In this third part of a multi session series, MESA artists Jamie Humphries runs through an up tempo country style track he has written inspired by such artists as Brad Paisley, Bent Mason and Keith Urban, showcasing a wide variety of tones available from the Fillmore 50 combo. This track uses pristine clean, as well as pushed clean and driven country lead tones, but specifically focusing in on using the bridge single coil of a vintage Fender Telecaster. This track shows how the Fillmore will achieve authentic vibrant country cleans, to rich full bodied modern country lead tones, with such an icon guitar that’s so widely associated with Country players.
The main riff includes a Brad Paisley inspired part based around a hybrid picking figure that uses a pushed clean tone. This had a little grit to the clean tone, the amp was set to half power with the gain pushed, so even though the clean channel is being used the amp would break up slightly depending on how hard the guitar is played. This tone has an upper mid “honk” rather than a bright tone, but at the same time the tone has weight and depth thanks to the perfectly voiced Fillmore bass controls. This tone really brings the guitar alive, with rich low end, perfectly positioned mid range, and a top end “sheen” that’s not brittle or piercing. This tone should appeal to the traditional country guitarist, rich in tone and dynamic and responsive to the players individual touch.
The second verse demonstrates how well the Fillmore 50 performs when dealing in a pristine clean tone, which is a workhorse tone for many country players. This time the amp was set to full power, with the gain lowered demonstrating the extent of the Fillmore 50’s clean head room. Once again the tone is full bodied and rich, with a pronounced upper mid range. While using the bridge pickup of the Tele the classic country “twang” has been achieved, yet the Fillmore 50’s nicely voiced treble and presence controls refrain from sounding harsh, and add a top end that sits perfectly in the track. The tone has been enhanced with the rich, warm swell of the Fillmore 50’s spring reverb, great for those cascading open string licks and pedal steel style bends.
The third tone utilizes the “Drive” switch, producing a Brad Paisley slightly driven country tone. While still retaining the upper mid “honk” and classic country “twang” this tone has weight to it, and with a mild amount of gain the intricate country open string licks and lines are pronounced, jumping out of the mix, while held notes and string bends are rich in sustain. This is great tone for adding a slight “edge” to your sound, introducing plenty of fire and excitement to a country solo.
The final tone features a more modern country/rock inspired tone similar to what you may hear on a Keith Urban track. Still on the “Drive” setting and on half power, the gain has been pushed, with the mid and treble pulled back. Even with the bridge pickup of the Tele the sound is incredibly rich, with plenty of pick attack on the front end of the note. Although the gain is pushed up high, there’s separation between the notes, which is apparent during the opening descending lick performed against an open top string. With the treble backed off of this slightly darker lead tone the character of the Tele is still retained, producing a very inspiring and musical lead tone for the modern country/rock guitarist.
Stay tuned for part four of this five part series!