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Watch Laurence Jones explain why a £30 second-hand Joyo overdrive is the most important pedal on his ‘board

With the new album from Laurence Jones, Destination Unknown, out on Friday, 9 September through Marshall Records, the British blues phenom was good enough to invite MusicRadar into the studio to offer a guided tour of his pedalboard.

This being the age of the guitar effects pedal, of ever-more complex processes of pedalboard curation, we might expect a baker’s dozen of boutique pedals. But this is blues guitar, and Jones’ stompbox choices reflect the austere discipline the art form requires – leave the space ship ‘board builds to the post-rock player.

Using his PRS SE Silver Sky in Ever Green, plugged into a Marshall Origins 50-watt tube amp head, Jones walks us through the signal path, which begins with the most important pedal in any collection – the guitar tuner – and includes a Dunlop Mini Cry Baby wah pedal, a couple of budget reverb and overdrive pedals that prove you don’t have to spend big to find pro tones.

Jones neglects to mention that he is using a blue 1mm Jim Dunlop Tortex guitar pick but it would be remiss of us not to call attention to it. When it comes to an art form so dependent on dynamics, pick gauge can make all the difference. 

We won’t spoil the segment by revealing any more, so do out the video above to find out what’s on his ‘board, why he likes to pack in the drive pedals, and get an idea of the sort of tones you can get out of the electric guitar with just a few choice picks. 

And with that, well, you can do anything just so long as you can manipulate the instrument and bend it to your will like Jones – the sort of talent for the guitar that has taken Jones on tour with Joe Bonamassa and Kenny Wayne Shepherd, sharing the stage with Buddy Guy and Ringo Starr. 

Destination Unknown (opens in new tab) is available to pre-order now. When it drops on Friday, Jones will take to the stage at The Social, in Hull, the first of an intensive run of UK shows. See Laurence Jones for full dates. 

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars and guitar culture since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitar World. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.