Southern Gospel pickers!

January 22nd, 2006, 07:39 PM
A question for the Southern Gospel fans out there...who is your favorite SG musician? I'm kinda partial to Kelly Back (he's my second cousin by marriage). Who do you like?

Dr. T
January 28th, 2006, 02:30 PM
Not exclusively SG, but for a long time I've been a big fan of Wanda Vick, who plays on the Gaither vids. Plays monstrously well on guitar, fiddle, mandolin, dobro, banjo.

All the band members with Gaither are just outrageously good. Anthony Burger on piano, Buddy Greene on harmonica...wow.

Rick Towne
January 28th, 2006, 04:38 PM
Wild Rose was an all female band with two releases; Wanda played great Tele along with mandolin and fiddle.

I've seen Gary Lunn, one of my favorite worship bassists, with Gaither on the tv shows

January 29th, 2006, 12:13 AM
Wanda Vick is awesome on mandolin...haven't got to hear her play a Tele. I bet it's good. Yep, Gaither hires the best players in the biz. Roger Fortner is another great player you don't hear much about. He travels with the McKamey's, but he has done some awesome guitar work on other artists' albums.

January 29th, 2006, 02:08 AM
guitelecaster. kelly back is one of my favorite guitar players. i love his tone and especially his playing. i see him on a whole lot of southern gospel records. one i can think of right now is the crabb family "the walk" cd. great great playing and singing. kelly to me is a real creative player. its just amazing what he thinks up.

January 30th, 2006, 05:06 PM
Jason Crabb isn't no slotch either. I liked him better when he was sporting a tele and fender amps. When I seen him live he was playing a strat through a pod direct into the PA. He was mostly concentrating on singing and mostly neglected his normal lead stuff as he had done in earlier times. Of course group situations change and you have to adjust. Even though I was disappointed not seeing him perform much lead work--they put on an awesome concert and did some real heart felt in the spirit ministering. Great down to earth Christian Folks! Platefire

January 31st, 2006, 01:15 AM
Yep, Jason is a pretty fair picker. I wish he'd pick more live, and play on their CD's. Kelly is really inventive with his playing. And he has great tone, IMO. He relies a lot on compression, but his tone and playing are so tasteful for the music he plays on. He also does a cool track on the Nashville Guitars CD.

January 31st, 2006, 09:54 AM
Hello Adam

Maybe you can answer a question for me since your familiar with the Crabb Family. The song "I keep Holding on" has always been a favorite of mine and the tele licks
in that song even though simple are so fine. Was that Kelly that did the playing on that? or who? I always just assumed it was Jason, but didn't really know. Anyway I love that tone and almost sure it was done on a telecaster best I can tell. I shoot for that type of tone on my tele except I use delay more than reverb.
I play with a SG Group called the Slaughter Family around Many, La. I got saved out of a 60's-70's rock background and have been and still in the process of adapting my style to clean compressed tube amp type sound. I build tube amps for a hobby and love that tube tone. I would appreciate if you would tip me off on some good SG/country gospel pickers to look for so I can bone up on some of their stuff. Warning---I am a aging 58 year old baby boomer but Love Jesus and strive to be one of his anointed players. Platefire

February 1st, 2006, 04:57 PM
Yep, I believe that is Kelly on that song. Jeff King may have also contributed to that album, tho. It sounds like a Tele to me, too. Kelly uses a '94 Standard Tele. He can get some "Tele-like" sounds out of his Strat, too. I use delay more than reverb, too.
The trick IMO with compression is not to use too much. When I first got a Boss CS-3 a few years ago, I left it on all the time, at a pretty compressed setting. Since then I've learned that I can get a livelier tone by setting it so it's just barely compressing. It smooths out the tone but not so much that it takes the life out of it.
Other pickers: Roger Fortner is one of my favorites. Check out the Kingsmen's Beyond the Clouds, I'll Live Again or You're Not Alone albums.
Kevin Willaims plays acoustic on the Gaither deals, but plays Chet-style electric really well. He has a couple solo projects out.
Randy Miller's CD's have a lot of guitar, although he doesn't play much on them. His stuff is a little more progressive, for the most part.
Also check out J.T. Corenflos on Mike Bowling's CD's, and John Willis and Jeff King on the Crabb's Prayer in Motion.
Hope this helps you out some. I'd love to dicuss this more of you want.

