Derwin “Big D”Perkins on the Right Stuff

If you caught New Orleans pianist Jon Cleary’s band pre-Katrina, you saw guitarist Derwin “Big D” Perkins wielding a Squier Stratocaster straight into a Fender Frontman 65R amp. Whether synchronizing octaver-tight funk lines with bassist Cornell Williams, or whipping off George Benson-esque solos, Perkins’ warm, lucid sound belies the lowbudget gear.
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“I bought that guitar for $79 and it was one of my favorites until I lost it in the storm,” he laments. “Ain’t nothin’ sounds like that Squier.”

Praising the Fender Frontman, he says, “I was using that little amp when we were opening up for Bonnie Raitt. One time I was going to use her guitarist’s amp, and the sound guy said, ‘Please go get that little Fender amp. I’m able to control it, and it sounds so good out here.’ A lot of your sound is in your touch, but it really helps when you’ve got equipment that works for you.”