This page is for the gearheads. Obviously I don't bring all these instruments to a show
but these are what you might see me playing on any given night.
I had never seen one of these Valco resoglas guitars with a National logo
but it sure is deluxe. At first I thought the guitar was possessed
because it would not cooperate live. Seriously, weird things would happen
to it and to me at gigs and at home when I had it around, but that’s all over now I think.
I put an old Monarch pickup on this one that's basically a Japanese made DeArmond.
No one can argue with a Stratotone for pure slide tone.
The DeArmond toaster pickup just kills!
Art & Lutherie parlor
I’ve had this one for a long time and I’ve changed quite a few things on her but the best thing I did was install a Sunrise soundhole pickup. Can go direct to the board
or any amp and get a great tone.
National Resophonic mandolin
Really well made and playable resonator mandolin from the folks at National Resophonic in CA. I used to have an old one of these from the 1930's and it was hard to play, but these new ones are really well made and playable.
Has a hotplate pickup.
National Debonaire and New Yorker
These are late 50’s archtop hollowbody guitars with the same pickup in both,
and it’s a good one. Basically the same guitar just different finish
and one has a cutaway and a bigsby.
Otwin gypsy jazz
Gypsy jazz guitar made in Sweden that had nylon strings on it when I bought it,
but it sounds great this way. Has a K&K pickup.
Deering B6 banjo
Six string banjo from the folks at Deering. Changed the head, installed an old
DeArmond banjo pickup and added 5-star banjo tuners.
One nice thing about Chicago is that a lot of places I play have a backline of good amps so I don't have to haul one to every gig.
For band gigs I use either a Victoria 30115 or a Vibrolux Reverb.
For duo and solo work I like my old black Princeton or a Henriksen Bud.
For strings I use GHS Boomers .012 on electric guitar and
D'addario .013 phosphor bronze with an unwound G for acoustic.
The mandolin has Thomastik .010 flatwounds.
I have a bunch of slides but my favorite is the AcoustaGlide.