Canadian Musician - May/June 2017 - Page 54

Guitar 2017 Getting Nasty we were going for dictate which guitar to use. It’s amazing how different the 335s sound; even though they are all the same model, each one has a unique sound.” The only electric guitar he used on the record that wasn’t a Gibson is a 1932 National Triolian resonator guigtar. When it comes to acoustics, Strongman has a Gibson Blues King, a small-bodied double-O guitar made popular by legendary blues guys like Robert Johnson. “There is a specific tone to them that really cuts,” he says. He also uses a Gibson J-45, a classic guitar that is often referred to by other musicians as “the workhorse,” since singer-songwriters travel all over the place with this reliable instrument. “I use it in the studio and a lot live,” Strongman says. “It’s a full dreadnought and produc- es a bigger sound than my Blues King.” Strongman loves to dabble in alter- nate tunings with this acoustic, especial- ly open D and open G. Most of the songs on No Time Like Now were written on one of Strongman’s electrics. “For me, the writing usually starts with a part or melody that I flesh out on the guitar,” he explains. “I’ll build a lyrical idea around that. Most of the time it’s musically driven. I almost always have a guitar within arm’s reach in my house or down in my studio readily available. If I start playing, that usually can spark that creative process.” 54 • C A N A D I A N M U S I C I A N No Time Like Now has some guitar tones that Strongman simply describes as “nasty.” For him, the tone always starts with the play- er’s hands. “It’s incredible. Take someone like Mel Brown. It didn’t matter what guitar he played; it always sounded like him, whether he used less drive or more gain … it always comes from the fingers. “I feel the guitar tones are the theme that shapes the sound of the record,” he continues. “We recorded all the guitars in a make- shift amp room in