February 1st, 2006, 06:08 PM

Yeah, I enjoy talking this stuff too. I ran a copy of your post so I will have these guys names handy and will be on the lookout for them. Thanks for the info, that does help. It's funny, the guy that works right next to me is Kevin Williams but he don't play, Har!
I have a Route 66 combination Compressor and OD
that I like a lot. I tend to use natural compression of my tube amps mostly. I've got quite a collection of vintage and modern tube amps that range from 5 to 40 watts. When possible I like to pre-inquire about the size of a building/church I will be playing at and size my amp to that situation so I can crank the amp into the tone zone, not distorted but jut prior to that. I have several pedals on my pedal board but my main sound is--- guitar/Line 6 Delay Modeler/tube amp. I'm bad about doing a lot of swells with the guitar volume knob and doing bends to get simulated steel sounds as fills.
I just sold a TC Electronics Sustainer/EQ on e-bay I thought I would never sell but I wanted to get my own tele. I've been using a good friends all original 69 tele for years and got to fearing something would happen to it as the value of those things go up and up. I just recently got a Highway 1 three tone sunburst tele/maple fingerboard that I am just real happy with. Platefire

February 3rd, 2006, 12:21 AM
My main setup is a Japanese Tele through a somewhat modified Fender Hot Rod Deluxe. I've got a Fralin Blues Special bridge and Adder neck pickups in the Tele, a la Brad Paisley. My most-used pedal is a Boss DD-2 Delay, but I have a few different pedals like a CS-3 and TR2 that I use every once in a while. I've also got a couple of little Vox Valvetronix amps for smaller churches where the HRD can't be used to it's full potential.
I know what you mean about the 69 Tele. I have a 1958 Martin D-18 that I never take out of the house.
Any mods or plans for mods on that Highway 1?

February 3rd, 2006, 02:34 AM
Hi Adam

That kind of blows my mind! Har, My main amp is a Fender Hot Rod Deluxe too. Mine it the first one they made in 1996 and had a Fender 50th aniversery sticker on it. I bought it in 1998 and it must have sat in the shop two years before I got it. It's Un-moded. I just love the way that amp compresses. Before I got my Hwy 1 my main guitar was a 1998 MIJ 50's re-isssue strat. It's got the locking tuners and the Buzz Felton nut mod. The origial pickups it gets close to tele tone but not quite--just takes a tele to do that. I've got the tremolo bottomed out on the body and it stays in tune real well. I havn't moded my Hwy yet. I have been considering brass compensating bridge saddles and locking tuners. It
just plays and sounds outstanding IMHO and long as I feel like that it hard to think about any changes. The tuners are about the only disappointment in the guitar but they work OK.
I've got one of those old SBK Pedal boards that I've been using for years. On that I have a DIY dual bypass switch where I can bypass all my effects and go direct to the amp or select between two effects loops. The first loop goes through a Boss TU-2, Boss HM-2, Route 66,
Dunlop Tremolo, Boss CH-1 and Line 6 Delay. The other loop just goes through an Ibanez CM5. I never use the distortion pedals with the exception of the Route 66 occationally. I also have Boss RV-3 and an Arion DDM-1 that I use seperatly. I have several old vintage amps without reverb and sometimes I use one of those pedals without my pedalboard.
I've been working on a project tonight. I picked up one of those Pignose G40V real cheap here lately and I have taken the original baffle and 10" speaker out and am installing a new baffle and 12" speaker. It's a tight fit but I think it will work. I like the idea of those light compact powerful packages that will cover a lot of bases. Bob (Platefire)
Edit---I finished the 12" Speaker/Baffle Retrofit to the Pignose and here is a link to the photos if you want to look.

February 20th, 2006, 12:41 AM
Looks pretty sweet. So how does it sound with that 12 inch speaker? I've considered getting one of those and using it as a head to drive a larger cab. For some reason it looks like it'd sound good. :)
I really like what you did with the cross and fish on that Champ. That's a nice touch.

February 20th, 2006, 04:07 AM
hey guitetelecaster i've been watching alot of the gaither homecoming videos to watch kelly back play some guitar. i noticed he played his strat. do you know what model it's? it kinda looks like he is using emg pickups. sweet tone. thanks for the help.

