Wes Hauch and Tim Walker dish out bleak brutality and darkened death metal (with a side of moodier moments) by way of choice Ibanez shredsicles, a signature set of Seymour Duncan firebreathers, and meticulously managed modelers dialed for pure power, diabolical dynamics, and technical ecstasy.
Being in a band can be a mercurial experience. Internal combustion and outside factors can make any promising group crash and burn before reaching cruising altitude. Plus, it’s never been easier to replace bothersome bandmates with plugins and software. So in 2015, Wes Hauch paused all his various death-metal day jobs (formerly with the Faceless, Thy Art Is Murder, Glass Casket, and Black Crown Initiate) and started Alluvial as a brain break and artistic challenge to scratch itches previously unreachable.
“I started to think about putting a band together that was everything that I missed about what wasn’t going on in heavy music,” Hauch told PG in 2021.
He teamed up with fellow shredder Keith Merrow and the duo put their darkest emotions into the instrumental project. They built everything from the ground up and The Deep Longing for Annihilation was self-released in 2017. It (beautifully) bludgeoned the ears of Animals as Leaders’ Javier Reyes, who wanted to take out Alluvial on tour. And now Hauch needed a band… his band.
While writing his next batch of material that would ultimately evolve into 2021’s Sarcoma (released on Nuclear Blast), Hauch recruited singer Kevin Muller (Suffocation and The Merciless Concept) and drummer Matt Guglielmo to fill everything out. The results are like someone dropped a Shelby GT500 inside an excavator primed to pummel granite. Death metal might be its blanket, but there’s more lurking under the covers. The second album has moments of blitzkrieg (“Sarcoma”), allusions to Greg Ginn playing in an extreme metal band (“The Putrid Sunrise”), and even hallucinatory respites (“40 Stories”).
“I’m always trying to find something that’s a different sort of rhythmic motif for metal, just to see if it's going to work, and if it's going to make people feel it, or if it’s going to make me feel it,” stated Hauch.
Now Alluvial is a full four horsemen with bassist Tim Walker and drummer Zach Dean, who both have been playing live with Hauch and Muller and contributed to their forthcoming EP Death Is But A Door.
“I wanted to have a band where we can write meaningful yet action-packed songs. Something that is terrifying but breaks your heart at the same time. I think we’ll always chase that, but we want to find new ways to be heavy” Hauch reflected.
Alluvial seems to be avoiding any turbulence during their ascent with just one thing in mind: gatherings through gain.
“I want to go play with everyone … all the people that enjoy the message that’s usually coupled with that distorted guitar,” said Hauch. “And for anyone who’s checking this out, I want to say thank you, because it’s hard to get anyone to participate in your art these days. The fact that people are, I’m very grateful.”
Ahead of Alluvial’s opening slot supporting Intervals and Tesseract at Nashville’s Brooklyn Bowl, founding guitarist (and lead headbanger) Wes Hauch and bassist Tim Walker welcomed PG’s Chris Kies onstage to explore their tools of destruction. Hauch highlighted his main 7-string Ibanez shred sticks—including his signature set of Seymour Duncan Jupiter Rails humbuckers—and detailed the great lengths he went to capture his favorite Boogie and Friedman sounds in his Kemper for the band’s “get-the-fuck-out-of-the-way rig.” Then Walker quickly spotlighted his Ibanez blackout 5-string bass—and the mods he’s made—plus explained the motive behind matching a rackmount Helix with a fridge-sized Ampeg 6x10.
Brought to you by D'Addario.
"The Coolest Shape Gibson Never Thought Of"
Hauch has had a long relationship with Ibanez. He’s been using their extended-range, 7-string monsters for years. He landed on the Iceman shape because of friend and contemporary Wacław “Vogg” Kiełtyka of Decapitated. (In our Rig Rundown video, he of course acknowledges the influences that Paul Stanley and White Zombie’s Jay Yuenger played in the decision, too.)
“I look at this like the coolest shape Gibson never thought of,” remarks Hauch. “This is the best things about a Les Paul and Explorer in a pretty unique shape. It feels cozier to me and I can wear it at ‘regulation cool’ height and still play well [laughs].”
