Gear & Stuff
Guitars - Mattsen resonator. Build by NZer, this guitar is a one-off as each one he builds has a different style, shape and finish. It has a sublime warm tone - playing it is like sitting in a warmth bath of sound. It has a bell like ring but without the usual harsh metallic sound of most resonators and with build in pick-ups that translate the sound across any space it is a wonderful guitar to play. No matter the size of the space it can reach the back of the room without compromise.
Usually I play it in an open DAGAD tuning. I find a capo shifts the tone into other realms, expanding the potential for bringing a tune along behind the lyrics. My favourite slide is a purpose made heavy pipe on the pinkie finger - with a piece of cork inside that has been drilled out so the slide stays on the finger no matter what chord position the hand is making.
The other guitar used for live work is a Takamine Tanglewood. It has great pickups that give an authentic acoustic sound without feeding back. I keep this in standard tuning with occasional shift to a dropped D for a couple of songs. The guitar has power to burn and weighs considerably less than the resonator. I use minimal effects - reverb is a favourite with a touch of chorus. I am a big Ry Cooder fan and try to find a feel that matches the song so my stuff strays across styles and forms like a drunk on Saturday night but always find the way home.