Hound Dog Taylor's Gear

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Hound Dog Taylor's Gear

Postby Bluesrocker » Thu Feb 05, 2009 8:57 pm

Hello, everyone, first registered post for me!
I just picked up Hound Dog Taylor's 1971 record he did for Alligator and I'm really knocked out by his heavily distorted sound. I know he used an Airline guitar, but what amp did he use? Sounds like an overdriven Bassman, can't be sure. Also, on "Phillip's Theme" there is some smokin' lead work by Brewer Phillips. Sounds like he's using a Strat. Anyone hip to what amps and gear these guys used? I'm getting a similar sound with my SG in Open D tuning plugged into a '68 Super Reverb cranked. (I also use a '68 Twin and a Marshall Bluesbreaker RI). Sounds like SRV listened to this record when he was a kid, you can hear a few of his influences here on Phillip's Theme, 44 Blues and Gimme Back My Wig. Seems like he wasn't only listening to Albert King records! Any info will be appreciated! Thanks!
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Re: Hound Dog Taylor's Gear

Postby Derekslide » Thu Feb 05, 2009 9:30 pm

Bluesrocker wrote:Hello, everyone, first registered post for me!
I just picked up Hound Dog Taylor's 1971 record he did for Alligator and I'm really knocked out by his heavily distorted sound. I know he used an Airline guitar, but what amp did he use? Sounds like an overdriven Bassman, can't be sure. Also, on "Phillip's Theme" there is some smokin' lead work by Brewer Phillips. Sounds like he's using a Strat. Anyone hip to what amps and gear these guys used? I'm getting a similar sound with my SG in Open D tuning plugged into a '68 Super Reverb cranked. (I also use a '68 Twin and a Marshall Bluesbreaker RI). Sounds like SRV listened to this record when he was a kid, you can hear a few of his influences here on Phillip's Theme, 44 Blues and Gimme Back My Wig. Seems like he wasn't only listening to Albert King records! Any info will be appreciated! Thanks!
Congratulations mate, you awill need to pick up a slide from Diamonds bottleneck slides here http://www.diamondbottlenecks.com/DB08/index.asp, Hes a good guy and he will set you up[ farly well.

And I hope you will enjoy it here on the forums, Bunch of great people here.
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Re: Hound Dog Taylor's Gear

Postby boogiechillun85 » Thu Feb 05, 2009 9:51 pm

Brewer Phillips was a tele man. I don't know what year or anything like that.

And heck, man, Hound Dog's guitars cost about $17 each, I wouldn't worry so much about gear. 8)
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Re: Hound Dog Taylor's Gear

Postby jellyroll baker » Fri Feb 06, 2009 3:14 am

The first I've heard of Hound Dog using an Airline...

Anyhow, if you want to imitate the approach of The Hound than the best thing to do is to get the gear you have, turn everything up to 10 and rip. Worrying about what kind of guitar you're using is kinda missing the point.
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Re: Hound Dog Taylor's Gear

Postby username » Fri Feb 06, 2009 7:57 am

On the first Alligator record Hound Dog Taylor played a Kawai S-180 like this:

Image

(the bridge on this one has been changed)
Image

Image

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On the cover of Natural Boogie he is pictured with a Kawai S-40:

(this one also has a replacement bridge)
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He was also photographed with a Greco ES-335:

Image

Also a Teisco Spectrum 5:

ImageImage

On the first Alligator record Hound Dog used a Silvertone 1485 amp with a 6x10 cabinet (Bruce Iglauer reported that two of the speakers were blown!) and on the second record both Hound Dog and Brewer were using silverface Super Reverbs.

Image
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Re: Hound Dog Taylor's Gear

Postby maxx england » Fri Feb 06, 2009 4:18 pm

I thought he used one of those 4 pickup Teisco Del Reys. With rocker switches. Want one :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
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Re: Hound Dog Taylor's Gear

Postby Bluesrocker » Fri Feb 06, 2009 6:42 pm

Just a follow up to my query about Hound Dog and his gear. Username, thanks for the info and all the great photos! Hound Dog was the rippin' roarin' slide guy. Boogie chillun and Jellyroll, I'm not a gearhead all worried about what other guys play, I was just curious about what Hound Dog and his boys used, no harm in that. I'm quite comfortable with the gear I have and I've been playing and using that gear for many years in many small and large blues clubs. Derekslide, thanks for the slide tip, I'll look into it! Thanks to all for the quick info!
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Re: Hound Dog Taylor's Gear

Postby bottleneck » Sat Feb 07, 2009 7:37 am

an interesting aspect of hound dog taylor's gear is that his slide was cut from a kitchen chair.of course if it was a kitchen table username will be sure to correct me.

has everyone seen the footage of hound dog taylor and little walter together?early enough in taylor's career that he still sounds a lot like elmore james.

i had always heard that after the success of his first album taylor and phillips both switched to solid state fender amps.as soon as they got money!
there was a slide player in philadelphia,mark armstrong who now either lives in nashville or florida,who got a great hound dog taylor sound out of solid state fenders.

gotta love that hound dog taylor.

