In this 2nd of a 2 part series, Kingdom Brothers Guitarist Ron Roskowske discusses how he created his sound for recording the Times Hard CD.
As far as guitars go, I had an Eric Clapton model Strat that I’ve used for many years, an Epiphone Olympic special for slide that is equipped with Rio Grande humbuckers, an Ibanez AM-93 semi hollow equipped with Eastgrove pickups, and a 1995 Gibson ES-335 dot neck guitar. I kept the Rivera clean for all of the guitars except the Epiphone, and used two pedals for my drive sounds- an Analog Man King of Tone and a Hermidia Zendrive. Both are low-gain pedals, which gave me pretty organic sounds. I used the overdrive from my Rivera (channel 1) for the overdrive on the Epiphone used for slide.
I played without overdubs on all tracks except for Better Man. For this track I used my Ibanez for a clean rhythm part and then went back and overdubbed the fills and solo. This was at the end of the first day, and settled for a take that I wasn’t totally happy with. We went back into the studio a few weeks later to give it one more shot. Joe had gone back to Nashville, so we cut the track with just my Rivera amp, but we used a close and distance mic, still giving us two signals to use in the mix. I was much happier with this take.
There are parts in the songs that are the same every time we play them, but the solos are always improvised, which makes things more interesting for me. What I play always depends on the interaction of my band members. I’m very proud of these tracks, and they were very much a team effort.