ariel posen

Rig Rundown: Ariel Posen [2023]

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.

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Ariel Posen dissects his unique approach to slide, which omits some things you’d expect and adds things you probably don’t expect.

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Posen’s Collings LT M is one of his favorites—especially for slide. He also plays a Collings SoCo Deluxe, several Strats including an Eric Johnson model, a Suhr Classic S Antique, a Josh Williams Mockingbird, and a Teisco Del Ray. Photo by Zoltan Katona

The highly respected sideman, slide man, and gear-demo star makes the transition to frontman and songwriter with his debut solo album.

Thus far in his career, 32-year-old Ariel Posen is best known to the world at large for his work as a sideman for the Bros. Landreth. But a quick YouTube search unveils just how immersed in guitar culture Posen has become, with results showing him playing all sorts of drool-worthy vintage and boutique gear in videos posted by stores such as Carter Vintage Instruments, Chicago Music Exchange, Norman's Rare Guitars, and Andertons, as well as companies like Collings, TC Electronic, and Lowden. Of course, this seeming ubiquity is the result of Posen’s reputation as a guitarist. But as much as word of Posen’s abilities may precede him, he insists that How Long, his debut release, is not a guitar album. It’s all about the big picture, he explains: “These days, I like listening to songs and the story and the total package.”

In fact, he relates that his style is the result of listening to all kinds of musicians—not merely guitarists. “If I didn’t do that, I wouldn’t have truly found out what it is that I want to be playing and how I want to be playing,” he explains.

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