This week on TPS, Dan & Mick temporarily abandoned their posts front of camera and let two favorite players and gearheads takeover: Joey Landreth and Kirk Fletcher. With Joey currently on tour and Kirk set to release a new album in the next year, this was the ideal time and perfect pair to reflect on gear, guitars, and musicianship.
As TPS interns, the two effectively utilized the name drop horn and only had one rabbit trail in the form of an on-the-spot round of “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon.” All in all, I’ll call this a huge success.
While the episode wasn’t exactly geared as a battle of the boards, it was intriguing to watch as two professional musicians talked over their gear choices based on two pedal boards that couldn’t have been more different.
Joey’s Board: A Mighty, Curated Collection for Epic Tones
At the outset of the episode, Joey and Kirk compared boards, toured through select pedals, and both chuckled at the size difference between their on the floor arsenals. Joey’s was a tad larger…a tad. But which of his recent additions have catalyzed his creativity for the new tour?
“These I’m really excited about, the Chase Bliss Audio pedals,” remarked Joey as he expertly toe-pointed to the Thermae and Tonal Recall on his board. “They’re both delay pedals and sound really, really great.” The Thermae’s job on Joey’s board was to provide a warm, simple delay with a slight warble on the tail end. The Tonal Recall, to provide a tighter delay for body and resonance. “I think the designer of these pedals invented space and possibly time travel as well.” Agreed.
For another dimension of space and time, Joey’s board included the Supro Tremolo. At this point, Joey offered up some wisdom for pedal players everywhere: “Here’s a pro tip folks, make sure your pedals are on and not off and also that they’re set to your desired setting…I’m just telling you the real world application!” When the pedal was on and dialed in, the Supro Tremolo was brilliantly pulsey and irresistibly phasey. As a harmonic tremolo, it provided a familiar yet foreign vintage sound.
The final pedal Joey featured was a signature collaboration with Mythos pedals, the High Road Fuzz. All I can say here is that Joey is single handedly responsible for fueling my addiction to fuzz pedals. Apparently, Kirk shared this sentiment: “I could say to myself to go buy one of those cause you sound that good with it, but I know I’ll never sound as good as you with it!” There I’ll have to disagree: you might not sound like Landreth, but you can never have too much fuzz!
Kirk’s Board: A Streamlined Setup for Instant Access to Inspiring Sounds
Kirk’s board was focused and strategic. With only four pedals on a Pedaltrain Nano, the setup might have looked grab-and-go but it served as a foundation for recording Kirk’s upcoming album. Using a variety of Telecaster-inspired designs and experimenting with mic and amp placements, Kirk found the micro board had everything he needed to write and record a diversity of genres. So what weapons did Kirk use for his latest offering of rock, blues, and R&B tracks?
From right to left, Kirk had the Catalinbread Topanga, Catalinbread Valcoder, TC Electronic Polytune Mini, Vemuram JanRay, and set off to the side, a vintage Vox King Wah. “There’s a bunch of other pedals that I use, but this was pretty much just bare bones.”
So how does Kirk get the most out of this best-of board? “I use the JanRay to give a bit of a boost… and I basically just ride the volume to keep it all in line.” With a little tremolo from the Valcoder and dash of reverb from the Topanga, the overdrive sound acquired a bit of movement and space. “That’s pretty much it, and I guess the wah wah is self-explanatory!” Although, if you check out Kirk’s playing on the episode, I think we’d all agree, his wah use looked simple yet sounded sophisticated.
Whether you’re looking to build a board that’s small enough to carry on or aspiring to build an epic soundscape machine underfoot, at Riff City we’ve got everything you need to make your ideal pedalboard. From Pedaltrain canvases, to hundreds of effects, to all the patch cables and power supplies you need to connect your masterpiece, we’ve got you covered. Stop in online or in store!
TPS Rig Rundown:
Joey’s Pedalboard: LAA Custom The Italian Wah, TC Electronic Polytune Min Noir, Origin Effects Cali76 Compact Compressor, Mythos Joey Landreth High Road Fuzz, Kingston Guitar The Duellist, Chase Bliss Audio Thermae, Chase Bliss Audio Tonal Recall, Selah Quartz V2 Timer, Supro Tremolo.
Guitars: Sorokin Guitars 8 0008, Mule Joey Landreth Mulecaster, Josh Williams Mockingbird, Moollon T Classic, Ron Ellis Custom Build.
Amps: Two Rock Classic Reverb Signature and Two Rock 2×12 cab with TR1265B speakers, 633 Amplifiers Prototype ‘KF30’ with Celestion Alnico Gold Speaker.