Wielding his Gibson Custom Shop 1958 Les Paul reissue, Jonny Lang rips through the Hendrix classic “Fire.”
Jonny Lang first got attention for being something of a prodigy. Between the time he picked up the guitar at age 12 and the 2010 Experience Hendrix Tour, he’s accomplished more than most musicians twice his age. His aggressive, soulful playing and gritty vocals have earned him a Grammy nomination, tour slots with the likes of the Rolling Stones and Jeff Beck, and even a call from Eric Clapton himself to play at the Crossroads Festival. His obvious Hendrix influence makes him a perfect fit for the Experience Hendrix Tour.
However, of all the guitarists on the tour, Lang was a standout because he didn’t use Strats, single-coils, or Marshalls. “I was thinking about taking out a Fender Strat with a Marshall and a Fuzz Face, but I just couldn’t do it without feeling like I was trying to copy Jimi,” he confessed. “So, I just brought out the rig that I would normally use for my own music. It makes me interpret his music in a way that sounds like me. That’s what makes a tour like this really cool, because everybody interprets Jimi’s music in their own way.”
Still, Lang has a rather traditional rig for a blues-rock guitarist. “For guitars, I normally use my Custom Shop Fender Thinline Telecaster with humbuckers,” he said. “I’ve recently been using a ’58 Gibson Les Paul Standard reissue that was custom made for me. I’m running them through two Fender Deluxe Reverbs, and the sound of that setup kills me!” For effects, he turned away from an old friend—the Ibanez TS808— and plugged into a Route 66 Overdrive. “They’re similar, but the Route 66 has more headroom.”
Lang’s pedalboard was a rather simple one: It featured a Boss TU-2 Tuner, a Visual Sound Route 66 Overdrive, a Vox reissue wah, and a Boss DW-3 Dynamic Wah.
Lang’s amp setup consisted of two handwired Fender Deluxe Reverb reissues. This one is mic’d with a Shure SM57. He plugged into both the Normal and Vibrato channels simultaneously for extra thickness and texture.
Lang’s second Deluxe Reverb reissue was mic’d with a Shure SM27. He prefers to have the amps facing to his left, not directly to his back.