Whether he’s blazing through the blues on his own or rocking with Black Country Communion, Joe Bonamassa’s playing is fiery, deep, and powerful. And when he really wants to express himself in a solo, he steps on a Cry Baby.
“The first pedal I ever purchased was a Cry Baby, 25 years ago,” he says. “I am so honored to have my name on this pedal and hope it brings you as much fun as it brings me every night on stage.”
We worked with Joe to develop the JB95 Joe Bonamassa Signature Cry Baby, based on a custom wah wah built by Jeorge Tripps to Joe’s specifications so that it could be easily integrated into the vintage aesthetic of his rig.
It sports a classy copper top and smooth-finish black body to fit perfectly with the copper finish of the Joe Bonamassa Signature Fuzz Face.
What really sets Joe’s Cry Baby apart from others, though, are its guts. We sat down with Jeorge Tripps and asked him a few questions about the latest addition to the Cry Baby family.
What was the design process for the Joe Bonamassa Signature Cry Baby?
Well, this whole project started when I was working with Joe on his Signature Fuzz Face and I noticed he was using a vintage wah wah. I asked him what he liked about it so that I could give him a Cry Baby with all of that and more.
I had him try all of our different Cry Babys and we noted what he liked about this or that pedal. I had a handful of prototype Halo inductors that Dunlop R&D Director Sam McRae made, so I put one of those in there. Joe loved the final product.
How did the halo inductor change the sound of the Cry Baby?
Halo inductors give the Cry Baby a very throaty, punchy tone and allow for a very wide sweep. The sweep on this Cry Baby is one of the widest out there—it’s incredibly expressive.
What did you add for the official signature model?
Well, Joe isn’t a big true bypass guy, he prefers the high end roll off that non-true bypass brings—that darker sound you get. But a lot of players don’t like their tone to be colored that way, so we added a switch on the inside that toggles between true bypass and non-true bypass.
I also added an output buffer so the JB95 would work better with Fuzz Faces. We put on the large thru-hole components as a nod to all the vintage guys out there.
Check our interview with Joe Bonamassa below, where he talks about his Signature Cry Baby, his Signature Fuzz Face, and his passion and dedication to his craft. And go pick up Joe’s latest album, Dust Bowl, to hear the Joe Bonamassa Signature Cry Baby in action, particularly on the track “You Better Watch Yourself.”