February 21st, 2006, 12:04 AM
Hi valleyartsman,
The Strat Kelly uses is a 1990 model with a Floyd Rose Tremolo. The neck isn't original. He does use EMG's for sure, and also has a Roland synth pickup mounted on there too. He uses that Strat for most of his recording. Yep, sweet tone. If you watch the New Orleans Homecoming, he also plays a black '94 Standard Tele.

February 21st, 2006, 10:20 AM
Hi Adam

The Pignose sounds great in my livingroom and it seems like the new tubes and 12" speaker has been a vast improvement---however!---I've learned not to judge an amps performance based on my at home livingroom test. Where the rubber meets the road is when you play in that unknown room and will the adjustments I will need to make at that location provide the tone and projection I'm looking for. The Slaughter family that I play with will be playing for a Grand Opening for a Funeral Home Saturday night--(that will be a new one on me, Har!) and then I will have a better feel for how it's doing.
I really hoping it does well because the weight and size for portability is perfect but it will need to sound at least as good as my HRD.
What have you been up to??

February 21st, 2006, 03:39 PM
thanks for the help guitetelecaster.

February 21st, 2006, 03:59 PM
Hay Adam

I get the Gospel Music Channel on my Sky Angel Sat
System and it pretty much has SGM 24-7. Only thing about it guitar players that travel SGM Groups are kind of few and far in between. So I don't get to see many pickers on that station however there is one that stands out and maybe you could tell me a little more about him.
I think he plays with the new version of the Kingsmen, I think? A tall lankey guy that if I remember correctly plays a right handed guitar upside down like Jimi Hendrix. He also plays a lot of harp plus doing duties as vocalist. Does a great job but they never comment on him. Plate

February 22nd, 2006, 02:09 PM
You're welcome, valleyartsman.
Platefire, that is Randy Miller. He is another one of my favorites. He actually doesn't travel with the Kingsmen anymore, and has a solo ministry. He does reunite with the Kingsmen for a few concerts every once in a while.
His solo stuff is a more progressive style than the traditional style the Kingsmen do, but I like it. Lots of guitar and harp. He has about five CD's out now. His website is http://www.randy-miller.com
Keep me posted on how that Pignose does.

February 22nd, 2006, 03:53 PM
Yep! That's him. He's a good all around musician. I play harp a little but Randy has got it together on the harp. When I've heard him play electric guitar he has laid down some good quality tone and picking also. So if he does most of his own lead stuff on his CD's it probably real good.
I took the pig out last night and hooked up my pedalboard and Tele to further test it. It's got an issue
with hum when you crank it to get a higher volume clean headroom. I like a quite amp and this is an issue with me.
At the lower settings no problem. I have to turn the bass 100% and mid/treble from 0% to 15% to get my tone on the tele. It's kind of bright to me. If you like a lot of clean to sustained/compressed sound this amp does it pretty good but if you like twin reverb like clean this probably wouldn't be an amp you would like. I tend to play from clean to right on the edge of break up, so it might work for me. The court is still out. I'll let you know how it goes Sat night.
Thanks for the link on Randy. He just seems like an alright kind of guy. Bob

Edit: I'm adding this as it is related to my expermenting with the pig last night. I think I fixed most of the noise humm and also gained some good clean head room at higher volumes. It has three preamp tubes that comes stock with Chines 12AX7's. I had intalled new Russian EH
and Fender tubes in these positions as follows: EH 12AX7 in V1 preamp, EH 12AY7 in V2 Cathode follower and Fender 12AX7 in V3 phase inverter. The 12AX7's have a Amplification factor of 100 which is the highest gain so I installed a 12AY7 V2 position that has a Amplification factor of 40 (60% reduction) that I thought would cut down on gain and add more clean headroom.
It sounded better that way but noisy at higher volumes and a little spungy. Well last night I pulled the 12AY7 in the V2 position and the 12AX7 in V1 position and swapped locations and this took most of the previous noise away and added more clean headroom. This was a good improvement. I'm a little more optimistic that this might be OK now. One reason I'm trying so hard to make this work because it's actually a 59 Bassman circuit known as the Fender 5F6A in the pig but is slightly modified by Dennis Kager formally of Ampeg Amps. The Fender 5F6A circuit was the circuit used to launch Marshall Amps in the 60's. So this is a famous little circuit in the pig known for great guitar tone. Sorry for the long post. I kind of get in to these tube amps, Har! God Bless, Bob

