I’m prepping for a live record taping with artist Neil Davis which will be recorded at Rockwood Music Hall Stage 2 on March 26th at 7:30 pm. I’ll be choosing guitars, pedals and amps based on the style of Neil’s music. What I use changes from gig to gig based on the material. Neil’s music could be described as piano driven pop rock. It’s very melodic and well written. The parts are tight and very arrangement based. For his set I prefer a Fender Stratocaster, Victoria 25115 Pro tweed amp, Goodrich Volume pedal, Fulltone OCD Overdrive and Fulltone Tube Tape Echo.
On the Stratocaster I generally prefer the bridge and neck pickups, but in this set will use some of the out of phase settings for extra quack. As you can tell it’s not an effect heavy gig. I use the delay sparingly. Some of the songs that showcase Fulltone Tube Tape Echo are “You”, “When Autmn Falls” and “Fight for You”. I use a combination of spring reverb and delay to create ambient textures. You can also catch me using the Goodrich volume for swells. One trick I really like is to swell in a note or chord with the volume pedal, then reach over and turn up the feedback knob until it starts to feed back. The TTE has a lovely way of feeding back. It’s harmonically rich due to the tape and tubes in the delay unit.
On other songs like “New Day’, “Smile” and “What I thought was Love” is simply guitar, OCD, and amp. For these songs I’ll use the volume knob on the Strat as opposed to the pedal for dynamics.
Although most of the time I use Victoria amps on the Neil Davis Set, I occasionally use a Bogner Shiva. I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with this amp. It can sound very good, but I often feel like it has too much headroom. Similar to a Fender Twin Reverb but a little more gentle. I generally prefer not to have such a high ceiling. The bass can sometimes be overwhelming on this amp too. The Shiva does take pedals well and comes with a nice reverb. After playing Bogners for several years I have some settings that work for me, but there are occasions where it’s still a little unruly.