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Archive for June, 2010|Monthly archive page

G.Love Interview and Rig

In Uncategorized on June 1, 2010 at 10:50 pm

The Rigs: What guitarists’ sound influences you the most, both past and present, both acoustic and electric?  Feel free to name numerous players.

G.Love: My number one influence is blues legend John Hammond. His rhythmic, driving sound is like a hurricane or a freight train coming at ya and the first time I saw his explosive solo acoustic performance I realized that one man and a guitar didn’t have to be “singer-songwriter” strumming. Emulating his style taught me to play lead and rhythm all at once.
I’m heavily influenced by many Delta Blues players like- Fred Mcdowell, John Hurt, Robert Johnson, Bukka White and Big Bill Broonzy,  also Texas Bluesman Lightening Hopkins… and John Lee Hooker have been two huge electric blues influences. John Lee Hooker especially…  Then of course, the great chicago players like Freddie King, Albert Collins, Albert King,

Oh yeah – Clapton and Hendrix…. A million more

The Rigs: What 2 musicians’ setups (guitar, pedals and amp setup) would you like to know about?

G.Love: Most of the players that have influenced me are old blues players who just used an acoustic or a guitar plugged straight in to an old tube amp. I’ve never been so into electronics. Gradually, over the years with the help of my guitar techs, I’ve expanded my pedal board and sound palette.
Two of my peers whose rigs sound amazing are Ben Harper and John Butler. I love what these guys do and they really have their shit together…

TR:  What is the direction of your sound as a band, today, and where does your guitar sound fit into that?

G:  I like to think of us a low fi garage band. No matter how hard we try to be tight and polished, we always sound loose and sloppy in a beautiful way. I think that’s what our sound is all about. I believe we are all truly accomplished and original players and the charm of what we do lies in that lo fi, funky sloppy shit we do out there every night.
My guitars sound lo fi, my voice does too. Nothings perfect. My pedal board is designed to change up my vibe for my solos. I use a blues distortion pedal and a Q-Tron for soloing power. I’ve always used a tremelo/vibrato pedal since the beginning when it was part of my 60’s Ampeg Rocket Reverb amp.
So my sound is not all together smooth- although it can be… and definitely, I favor the sound of the guitar straight into the amp with a small gain boost- its just the sound of a cool guitar into a cool amp. Simple as can be.

TR:  Where do you see your sound going in the future, as a guitarist?

G:   I see myself going back to my acoustic roots this year. I’m honestly at my best with an acoustic guitar so I see myself simplifying my whole approach even more.
For my electric playing, I see myself continuing with my current rig as a mainstay and swapping a few pedals here and there.

TR: What is the lineage of your guitar sound? In other words,  when you started playing guitar, who did your sound most resemble and how did that sound evolve to your guitar setup today?

G:  As I said earlier, I was trying to cop John Hammonds vibe and the vibe of bluesmen like John Lee Hooker- the real raw shit. It was simple, plug in, turn it up till the tubes start driving and you get a bit of natural crunch and let it rip.

TR:  List of Guitars you play?

G:  I’ve been greatly honored to team up with Gretsch a couple years back and I have released my “Meanie Greenie” G.love Corvette. Its a reissue of the classic 60’s model Corvette. Killer Diller- check it out!
I also lean on an old pawn shop guitar “the Elite” by Crucianelli. I’m pretty sure its an offshoot of the Italian brand Eko from the 60’s. Nothing sounds like it and I’ve been recording with it for 18 years…
Then my quiver is pretty ill these days.

Gretsch 60th anniversary hollow body
Gretsch Penquin
Gretsch Black Falcon
Black corvette
70 black Les Paul
1998? Custom shop one of a kind cream Les Paul
Harmony
53 gretsch electromatic vanilla chocolate
66 Fendar Jaguar
2000 custom shop Philadelphonic inlay Gibson fire bird
1998 gibson 125
60s white Eko

(What else…)

For Acoustics:
Gretsch custom shop Dreadnought with Tabacco sunburst
1939 wooden Dobro
1999 National tri-cone resonaphonic dobro
2 Gibson j-45s
Gibson 185
Gibson 185 12 string
2 Gretsch White Falcon acoustics
Gretsch Rancher

(What else…)

TR:  What gauge strings do you use and what type of strings (d’addario, fender)?

G:  I have always used D’Addario 13’s on my acoustic guitars
I now use D’addario 12s on my electrics.

TR: Have you ever gotten any custom work done on your guitars?

G:  The designing and the development of the G.love Gretsch Corvette was just that. We started with an old design and remodeled it with all custom pickups wood and hardware.
I also used to work with this cat WashTub Robbie in Boston who made me a YoBro- it was an old acoustic guitar that he made into an electric dobro. That was pretty dope.

TR:  Do you have a trusted person that works on your guitars for custom work and major repairs?

G:  In Philly we take our guitars to Rich Chodak At Blue Bond guitars off of South St. He does great work and has saved my ass more than once.
In Boston I work with a cat named Gabriel Vianni. Gabe works with First Act guitars in the corporate office but he still does me solid and does excellant repairs. I’m kind of tough on these pieces of wood and metal…
On the road my guitar tech extraordinaire- The Big Skrimp – Frank Caraccia works on the guitars and keeps them humming and ready for the stage and studio.

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You can check out G.Love’s music and upcoming tour dates at www.philadelphonic.com

G.Love Guitars

G.Love Acoustic Setup

Pictured with Dunlop Bass Ball. Emma DiscBOBulator has since replaced the Dunlop Bass Ball. Pedal Board wired and constructed by Frank Caraccia

G.Love Full Setup

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