On this week’s Academy Of Tone, Thomas is joined by special guest Sean Athens – a young and prodigiously talented blues guitar player from Germany – to talk blues, sessions, sounds, touring and Sean’s AMP1 + pedalboard rig! Plus, the guys will be joined by a secret special guest for a special live performance.
Sean is one of the new generation of blues players who are re-popularizing the genre across the world. Of course, you have the likes of John Mayer and Joe Bonamassa who are filling stadiums wherever they go, but it’s passionate players like Marcus King, Christone "Kingfish" Ingram and Sean who are helping bring the blues back on a more regional and national level.
Sean currently plays guitar for Chris Kramer & Beatbox ‘n’ Blues, a unique power trio composed of vocalist and blues harp player Chris Kramer, Sean on guitar, and beatboxer Kevin O Neal. The band have recorded and toured heavily, and Sean uses his AMP1 Silver Edition (he was an early bird discoverer of the brand!) as the basis for his rig wherever he is. As well as the trio, Sean also performs solo – with his debut album set for release soon – and plays and records as a session musician for other artists.
On the show, Thomas and Sean will take a deep dive into Sean’s career: how and why he got started on guitar, and why blues is his passion, his pro gigs to date, and of course his gear. As well as AMP1, Sean has an enviable pedalboard to discuss and demo, built around his King Tone The Duellist dual overdrive, his Digitech Drop pitch shifter and his Digitech Hardwire tape delay, and he’ll also be bringing his other amp – a Germany-made Realtone – to show off, along with some of his favorite guitars, which include his signature GregorGuitars model.
As well as discussing Sean’s career, the guys will also perform the Jimi Hendrix classic Little Wing, and dive deep into this magical composition and performance that has inspired both of them massively. Thomas will try and tap into Jimi’s magic a little bit and explain how the song came to be, how Jimi conceptualized it, and how to play it with varying levels of complexity – from a simple version through to more elaborate takes on it using different scales and approaches. So strap your own guitars on for a bit of a lesson there – it’s going to be a lot of fun!