These Are a Few of My Favorite Tones: Electric Americana Edition

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.

Luther Perkins on “Folsom Prison Blues,” from With His Hot and Blue Guitar by Johnny Cash

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.

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