This L.A. Custom Shop creation has a flame maple top over a mahogany body, a maple neck with a purpleheart stringer up the middle, ebony fretboard, and 27" scale length. Some mods he’s made to it include swapping out the standard tune-o-matic-style bridge and for an ABM 2507b that has fine tuners. With this addition, Hauch claims this to be his “most functional guitar,” allowing him to pull off the entire set if needed.
The heartbeat of this colossus comes from Hauch’s signature Seymour Duncan Jupiter Rails that took over two years to develop. It has dual stainless-steel rail poles, a ceramic magnet and a finely-tuned, high-output wind that aims to deliver an aggressive midrange-focused attack, evenly balanced string response, and clarity. Hauch notes that he purposely rolled off the low end on the pickup so it reacts better, and he can effectively use resonance controls or EQ parameters later in his chain.
The green machine typically rides in G#-standard tuning (G#–C#–F#–B–E–G#–C#) and takes a set of D’Addario NYXL1052 Light Top/Heavy Bottom strings plus a .068 on the low-B string.
Here is Swamp Thing’s little brother that measures in with a standard 25.5" scale length, a smaller mahogany body that’s capped with a curly maple lid, and a Sustainiac pickup in the neck (alongside Hauch’s Jupiter in the bridge). The added 3-way switch toggles between modes for the Sustainiac: unison, a fifth, and octave up.During the Rundown Hauch states that he used this Iceman for all the solos on Alluvial’s forthcoming EP Death Is But A Door. It usually stays in standard tuning and takes D’Addario NYXL1052 Light Top/Heavy Bottom strings plus a .062 for the low-B string.
Blue Me Away
This Ibanez Prestige RG2027XL is a favorite for Hauch, who claims the guitars are “out of control sick. I had to get two!” The RG has a basswood body, a 5-piece maple-and-wenge neck in the Wizard-7 profile, a bound rosewood fretboard, a 27" scale length, and is finished in a striking dark tide blue.
The few changes he’s made include trading out the bridge DiMarzio Fusion Edge 7 humbucker for his Duncan Jupiter Rails and substituting the stock trem springs with some from FU-Tone.
Alluvial bassist Tim Walker travels with this single Ibanez Iron Label BTB652EX that is built with an okume body, 5-piece maple-and-walnut neck (with thru construction and a 35" scale length), an ebonol fretboard, Bartolini BH2 pickups, and an onboard 3-band EQ with 3-way mid-frequency switch. He prefers to play a custom set of D’Addario NYXL bass strings (.050–.145) and attacks them with a Dunlop Tortex .73 mm pick.
One thing Walker has done since buying the Iron Label 5-string is remove the BH2s for a set of Aguilar DCB-D2 Dual Ceramic pickups that gives him a little more attack and an even frequency response.
Exit ... Stage Left!
For the sake of efficiency as an opener and reduced travel costs, Hauch built up this streamlined setup he coined the “get-the-fuck-out-of-the-way rig.” He customized the Kemper Profiler by capturing his Mesa/Boogie Dual Rectifier Revision G and Friedman JJ-100 Jerry Cantrell heads, so he feels at home while on the road. Hauch’s favorite part of the simplified digital solution: “It turns on every day [laughs].” (You can download Wes’ profiles of these amps and others here.)
Tim’s side of the tonal equation has a Line 6 Helix Rack that he’s been loving for over five years. He digs the platform’s intuitive layout that’s enabled him to take a studio approach to separately sculpt his bass sound in low-, mid-, and top-end frequencies that are then all blendable at the end of his chain. His main tones are based around Cali Bass (Mesa/Boogie M9) and Obsidian 7000 (Darkglass Microtubes B7K Ultra) models. He’s selected a 3 Sigma Audio cab IR based on a Mesa/Boogie PowerHouse 6x10. Additionally, he configures several patches and blocks within each song for the band’s setlist. He’s got it pretty maxed out and the Helix hasn’t begged for mercy yet.
Both Hauch and Walker utilize Seymour Duncan PowerStage 700 to power cabinets onstage, Sennheiser EW-D CI1 SET Digital Wireless Instrument Systems to freely roam the stage, Sennheiser EW IEM G4 Wireless in-ear monitors, and a Behringer X32 Rack to mix their live sound.
