onstage with his
trusty SVL 61.
Photo by Sam
What about amps?
I use a 50-watt Two-Rock amp based on
their Classic Reverb model, but it’s tweaked
up for me. They [Two-Rock] changed the
midrange voicing a bit. It has two rectifiers,
so it’s punchy like a solid-state amp, but
feels nice. It doesn’t get all mashy and saggy
like amps with a tube rectifier.
You’ve mentioned in the past that a
blackface Fender is the tonal ballpark for
you. Why not just use one?
I do use a Super Reverb, but things have
evolved a lot more than that. The Two-
Rock reminds me of my blackface Fender in
that it does everything I like but it’s much
bigger, fatter, and more reliable. It never
breaks down. With the 4x10 cab that they
make for me, it’s kind of like a giant-sounding
Super Reverb—but with that midrange
that the Two-Rocks get, as well.
What else can you tell us about your
It’s a single-channel amp, and I use it for
the clean sound and then get the dirt from
my pedals. But I totally rely on the tone of
the amp in the first place—it’s not like I’m
using a lot of gain on the pedals. It has a
bunch of other switches and functions that
I never use—like the FET boost channel
and all the switches on the back that I never
know how to set—but they’ve been taken
off or disconnected.
I understand that you’ve also recently
checked out some Bludotone amps.
Simon looks after one for Larry Carlton
in the UK—Larry keeps them all over the
world—so I got to use Larry’s for a few
shows. It’s really cool, but definitely more of
that Dumble thing, and I’ve gone back to
using a single-channel clean amp.
So now, even if you had access to an
actual Dumble, you’d still be using the
Yeah. With the latest stuff Two-Rock has
been putting out, I’m, like, totally done
with gear. I’ve got the Two-Rock and the
4x10 cab with the Eminence Ragin Cajuns,
and they work every night—they never
blow up. And I’ve got my two pedals—the
Klon [Centaur] and the Mad Professor
Deep Blue delay. I’m not even looking for
Is there any other gear you’re really
I have my own signature set of Curt
Mangan nickel-wound stings, and they’re
the best strings ever for me. They sound
great, and I haven’t broken a single string
since I started using them. I’ve even been
able to go back to using vintage-style steel
saddles on my guitars, which I much prefer
the tone of over graphite “string-savers.”