The (Rock And Roll) Hoochie Koo

Mitch Laddie is solely to blame for this concept. When Mitch and I were recently invited onto the Gary Grainger Blues Show, he told me that he would be supporting Johnny Winter at The Sage in April. Mitch’s announcement got me thinking about Mr Winter because he is one of the greatest American blues-rockers still recording and touring. I had the pleasure of seeing Winter live a few years ago and he was superb. Incidentally, the support act that evening was a certain Mr Ian Siegal.

Born in Beaumont, Texas, Winter has recorded some outstanding Blues roots albums, “Nothing But The Blues” and “White Hot And Blue” are two that instantly come to mind. He also produced the last great series of albums in Muddy Water’s long distinguished career. With Mitch planting the seed I started to think whether I could design a guitar that Johnny would love to play. The guitar that Winter is most associated with is his beloved 1963 Gibson Firebird V Sunburst complete with cigarette burns, a chip in the pickguard and fifty years of wear and tear.

I have called the guitar “The (Rock And Roll) Hoochie Koo” after one of Winter’s best known songs. The concept is based on his Firebird but rather than keeping to the traditional, Ray Dietrich designed shape, I have modelled the bottom of the body to resemble the “Blues Highway”, US Route 61 road sign, out of respect to Winter’s famous cover of Bob Dylan’s “Highway 61 Revisited”.

Apart from paying tribute to Winter, I also designed the guitar to visually showcase our latest concept pickup, “Groucho”. This pickup will be our modern reflection on the old Kay Speed Bump single coil that was popular back in the day. I think the “Groucho” pickups compliment the guitar perfectly and will be developed this year in association with our good friend and partner in crime, Bob G. Harrison. I am really pleased at how the design has turned out. I would like to think that my rendering captures the spirit of Mr Winter and his beloved Firebird. It has been fun working on this concept, and this experiment, yet again, illustrates my style of design and why I decided to put her on our website. I hope you like her, if so, please tell me. SR

"The (Rock And Roll) Hoochie Koo"

Inspired By The Music Of Mr Johnny Winter & His ’63 Gibson Firebird Guitar.

(Bob G. Harrison/Raw Guitar Co. Conceptual “Groucho” Single Coil Pickups)