It has been many years since I can last remember being a newcomer to the music industry, and in that time I have used many, many different types of instruments, amplifiers, effects pedals, microphones and headphones in order to create a sonic landscape. The list of gear that has passed through my hands, or through Barefoot studios is almost innumerable. The following are a few of my favorite pieces of hardware and why;
1. 1978 Peavey Stereo Chorus (No picture available)
This amp came to me when a friend of Caleb Barefoot, the studio bassist, brought it in a heap in the back of his truck. He said it was found in a dump in Raleigh, North Carolina, and had been rained on for possibly years. Hearing this, me and Caleb did the most dangerous thing one could do in our situation- we plugged in and cranked it up. It started working immediately! Not only did the rare footswitch come in the back of the amp, but it worked properly, as well as 16 different types of delay and reverb! Although it is a solid state amp, the sound of this 212 beast is loud, crisp, and pure. It pairs perfectly with my AC30 as well, which are always running in stereo. When the man who brought the amp realized how great of a condition this amplifier was in, he immediately tried to sell it to me, saying “Fifty dollars and no less, and it’s all yours.” At this, I was dismayed being that I didn’t have a job at the time, and replied “Just let me use it at the gig tonight*, and you can have it indefinitely.” He agrees to this request, and therefore me and Caleb play the gig that night with the Stereo Chorus in stereo along with a 1982 Peavey Bandit (The club owners amp) The man who let me borrow the amp never came back, which I am fortunate for, because this amp helps me create my original sound every night. It has been modified over the years, with the overdrive channels and chorus settings being bypassed, and original black “rubber and bakelite” type knobs replaces with green “Davies” type knobs. I also have both a Ibanez AD9 delay pedal and EXH XO Stereo Electric Mistress mounted on top and my “hand-board” before running into the from of the amp.
2. DMB Lunar Echo
This pedal is the shit. I mean, you will never find another type of delay unit that can cover so much ground with only a bucket brigade circuit, with the amount of class that this handmade pedal can provide. I received LE #206 in the winter of 2010, when these pedals were even harder to come by then they are today. It has an old school Deluxe Memory Man type of sound that it killer through a Vox, or other british-type amplifier. The “Take Off” switch provides over the edge type oscillation, along with modulation and “hi-fi/lo-fi” controls. IT goes everywhere with me, and I love the sound of this singular pedal, more so than my new Strymon Timeline.
3. 1978 Taylor 855 12-String Acoustic Guitar.
This guitar is the ultra rare, the incredibly luxurious, and the delicately beautiful in sound. The 855 in particular that I am speaking of belongs to Ms. Angela Libby of Ayden, North Carolina. She sent me the guitar in the summer of 2011 with a completely severed headstock, the neck covered in staples and warped from the heat, the body in the un-seaworthy shape of a 17th century merchant ship, and yet, there was potential there. The neck had a “repair attempt” some 20 years before, but failed miserably, the Luthier condemning the guitar and referring a newer one. On this note I repaired the guitar, fully restored it and the case, and returned it in almost better than new quality. The body had rested for almost 30 years, giving it a biting, hearty thump with every pluck of the pick. The neck and headstock were reattached by industrial strength epoxy, stronger than the wood itself, making the guitar more solid than when it was shipped from the original Lemon Grove, California factory. The finish was a bit more challenging, but the checking all over the body did not effect the tone of the wood, and there were no major cracks in any of the body, neck. The original bridge pins were replaced by Taylor Ebony Abalone pins, correct to the period. Not only did the guitar sound beautiful with all twelve strings chiming, but with a pack of Martin Marquis 10’s as well. I used this guitar with her permission on most of my band’s last album “Dark Fields” and occasionally live, when in the area.
4. Shure SM57 Microphone
The good old SM57 has been a staple of modern music since its introduction in the early 1960’s. Its incredibly accurate yet slightly warmer sound has been a fan favorite along musicians, and I am only one of many. I’ve used this microphone on almost every recording involving electric guitar, and I just cannot leave home without it.
5. Lava Cables Retro Coil (Green)
Last but not least, this has to be one of my most valuable tools, a Lava Cables Retro Coil. These cables which are produced by hand, are not only very stylish, but seriously accurate in tone reproduction. When you have been using poor cables your entire career, you don’t realize how much your tone can get smothered by your effects, or misunderstood by your amp. This cable fixes all of those problems. I’ve used these cables everyday for years, and hey have never let me down. They go in every guitar case I have, and they go to every stage or studio I play. No frills, no thrills, just badass tone in a beautiful cable.