Here’s a closeup look at what Hauch and Walker have at their backs and feet. Up top is Walker’s Ampeg SVT-610HLF bass cab equipped with Eminence 10" speakers. The middle is a pair of Hauch’s EVH 5150IIIS EL34 4x12 cabinets each loaded with four 12" Celestion G12 EVH 20W speakers. And at the bottom is Wes’ Kemper Profiler Remote controller, an old Digitech Whammy WH-1, and a Dunlop Volume (X) DVP4.
Ibanez Iceman 7-String
Seymour Duncan Jupiter Rails
D’Addario NYXL1052 Light Top/Heavy Bottom Strings
Ibanez Prestige RG2027XL
Seymour Duncan Wes Hauch Jupiter 7-String Bridge Humbucker Pickup
Ibanez Iron Label BTB652EX
Aguilar DCB-D2 Dual Ceramic Pickups
D’Addario NYXL Bass Strings (.050–.145)
Kemper Profiler Rack
Line 6 Helix Rack
Seymour Duncan PowerStage 700
Sennheiser EW-D CI1 SET Digital Wireless Instrument Systems
Sennheiser EW IEM G4 Wireless In-Ear Monitors
Behringer X32 Rack
Ampeg SVT-610HLF Bass Cab
EVH 5150IIIS EL34 4x12
Celestion G12 EVH 20w Speakers
Kemper Profiler Remote
Dunlop Volume (X) DVP4
Foo Fighters are set to play the inaugural show on May 30, 2023.
Foo Fighters will headline the new Washington D.C. venue, a 450-capacity room, built as a replica of the original 9:30 club. Tickets for these inaugural run of shows will be priced at $44 each and sold via a lottery-style process.
From The Atlantis site:
In an effort to deter scalping and to make sure tickets get into the hands of legitimate fans, The Atlantis is utilizing Ticketmaster Request powered by Ticketstoday for ticketing the inaugural run of shows. This is similar to the ticketing model recently used by Pearl Jam and Jack White for their lottery-style artist presales. Submitting a ticket request allows fans the opportunity to purchase tickets without competing in a first-come, first-served ticket on-sale.
More info: https://theatlantis.com.
The upright bassist, whose credits read like a who’s who of jazz greats, shares on his early musical career, which began when he was just 13 years old.
Recently, I was lucky enough to speak with the great Scott Colley—who’s worked with a host of jazz masters, including Herbie Hancock, Pat Metheny, Jim Hall, and Julian Lage—about bass, music, life, and more. I’ll be presenting this interview in two parts: the first dealing with how Scott came to be a bass player and his early experiences, and the second dealing with his specific areas of advice for all bassists. In this column, I’m sharing Part 1.
Colley was presented with a daunting decision at age 11: bass or trumpet? There were only two openings available in his elementary school orchestra. Honestly, it could’ve gone either way, and today, you could be reading my interview with an accomplished jazz trumpeter. Alas, his older brother, Jim—a drummer—said, “I want a rhythm section player in the family. You should play bass!” And so began the successful bass career of one of the soon-to-be-better-known acoustic bassists on the international jazz scene.
“I was learning a lot from these experiences, where older musicians would say, ‘Learn these tunes by Friday—and you’d better learn them!’”
Born and raised in Los Angeles, Colley’s brother exposed him to jazz at a young age. By 13, he was playing biweekly as the resident bassist at a jam session in Pasadena, was fortunate enough to work alongside many much older and more experienced jazz musicians, including Chuck Manning, Larry Koonse, Serge Kasimoff, Teddy Edwards, and Albert “Tootie” Heath. Some would give him advice or stacks of records and help him figure out what to listen to—or listen for. Like many successful musicians, Colley also had an amazing and influential music teacher at Eagle Rock Jr./Sr. High School. Band Director John Rinaldo managed to keep his program going, even when Los Angeles city schools had no funds, by throwing fundraisers.
Today, looking back, Colley describes himself during this early period as “more of a jazz purist,” who learned mostly by ear as he studied some of greats like Paul Chambers and Charles Mingus. He also took regular lessons with bass veteran Monty Budwig (a local legend). Read on to learn more about his musical journey.
