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Alt-Tuning Curious with Ariel Posen

Canadian guitarist Ariel Posen joins the pod to talk about his slide guitar influences, how he broke into open tunings, and how to get the most out of your fuzz pedals.

Zach and Rhett kick things off with a catch-up on recent projects. Rhett celebrates his new 100-watt Two-Rock Classic Reverb Signature, which recently terrorized a couple sitting in the front row of one of his gigs. Then guitarist Ariel Posen logs on to, first and foremost, clear up how to pronounce his name.

Alt-Tuning Curious with Ariel Posen

Posen and Rhett swap horror stories from working on film sets, where they were expected to do way more than their job descriptions covered. Both agree that the film life is infinitely worse than touring. “I don’t know shit!” protests Posen. “I’m just a guitar player, dude!”

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Posen discusses how he got into playing slide in standard tuning by learning George Harrison leads (blues slide guitar was never his thing), but Canadian guitarist Kevin Breit inspired him to try open tunings, a process with “a lot of trial by fire, lots of, ‘oops, sorry!’” Blake Mills’ 2014 record Heigh Ho prompted Posen to chase lower tunings, although Korn, Limp Bizkit, and Big Wreck lit that same candle years earlier. For the open tuning-curious, Posen suggests starting in open E.

Posen talks about how he wrote his new record, and the honesty and simplicity behind his favorite lyricists like Jason Isbell. Finally, the trio dig into how to stack and squeeze the best sounds from your fuzz pedals. (Is a mini version of the Mythos Argo fuzz pedal coming? Zach doesn’t say yes—but he doesn’t say no, either.) Finally, the crew dips a slick Americana rig that draws near perfect scores.

Steve Carr’s first amp build was a Fender Champ clone. It didn’t work on the first try. Luckily, that didn’t stop him.

Photo by Charles Odell

The North Carolina amp builder is famous for his circuit-blending soundboxes, like the Rambler, Sportsman, and Telstar. Here, he tells us how he got started and what keeps him pushing forward.

Steve Carr started building amps because he loved playing guitar. He and his friends cobbled together a band in Michigan City, Indiana, in high school in the mid-’70s, and the gear they played with seemed like a black box. In the pre-internet days, getting information on amp voicings and pickup magnets was difficult. Carr was fascinated, and always wanted to know what made things tick.

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Yungblud's first signature features a mahogany body, P-90 Pro pickup, and SlimTaper C profile neck.

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John Mayall in the late ’80s, in a promo shot for his Island Records years. During his carreer, he also recorded for the Decca (with the early Bluesbreakers lineups), Polydor, ABC, DJM, Silvertone, Eagle, and Forty Below labels.

He was dubbed “the father of British blues,” but Mayall’s influence was worldwide, and he nurtured some of the finest guitarists in the genre, including Eric Clapton, Peter Green, Mick Taylor, Harvey Mandel, Coco Montoya, and Walter Trout. Mayall died at his California home on Monday, at age 90.

John Mayall’s career spanned nearly 70 years, but it only took his first four albums to cement his legendary status. With his initial releases with his band the Bluesbreakers—1966’s Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton; ’67’s A Hard Road, with Peter Green on guitar; plus the same year’s Crusade, which showcased Mick Taylor—and his solo debut The Blues Alone, also from 1967, Mayall introduced an international audience of young white fans to the decidedly Black and decidedly American genre called blues. In the subsequent decades, he maintained an active touring and recording schedule until March 26, 2022, when he played his last gig at age 87. It was reported that he died peacefully, on Monday, in his California home, at 90.

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Drain Rig Rundown
Drain Rig Rundown with Cody Chavez Guitar Gear Tour

Head-shredder Cody Chavez takes some classic Jackson 6-strings into the digital realm on the hardcore band’s latest tour.

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