If you read the About page at Blu Simon’s website you will learn one thing very quickly. Blu Simon is not from this time. They are in fact Time Observers – specialists from the future sent back in time to learn everything they could about the 60’s and 70’s. Unfortunately for the people that make the rules and fortunately for us, they decided to pull a Captain Kirk. The next thing you know, enamored with the music they spent so much time studying, they began to play themselves.
Of course, breaking the rules often leads to living on the lamb. That is how we find The Captain (Aaron Shoemaker) Lead Vocals and Guitar, Dr. Ben (Ben Shoemaker) on Drums and Vocals, Master Gator (Garrison Garza) on Bass and Vocals, Matty T (Matt Tucci) on Sax, on the run from the law of their own time. The chase left them stranded here, in our time, rocking out.
Recently, the boys in Blu have spent time in the studio and put a video together for one of their new songs, Money. Pedal Finder was lucky enough to get some time with saxophonist and keyboardist Matty T. Here he explains what his board looks like and what pedals he runs his saxophone (and keyboard) through on a typical night. It’s fun to see instruments other than guitar utilizing effects and the blend he creates with the overall sound Blu Simon is unique and engaging. This ain’t no Kenny G stuff.
Here’s Matty T talking about one of his set-ups:
I play the sax as my primary instrument with and a Moog Sub Phatty as the secondary. The rig gets adjusted to the size of the venue and the set list for that particular show. My smallest rig is my sax into a AMT wireless mic system and then through a Vermona Retubeverb. It is a rack mounted, spring reverb with a few tubes in the audio path that make everything sound amazing. The AMT system goes through a Radial Reamp and then to the board (pictured above). The small board is made by Tone Snob Pedal Boards. I added the LEDs myself. The signal path is a Sonic Research Turbo Tuner (set to 432), then it goes to a Solid Gold FX Funkzilla, then to a Tone Whizard Labs Buffered Loop Pedal which when engaged sends the signal to the EHX Micro Pog. The buffered loop pedal includes a blend knob.
After the Micro Pog, the signal goes to the EarthQuaker Devices Pitch Bay. Next in line is the Iron Ether Polytope. Then another Tone Whizard Labs loop pedal (no buffer or blend though) which accesses the Moog MF-104M (which has since been upgraded to a MF-104 SD). I use the loop here to bypass the drive circuit of the Moogerfooger and also give me a hard off for the trailing delays (this way I can use the trail off when I need it and kill it when I don’t).
The last piece on the board is a Dawner Prince Starla. After the board the signal goes to a Radial J48 (active direct input) then to the board. When this type of arrangement is in use, I also send a second signal straight from the wireless receiver to the board and the FOH can blend the dirty (effects) and clean signal. All these effects track really well on sax. Most of the time the goal is to sound like a horn section, but get crazy enough to keep it rock and roll.
So what’s it sound like? Check out their video and see for yourself!