PG: So, you grew as a musician that quickly, in just a few years?
Scott Colley: Yeah! In hindsight, I can’t imagine how that all happened in three years! I was learning a lot from these experiences, where older musicians would say, “Learn these tunes by Friday—and you’d better learn them!” That was the vibe! Another significant moment was when my brother offered to take me to see Weather Report in 1978. I didn’t want to go because I thought it was fusion [laughs].
PG: Wow! The era of some of my favorite Weather Report! Black Market, Mr. Gone, Heavy Weather…. You saw them live?!
Colley: Yeah. This was right after Heavy Weather came out. Seeing Jaco at that moment, hearing Wayne [Shorter] and Joe [Zawinul], their amazing orchestration, and the amount of sounds and grooves that could come out of that band—Peter Erskine, whew…. I thought, this is some shit that I’ve never heard! I don’t know where this all comes from, but I want to know! So, that kind of opened the door for me to think, “Oh, there’s a lot of stuff out here that I haven’t been experiencing.” From there, very shortly afterwards, I discovered—or rather, I realized—the amazing music of Ornette Coleman, beginning with Old and New Dreams [a quartet of Coleman’s former side musicians Dewey Redman, Don Cherry, Charlie Haden, and Ed Blackwell] and then going back to all the amazing classic quartet stuff.
PG: How old were you then?
Colley: About 14 or 15. It was a really great way of discovering music by listening, rather than from the page. But then I realized that there’s certain music that I want to be involved in that does require me to learn to read, understand harmony, the functions of melody, the functions of the bass within music, etc.
Then, I finished high school and floated for a year playing around Los Angeles. I was just gonna move to New York but heard that Charlie Haden was teaching at CalArts. So, I auditioned just so I could meet him. I figured he’d give me some pointers or something, and then I’d head off to New York [laughs]. Charlie said, “We’re getting ready to start a jazz program. Do you want to go to school here?”
So, I went to CalArts! Because of Charlie and David Roitstein, the pianist and heart of the Cal Arts jazz program, I got an amazing education.
They had an incredible program with teachers in jazz, world music, modern classical music, composition…. They’d have visiting artists like John Cage, Morton Feldman, Don Cherry, Pat Metheny, Dave Holland, and artists on faculty from North and South India, Balinese and Javanese gamelan, Nigerian and Ghanaian traditional music, and then Charlie. So, I did four years of CalArts, sold all my stuff, got my bass in a suitcase, and then moved to New York.
Mammoth II arrives on August 4th. Watch the music video for single "Another Celebration at the End of the World" now.
On the heels of a whirlwind debut that included a Grammy-award nomination for his first-ever single, #1 debuts on multiple charts, television performances, and sold out shows over a two-year span, Mammoth WVH is back with its sophomore album Mammoth II. The 10-track record will be available worldwide on August 4th via the band’s new label, BMG. Recorded at the legendary 5150 studio, the album was produced by friend and collaborator Michael “Elvis” Baskette. Mammoth II is available for pre-order in multiple configurations here: https://MammothWVH.lnk.to/MammothIIPR.
Continuing the tradition of writing all of the songs and performing all of the instrumentation and vocals himself, Wolfgang Van Halen set out to challenge himself to expand his sound beyond what people had already come to know him for. From the rocking opener “Right?” to Beatles-esque fade on closer “Better Than You” Mammoth II showcases the growth of Wolfgang as a songwriter, musician and especially vocalist. Songs like “Like A Pastime,” “Take A Bow” and “Waiting” are all sonically different from each other but unique to what mastermind Wolfgang Van Halen and Mammoth WVH is. The debut single from Mammoth II is the upbeat rocker “Another Celebration At The End Of The World.” The single is currently impacting radio and the music video for “Another Celebration At The End Of The World” is an 8:25 introduction to the Mammoth WVH live band. Picking up where the #1 single “Don’t Back Down” music video left off, the new video showcases a frustrated Wolfgang firing the other Wolfgang’s from that video and replacing them with his now notorious live band featuring Frank Sidoris (guitars), Jon Jourdan (guitars), Ronnie Ficarro (Bass) and Garrett Whitlock (drums).
