- Cody first started playing Fred Kelly thumbpicks when he was 16 years old on the advice of mentor and friend Dewaine French (the namesake of "Pickin' With the Preacher." When he was working at Portmans Music in Augusta, GA, Pastor French came into the store and wowed every patron and employee with his dazzling thumbstyle. Afterward, Cody approached French to ask him about Travis-Style guitar, to which French responded "Well, if you're going to to play like Chet, you need one of these," and handed Cody his first Fred Kelly. He has used one ever since- Cody currently uses a light (yellow) Fred Kelly Slick Pick.
- Kris began playing Fred Kelly flat picks when he and Cody first started playing music together. Kris was searching for a new pick, feeling as if his current selection was not a right fit. After being introduced to the Fred Kelly line, Kris was hooked and has never faultered- Kris currently uses a light (black) Nylon Flat Pick.
As longtime users of Cleartone Strings, The VaudeVillains were very proud to announce their new relationship with such an amazing company.
When Cody first began playing guitar, his father dubbed him as "the string killer," not because of his prowess on the guitar (far from it), but rather because his hands corroded strings faster than they could be replaced. However, after a set a Cleartones were put on his guitar, Cody never looked back. Not only do they last an extremely long time, but they retain their tone for the length of their life.
Kris got turned on to Cleartones during his tour of Europe as a sideman in The Feeding Fingers. Not only did he appreciate the variety of gauges and options that Cleartone provided, but he could not believe the change in the "liveliness" of his sound. Kris went from never being pleased with the sound of "flat" strings to loving the sound of every guitar he already owned. Kris made the switch and never looked back!
Kris and Cody both love their Eastman archtop guitars. They both became familiar with the Eastman String Company through the Atlanta based music store Maple Street Guitars. After being extremely impressed by every model put in their hands, Kris and Cody decided to switch over their gear to Eastman!
- Cody currently plays an Eastman AR810CE. It is a 17" hand carved, fully hollowbody archtop with a spruce top and maple back and sides. The pickup is a custom Kent Armstrong.
- Kris currently plays an Eastman AR605CE. It is a 16" hand carved, fully hollowbody archtop with a spruce top and mahogany back and sides.