Premier Guitar is on location in Chicago, Illinois where Jason Shadrick catches up with Steven Wilson and Guthrie Govan. In this segment, the two discuss and demo their rigs.

Premier Guitar is on location in Chicago, Illinois where Jason Shadrick catches up with Steven Wilson and Guthrie Govan. In this segment, the two discuss and demo their rigs.

Govan's main axe is a prototype Charvel with a basswood body and a maple top. It's outfitted with pickups made by Michael Frank-Braun. The neck is made of roasted birdseye maple with a pair of graphite truss rods that make it "hilariously stable."

For the Steven Wilson show, Govan also brings along a Fender Select Jazzmaster HH (the strap boasting his original McDonalds name tag), and a Vigier Excalibur fretless guitar. The Vigier is used on "Insurgentes" to imitate a bass koto.

Steven Wilson's main guitar is a PRS single cut in standard tuning. He also has a Custom 24 tuned to Drop-D. On the acoustic side of things he uses a Babicz tuned to standard and an Ovation in "Nashville" tuning.

Normally Govan is a fan of EL34-powered amps, but for his gigs with Wilson he has been using a 6L6-flavored Victory Howler. Designed by Martin Kidd, formerly of Cornford, the Howler is a prototype 100-watt head that is powered down to 50-watts.

Wilson plugs into a Bad Cat Lynx 50 head with matching cab. One important feature for Wilson is that both channels are simultaneously active, meaning he can blend in each channel through his TC Electronic G-System.

Due to the amount of tones Govan needs to cover in Steven Wilson's band, he had to create an entirely new pedalboard. Designed by Daniel Steinhardt from, the system is based around their MIDI-14 switching system. Rather than assign each pedal a dedicated switch, Govan has 14 different combinations to cover the sounds needed for a particular show.

The main guts of Wilson's pedalboard is a TC Electronic G-System, which has patches programmed for each song of the setlist. Each loop in the G-System is tied into a pedal to allow Wilson to add effects on the fly. For controlling the G-System along with the amp, both are looped through his The Gig Rig MIDI-8 controller.


A compact pedal format preamp designed to offer classic, natural bass tone with increased tonal control and extended headroom.

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Fig. 1

Here’s a different way to unleash the beast within your tracks.

Welcome to another Dojo. Last month I explained in detail how to set up and use sidechain compression techniques to get that classic pop/EDM pumping sound on your rhythm guitar parts and other instruments in your mix. This time, we’ll use the same setup techniques but, instead of sidechaining a compressor, I’m going to show you the benefits of using a gate.

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In high cotton: Charlie Musselwhite is thoroughly content with his return to the Delta. “We love living here,” he says. “It just makes sense, and it feels like the blues is alive and well in the Delta and you can just feel it rising up from the earth, it’s so present.”

Photo by Rory Doyle

On his new album, Mississippi Son, the harmonica giant steps out on guitar, evoking the legends of country blues 6-string and earning his place among them.

For Charlie Musselwhite, the blues isn’t just a style of music. It’s a sacrament. And Musselwhite is one of its high priests. With a palmful of bent notes on the harmonica—the instrument on which he’s been an acknowledged master for more than a half-century—or the fat snap of a guitar string, he has the power to summon not only the blues’ great spirits, but the places they rose from. If you listen closely, you can envision the Mississippi Delta’s plantation lands, where the summer sun forms a shimmering belt on the low horizon and even a slight breeze can paint your face red with clay dust. It’s a place both old and eternal—full of mystery and history and magic. And the music from that place, as Musselwhite sings in his new song “Blues Gave Me a Ride,” “tells the truth in a world full of lies.”

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