Mammoth WVH - Another Celebration at the End of the World (Official Music Video)
“I knew that I wanted the new album to contain elements of what people heard on the debut, but also giving me a chance to branch out a bit. ‘Another Celebration At The End Of the World’ is definitely a song that showcases what people can expect from the new album. It is a high-energy rocker with some fun guitar moments on it. I also pushed myself vocally and it is a song I can’t wait to get out and play live. I can see it being a fixture in our live set moving forward,” explains Wolfgang Van Halen
2. Like A Pastime
3. Another Celebration At The End Of The World
4. Miles Above Me
5. Take A Bow
7. I’m Alright
8. Erase Me
10. Better Than You
Photo by Travis
Mammoth WVH is planning to tour around the globe in support of Mammoth II. The live band – comprised of Wolfgang Van Halen, Frank Sidoris, Jon Jourdan, Ronnie Ficarro and Garrett Whitlock - is currently on the second leg of the US tour supporting Alter Bridge before moving to another massive tour playing alongside Metallica. Mammoth WVH will also be making various festival appearances around the globe as well as headline stops going in to 2024. More dates will be announced in the near future tickets for all Mammoth WVH appearances can be found here: https://www.mammothwvh.com.
Tour Dates 2023
Mar 23 – Seattle, WA – Paramount Theatre *
Mar 25 – Airway Heights, WA - Northern Quest Resort & Casino *
Mar 26 – Airway Heights, WA - Northern Quest Resort & Casino *
Mar 28 – Anaheim, CA – House Of Blues *
Mar 29 – Tempe, AZ – Marquee Theatre *
Mar 31 – Reno, NV – Silver Legacy Resort Casino *
Apr 1 – Highland, CA – Yaamava Theater *
Apr 27 – Amsterdam, NL – Johan Cruijff ArenA #
May 19 – Paris, FR – Stade de France #
May 26 – Hamburg, DE – Volksparkstadion #
May 29 – Berlin, DE – Hole44
May 30 – Frankfurt, DE – Das Bett
Jun 1 – Köln, DE – Gebäude 9
Jun 3 – Tilburg, NL - Poppodium 013 *
Jun 6 – Edinburgh, UK – O2 Academy Edinburgh *
Jun 8 – Castle Donington, Derby, UK – Download Festival
Jun 10 – Sölvesborg, SE – Sweden Rock Festival
Jun 13 – Stockholm, SE – Gröna Lund *
Jun 15 – Dessel, BE – Graspop Metal Meeting
Jun 16 – Göteborg, SE – Ullevi #
Jun 17 – Copenhagen, DK – Copenhell Festival 2023
Jun 20 – Ludwigsburg, DE – Mhp Arena
Tour Dates 2024
May 24 - München, DE - Olympiastadion München #
Jun 7 – Helsinki, FI – Helsinki Olympic Stadium #
Jun 14 - Copenhagen, DK – Telia Parken #
Jul 5 - Warszawa, PL - PGE Narodowy #
Jul 12 – Madrid, ES - Cívitas Metropolitano #
Aug 2 – Foxborough, MA – Gillette Stadium #
Aug 9 – Chicago, IL – Soldier Field #
Aug 16 – Minneapolis, MN – US Bank Stadium #
Aug 23 – Edmonton, CA- Commonwealth Stadium #
Aug 30 – Seattle, WA – Lumen Field Event Center #
Sep 20 – Mexico – Foro Sol #
Sep 27 – Mexico – Foro Sol #
# Supporting Metallica
See how a Tube Screamer and a pair of POGs mesh with badass bassist Bridget Kearney’s carved double bass. Plus, touring guitarist James Cornelison shows the oddball guitars and pickups he chose to funkify the band’s neo-soul dance parties.
College internships can run the gamut. They can lead you into a career or dissuade you from pursuing one altogether. In 2004, while still attending the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, singer Rachael Price, bassist Bridget Kearney, founding guitarist Mike “McDuck” Olson, and drummer Mike Calabrese joined forces to perform as what they dubbed a “free country band,” where they intended to play country music in an improvised, avant-garde style. As it goes with many college-years experiments, it didn’t stick, but the fervid foursome pushed forward in continuing to develop their own sound. They quickly graduated to a bona fide band cultivating a buzz with infectious concerts, creative covers, and complex, groovy originals. Through their mutual influences and complimentary counterpoints, their sound matured into a harmonious fusion, as if Berry Gordy produced the Beatles in Nashville’s RCA Studio.
