TONE TIPS FROM THE ROAD
Tour Rig Geekin’ 2008
As I write this month’s column, I’m heading
to Australia, New Zealand & Japan for our
last tour in support of Sheryl Crow’s latest
CD, Detours. It’s my first trip “down under”
and I’m psyched. For the Australia/New
Zealand dates, Sheryl is on the bill with John
Mellencamp, so it should be a blast.
You Tube for Mott the Hoople’s “All The Young
Dudes.” It opens with Mick Ralphs playing a
white Firebird I with a dog-eared P- 90, and I
thought it was the coolest looking guitar ever. I
had to have one, so the Gibson Custom Shop
built a beauty for me. This guitar totally rocks.
My touring rig has changed a bit lately.
Not one to shy away from yabberin’ (Aussie
speak) about my gear, here’s what I’m running these days…
Gibson ’ 56 Goldtop Reissue
Loaded with Lindy Fralin’s stellar sounding P-90s.
G&L F- 100 “Fender Ferrari” slide guitar
with Bigsby Palm Pedal, Gibson Sheryl Crow
Signature acoustic, Elliott Tonemaster “Peter
Stroud” Signature guitar prototype—more on
this one soon!
These are my effects for now, at least—they’re
This is an absolute work of art designed by Doc
Patillo and handcrafted by Pavel Maslowiec.
It has a mahogany hollowed-out body with a
carved maple top. The headstock of D’Angelico
flair and body-styling gives a nod to the French
Selmer guitars. Seymour Duncan hand-wound a
set of Seth Lover pickups tuned to the guitar. It
has a look, tone and feel completely its own.
65Amps London, Monterey & Stone Pony
The London is still the mainstay for rhythm
and lead, and the Monterey is used for cleaner
tones. The latter incorporates a pair of 6V6
tubes ( 22 watts), which are great for R&B
sounds and clean, heavily
compressed slide guitar. I’m
occasionally swapping this
amp with a prototype of our
very latest Stone Pony with
7591 power tubes. These
tubes are most notably
found in sixties-era Ampegs.
They have a lower power
output similar to a 6V6, but
are more aggressive with
pronounced lower mids.
I’ve also added a third
London taking a stereo
feed from my delay and The Rack
Eventide Time Factor & Mod Factor
Beautiful sounding delay and mod effects, and
one of the most convincing rotating speaker replications I’ve heard yet. They were initially a bit
of a challenge to program since they give you
control over just about every imaginable parameter. If you’re not afraid of a little knob twiddling,
they’re well worth it.
Robert Keeley 4-knob Compressor
& Modded Boss Blues Driver
I’m constantly trying out new com-
pressors and this one has excellent
tone and feel. I use it for heavily
compressed “pedal steel” parts.
The Blues Driver mod has added
germanium transistors for extra gain
and a Phat tone mod.
For speaker cabinets, our stage set design ties
in “blackface”-era Bassman-style 2x12 cabinets.
Custom ordered from Mojo Musical Supply,
they’re constructed of pine with a birch ply baffle
and a ported back, as opposed to the traditional
Late-sixties Cry Baby—Clyde
This belongs to Wolfy, as well. It
has to be the best sounding wah
Left to Right: Firebird I, Patillo, ’ 58 Tele, Nash T-Series I’ve ever used. This specimen is
Nash “T-Series” exceptional in comparison to other vintage wahs
This Blackguard Tele-style was an automatic the we’ve auditioned. When he takes it back, I’m
first time I laid hands on it. Lightweight, live and screwed.
relic’d, it feels like I’ve played it for years. Jason
Lollar special winds the pickups with a couple of
hundred extra turns for added hot sauce—it’s a
hick pickin’ destroyer.
’ 58 Fender Telecaster
Yes, a real one most graciously provided by my
tech and its owner Andy Wolf. I use it on the
front pickup for Sheryl’s tune “Gasoline.” The
original frets are still hangin’ in there, which
makes it a nightly inspiring challenge to pull out
every note. It’s an amazing guitar—plenty of
guts and spank, yet mellowed with age.
Chandler LTD- 1 Mic Preamp & Purple Audio
MC- 77 Limiting Amplifier
I use this for acoustic guitar, as detailed in a
previous column [“On Tour with Sheryl Crow,
Acoustic Edition,” July 2008].
Other amps include a late-fities Supro Super and
a Fishman Loudbox Performer.
We use a Celestion Alnico Blue and G12H30
Anniversary speaker combination for the London
212 cab and an Alnico Gold/G12H30 together in
the cabinet for the Monterey and Stone Pony.
Other pedals still in the rack:
EH Tube Zipper Tube Overdrive w/ Envelope
Filter , EH Holy Grail Reverb, EH Black Finger
Compressor, Prescription Electronics Experience
Fuzz, Line 6 Filter Pro, Boss NS- 2 Noise
Gibson Firebird I with dog-eared P- 90
I wish I could take credit for this head-slapping
idea, but I got it from an early promo video on
Other guitars still on the road:
Gibson Custom Shop Les Paul Custom, ‘ 76
Fender Telecaster Custom, James Trussart
Steel Top Custom, Tonequest Strat-style,
is co-founder of 65amps