See how this 100W, 6L6-howlin' head complete with an all-tube reverb and harmonic tremolo—plus a bias tremolo option—takes John Bohlinger's '50s goldtop, a late '60s Tele, and a custom 3-humbucker PRS.
Two-Rock Joey Landreth Signature
Get an early look at this splendid piece of machinery: the Two-Rock Joey Landreth Signature amplifier. It’s a beautiful head with 3-band EQ; controls for gain, master volume, and presence; and independent all-tube harmonic and bias tremolo circuits with their own speed and intensity controls. It’s also switchable between 100 and 50 watts. It’s hand-wired point-to-point and all tube, with a four-6L6 power section. There’s a footswitch for the tremolos, and an all-tube reverb circuit, as well. PG’s John Bohlinger plays this lux head through Two-Rock’s new 3x10 cabinet. And only 75 of the amps are being made. Along the way, Bohlinger switches from a stock 1954 Les Paul to his Telecaster Thinline. You can practically bathe in the warm sound. The reverb is at noon initially, but Bohlinger rolls it back to display the grace of the harmonic tremolo, followed by the bias (a little “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds,” anyone). Next up: the mid, bass, and treble boost switches that dwell over the EQ section of the front panel. And yes, they can all the activated at once. To hear the amp with modern humbuckers, Bohlinger switches to a PRS and demos how the two flavors of tremolo can be combined. (Spoiler alert: It’s super sweet and dimensional!) And you can hear John play Duke Ellington’s “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore.” Does the amp have an effects loop? Thought you’d never ask. Yes! And John has a Keeley Halo and a Karma overdrive in line. Not surprisingly, Two-Rock Joey Landreth Signature is also a welcoming pedal platform. And John plays the demo out with a little Fleetwood Mac. If you’d like to learn more about Two-Rock’s line of amplifiers, visit two-rock.com, where extensive information on other signature models, the Bloomfield Drive, the Burnside, the Traditional Clean, Classic Reverb Signature, and more can be found.
The silky smooth slide man may raise a few eyebrows with his gear—a hollow, steel-bodied baritone and .017s on a Jazzmaster—but every note and tone he plays sounds just right.
KingTone’s The Duellist is currently Ariel Posen’s most-used pedal. One side of the dual drive (the Bluesbreaker voicing) is always on. But there’s another duality at play when Posen plugs in—the balance between songwriter and guitarist.
“These days, I like listening to songs and the story and the total package,” Posen told PG back in 2019, when talking about his solo debut, How Long, after departing from his sideman slot for the Bros. Landreth. “Obviously, I’m known as a guitar player, but my music and the music I write is not guitar music. It’s songs, and it goes back to the Beatles. I love songs, and I love story and melody and singing, and there was a lot of detail and attention put into the guitar sound and the playing and the parts—almost more than I’ve ever done.”
And in 2021, he found himself equally expressing his yin-and-yang artistry by releasing two albums that represented both sides of his musicality. First, Headway continued the sultry sizzle of songwriting featured on How Long. Then he surprised everyone, especially guitarists, by dropping Mile End, which is a 6-string buffet of solo dishes with nothing but Ariel and his instrument of choice.
But what should fans expect when they see him perform live? “I just trust my gut. I can reach more people by playing songs, and I get moved more by a story and lyrics and harmony, so that’s where I naturally go. The live show is a lot more guitar centric. If you want to hear me stretch out on some solos, come see a show. I want the record and the live show to be two separate things.”
The afternoon ahead of Posen’s headlining performance at Nashville’s Basement East, the guitar-playing musical force invited PG’s Chris Kies on stage for a robust chat about gear. The 30-minute conversation covers Posen’s potent pair of moody blue bombshells—a hollow, metal-bodied Mule Resophonic and a Fender Custom Shop Jazzmaster—and why any Two-Rock is his go-to amp. He also shares his reasoning behind avoiding effects loops and volume pedals.
Brought to you by D’Addario XPND Pedalboard.
Blue the Mule III
If you’ve spent any time with Ariel Posen’s first solo record, How Long, you know that the ripping, raunchy slide solo packed within “Get You Back” is an aural high mark. As explained in a 2019 PG interview, Posen’s pairing for that song were two cheapos: a $50 Teisco Del Rey into a Kay combo. However, when he took the pawnshop prize onstage, the magic was gone. “It wouldn’t stay in tune and wouldn’t stop feeding back—it was unbearable [laughs].”
