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JW_MiaDyson-6903Mia Dyson is our first lady of the electric blues. Since releasing her debut album Cold Water in 2003, Dyson has built an ever-increasing following both here and overseas with her heartfelt vocals and stunning guitar skills. The ARIA Award winner releases her new album ‘Idyllwild’ this week.

What was your first guitar?
My first guitar was made by my dad, Jim. Me and a friend asked my dad if he would teach us guitar and for my next birthday (14) me made me a guitar – a blue tinted stratocaster copy

What’s your main guitar now?
A couple years later my dad made me one of his own designs – an opaque cream ‘Tone Deluxe Standard’ which has been my main guitar for 10 years now. It looks something like a mix between a star and a jaguar. It’s all hand-made, including the pickups and it sounds fab. It’s a total road dog

Through what amp and why?
My amp is a Goldentone Reverbmaster 60 – a tube amp made in the 60s in Melbourne. I’ve had it since I was 16 and I love it because is has a huge fat warm bottom end and a clear bell top end. It’s a meaty amp

Which pedals are your standards?
I keep accumulating more but my road warriors are the Boss overdrive, an Ibanez tremolo, the OCD distortion, the Holy Grail reverb pedal and a Guyatone Flip delay pedal

What’s your latest recording and when will you be back in the studio?
I’m just about to release a new album ‘Idyllwild’ out on June 6th, so it will be a little while before I get back in the studio. We recorded Idyllwild in January this year at a fab studio in Ojai, California.

What gigs have you been playing lately?
I’m just about to wrap up 5 weeks of touring on the East Coast USA, taking in the big cities like Boston, Philly, New York, Chicago and Nashville, plus lots of great out of the way places in Vermont, New Hampshire and New York state

Most memorable gig?
Playing dueling guitars on stage with Bonnie Raitt in Sydney a few years ago

Worst stage nightmare?
The rain destroying my amp at an outdoor gig in Chicago making it impossible to play unless I DI-ed the electric guitar… terrible

Album that changed your life?
Music from Big Pink by The Band. Their reckless, loose, passionate sound and attitude really turned me on to the idea of playing music when I was around 13

What gigs are coming up in the next few months?
I’ll be touring a West Coast US tour in July and then some more East Coast US in September. Then I head back to Australia to do an album tour in October and November

A guitar tip for the kids?
When starting out playing guitar, learn songs you that you love so that you feel inspired to keep practicing. while it’s great to learn theory, and I recommend that too, It’s gotta be fun to practice and play, so start there.

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