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. 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…
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 modulation effects.
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 closed back.
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.
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 YouTube 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.
Gibson ’56 Goldtop Reissue
Loaded with Lindy Fralin’s stellar sounding P-90s.
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.
This Blackguard Tele-style was an automatic the first time I laid hands on it. Lightweight, live and 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.
Other guitars still on the road:
From Left to Right: Firebird I, Patillo, '58 Tele, Nash T-Series
Gibson Custom Shop Les Paul Custom, ‘76 Fender Telecaster Custom, James Trussart Steel Top Custom, Tonequest Strat-style, 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 always changing.
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 compressors 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.
Late-sixties Cry Baby—Clyde McCoy period.
This belongs to Wolfy, as well. It has to be the best sounding wah I’ve ever used. This specimen is exceptional in comparison to other vintage wahs we’ve auditioned. When he takes it back, I’m screwed.
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,”
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 Suppressors.
Peter is co-founder of 65amps.