Something Old, New, Borrowed & Blue

I started this project six months or so ago and each time I worked on the design the drawings never really captured the true essence of who Robert Johnson was, the music he played, and the historical implication of the 1930s Mississippi. Johnson was a haunted man driven by demons, a tormented genius that wrote and performed some of greatest Blues music ever recorded. In order to scratch a living as a roaming performer, Johnson had the ability to play in a variety of styles, from raw slide Blues guitar to Jazz. His preferred guitar of choice was a Gibson L-1 acoustic with sunburst finish so I took this guitar as my starting reference point. In recent years there have been claims that Johnson actually played an electric guitar with amplifier prior to his death in 1938. There are no recordings of Johnson playing an electric - it’s all hearsay and no one will ever know for sure. However, if Johnson did play an electric guitar it probably would have been a Gibson ES-150 because they were becoming popular and readily available in the delta at that time. Therefore, I have used this guitar as a reference point too. Finally, to help inspire me, I asked myself, "What kind of guitar would Johnson have me build for him" (had I been around at the time)?

The rendering I have posted illustrates what I now think “The Hellhound” should be. I posted a similar image on our Facebook page a little while ago and the feedback was very positive – many thanks to all those who commented on the design. "The Hellhound" will be semi-hollow and driven by our trademark Jason Lollar designed and built single coil blade pickup. Unlike our blade pickup that went into "The Skinny", this pickup will have a hint of Charlie Christian added to the mix. I have gone for a very clean and minimalist aesthetic that I think is in-keeping with 1930s guitar design and one that I think Mr Johnson would have approved of. SR

“The Hellhound”

Inspired By The Music Of Mr Robert Johnson & The Sound Of The Delta.