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Question of the Month: Desert Island Pedals

Question of the Month: Desert Island Pedals

Electric blues guitarist Cedric Burnside.

Photo by Jim Arbogast

Electric blues guitarist Cedric Burnside joins PGstaff and reader Dominic von Riedemann in cheering on their favorite pedals—or lack thereof!

Question: What effects pedal can you not live without?

Guest Picker - Cedric Burnside

Mr. Burnside's no-frills pedalboard.

A: I only have two pedals—one is a tuner and one is an AB box. I just like the AB box because I can play both amps at the same time—the lead amp and the bass amp. But I can live without any pedal and just play my guitar.

Current Obsession:Juke joints. I’ve just noticed the lack of them here in the hill country. It used to be a staple of this area, and I’ve been working to see when and where I could possibly open my own to bring that culture of music back to the area. Hopefully I’ll have my own here sooner than later.

Reader of the Month - Dominic von Riedemann

Mr. von Riedemann's pup, standing in for Mr. von Riedemann.

A: My Way Huge Green Rhino MkII has been a staple on my board since I bought it in 2012. The adjustable midrange and bass controls give it a lot more versatility than your typical TS type, and it loves pretty much every guitar and amp I’ve tried it with.

Current Obsession: I’m hard at work recording with my band the Boardwalk Cowboys, plus I’m listening to new music from Jason Isbell, symphonic metalsmiths Therion, and dance-punk outfit Model/Actriz.

Publisher - Jon Levy

Jon’s pedalboard

A: My gigging pedalboard is constantly morphing, but it centers around this essential item: a low-gain, always-on overdrive. The Timmy pedal has been my mainstay for about 10 years, but recently I’ve been test-driving (awful pun intentional) two impressive new contenders: the Keeley Blues Disorder and Messiah Guitars Billy overdrives.

Current Obsession: Playing guitar with dynamics. And being a better listener. Like many guitarists, I find this very challenging. I’m prone to using my guitar as a firehose: Once I get going, you’d better run for the emergency exits because I will not curb this awesome power! I gotta learn to shut up, or at least improve my right-hand technique to allow the song to breathe a bit.

Gear Editor - Charles Saufley

Mr. Saufley, represented by a mallard.

A: When push comes to shove, I guess I would say a Deluxe Memory Man. Delay is probably the effect I need above all others—especially if my amp has tremolo and reverb (and it had better). But the Deluxe Memory Man is more than a perfect analog echo. The level control can add grime to a too-polite signal, and a touch of the DMM’s vibrato is always woozily delish. Plus, a guitar, a Deluxe Memory Man, and a good-looking amplifier is about as stylish as a rig gets.

Current Obsession: Playing along with windchimes. There’s a beautiful, fascinating, and most instructive mix of structure and chaos in the springtime ring of windchimes.