If starting a band and shaping their sound was an internship and bachelor’s degree, self-releasing records and organizing U.S. tours would be their master’s and doctorate. They self-released 2007’s In This Episode... and 2008’s Promises, Promises before joining Signature Sounds, who put out 2010’s Lake Street Dive and 2014’s Bad Self Portraits. (The latter slotted them on the Billboard charts—No. 18 in the 200 and No. 5 in Top Rock Albums.) They then signed to Nonesuch, where they’ve dropped three more albums—most notably 2016’s Side Pony, which put them atop the Top Rock Albums chart, while 2021’s Obviously netted them their highest single, with “Hypotheticals” hitting No. 2 on the Adult Alternative Airplay chart.
And while the band has continued to evolve, experiment, and expand their signature sound, they have kept to their core identity—having fun. They seem never to miss a Halloween dress-up show, and still aren’t gun-shy about covering classics and making them their own. Setlists are often littered with audience requests and reinterpretations of the Beatles, Hall & Oates, George Michael, Bonnie Raitt, Elvis, Shania Twain, the Pointer Sisters, the Jackson Five, the Kinks, Steely Dan, Annie Lennox, Sly & the Family Stone, and countless others.
The afternoon before their second consecutive sellout at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium, Lake Street Dive’s Bridget Kearney and touring guitarist James Cornelison welcomed PG’s Chris Kies on stage for a casual gear chat. Kearney explained how she uses a pair of octave pedals through her standup double bass, and what she’s doing with four tuners! Plus, she explains what restarted her slow-burn courtship with electric bass. Then, Cornelison walks us through his setup, which includes leftover pieces from retired guitarist Mike “McDuck” Olson and a ratty pickup bought off a former PG staffer. It both honors the band’s catalog and carves his own musical fingerprint.
Brought to you by D’Addario Nexxus 360 Tuner.
All About That Bass
Bridget Kearney is known for almost exclusively using a standup double bass on stage and in the studio with Lake Street Dive. (As you’ll see in a minute, she’s fostering her connection with electric bass.) She’s been thumping on this one since LSD took shape. She acquired the 50-year-old carved double bass (all solid-wood construction) from fellow bass player and friend Ben Davis. When she received it from Davis, he had already added a David Gage Realist LifeLine pickup, but she’s opted to add and amplify via a Fishman Full Circle Upright Bass Pickup (“the heart of the tone”) and a Pierre Josephs String Charger magnetic transducer (“helpful getting extra juice to cut through when playing with a full band”). The Fishman provides a pure, clean signal to FOH, while the String Charger handles all the effects Kearney puts on her instrument. It’s been years since she’s changed strings, but she thinks they’re D’Addario Helicore Orchestral bass strings.
In Brooklyn for Halloween 2020, Lake Street Dive recreated the iconic Beatles rooftop concert. In doing so, the entire band doubled down to look the part (wigs, sideburns, and shaggy coats included). To be as authentic as possible, Kearney borrowed a friend’s Höfner for the performance. She enjoyed the playing experience and wanted to further investigate the electric bass, then bought this Höfner Limited Edition H500/2-RLC-O Club Bass. “Before this, I hadn’t played electric bass for nearly 20 years. It took me to the age of 35 to think, ‘I wonder if electric bass could be a cool thing?’ Höfner and that rooftop concert was my gateway drug back to solidbody electric basses.”
Kearney landed this brown beauty just a few months ago while instrument-shopping in Seattle. She had saw this 1975 Fender P bass on a store’s online inventory, but Bridget realized after arriving that she had went to the wrong store. However, the “wrong” store had a 1969 P she couldn’t pass up. Even after buying a vintage gem, months later, the above ’75 was still haunting her. So, the next time she visited Seattle, Kearney went to the “right” store and made the purchase. She hasn’t used it in the studio yet, but during this run of shows, she brought it for the band’s cover of “Love Doctor” from her 2017 solo record Won’t Let You Down. (The Cookin’ Outlaws stickers were put on prior to the score, and Bridget notes they are a part of the instrument’s charm.)