February 26th, 2006, 01:19 AM
Cool, I didn't know it was based on a Bassman. I may have to pick one of these up. I'd love to hear it thru a bigger speaker and/or cab. Would it modify into a head easily?
I remember having hum after retubing my HRD with ECC83's a while back. I ended up switching V1 and V2 and the hum went away.

February 27th, 2006, 10:49 AM
Hi Adam

The pig was a complete success. Displayed good fenderish clean tone but not too stiff with enough compression and sustain that encourages string bending. Even though my amp wasn't miked I got some nice complements from even those in the back of the house and none complained it was too loud which was encouraging. It was a pretty good size building so it apparently projected well. I had no problems with it. I just miss not having a standby switch. Started with my volume low but because there was a great steel player and drummer in the house I had to turn up a bit to compensate. The steel player was out of this world and I really enjoyed playing with him as he and the drummer sat if with us. So I'm going to make a amp cover for the pig and count it as my most powerful smallest portable amp. It's actually smaller than my 5 watt DIY Champ but a lot bigger sounding and more powerful.
The service was nice. The church had a history in which they briefly covered going back to the 40's starting off as a "Bush Arhbor" ane later advancing to 18" x 20" building that eventually burnt down and this church
being rebuild in it's present location in 1964. All the living charter members were there and the people who bought the church to convert it to a Funeral Home where Christians and vowed before the charter members to put God first in all there buisness dealings and conduct
their efforts in a way that would be pleasing to God. I thought that was unusual for this day and time and very good indeed. Bob :D

March 5th, 2006, 05:57 PM
Glad to hear the pig worked out nicely. You got me jonesin' for one now. :)
It is a bit unusual for business people to put God first in everything these days. Usually they are concerned with monetary considerations foremost. I know there are exceptions of course, and it's always a blessing to see them.
I love hearing those old stories about Churches' beginnings. My great-grandfather was a pioneering Pentecostal Preacher back in the early 1900's, and he passed down some truly interesting (and inspirational) stories. He passed away before I was born, but my relatives have all kinds of stories from his pioneering days.

March 7th, 2006, 09:24 AM
Well as far as recomending the Pig for you in doing the same changes I did, I have learned from experiance that
"One man's treasure might be another man's trash or vise versa---so good amps are subjective depending on the player. I know I'm pleased with it so far with the changes made and will be playing it for a while to feel it out even further. In different playing situations and conditions/rooms, time will tell if it really passes the test.
Yeah in my old age I enjoy history of all kinds more and more and history of churches and family is always good. I'm sure your thankful and blessed to know and learn about you Grandpa's Life. I have a letter from my
Grandpa he gave me at high school graduation that I'm
thankful for that he expressed the importance of giving my life to Christ and serving him. At the time I disregarded it and went out and sowed my wild oats but I finally came around and gave my life to Christ in 1979.
He died in 1971. Needless to say the letter is priceless to me now. Bob

March 31st, 2006, 03:12 PM
Hi guys, i play and teach southern Gospel Style myself, its actually the same as Country style, let me throw a few names at you Guitelcaster, you heard of Bryan Carter from Georgia?, he played some with Jeff and Sherri Easter, he can play with the best of them, do you know the guy that played on the Singing Cooks albums and sometimes played live with them, he is a smooth picker also.

April 1st, 2006, 09:18 PM
Hi tcouch,
Yep, Brian Carter is a fine picker. And, he plays mostly Teles, which is always a plus. :)
Yep, country and gospel guitar picking are pretty similar. A lot of my influences are country players, and the tricks I've learned from them work very nicely in a Southern Gospel situation.
Glad you chimed in! Who's your favorite picker?

April 2nd, 2006, 10:10 PM
well, i would have to put Brent Mason at the top, then i like Jerry Donahue and Jhonny Highland, Albert Lee, and yes Ray Flacke, he always twist your ear in all kinds if shapes lol. he has a style of his own for sure.