May 04, 2010
John Hiatt's Genz Benz Backline Backstory
John Hiatt is an American treasure. As a writer, his songs have been covered by artists such as Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton. Buddy Guy, Bonnie Raitt, B.B. King and the Neville Brothers just to name a few. As a performer Hiatt is in a vintage class all his own. He is adept at spanning generes and has racked up 11 Grammy nominations. But just as impressive is his class A attitude towards his music. He is old school and makes his makes magic the old fashioned way, from the amp up.
All of which is to say that when it comes to his craft John Hiatt is as uncompromising as they come, particularly when it comes to tone. His new album "The Open Road" clearly illustrates this attention to sonic detail. Whether it's the brawny tone of his howling electric, graceful roundneess of his acoustic or thick and rich bottom end he's after, John Hiatt turns to Genz Benz amps. In fact, during his 44 city (and counting) US tour, John's entire backline is Genz Benz.
A longtime fan of the Genz Benz Shenadoah acoustic amps, Hiatt was unaware that Genz made an electric amp until legendary studio ace Brent Mason brought the Black Pearl to his attention by way of reccomendation. Hiatt asked to try one and the Black Pearl and it soon bcame his amp of choice. His bass tone needed to keep pace so he switched over to Genz bass gear and backline upgrade was complete.
A while back we met with Hiatt at his home studio in Tennessee to discuss the Black Pearl. Give this vintage clip a visit.