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Re: Hound Dog Taylor's Gear

Postby maxx england » Sat Feb 07, 2009 12:27 pm

There's a Youtube clip I can't access from this screen (public library barriers to corruption of the innocent <innocent? Need protecting from "naughty words"? The kids round hear can teach me some I didn't know>)

It's "Wild About You Baby" anyway.
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Re: Hound Dog Taylor's Gear

Postby username » Sat Feb 07, 2009 3:52 pm

bottleneck wrote:i had always heard that after the success of his first album taylor and phillips both switched to solid state fender amps.as soon as they got money!

Silverface Super Reverbs are not "solid state" amps.
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Re: Hound Dog Taylor's Gear

Postby Bluesrocker » Sat Feb 07, 2009 7:21 pm

I picked up volume 3 from the great "American Folk Blues Festival 1962-1969" that were videos of some of the greatest American blues musicians and vocalists of that period recorded as they toured Europe and the UK. On my dvd, Hound Dog Taylor performs with Little Walter (ca. 1967). They do a great version of "Wild About You". Hound Dog also backs up Koko Taylor doing "Wang Dang Doodle". That Folk Blues Festival series is a goldmine of blues with performances by Earl Hooker, Muddy, Otis Rush, Skip James, Bukka White, Son House, Buddy Guy and others. Some of the performers would have never been seen on video if not for that series. Watching those musicians is very inspirational, pushes you to step up a notch in your own playing.
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Re: Hound Dog Taylor's Gear

Postby Rick-e » Sat Feb 07, 2009 9:17 pm

Great thread, It really blows me away that the early guys used anything that was available and sounded so good.

( in the '60 s one of my first electrics looked a lot like the Kawai in the pics with the rocker switches, mine was a 'Kent")
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Re: Hound Dog Taylor's Gear

Postby bottleneck » Sat Feb 07, 2009 9:27 pm

username wrote:
bottleneck wrote:i had always heard that after the success of his first album taylor and phillips both switched to solid state fender amps.as soon as they got money!

Silverface Super Reverbs are not "solid state" amps.


that's my point lenny! i had always heard that HD taylor used solid state fenders after he got money,NOT silver panel supers.although i don't claim to know,i thought it could be discussed.

you certainly can get a very HD taylor-like sound out of old solid state deluxe's,if that was what one was shooting for.

i would imagine the slide and the topmount-like PU"s had something to do with the sound.

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Re: Hound Dog Taylor's Gear

Postby username » Sun Feb 08, 2009 1:39 am

bottleneck wrote:i would imagine the slide and the topmount-like PU"s had something to do with the sound.

The pickups in those guitars are not top-mounted. They are suspended from the pickguard on screws with springs (like strat pickups). The nice thing about them is that they will actually give you Hound Dog's exact tone whether you want it or not, through virtually any amp, tube or solid state. In fact a Twin Reverb on 2 and a half will still cough up that sound. That's why there's no huge difference between the tone on Hound Dog's studio records, and in my pursuit of Hound Dog tone I bought both a non-master volume silverface Super Reverb and a Silvertone 1485. It takes the right guitar to produce that sound. Before tracking down the actual models Hound Dog played, I bought over a dozen 4-pickup Japanese guitars looking for that sound and they DON'T all have "that" tone, but some do. Before, the person to talk to about the fine details Hound Dog's sound was Cub Koda but sadly he is no longer with us.
While it is true that you can take whatever you have and "turn it up to 10 and let it rip" like someone else said earlier but it won't sound like Hound Dog Taylor. His amps weren't on 10. He could get that sound you hear on records at very quiet volumes. He played some tiny clubs and all his live recordings have that exact same sound that he has onstage outdoors at the Ann Arbor festival. That's the beauty of these guitars, they sound like Hound Dog Taylor no matter what amp you play them through, no matter what volume. Everything else is just an approximation.
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Re: Hound Dog Taylor's Gear

Postby bottleneck » Sun Feb 08, 2009 8:53 am

hey lenny,is there a name for that kind of pickup?

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