Top 10 Rig Rundowns of 2018
Based on your eyeballs, here are the most-watched episodes of the year.
Honorable Mention #2: G.E. SmithFew guitarists have had a more illustrious career then G.E. Smith. From his run with Hall & Oates to his decade of leading the Saturday Night Live band, Smith has played with nearly everyone including Mick Jagger, Tina Tuner, Eddie Van Halen, Buddy Guy, Al Green, and Bob Dylan. Smith hung out with Premier Guitar’s John Bohlinger after soundcheck before a recent show at Nashville’s City Winery during the Masters of Telecaster tour and gave an up-close look at his killer, old-school rig.
Honorable Mention #1: Julien BakerPG’s Chris Kies visits Nashville’s Diamond Sound Studios before Julien Baker ventured on her joint tour performing as a solo act and with her songwriting compatriots Phoebes Bridgers and Lucy Dacus who all compromise boygenuis. Before launching the tour at the Ryman, Baker walks us through her sparse rig, before getting colorful and spacey with a plentiful pedalboard of modulation and ’verbs.
10. Lindsay Ell
Lindsay Ell hung with Premier Guitar’s John Bohlinger before her show at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena where she was opening for Sugarland. Ell, a full-on guitar geek, could not wait to spill the details on her rig.
9. Nine Inch Nails
Robin Finck and Alessandro Cortini of Nine Inch Nails detail their high-tech rigs that include a formidable army of custom axes, sophisticated wireless MIDI and digital presets paired with analog effects, all streamlined to help them create intricate, scorching industrial rock soundscapes.
8. Lynyrd Skynyrd
Skynyrd’s three-guitar army of original member Gary Rossington, Rickey Medlocke and Mark Matejka takes PG’s John Bohlinger through their cadre of vintage guitars, high-powered amps, subtle effects, and the stories behind their legendary run.
7. Robin Trower
Premier Guitar’s John Bohlinger met with guitar legend Robin Trower before his show at Nashville’s Marathon Music Works. When you watch this video, you get the impression that Trower’s epic tone has way more to do with his hands than his gear. It’s like alchemy.
6. Eric Johnson
Premier Guitar’s Ted Drozdowski met with guru of tone Eric Johnson before his show at Nashville’s City Winery. Johnson revealed his absolute commitment to recreating his trademark sounds with his carefully selected array of guitars, a four-amp setup, and his resurrection of his original Ah Via Musicom pedalboards.
5. Devin Townsend
Before his last show of 2017, Devin Townsend met with Premier Guitar’s John Bohlinger backstage at Nashville’s Marathon Music Works to go through his live setup. For a guy known for layering textures of tones and effects, Townsend’s signal path is surprisingly streamlined.
4. Snarky Puppy
Composer/producer/bassist Michael League and guitarist Mark Lettieri of Grammy-winning jazz-fusion group Snarky Puppy met PG before their slamming, sold-out show at Nashville’s Marathon Music Works and took us through their hard-grooving gear.
3. U2’s The Edge
This past June, PG traveled to the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia to catch U2’s eXPERIENCE & iNNOCENCE Tour. Before the band’s soundcheck, John Bohlinger hung with Dallas Schoo, who has been taking care of The Edge’s ever-changing collection for over 30 years.
2. Joe Bonamassa
Winding down his recent tour with a sold-out, 3-night residency at Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium, Joe Bonamassa invited Premier Guitar for a leisurely trip through his holy grail guitar vault and a lineup of ear-splitting amps.
1. Greta Van Fleet
Brothers Jake and Sam Kiszka of Greta Van Fleet serve up buckets of old-school, paint-peeling tone and deep riffs. Fueled by a big industry buzz, the Kiszka brothers have been logging some serious miles across the globe. During a recent two-night, sold-out stay in Nashville, Jake and Sam talked to PG’s John Bohlinger about their live setups and musical influences.