Bridget Kearney’s Pedalboard
“My pedalboard is a little bit ridiculous. It’s composed of four Boss tuners [laughs],” concedes Kearney. Unraveling the 4-tuner conundrum, she explains that she uses a pair of TU-3s for each pickup on her standup bass. The ingenious silver plate allows her to mute both signals with one kick. A passive TU-2 stays on all the time to help her play the fretless standup as close to in tune as possible. And the fourth Boss tuner is for her electric basses. Her duo of Electro-Harmonix Micro POGs each have a specific duty—one goes low (for “Good Kisser”), and one goes high (for solos and melodic lines). An Ibanez TS9 Tube Screamer adds some sting to the double bass for “Bobby Tanqueray” and other parts. A couple of Radial Firefly Tube Direct Boxes send all her bass signals to FOH.
Gather ’Round This Gibson
For this batch of shows under the Gather Round Sounds Tour umbrella, LSD revamped their catalog for stripped-down, alternative arrangements. This is how they described the tour on social media: “Join us for these easy going, semi-acoustic evenings full of the fan favs, some deep cuts, and maybe even some works in progress in our most relaxed, basement couch setting yet.” Accommodating those cozy cabin vibes, guitarist James Cornelison brought along this 2010s Gibson J-35 reissue.
When the band reaches maximum campfire camaraderie, they perform as a guitar trio. In that arrangement, drummer/percussionist Mike Calabrase uses this Gibson Songwriter Standard EC Rosewood acoustic-electric.
This late-’60s Harmony H165 is singing better than ever, thanks to the facelift handed out by Old Style Guitar Shop in L.A. Aside from bracing upgrades and a proper setup, it’s been given two pickups (a piezo) and what looks like (but is unconfirmed) a variation of Seymour Duncan’s Hot Rails. When asked during the Rundown, James was unsure but did note that Old Style uses this pickup on all their acoustic overhauls. You’ll also notice a rubber bridge giving this storyteller even more vibe.
Cornelison’s roommate received this Excel SS from D’Angelico, but James gravitated more towards the instrument, so it unofficially became his. (What a friend!) Since adopting the 6-string, he’s designated it as his “Frankenstein project” as he’s tried several experiments on it—using flatwounds, playing in open tunings, and replacing the stock neck humbucker with an old Teisco gold-foil pickup. It currently is the slide guitar for LSD material and stays in high-tension F-tuning for “Hush Money” off 2021’s Obviously.
We’re Not Worthy!
Single-coil sweetness is provided by this ’90s Squier Wayne’s WorldStratocaster. (As you would assume, “Stairway” is not allowed on this Strat—denied!)
Big Ups to Big Thief
“I’m a big fan of Adrianne Lenker and I always enjoyed that she played semi-hollow guitars with P-90s in it. I thought it was cool to have the reversal of the hollowbody archetype with P-90s instead of humbuckers,” admits Cornelison. This D’Angelico Deluxe DC features a set of Seymour Duncan STK-P1 Stacked P-90s and is serial #3.
Original guitarist and cofounding member Mike “McDuck” Olson left this ’50s Les Paul Standard (finished in Heritage Cherry Sunburst) for Cornelison to use in his absence. James remarks that this electric does the bulk of the work when the full band is represented.
On this subdued set, Cornelison plugged all his electrics into the above Magnatone Twilighter 112 combo.
James Cornelison's Pedalboard
This dialed-in setup was designed and built by longtime Jason Isbell tech Michael Bethancourt. Cornelison has onstage control of everything via the RJM Mastermind GT. Also, out front is a Boss TU-3 Chromatic Tuner and an Ernie Ball VP Jr volume pedal. His two-drawer rack holds the following pedals: a Source Audio EQ2 Programmable Equalizer, a JHS SuperBolt V2, a Behringer US600 Ultra Shifter/Harmonist, a JHS Colour Box V2, a Keeley Katana Clean Boost, JHS Morning Glory, and a Strymon Flint & Deco. Everything is powered by a pair of Strymon Zuma units. Additionally, an RJM Mini Effect Gizmo MIDI controller helps organize the signal paths.