A Different Simple Rig: Robbie Blunt

September 23, 2010 | By | 8 Replies More

Do you know who Robbie Blunt is? Sure you do. He’s the guit-slinger who played in Robert Plant’s band during the “Big Log” era – the less-mature of us never forgetting that name because in high school it meant a turd in a bowl (snicker).

Anyhow, Robbie’s tone was GREAT. Clean (mostly) and distinctive – especially for the time (’80s) – and it didn’t hurt that his notes and lines were simple, memorable and tasty. I’m listening to “Big Log” on Robbie’s myspace page as I type this, and loving it.

I’m listening and thinking Strat (obviously), not sure about the amp, compressor – or maybe a Scholz Rockman on the clean setting.

But no. It’s simpler. According to several posts on the web, here’s Robbie’s signal chain in that band:

> ’56 Strat with a ’54 neck

> Boss CE-1 chorus pedal – One post had this unattributed note: “Set on slow without the boost.”

> Fender Princeton Blackface amp – Set as high as it could go before break-up for some tunes (e.g., “Big Log”) and past that for some tunes (e.g., “Burning Down One Side”).

That was for recording. For more volume live, he used two Mesa Mark IIBs. He also used different Strats live.

And that is the totality of info on the web about this signature, recognizable tone – though there apparently was an ’85 interview with Robbie in Guitar Player that might have more detail. (Anyone have it?)

Given that sweetly simple signal chain, obviously the pedal has a lot to do with his tone – not to mention his fingers: sometimes no pick in the right hand. Here’s more on that pedal, cool demo, sorry if you can’t understand Sco’ish! (I love when he says “Big Moof” – but we all talk funny.)

Yes, I want one of these pedals now. I know some of you out there do too! Race you to eBay….

Robbie’s tone, his choice of notes, his style are all just great. I’ll quote someone from the web: “clanging single-note lines, lazy bends and double-stop stabs.” Yes!


Apparently there are no truly live vids (video + audio) of this band on YouTube. The “live” stuff is mimed for TV or audio only. Bummer. Here’s some of what little there is.

Robbie and the band playing to a recorded version of “Big Log.”

Same deal, this time “Burning Down One Side.”

“In the Mood,” live from Dallas, Texas, 1983, audio only.


> Looking into Robbie’s tone was suggested by a WoodyTone reader (good suggestion, Lou!).

Category: Boss/Roland, Mesa/Boogie, Princeton, Robbie Blunt, Strat

Comments (8)

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  1. snaresy says:

    the guy in the chorus video isn't scottish, he's from the Newcastle area in the north east of england!

    love the site :o)

  2. John says:

    Love it! Look up my Fans of Robbie Blunt page on Facebook! Oh, and I have a copy of that interview I'll send ya!

    • Manny in NYC says:

      I found and bought a real 1985 copy of the Giutar Player mag with the article online. Very candid and informative and Mr.Blunt states he used a hired Gibson Dove to perform The Greatest Acoustic Solo Ever on Moonlight in Samosa. I thought that it had been a nylon string type before reading this. Robbie Blunt…you broke my freakin’ heart with that solo on a guitar you did not even own or could afford to buy then.

  3. Crazy Buzz says:

    Mr. Woodytone:
    For the most part, I'm usually right there with ya on your observations, likes and dislikes. Not this time – I can't go with you on Robbie Blunt. (BTW, as far as I remember, a "blunt" is a cigar hollowed out and filled with "other flammable leaves", that can be smoked in public (somewhat) inconspicuously.)
    I never liked Mr. Blunt's sound. Always found it thin, whiney, and poppy. Those were the dark years of Plant's career and I find that music unlistenable. Just look at Plant's haircut and clothing choices during that time – perfectly matched the music he was making then. It was crap.

  4. Zach says:

    RE: "Those were the dark years of Plant's career and I find that music unlistenable."

    To each his own but Crazy Buzz strikes me as one of those typical music snobs that thinks anything an artist did in the 80's is trash because it either involved keyboards or appealed to the masses. To him it may be crap but there's plenty of music fans like myself who think that the 80's were the most exciting decades in music. Even legends like Plant did some of their best work in the 80's. Songs like "Big Log", "In The Mood" & "Little By Little" were some of the most original & catchy tunes during that time period & made many new fans that were too young to really know about Led Zeppelin. Another big reason for Plant's success was he worked with some superb talent. Phil Collins distinctive drumming & Robbie Blunt's incredible guitar work really added to the quality of Plant's records.

    I also wouldn't exactly call the 80's the "dark years" for Robert Plant. He had 10 songs that were top 10 hits & 15 songs that landed in the top 40. So that was hardly an era of "crap" as you put it.

  5. James says:

    You are right on with the set-up used for "Big Log." Also here are some great live videos of Robert & Robbie live. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gjwv689fmhk&fehttp://robertplanthomepage.com/video/dutchtvvideo

    • emmanuel lidakis says:

      Thanks a million for the links! Is the second off an actual website as it seems or your own videotape? Rare gem though.

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