Take a listen to Black Stone Cherry’s new album, “Magic Mountain” (out May 6), and you’ll hear guitarist Ben Wells playing his favorite guitar: the Gibson Les Paul Classic.

“That’s what I use live and in the studio,” Wells told “I love the pickup combination, because they’re hotter pickups, and that’s more my sound. That was my first-ever Les Paul, and it was a perfect first one for me to have, and I always come back to it because of how it plays and feels.”

Black Stone Cherry’s sound has a definitely Southern rock vibe, and it’s not in any way contrived. Wells says that Southern nature is just part of the band’s aura.

“We didn’t set out to be a Southern rock band or a metal band or anything like that. We’re just a band playing great songs,” he said. “You can’t take the Southern style away from us, because that’s who we are as people. That’s why it’s genuine. We’re not setting out to sound like Lynyrd Skynyrd or the Allman Brothers. We’re setting out to sound like ourselves.”

Check back for our full interview with Wells next week.

Photo by Anne Erickson