimp ridges enhance control.

Control is important, and these are just two ways that beer gives control back to you. Think about it folks...
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Allan Holdsworth's Buffalo Gig

I caught the Allan Holdsworth show on March 26th, 07 at a Buffalo, NY club called "The Tralf", which seats approx. 400 people. We sat dead center-stage, second table from edge of stage, putting me within 20 feet of God himself.

This photo found online most closely represents my perspective and proximity to God, who was wearing a similar shirt and played his Bill DeLap built headless guitar throughout the entire show. His amps consisted of a pair of Hughes & Kettner combos. Primary effect used was massive D-E-L-A-Y. The sound and tone was terrific-- kudo's to The Tralf for their system as well.

The Buffalo show was a trio, including Jimmy Johnson-Bass and Chad Wackerman-Drums; both, monster musicians and longtime Holdsworth alumni. Wackerman also did a stint with Zappa. According to the touring schedule, keyboardist Alan Pasqua joins the band for some gigs.

Now, one week after the show, I'm still absorbing it like a huge file that takes forever to download. Obviously, the solos were extraterrestrial-- but the chords were equally beyond. Johnson also provided bionic chord support during Holdsworth's solos on a 5 string Alembic (I believe).

I couldn't resist shouting, "Jazz?!-- I hate Jazz!!!" during a pause at beginning of the encore (Holdsworth fans may recall that line from the Wardenclyffe Tower album). Blame it on the 3 Tangeuray and tonics.

They even played Water on the Brain, from Road Games. So it was great to see God, especially so close, and live to tell about it-- AND in Buffalo no less!!!

This discussion thread LINK found at The Guitar Channel blog features pics and video from a recent Allan Holdsworth show in Maryland.
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Stratoblogster Returns!

I'm back, after 2 weeks in the Buffalo NY area.

Buffalo has a great local Blues scene, good Italian food, Canadian beer everywhere ya look-- and of course, chicken wings.

The weather is unpredictable; it was 20F one moment and 70 the next. That's Buffalo. All the local buzz was about how well the Sabres hockey team were doing and about the Bills recently trading starting tailback Willis McGahee to the Baltimore Ravens. I mention this because as soon as McGahee got out of town, he was dissing Buffalo horribly, as if Baltimore is gonna be the excitement capitol of the world for him now.

Stay tuned for more guitar related Buffalo adventures. It's good to be back home in the Pacific NW.
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