JHS “Artificial Blonde” Madison Cunningham Signature Pedal
If you’re as big a fan of Madison Cunningham as we are at Caldwell Guitars, then you need to try out the Artificial Blonde. Madison's music has been hailed by Rolling Stone magazine as "a new spin on West Coast folk-rock, with classical tendencies, electric guitars, jazz-school chord changes, and alt-rock strut." This uber-signature pedal from JHS encapsulates the secret behind her eclectic tone. With independently switchable speed/depth sections, you can craft moving vibrato and those coveted mildly sea-sick tones that are uniquely Madison's own. And guess what? This is the first stereo pedal ever made by JHS. That’s right, you’ll have access to stereo L/R outputs for dynamically full sound. A shared volume and EQ section then lets you polish off your vintage vibrato sounds.
When Madison recorded her second full-length album, Who You Are Now, her producer Tyler Chester was already in contact with us about getting a few modulation pedals to develop her new foundational sound. Madison ended up heavily using the JHS Emperor Chorus / Vibrato as her foundational and always on signature sound throughout those sessions.
Over the next few years, Madison and Josh became good friends after Josh featured her on the JHS Show episode “Who Is Madison Cunningham?” Josh would often stop by her concerts as an unofficial guitar tech, building her boards and helping find solutions for sounds she wanted. During a sound check in Lawrence, KS, Josh noticed that even though her Emperor was always on and in vibrato mode, Madison kept reaching down to switch the settings to create another faster and deeper vibrato tone for a particular song. Sensing an opportunity to make it easier to use during live shows, Josh developed the idea for an entirely new stompbox that suited Madison’s needs, and soon she was touring with that first prototype.
Madison traveled doing live shows and sessions for her new album with the prototype for a full year (you may recognize it as the black nondescript stompbox labeled “Blonde?”), but we’re releasing it officially as the newest member of the JHS lineup and as Madison Cunningham’s signature pedal: the Artificial Blonde.
At its core, the Artificial Blonde is a very simplistic approach to Madison’s signature sound: a never off, always on, slightly 3D pitch vibrato sound. The secondary footswitch switches between the two speed/depth preset sections. It’s a true pitch vibrato modulation pedal with two easy-to-access modes for live use. Simply put, this is Madison Cunningham in a box: just add a clean Fender-style amp and tune your flatwound strung guitar down to C standard!