December 2009 - Reeves Gabrels uses Traynor Amps to Create his Visionary Guitar Tone

Reeves Gabrels

Known for his virtuosity, versatility, and originality, guitarist Reeves Gabrels has recently adopted the Traynor Custom Special YCS100H 100-watt three-channel half stack to create his legendary tone.

"I've searched for a long time in the amplifier jungle for an all tube amp like the Traynor. I''m in love with my YCS100H2 custom special," says Reeves of his current choice of amplifier. "The tone is unbelievable in the studio but, even better, in a live situation you discover that it has anticipated your every desire."

Reeves Gabrels is a guitarist whose style combines the visceral energy of rock, the harmonic sophistication of jazz, the emotional honesty of blues and country, and an ear for the unusual. His compositions and improvisations defy genre and to quote Guitar World Magazine, "explore sonic extremes with a great, adaptive intuition for what each song needs most."

"Three truly independent channels, each with their own tone controls, voicing switches, reverb, global master volume and resonance, master solo boost, series and parallel effects loops, XLR speaker compensated recording out and tuner out … and it''s built like a tank," he explains. "There is nothing that it can''t do... and it does it with monster tone."

Born in Staten Island, New York in June 1956, Gabrels started playing guitar at age 13, taking lessons from Turk Van Lake, who lived in the neighborhood. Van Lake (1918-2002) was a professional musician who had played with Benny Goodman and others.

After high school, Gabrels moved to Boston to attend the Berklee School of Music, and while there was a member of such Boston bands as The Dark, Life on Earth, Rubber Rodeo, The Bentmen and Modern Farmer.

Gabrels met David Bowie in 1987, eventually joining forces with the legendary singer in the rock band Tin Machine. Later, Gabrels became an essential part of Bowie''s nineties sound, most notably on Outside (1995), Earthling (1997), and hours... (1999), the latter two of which he co-produced. "Dead Man Walking," a Bowie/Gabrels song from Earthling, was nominated for a Grammy award. Gabrels and Bowie also created the soundtrack to the computer game Omikron: The Nomad Soul in 1999 for the game''s French publisher.

Independently, Gabrels pursued a wide range of activities as a composer/songwriter, musical collaborator, and solo performer/producer. Solo records by Gabrels include The Sacred Squall of Now (Rounder/Upstart, 1995); Ulysses (Della Notte) (Emagine, 2000); Live, Late, Loud (Myth Music, 2003); and Rockonica (Myth Music/Favored Nations/Sony, 2005).

Gabrels has written soundtracks for films including David Sutherland''s The Farmer''s Wife (Frontline, 1995) and for PBS productions, and collaborated with Public Enemy on the song "Go Cat Go" for the Spike Lee film He Got Game (soundtrack, Def Jam, 1998). He wrote the "club music" portions of the soundtrack for the video game Deus Ex.


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