FIRST PLACEMark Krurnowski
The Song: “Mighty Sonus”
Why We Dug It: Krurnowski’s slinky octave intro and present tone were immediate ear catchers, and he develops the melodic flow brilliantly with some smooth and spidery runs, and, most importantly, a little air. This song is a joy from start to finish because Krurnowski lets his seductive melodies take center stage.
The Method: “I used my Fender American Standard Strat strung with D’Addario .010s, and modified with DiMarzio pickups in the bridge and neck positions,” says Krurnowski. “I recorded the tune direct to Sonar 3.0 using a Line 6 Pod, and I beefed up the tone using Native Instruments Guitar Rig (the Fender Twin setting, with just a smidge of midrange boost). I was inspired to write the song after listening to John Scofield and Steve Vai, and I wanted to write something that was melodically tasty, but slippery enough to have some lead-guitar freedom.”
SECOND PLACEMike Grande
The Song: “Sleeping with Saturday”
Why We Dug It: Kicks in with a great, ballsy rock riff, and then gives way to a stunning, vocal-like melody line.
The Method: “It’s my beautiful PRS Custom 22 Artist Series 20th Anniversary into a Soldano SLO-100 and Mesa/ Boogie 4x12, and recorded with a Royer ribbon mic,” says Grande.
THIRD PLACEClint Marrs
The Song: “Panhandle Rag”
Why We Dug It: The sparkling tone, sexy bends, and sitting-on-the-porch-at-twilight vibe.
The Method: “My father used to sing this song,” relates Marrs. “I played a Fender Stratocaster with Lace Sensor pickups through a Digitech RP2000 into a Fender Ultra Chorus amp.”
FOURTH PLACEBobby Manriquez
The Song: “Henpecked”
Why We Dug It: Quirky, bluesy stabs against a stuttering groove.
The Method: “I tracked this with my ‘bulldozer’— an ’86 Ibanez Roadstar II,” says Manriquez. “The amps were a Marshall JTM60 with a 4x10 cab and a Peavey Classic 30. A Boss BE-5 added a dash of delay.”
FIFTH PLACELair Gantt
The Song: “Pick This”
Why We Dug It: It blew our minds that this was recorded using a guitar patch on a Roland Fantom keyboard. The melody and the performance totally stand up.
The Method: “I grew up idolizing Segovia, Kottke, and Van Halen, but I could never play the guitar worth a flip,” admits Gantt. “I pieced together MIDI data from multiple takes on the Fantom using Acid Pro, and then I added string noise samples for realism.”