SOUND & TECHNIQUE
A musician's tone and technique is something personal, for some they are blessed early with finding their 'sound', while others like myself slowly evolve into their own. These days my focus is on playing the blues from a jazz or bebop approach, I like to call it Funky HardBop Blues. There's some BB King, some Robben Ford, Grant Green, and Ronnie Earl in there somewhere. When I was young my dad turned me onto Duke Ellington, Johnny Hodges just blew me away. Ellington's band / orchestra swung hard, his compositions were everything from gorgeously poignant to ripping to complex colors of sound and emotion. His soloists blew through everything with a grace and command that just floored me. This is exactly what I want to bring to every playing situation.
Like most musicians I've gone through my share of guitars and amps and pedals. Today, I use a Fender American Telecaster which is very dear to me for personal reasons. It is outfitted with a neck kit and a bridge pickup personally wound for me by Jay Monterose who was involved with the late great Danny Gatton. The neck pickup is a Dimarzio Twang King. Together they provide me with the tone I am looking for, very 'tele' sounding but with strat tones in the neck position.
My amp is a godsend from luthier and super tech Alan Watsky (Mr. Wizard) who took a Fender Blues Junior and installed the infamous Bill M mods. I replaced the stock Fender Special Design speaker with an Eminence Cannabis Rex and swapped out the Sovtek preamp tubes for Svetlana tubes. This amp is my secret weapon, it delivers vintage Fender tones and is exactly the sound I have been looking for.