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Grammy winning, Tele-smacking, Les Paul-wielding guitar great Jonny Lang met with Premier Guitar before his show at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center in Nashville on February 9th, 2014, to talk about his two favorite road axes and play some impromptu blues. We also learned that everybody loves to read about pedals.
With just three guitars, Lang travels light. When he wants to go acoustic, he grabs his Martin J-40 with a stock Martin pickup. For electric, Lang’s No. 1 has always been a Fender Telecaster—a tribute to his musical heroes, Albert Collins and Tab Benoit. In 2003, Fender made him this custom Thinline beauty, which has a maple top and sports three Bill Lawrence humbuckers. When not on the Tele, Lang relies on his Gibson 1958 Les Paul Standard reissue that has a special mojo he’s never found in any other Les Paul.
Lang’s Trailer Trash pedalboard is all about dirt, gain, and wah. A Monster Cable runs into a Jim Dunlop Joe Bonamassa Cry Baby wah, a Boss TU-2 tuner, and a custom switcher that can divert the signal to an Analog Man King of Tone, a Whirlwind The Bomb boost, a Visual Sound V2 Route 808, a Fulltone Ultimate Octave, a JAM Pedals Tube Dreamer, and a Boss AW-3 Dynamic Wah. A 3 Monkeys switcher selects between amp channels.
Lang’s two main stage amps are housed in Fender ’65 Deluxe Reverb reissue cabinets whose guts have been stripped out and replaced with vintage-spec circuits. However, the normal channel is modified to be very clean and the vibrato channel is crunchier. One amp is arranged behind the other so that the microphone in front of the rear amp picks up tones from the front amp.