pedal steel

Rocco DeLuca says his favorite instrument is his baritone lap steel, but he frequently plays 12-string pedal steel as well. He says that, while it lacks the bottom end of the baritone, he can "achieve a lot of the same things, but it'll give me other colors or textures that I like and want to explore."

Photo by Teresa Critchlow

Hopping between 6-string, baritone lap steel, and pedal steel, the SoCal guitarist has collaborated with the legendary producer on everything from cosmic guitar soundscapes to the dub-infused gospel of the new Heavy Sun.

Rocco DeLuca has learned to hear the complexity within simple musical gestures. "An orchestra tuning up at the beginning [of a concert] … that's the most exciting part for me," he says, deep into our conversation. "How's it gonna get better than that? Everybody's reaching for the note, right? It's exotic because they've abandoned the Western philosophy when they're tuning up and they're pulling everything. There's all this microtonal information. Things are rubbing and harmonizing all over the place, there's a billion worlds, and then they're gone as they achieve it."

Read More Show less

Can an entry-level modeler hang with the big dogs?

Excellent interface. Very portable. Nice modulation tones.

Some subpar low-gain dirt sounds. Could be a little more rugged.

$399

HeadRush MX5
headrushfx.com

3.5
4
4
4.5

The allure of portability and sonic consistency has become too much to ignore for some guitarists, making smaller digital modelers more appealing than ever.

Read More Show less

Emily Wolfe lets loose, with an Epiphone Sheraton around her shoulders. Her signature Sheraton Stealth was released in 2021. "The guitar is the perfect frequency range for my soul," she says.

Photo by Brittany Durdin

The rising guitar star blends classic and stoner rock, Motown, and more influences with modern pop flourishes in songs replete with fat, fuzzy, fizzy tones from her new Epiphone Sheraton signature.

For so many artists, the return of live shows means the return of the thrill of performing, much-needed income, and, in a way, purpose. The third definitely goes for guitarist Emily Wolfe, who, when asked about her goals, immediately responds, "I just want to play arenas every night for the rest of my life. When I go up there, something could hit me at any point—an emotion that I felt 10 years ago could come out in a bend on the low E."

Read More Show less
x