Music #3. Gear Geeks. Lets Rock. The Les Paul Junior, Fender Champ, and the Tubescreamer.

In the video below that's your Bargain-Basement-Bin-Barroom-Blues-Guitarist playing it live on-stage in Pasadena, Ca, at The Old Town Pub.  With a Les Paul Junior, two Fender Champ Amps, and a Tube Screamer.  The 2005 Gibson Custom Shop Les Paul Junior 1957 Reissue.  

Real vintage Fender amps, and a Gibson Historic Reissue Les Paul Jr...  A killer combo that is hard to beat.  The amps are daisy chained- a 1966 Fender Champ, and a 1965 Fender Vibro-Champ.  A Fender Champ by itself is "good to go" if sound reinforcement is available.  Without a P.A., it's a safer bet with a pair of them daisy chained, as in the video.  Band dynamics are key as well.  If it's all out heavy hitting rock 'n roll, then more power is advised.  But you can see here, that with the right guitar tone, they work great.  And the Gibson Custom Shop Les Paul Junior Historic 1957 Reissue has P-90 pick-up and mahogany wood tone in spades.  

Les Paul Junior Reissue. My main gig-rig since about 2007. Mahogany flat top, Louisville Slugger neck, and the iconic P-90. Thing kills for slide work. I permanently affixed the strap to the upper-bout with a washer.  It's either that, or a strap-lock, on the upper bout of a Les Paul for me. The secret to making this guitar work- it's all in the tone (knob).  I actually like this guitar better than a real one. 

I have used Les Paul Juniors throughout my career.  On the Two Kinds Of Light album 'I Can Shine' we used Gibson SG's, solely P-90 equipped models, in tradition with the use of P-90 Juniors.  However, on the album Marshall Amplifiers were used exclusively for the electric guitar and bass.  Champ Amps are a better vehicle to get you thru a small gig.

In this day and age to me as an electric guitarist, having a Tubescreamer in your chain, is as fundamental as the iconic Les Paul/Marshall-Half-Stack or Strat/Super-Reverb combination.  I'm pedal shy but I usually keep a Tubescreamer in my gig bag. I like to have it handy in case I get to a show where backline is provided. The TS can make an unfamiliar amp feel familiar.  With my own rig, especially if it's a small combo (or pair of combo amps), a TS can make a neutered amp still feel... Ballsy. 

I have a Maxon OD808 and an Ibanez TS9.  When using one or the other I set them up the same.  With level and drive at noon give or take, and tone rolled back to nine or ten o'clock. Roll guitar tone back 30% and you’re in woman-tone territory. That creamy midrange cuts thru any mix, better than ice-pick treble, at least with my fingers and ears.  Disclaimer: My fervent belief in the Tubescreamer has in the past gotten me accused of being an SRV wanna-be.  It’s all good.  Love that guy. And his band, too.


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