Back in March I dedicated an edition of “My Favorite Tones” to acoustic music; I also posted an Americana-adapted version on No Depression. Time for the electric follow-up.
There are few guitar sounds more iconic yet understated than Luther Perkins’ contribution to the rhythmic bedrock of Johnny Cash’s Tennessee Three. Perkins was not a flashy lead picker; he largely stuck to a template of muted right-hand rhythm and repeated melodic hooks during vocal breaks. Nonetheless, his playing helped define the Cash sound through the fifties and sixties (before his tragic death in a 1968 fire). Luther played the boogie with a Fender Esquire or Jazzmaster, most likely strung with flatwounds, through various Fender tube combos.