Artist Spotlight :: Jay Longwell

Bio

Jay Longwell

I Started playing guitar seriously by joining a band at 14 years old. I was never going to be the captain of the football team, so I had to find another strategy to get dates.

Toured with Snowblind for four years in the early '80s. Then went to college and started my career in advertising.

After not playing for almost thirty years, I started going to jam sessions in Boise. Had so much fun. I bought some gear. About a year later got hired on with the RJ McGinnis Band. We gig around the Boise area almost every weekend as a "roadhouse classic rock and blues band."

What/Who inspired you to pick up your instrument?

Like everyone, I was a fan first. I played ukulele in grade school, which led to an acoustic guitar when I was 12. That led to forming a band at 14. I was a huge Led Zeppelin fan, so Jimmy Page was my primary influence and inspiration. Still my favorite guitar player, with Jeff Beck a close second.

What piece of musical advice would you give yourself if you could go back in time to the beginning of your musical journey?

Take the lessons! I had one of the great jazz players and teachers, John LaChapelle, living in my town of Richland, Washington. He wanted to teach me jazz, but I wanted to learn blues. A huge mistake in my musical journey

What keeps you excited about playing?

I love to learn new tunes and play live. At 62, I've found a whole new musical life that I would never have expected. And we're a hard, blues-rockin' outfit. I play better now than ever, and I look forward to playing and learning new stuff all the time.

Desert Island 3 pedal pedalboard (not including tuner)

Wah pedal: I think that's the pedal that makes all players, new and journeyman, find a new level of expressiveness

My custom dual-drive pedal: Built by a guy in Nashville. Combined JHS AT and Greer Lightspeed. Both pedals are awesome and give me a really broad palette, from transparent boost to full-on grind -- with the ability to stack as needed.

Plethora X5: I was looking for something that would fit on my small board and give me more flexibility and real-time control with my onboard Katana effects. Surprisingly, it was my sax payer that had it on his board and turned me on to it. Nine different TS effects with TonePrint options, easy to change parameters on stage, and sounds great.

When you find yourself in a musical rut, what techniques do you do to break out of it?

The "blues box." I spend a lot of time learning how to not get stuck in the pentatonic rut.

Who is your favorite artist/band today? And who was your favorite artist/band ten years ago?

My favorite band recently is The Pretty Reckless. Ten years ago, it was the Foo Fighters. My all-time favorite is Led Zeppelin.

When you find yourself in a music store - what is your go-to riff when test driving gear?

I have a diatonic, two note-riff that I wrote years ago that I could modify for different clean to full-on metal sounds. Because it uses open strings, it's a great way to see how an amp or effect rings out.

What is your most prized/cherished piece of gear? And why?

My Katana Artist MK II. It's a killer modeling amp that takes pedals well. In fact, I used it with only the GA-FC controller and a Wah pedal for over a year.

What is the next big musical purchase you're hoping to save for?

I'd like to get a small tube amp to run in stereo with the Katana

Gear Breakdown

Jay Longwell Gear
Dunlop Crybaby Wah
Custom dual-drive pedal: Built by a guy in Nashville. Combined JHS AT and Greer Lightspeed
TC Electronic Plethora X5
TC Electronic Spark
Boss Katana
Rattlesnake Cables
Stratocaster


Bands / Projects

The RJ McGinnis Band
Idaho Women Sing the Blues



Social Links




Want to be featured as an Artist Spotlight?

Do you have to be a famous musician to be featured? No. Do you have to be a professional musician to be featured? No. Do you have passion about playing and gear -- oh and a verified Rattlesnake Cable Company cable user. Yes!

All you need to do is contact us and we'll direct you to our submission form. If your submission is approved, it will be in the queue to be showcased!




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Reviews on Google

Bob Kondrk
Bob Kondrk
10/26/2021
I recently placed 2 cable orders on two separate dates. I was SO impressed with the customer service by Hank and the quality of the cables that I ordered merch so I could advertise just a little. I am not a rookie player. I am 72 and still an active musician. The Rattlesnake Cable Company and of... Read
Ikkabod Noggin
Ikkabod Noggin
8/29/2020
I have been using my Rattlers for the better part of 5 years and have not had to replace them! I have 2 20" rattle heads and 2 10" rattle head customs that are my fave. Plus my whole pedal board is wired with their patch cables. These are worth the investment! I was going through 12$ cables monthly!... Read
Todd Gilliam
Todd Gilliam
7/9/2021
Great company! fast and easy to work with. Excellent quality cables! I highly recommend them!
Todd Gilliam
Bob Kondrk
10/26/2021
I recently placed 2 cable orders on two separate dates. I was SO impressed with the customer service by Hank and the quality of the cables that I ordered merch so I could advertise just a little. I am not a rookie player. I am 72 and still an active musician. The Rattlesnake Cable Company and of course Hank , has a business acumen that other businesses should definitely use as a model. I will be buying more products from Rattlesnake in the future.
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Todd Gilliam
Ikkabod Noggin
8/29/2020
I have been using my Rattlers for the better part of 5 years and have not had to replace them! I have 2 20" rattle heads and 2 10" rattle head customs that are my fave. Plus my whole pedal board is wired with their patch cables. These are worth the investment! I was going through 12$ cables monthly! The rattlesnakes have paid for themselves over and over! Hank is the man and if you love.your sound, buy these!
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Todd Gilliam
Todd Gilliam
7/9/2021
Great company! fast and easy to work with. Excellent quality cables! I highly recommend them!
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