GEAR & ENDORSEMENTS
I’m a proud endorser of the following companies, their gear, and the hard-working people behind them!
As an endorsed artist and a gear nerd, I’m happy to answer any questions you may have.
If I don’t know the answer, I can put you in touch with someone who will.
Support the companies that support my music!
MY STONEBRIDGE GUITARS
Custom SJ 22 C-GS-C
European Spruce top
Cocobolo back & sides
G 22 CR-C
Rosewood back & sides
— John Pearse 700M strings
— MiniFlex Model 1 mics
— JJB Prestige 330 pickup
— Grover 106 Locking rotomatic tuners
— John Pearse Rosewood armrest
— John Pearse King Pin bridge pins
MY STONEBRIDGE STORY
Stonebridge first came on my radar when I was blown away by the sound of Antoine Dufour’s guitar. I was just starting to play guitar at the time, I never thought I’d ever be in a position to own one. Fast forward to 2012 as I was in the pre-production phase for my first acoustic guitar album. Trevor Gordon Hall offered to lend me his Stonebridge G22CR-C for my record, an offer I eagerly accepted.
The following summer, I met the fine folks behind Stonebridge Guitars at the Canadian Guitar Festival. I got to try several more guitars from their lineup and was so impressed that I knew that it was only a matter of time before I had one to own. I’m now the proud owner of a G 22 CR-C, the very first model Stonebridge I played. They are also hard at work on a beautiful new guitar, custom made specifically for my preferred sound and playing style!
I’m proud to be a Stonebridge artist not only because they make killer guitars (if you don’t believe me, take a look at the world-class guitarists who play them), but also because of their ethic. They were some of the earliest supporters of the current wave of contemporary fingerstyle guitarists, and they continue to do their part to build and foster a tightly-knit community of guitar enthusiasts. As an artist, I flooded them with questions, ideas, and feedback, and they patiently and politely answered every single one of them with a smile.
Stonebridge is love. Get one.
MY VOYAGE AIR GUITARS
Sitka Spruce top
Mahogany back & sides
Sitka Spruce top
Mahogany back & sides
Sitka Spruce top
Rosewood Back and sides
MY VOYAGE AIR STORY
Given all of the strange tunings I used, I became notorious in local music circles for breaking strings mid-set. Eventually, it came time for me to buy a second stage guitar. After searching the around for a suitable backup, I came across an intriguing guitar. I loved the sound and utility but was blown away when I realized that it could fold in half! Yes! Full-sized travel guitar!
My used VAOM-06 (perhaps among the most widely-prized of the Voyage Air line) was supposed to be my backup guitar but quickly earned its spot as my favorite because of its incredible sound. Traveling with it was a breeze, and it proved to be dependable gig after gig after gig. One day, I received an E-mail from Voyage-Air; they’d seen a performance I’d done on their guitar and invited me to sign-up as an artist and fly out to perform at the Winter NAMM. It was an honor!
As I improved as a guitarist, I also got a better grasp on the sound I wanted to achieve and the type of guitar I’d need to get there. I had a wonderful Martin GPCPA4, but it quickly started gathering dust after Voyage-Air sent me their VAOM-1C. It had a brighter, more focused sound and was such a joy to play that I did the unthinkable and sold my Martin!
I’ve come across a lot of different travel guitars, but these are the only guitars that can pass-off as fully-fledged, stage-worthy acoustic guitars. Every time I fly, I never have to worry about the TSA breaking my guitar; my Voyage Airs travel safely stowed in the overhead compartment.
MY JOHN PEARSE GO-TO’S
700M medium gauge phosphor bronze strings
Brass with Ebonite and Pearl French Eye bridge pin
Large musician’s carry-all bag
Medium zipper pouch
MY JOHN PEARSE STORY
The first time I put John Pearse strings on my guitar, I fell in love with my string string wonder all over again. From the start, they feel the perfect kind of broken-in: warm yet defined, shimmering yet expressive. But the fine folks at John Pearse go far beyond making my favorite strings. The sheer number of options to upgrade and customize the sound of your acoustic guitar is staggering, and John Pearse’s catalog has high-quality products for many of them.
I put John Pearse armrests on all of my acoustic guitars: they lift your arm from the soundboard and give you 30% more acoustic sound than without the armrest; the top tonewood is allowed to vibrate freely, unmuted by your arm thereby giving you a beautiful, resonant, open tone. The armrest also creates a more rounded and comfortable playing position for my posture, giving many more pain-free hours of playing music!
I fail to understand why so many high-end guitar makers still use plastic bridge pins. Plastic pins are cheap, get chewed-up with repeated string changes, and dull the natural tone of the guitar. John Pearse makes a wide variety of bridge pins to remedy that problem for those who are as tone-obsessed as I am. They offer everything from horn to bone to synthetic tortoise shell to brass (which I have on my VAOM-1C). They also have a staggering amount of products to help you maintain physical well-being while playing.
