A modern blues master takes us through his signature gear and gives some insight into his upside-down style.

Eric Gales, busy promoting his new album, Middle of The Road, took a break to hang with PG’s John Bohlinger at City Winery in Nashville. Gales, a master of melody, nuance, and flash, showed us his simple setup he uses both live and in the studio.

Gales’ No. 1 is this Sonnet Raw Dawg II signature model by Magneto Guitars. This S-style axe features a hard-rock maple neck, East Indian rosewood fretboard with an 11" radius, medium C-shape neck, 22 narrow jumbo frets, and Lollar Blackface pickups.

His backup is this Xotic XS-1 loaded with Fishman Fluence Single Width pickups and a Super-Vee BladeRunner whammy bar. Both guitars are strung with Dunlop strings (.010-.046) and tuned to Eb.

The bluesman runs his 100-watt Two-Rock Eric Gales signature amp into two Pure Sixty-Four 2x12 ported cabinets loaded with Celestion Vintage 30s.

Gales’ signal hits the Boss TU-2 tuner and then a DigiTech Whammy 5, a Mojo Hand FX Colossus Fuzz, a Custom Audio Electronics wah (bling'd-out by Dunlop), an E.W.S. Eric Gales Brute Drive, an MXR Bass Envelope Filter, and a Tech 21 Boost D.L.A. And though the MXR EVH Flanger is still on his board, Gales says he’s currently not using it.

Click to subscribe to our weekly Rig Rundown podcast:


Plus, the Fontaines D.C. axeman explains why he’s reticent to fix the microphonic pickup in his ’66 Fender Coronado.

Read More Show less

The emotional wallop of the acoustic guitar sometimes flies under the radar. Even if you mostly play electric, here are some things to consider about unplugging.

I have a love-hate relationship with acoustic guitars. My infatuation with the 6-string really blasted off with the Ventures. That’s the sound I wanted, and the way to get it was powered by electricity. Before I’d even held a guitar, I knew I wanted a Mosrite, which I was sure was made of fiberglass like the surfboards the Beach Boys, Surfaris, and the Challengers rode in their off time. Bristling with space-age switchgear and chrome-plated hardware, those solidbody hotrod guitars were the fighter jets of my musical dreams. I didn’t even know what those old-timey round-hole guitars were called. As the singing cowboys Roy Rogers and Gene Autrey strummed off into the sunset, the pace of technology pushed the look and sound of the electric guitar (and bass) into the limelight and into my heart. Imagine my disappointment when I had to begin my guitar tutelage on a rented Gibson “student” acoustic. At least it sort of looked like the ones the Beatles occasionally played. Even so, I couldn’t wait to trade it in.

Read More Show less

Need an affordable distortion pedal? Look no further.

We live in the golden age of boutique pedals that are loaded with advanced features—many of which were nearly unthinkable a decade or so ago. But there’s something that will always be valuable about a rock-solid dirt box that won’t break your wallet. Here’s a collection of old classics and newly designed stomps that cost less than an average concert ticket.

Read More Show less
x