Posen was familiar with Matt Eich of Mule Resophonic—who specializes in building metal-body resonators—so he approached the luthier to construct him a steel-bodied, Strat-style baritone. Eich was reluctant at first (he typically builds roundneck resos and T-style baritones), but after seeing a clip of Posen playing live, the partnership was started.
The above steel-bodied Strat-style guitar is Posen’s third custom 25"-scale baritone. (On Mule Resophonic’s website, it’s affectionately named the “Posencaster.”) The gold-foil-looking pickups are handwound by Eich, and are actually mini humbuckers. He employs a custom Stringjoy set (.017–.064 with a wound G) and typically tunes to B standard. The massive strings allow the shorter-scale baritone to maintain a regular-tension feel. And when he gigs, he tours light (usually with two guitars), so he’ll use a capo to morph into D or E standard.
Another one that saw recording time for Headway and Mile End was the above Fender Custom Shop Masterbuilt ’60s Jazzmaster, made by Carlos Lopez. To make it work better for him, he had the treble-bleed circuit removed, so that when the guitar’s volume is lowered it actually gets warmer.
"Clean and Loud"
Last time we spoke with Posen, he plugged into a Two-Rock Classic Reverb Signature. It’s typically his live amp. However, since this winter’s U.S. run was a batch of fly dates, he packed light and rented backlines. Being in Music City, he didn’t need to go too deep into his phone’s contacts to find a guitar-playing friend that owned a Two-Rock. This Bloomfield Drive was loaned to Ariel by occasional PG contributor Corey Congilio. On the brand’s consistent tone monsters, Posen said, “To be honest, put a blindfold on me and make one of Two-Rock’s amps clean and loud—I don’t care what one it is.”
The loaner vertical 2x12 cab was stocked with a pair of Two-Rock 12-65B speakers made by Warehouse Guitar Speakers.
Ariel Posen’s Pedalboard
There are a handful of carryovers from Ariel’s previous pedalboard that was featured in our 2021 tone talk: a TC Electronic PolyTune 3 Noir, a Morningstar MC3 MIDI Controller, an Eventide H9, a Mythos Pedals Argonaut Mini Octave Up, and a KingTone miniFUZZ Ge. His additions include a custom edition Keeley Hydra Stereo Reverb & Tremolo (featuring Headway artwork), an Old Blood Noise Endeavors Black Fountain oil can delay, Chase Bliss Audio Thermae Analog Delay and Pitch Shifter, and a KingTone The Duellist overdrive.
Another big piece of the tonal pie for Posen is his signature brass Rock Slide. He worked alongside Rock Slide’s Danny Songhurst to develop his namesake slide that features a round-tip end that helps Posen avoid dead spots or unwanted scratching. While he prefers polished brass, you can see above that it’s also available in a nickel-plated finish and an aged brass.
Looking for more great gear for the guitar player in your life (yourself included!)? Check out this year's Holiday Gear Finds!
D'Addario XPND Pedalboard
DR-05X Stereo Handheld Recorder
Wampler Pedals Ratsbane
In this short video, Taylor Guitars introduces it's brand-new 500 series guitar.
Formerly the home of their mahogany models, the 500 Series now boasts back and sides of Urban Ironbark, an all-new tonewood sourced from Taylor's always-growing urban wood initiative. As a back and side wood, Urban Ironbark yields a bold, rich and sweet voice that's sure to impress players of all styles, giving these guitars piano-like clarity with a smooth character that amplifies each player's unique touch. They've paired the Urban Ironbark with torrefied spruce tops for an extra seasoned tone, adding up to a supremely balanced sound that performs exceptionally well on stage or in the studio. Players will also find the mahogany/torrefied spruce Builder's Edition 517 here, a Grand Pacific model with enhanced comfort features and aesthetics. If you're looking for a guitar with a totally original, unexpected musical personality, look no further than the 500 Series.
We look back at 6 of our favorite John Bohlinger First Look videos from 2022.
Supro Royale Demo | First Look
Power to do damage, headroom for days, and class A/AB switching that transforms tone.
J. Rockett El Hombre Overdrive Demo | First Look
Billy Gibbons tones are just the beginning in this drive with bite.
Source Audio Atlas Compressor Demo | First Look
Scores of superb, deep compression emulations in a super-easy-to-use format.
Electro-Harmonix Nano Pulsar Stereo Tremolo Demo | First Look
Dig the pulse of a shrunken, updated and enhanced EHX classic...
Maestro's Five New Pedals | First Look
Five new and colorful all-analog stomps mark the return of stompbox pioneer.
Epiphone Joan Jett Olympic Special Demo | First Look
All business, no mess—just a straight line to punky bliss.