Tuesday, 31 July 2012

R.L. Burnside: See My Jumper Hanging On the Line (1978)

guitarz.blogspot.com: Grégory asks:
What guitar is that? Looks like a Teisco or Kawai from the late 60s early 70s... The video is from 1978. What's that piece of metal doing on the top of the fretboard? That's not just a fret zero... 
Any ideas? Personally, I'm more inclined towards it being a Kawai; I don't think it's a Teisco.

G L Wilson

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  1. I think it's this one that you posted!


  2. My guess on this is that it's a repair. Guitars were expensive and if it got got chipped, it would have to be fixed. He never does anything in that area to make it look like it's, say, a percussion plate or anything. From what some of the things I've read about him it may well not even be his own guitar. It seems he didn't worry too much what he played and often just borrowed other peoples. If you look for images and videos, he's playing all sorts of instruments. Although, considering his amazing technique, he must have practiced on something. No one could play with that skill in such a nonchalant way if he didn't have it right down on the nail. Check out this clip. He's looking all over the place, never seems to notice the guitar and, half the time, looks a bit bemused or slightly embarrassed to be the centre of attention. http://bit.ly/Qt2WmP

    This clip shows the song slowed down and played on a very nice looking Oscar Schmidt Stella parlour guitar. http://bit.ly/Oibk5H

    1. David,

      Great observation. And you're right, for many of these blues players, fussing over guitars just wasn't their thing. I know Magic Sam often showed up at gigs without one. Even if he was headlining!

      It's great to have this simple clip from '78. The Blues Revival was just getting underway in the U.S as an underground scene. Those of us driven from the light by disco, rap etc. at the end of the Classic Rock era didn't see we had a lot of 'choice'? A repair seems a likely explanation.

  3. It's a "refinished" Guyatone LG-65T with a custom pickguard and knobs. May have been branded as a Kent, but made by Guyatone. I'm guessing the fretboard between the nut and the first fret was worn and was filled with marine epoxy. The original guitar had two rocker switches on the upper right bout which were removed, probably because they would get accidently switched off.

  4. It looks like it might be something designed to go over the nut, to raise the action. Maybe for playing slide.



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