Vintage Vault 1960s Supro Folk Star Resonator

July 1, 2010

gp0710_rif_Folk-StarI meet a lot of interesting people when I go out looking at guitars. The fellow I got this guitar from is a successful artist named Brian who now lives in the Reno area. When he and I both lived in Los Angeles we had one thing in common: a love of old, cheap, cool guitars. I was over at his house one day when he whipped this puppy out. I banged around on it for about an hour and couldn’t put it down. I was really digging the tone and easy playability of it and trying to figure out a way I could go home with it. I was kinda broke at the time, so I offered him a trade of several electric guitars, which, luckily for me, he accepted.

This is an old ’60s Supro Folk Star done up in fire engine red, a standard finish for this guitar during the flashy ’60s era. It sports a white “Gumby” headstock, bolt-on neck, fiberglass body construction, jumbo frets, Kluson Deluxe tuners, and its most alluring feature for me, a Dobro-style resonator! It was originally marketed as an acoustic guitar that could sound just like an electric. Ha! Not even close, guys. The tone is nothing like an electric, and the Folk Star is too quiet to keep up with other instruments, even in an all acoustic band.

That said, I do love the sound of this guitar in the studio and have used it on quite a few recordings, including with the Hellecasters. It has a cool sound when miked, somewhere between an acoustic guitar, a banjo, and a Dobro, and it blends well with other instruments in a mix. My style of playing, with mini slide rings and light-gauge strings, is especially at home on this instrument because I can bend, slide, and get a resonator-ish sound all at the same time. The Folk Star is perfect to use in a song where you need something a little out of the ordinary. Just aim a mic at the resonator and have at it!

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