PG's Tessa Jeffers is on location in Davenport, Iowa, where she checks out the guitarist's custom T-styles and combos that amplify her blues-rock jams.

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PG's Tessa Jeffers is on location in Davenport, Iowa where she catches up with blues player Samantha Fish to check out her rig.

Samantha Fish's custom Delaney "Fish-o-caster" is a thinline T-style with Klein humbuckers and a fish-shaped soundhole. A self-proclaimed Tele girl, Fish’s custom Delaney has a swamp ash body with natural grain and tint and a rosewood fretboard. She replaced the initial miniature humbucker and single-coil with her current Klein humbuckers for a fatter sound. She uses D’Addario .011–.049 strings.

For her current tour, Fish keeps a Fender Blacktop Telecaster in dropped-D or open G tuning for playing slide during live shows. The Blacktop, which she acquired while on the Girls with Guitars Tour, also has Klein pickups and a rosewood fretboard.

Fish bought her Stogie Box Blues cigar box from a vendor while in Helena, Arkansas, playing at the 2012 King Biscuit Blues Festival. It has a P-90, is tuned to open G, and Fish uses one of her four slides—both glass and brass variations—to play it. Her newest guitar is a Dean chrome-on-brass engraved resonator dobro that she got as a Christmas gift. She’s still getting comfortable with playing it, but the plan is to use it for solo acoustic shows.

Category 5 Amplification’s owner Don Ritter worked with Fish on this custom Andrew 2x12 amp with a matching silver tolex extension cab. The amp and cab each have 10” and 12” speakers. Fish was turned on to Category 5 amps by some of her favorite blues players, such as Joe Bonamassa, Warren Haynes, and Tab Benoit. She prefers a “monster amp” tone, and plays mostly on Channel 2.

Fish uses minimal effects, but has a Fulltone OCD for when she’s playing smaller clubs and can’t crank her amp but needs gain distortion. Mentor and producer Mike Zito gave Fish the MXR Custom Badass Modified O.D. as a present. “When I really wanna rock, I hit that pedal,” she says. She’s experimenting with effects from Mojo Hand FX and plans to add a Crosstown Fuzz and a tremolo to her board this year.

The emotional wallop of the acoustic guitar sometimes flies under the radar. Even if you mostly play electric, here are some things to consider about unplugging.

I have a love-hate relationship with acoustic guitars. My infatuation with the 6-string really blasted off with the Ventures. That’s the sound I wanted, and the way to get it was powered by electricity. Before I’d even held a guitar, I knew I wanted a Mosrite, which I was sure was made of fiberglass like the surfboards the Beach Boys, Surfaris, and the Challengers rode in their off time. Bristling with space-age switchgear and chrome-plated hardware, those solidbody hotrod guitars were the fighter jets of my musical dreams. I didn’t even know what those old-timey round-hole guitars were called. As the singing cowboys Roy Rogers and Gene Autrey strummed off into the sunset, the pace of technology pushed the look and sound of the electric guitar (and bass) into the limelight and into my heart. Imagine my disappointment when I had to begin my guitar tutelage on a rented Gibson “student” acoustic. At least it sort of looked like the ones the Beatles occasionally played. Even so, I couldn’t wait to trade it in.

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