Before Whitey Morgan and his crew’s first headlining gig at the Ryman—the Mother Church of country music—Whitey (Eric Allen), guitarist Joey Spina, and pedal-steel guitarist Brett Robinson charge through their road-warrior setups that go heavy on T-styles, Fender amps, and plenty of phaser.
Whitey Morgan’s main ride is an early 2000s Fender Telecaster that started its life as a single-bound, black-and-white model. He quickly grew tiresome of its tuxedo look. With years of experience doing custom paint jobs on cars, he took matters into his own hands, sanded down the body, added a second bind, gave the top a sunburst look, and finally added pinstriped initials to the pickguard. He’s swapped out the neck four times and has always preferred the snap and pop of a Tele matched with a maple neck and fretboard. The current neck is from Warmoth and has a Keith Banjo tuner that allows him to quickly go into drop-D tuning. As a self-admitted tone fickler, Whitey is always trying new pickups, but has used these custom-wound models from a buddy in Michigan that are similar to Seymour Duncan Hot Rails. While he can split the coils, he generally plays both pickups in humbucker mode. The No. 1 uses Ernie Ball Slinky .011–.048 strings. The exquisite strap was handmade by Cody Hixon of Great Point Custom Leather.