it, though, and I think we actually do have a Tube Screamer on
The verse of “Otherside of the
Bottle” goes back and forth
quickly between a clean sound
for the arpeggiated chords and
a raunchy, about-to-break-up
sound for the chord stabs. Are
you using a pedal to make
No. I just alternate between
fingerpicking and a guitar pick.
Some of the softer, more round-ed-out tones are fingerpicked,
and on the harder stuff with
more attack I’m using the pick.
2011 Fender Blacktop
Telecaster with Lindy
T-style guitar built by
Larry James of Larry’s
Custom Guitars, Alvarez
Fender ’ 65 Super Reverb
reissue, Bojan Mihajlovic
amp 2x12 with NOS 6L6
Fulltone OCD, Fulltone
Clyde wah (not shown)
Is your guitar’s volume knob
at the same level throughout,
or do you turn it up for the
I pretty much leave it the same
for both sections—around 6 or
7. Then I’ll turn it up for the
solo. When I go to the bridge,
I turn it all the way up and just
start strumming with the pick.
Strings, Picks, and
D’Addario .010 sets,
Dunlop 1.0 mm picks,
Boss TU- 3 Chromatic
Tuner (left), Monster
Cable, Mogami cables
Let’s talk about your career.
What are the pros and cons of
being a female blues guitarist?
There are definitely pros and
cons—it works both ways. The
cons are that people don’t always
take you seriously right off the
bat. They’ll come out just to see
a girl play guitar and, for me,
I always hated the idea of the
gimmick. People come out just
because you are a girl, but then
you have so much more that
you have to prove once you get
them in the door. I mean, it does
get them in the door, but they’re
skeptical when they’re there. You
have to win them over, it’s like,
“Hey man, I really take this seri-
ously, so I hope you will, too.”
an audience, and then when I
came back with my own band it
would be a lot easier to tour.
In the solo to “Feelin’ Alright,”
you incorporate some jazz-influenced ideas in your
solo—sort of a harmonically informed approach to
the blues à la Larry Carlton
or Robben Ford. Is that something you’ve been studying?
Yeah, we were doing a lot of
diminished stuff on that. It’s different from anything else on the
record, I think. I love Robben
Ford. I watch videos of him on
You Tube all the time just to see
if I can find any little tidbits here
and there that I can pick up,
but I really find myself in this
swampy, Delta, caveman-style
of music. Who knows what the
future will bring. I’m probably
going to head down that route
later. I’m open to any direction
of music, as long as it’s progress
for me. I have a great appreciation for that kind of music, it’s
just not what naturally comes
out when I play.
Was it competitive onstage
between you, Cassie, and Dani?
Of course everyone wants to do
the best job they can do but,
really, I don’t get that whole
when I play with the girls. Me
and Dani start doing our solos,
and we’re such different guitar
players that we’re just trying
to do our own thing. We just
want to play together and make
it sound good. When you start
trying to get over the top of
somebody, you lose what makes
it great. That’s when you lose the
musical aspect of it.
I was actually having a conversation with somebody about
this last night. If I happen to
write a song that’s more successful in the mainstream,
then more power to it. But
I’m not going to go out of my
way to do it. Whatever comes
out comes out, as long as it
comes out naturally. As long
as it’s something that I come
out with because I want to and
not because I’m trying to get
famous. With the blues, you
can’t lie. If you don’t feel it, the
audience isn’t going to feel it.
Tell us about the Girls with
It went hand in hand with my
record deal. Sometimes Ruf
Records puts new artists on their
Blues Caravan. Since it’s an established tour, I could walk into these
crowds and debut myself on their
label. That way, I could build up
Do you see yourself ever transi-
tioning from the blues to more
commercial music, like some
of the artists you grew up on?
In just seven years, you’ve gone
from picking up a guitar to getting a record deal. What advice
do you have for someone starting out in the business?
I’m a big believer in networking.
Get out there, meet as many
people as you can, and eventually something’s gonna hit.
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