I am going to be representing Source Audio in Nashville to try and expose all the dealers and great players here to these sweet sounding and versatile effects. I am putting together a pedalboard of exclusively Source Audio products save for some new 1Spot Pro power sources from Truetone (formerly Visual Sound), cables from Planet Waves, and a Pedaltrain pedalboard. Eventually I will be hooking up a Keith McMillen SoftStep or 12 Step to program multiple pedal scenarios through the Soundblox Neuro Hub. Keep reading for some initial impressions.
You may have noticed Stephan Meidell playing in the video of Thomas Dahl at Danmarksplass. Yes, Meidell is another Norwegian, this time based out of the beautiful city of Bergen. Whether it is the long nights, or the state financed schooling and music, Norway seems to turn out adventurous musicians like America turns out reality TV stars. In his wide variety of projects—Cakewalk, Velkro, The Sweetest Thrill, Krachmacher, et al—Meidell exhibits a personal approach to the instrument and a musicality that cuts through even his noisiest excursions. He is also a kindred spirit as, like me, he is a music critic and curator for new and experimental music.
Check out the Maelstrom record by Stian Westerhus & Pale Horses and you will hear echoes of Scott Walker, Radiohead, and Tim Buckley. Don’t worry, the latest offering by experimental guitar god Westerhus features plenty of the exotic guitar tones we have come to expect from the now former Nils Petter Molvær sideman’s, while adding vocal driven tunes sung in English. Who would have imagined Westerhus would have a singing voice as compelling as his instrumental one? Here, the Norwegian axe-mangler shares the lowdown on his new band with cohorts Erland Dahlen on drums, and Øystein Moen on keys, as well as his need for pedals that “klonk.”
The NAMM show offered a multitude of effects in a showroom-style vacuum. My compadres at Premier Guitar go out in the field to show you how they are actually employed. In this Premier Guitar Rig Rundown Vernon Reid and Doug Wimbish demo the gear they are currently using in Living Color, providing a compendium of effects available to the modern guitarist and bassist. Reid is running parallel signals through VG-99, Guitar Rig, iPad and Ableton Live effects, as well as a host of other processors, while Wimbish combines distortion, filtering, and looping in creative ways. These guys are on the gear cutting edge—check it out!