I 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!
Visit Will Ray at www.willray.biz and on Facebook.
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