- Lead Singer, Rhythm Guitar, Songwriter
When looking for a microphone I knew that I wanted a good sound and something that looked the part of what I was trying to project with our music. It also had to fit my budget, and by budget I mean the christmas gift cards I had been saving. The vintage designed satin chrome-plated Shure 55 has been around for many years and has the correct feel and look for when we are performing some of those good ol' country classics. I choose the next generation Shure Super 55 Deluxe Vocal Microphone because, hey, if it has "Super" and "Deluxe" in the name it has to be good. Right? Well, it is. The first time I hooked it up I was playing a gig with Al and Bob. We could all tell right away that it was a clearer, warmer, higher quality signal than the standard mics we had been using and still run into at some of the venues we play. I have been very pleased with the mic at our live shows. It not only sounds great, but it definitely catches a few people's eye when I attach it to the stand. I hope that it gives them the first clue that they are in for something a little different than the standard bar band that they are used to hearing.
- Vocals, fiddle and percussion
Heather was a promising Suzuki student on the violin when she discovered that cheerleading is more fun than orchestra so she put the violin in the case and left it there while she went off to do fun things.
Jump forward almost 30 years and Heather is singing in an outlaw Country band when her husband spill it that she can play fiddle. After some pressure and threats of dismissal from the band, she got it back out and learned how to redneck it up a bit! Now she plays it at every show and is constantly looking to expand her country chops so be sure to look for her at the next gig!
Dave’s Favorite Bass-
I’m a simple guy. I think that a modest investment will suffice in just about every hobby in which I’m involved and if you know any of my friends, I think you’ll find that they agree. They’ll all say that I’m cheap.
When I was working at Swing City Music Shop in Collinsville, I was put in charge of inventory for the repair and rental stock so as I dug through box after box of loose parts, I made a little collection of usable bits and asked the manager, “How much for this junk?”. We agreed on a price, my pal Darin put it together and that’s basically how I came up with my Franken-strat.
When I needed a bass guitar, I followed suit and dug up a relic from the pile and came up with a ‘Series-10’ Sunburst P-bass copy with a broken truss rod and horrible neck. I ordered a P-bass replacement neck from All-Parts but it arrived as a “blank” paddle head (so I could cut out any shape I wanted). That’s cool and all but I had a gig and needed this bass to work right now! I traced the tuner positions on the blank headstock and made a diagonal cut so I could string it up in a hurry. I played it with a giant flat headstock for a couple of years because I thought it was ugly and cool; however, it was also really unbalanced as the body was cheap plywood and a big chunk of maple hanging out there was making it weird to play after a couple of sets. I was finally motivated to remove the unnecessary part of the headstock so I trimmed it with a small trim saw…..but it might as well have been a hatchet. Digging through drawers at the music shop, I stumbled across a set of used American P-bass pickups so I added those with new pots and jack so I was on my way to a legitimate good bass. I made this bass around 1999 and have played with it pretty regularly since then.
At one point, I felt guilty for gigging with such a turd so I thought I needed a better bass so I started searching. I looked at a lot of cool basses but none of them matched my budget (remember, I’m a tightwad). Finally, I got a great deal on a used Tobias Growler-5. It’s an awesome bass – Bartolini pickup, 18v system, elliptical neck, great sound and that 5th string would rattle your bowels….but I just couldn’t connect to it. It sat in it’s perfect hardshell case for a few years and I half-heartedly tried to move it on Craigslist and eventually traded it for a new Fender Bass amp. I went back to my cheap and trusty grinder. Maybe someday I’ll replace the body if I come across a good deal and when I decide to replace the tuners, I might try one of those hip-shots that dumps the E string to a drop-D but beyond that, I’ll just keep playing it.
When I head to the practice spot, drag it out of the gigbag and throw it over my shoulder it’s perfect. It hangs well on my shoulder, it rides a little high (to my rock-and-roll friends, but not to my jazz friends) and is as comfortable as an old sweater and as dependable as a beer-drinking hockey pal. I can’t see any reason to replace it in the immediate future so when you come out to see us play, you’ll be able to gaze on it’s simple awesomeness!
- Harmonica and Vocals
Al currently uses a variety of harps, Bushman, Suzuki, Hohner, Oskar. Custom vintage mics (C.Gurney, G.Heumann). Harp Gear amp for studio, 60's Silvertone tube amp w/custom built Jim Weber loaded 4-10 slant cabinet at live performances, and always Lone Wolf effects.
SHELLS: DDRUM ASH DOMINION - 22" x 20" Kick, 12" x 10" Tom, 16" x 14" Floor Tom, PEARL 14" x 6" SensiTone Elite Aluminum Snare
CYMBALS: AVEDIS ZILDJIAN - 14" A Quick Beat Hi Hat, 16" A Custom Projection Crash, 17" A Custom Crash, 22" K Custom Special Dry Ride
HARDWARE: DW 9000 Series Snare and Cymbal Stands. Axis Pedals, Roc N Soc Thrones
STICKS: PROMARK: Hot Rods
- Lead Guitar
As I have been playing through the years I have tried a number of different guitars although I had always found myself falling back on my '82 Les Paul Custom every time. When I acquired my first vintage arch-top ('62 Epiphone Sorrento seen on the left) I realized what kind of guitars I really preferred. The '69 Gibson ES-330 was my next arch-top and it became my go-to guitar for the last 5 years.
During that time I was able to acquire my Gretsch guitars and subsequently the 2014 Duesenberg Starplayer TV Fullerton that I'm using live. This '69 Chet Atkins Nashville was used to record my tracks for our CD Outlaw Way.
The ES-330 was my live guitar when I joined the Rat Rod Kings up until after the CD tracks were finished and I decided that I'd rather keep the vintage guitars safe. My friends at Killer Vintage are a Duesenberg dealer and I remembered seeing this one at their shop. The Duesenberg has the feel of my Les Paul or 330 with the sonic qualities of the Gibson and the Gretsch combined... a truly wonderful guitar.