The Edge pocketknife slide - like Blind Willie Johnson
THIS SLIDE SOUNDS LIKE 1928.
The earliest slide guitarists had a different tone than the cats who gained fame in the 1930's. The old style slide whined like a broken heart, dragging the notes up and down on the high string of the guitar. Blind Willie Johnson was the epitome of this sound. And it all came from guitarists using pocketknives or straight razors as their slides.
They'd hold them between the ring finger and the pinky of the left hand. With this style, it was possible to barre straight across the strings or play individual notes on different strings and then swing the knife--or razor--out of the way when it was not needed.
Fingerstyle iconoclast, John Pearse decided to go back to the knife and he created The Edge. Pearse created a slide that was sculpted in such a way that it would fit effortlessly between the ring finger and the pinky. He designed so carefully that it has a counterbalance that allows it to be swung out of the way when it is not needed. Finally, he cast it from dense bell brass to give it incredible sustain.
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