I had the pleasure of meeting the people behind John Pearse, and they grew to be as excited about my music as I am about their vision. They operate by a simple mantra that I’ve embraced fully: Music really does make the world a better place!
MY MINIFLEX STORY
Many companies have tried to put microphones into guitars. Oftentimes, the result is something that’s feedback-prone, overly boxy, and too boomy and inarticulate for live performance application. After all, when you stick a microphone inside of a big, wooden box, what kind of sound could you expect? Plenty of pickup manufacturers turned to a multi-pickup system utilizing the mic solely to add warmth and presence rather than a single solution. Additionally, many of these designs are unruly, expensive, and difficult to install.
The folks at MiniFlex mics were aware of these limitations to the internal mic design and came up with a brilliant solution: use two microphones that are mechanically out of phase with each other thereby reducing feedback, capturing different elements of the guitar, and creating a beautiful, balanced sound. The microphones simply screw into the tail block and are powered by 2 AA batteries. The system is so energy efficient that users can get 2 years of regular use without having to switch batteries.
I liked the idea in theory and wanted to put it to the test. I ordered a Model 1. When it arrived, I was extremely pleased with how easy the installation was. They provided all the tools I needed to install it (caveat, I had to drill my own 1/2″ hole into the tail block, but that’ll be the case with just about any guitar that doesn’t have a pickup already installed). I tested it out at home and loved the results. However, in a live setting, I wasn’t getting the kind of sound I was expecting.
I talked to them about my sound issues, and MiniFlex provided me with some helpful hints for mic positioning to get my ideal sound. These microphones are a gift that keeps on giving; the longer I play on them and tweak my sound, the deeper I fall in love with what they do. The sound is beautiful and great for live performance once properly calibrated (it’s very easy to adjust the mic position). However, my MiniFlex’s have also been a huge asset for recording. Every recording engineer has their tricks for micing acoustic guitars, but it’s not often that you can place two microphones inside a guitar.
I ended up using the MiniFlex in lieu of a direct pickup signal when recording Meridian Eclipse. They comprised two of the eight microphones used to create the sound of the album. MiniFlex was among my earliest supporters and sponsors, and it is a pleasure working with them. I proudly use them on all of my acoustic guitars.
MY STORY WITH THE ENGLE
It’s difficult coming up with something for guitar that a million other people haven’t already. There’re only so many different ways you can play chords and melodies, even with the expanded possibilities afforded by contemporary fingerstyle techniques. Then I was introduced to the Engle guitar hammer, a simple yet versatile device that creates everything from hammer dulcimer-like sounds to slap-bass tones; it’s simultaneously percussive and melodic; the design allow you to play single notes and chords: all while giving you tones completely unique to the Engle. You’ll hear sounds coming from your guitar you never thought were possible.
The people behind the Engle are tireless in their pursuit of innovation, creating new heads for new tones, listening to artist feedback to improve on the product, and creating a community where professionals and hobbyists alike can learn from each other. They don’t see creative experimentation as a privilege reserved for the elite, rather something that can be enjoyed by everyone, regardless of musical proficiency.
More than any other company I’ve worked with, they’ve built their company around their artists, doing everything they can help their musicians make a living. In turn, the people at the Engle have amassed a roster of progressively-minded musicians who do their part to give back to the communities that support them.
Try one out for yourself. Chances are, you’ll be surprised with what you come up with!
MY GATOR GEAR
ProGo Acoustic Guitar deluxe padded gig bag
Deluxe microphone stand
MY GATOR STORY
Since I picked-up my first steel string acoustic guitar–an Alvarez AJ60–Gator has been there to make sure my prized instruments are protected (as a testament to the durability of that case, I still use it to this day). My clumsiness combined with the perils of the road make protecting my gear incredibly important, and I’ve trusted Gator to help me out in that regard.
When I started touring heavily as a keyboardist, I needed something as close to indestructible as I could find, and they sent out an awesome hard shell case for my Korg SV1-88. At one point, I ended up breaking the handles off of the case while going up a staircase. Gator cases redesigned the handles and sent out a new set for me quickly and free of charge; they’re that invested in their customers. Another time, while traversing Atlantic City, NJ, I fell down a manhole while carrying my keyboard in its case. Despite the dead drop I subjected my keyboard (and myself) to, everything remained intact!
For nearly any protection need from instruments to pedals to mic stands, instrument stands, mixing boards, and beyond, Gator has you covered with their incredible catalog. If they don’t have it, they work with you to design something that fits your needs.
Gator Cases: great people, great cases.
Pardon the mess!
We’re updating the page little by little.
Everything should be completed by March 31st!