2018 Historic Collection 1959 Les Paul Standard

I love a Gibson Custom Shop Les Paul guitar. The heavy guitar feels right in my hands. The strings vibration is nothing like any other guitar I’ve played. For the past decade, or so, I’ve collected four Les Pauls, and I reviewed two of them for you here: My valued ’57 Les Paul VOS and my beloved 56′ Goldtop.

In the image below, you can see all four of my Les Pauls, and the newest one, on the front left, is my 2018 Historic Collection 1959 Les Paul Standard “Dark Bourbon Fade” just purchased from Wildwood Guitars in Louisville, Colorado — and on the front right, is the first Les Paul Standard “Iced Tea Burst” I purchased back in 2008.

I find it wildly fascinating that the two guitars, built a decade apart from each other, so closely resemble each other, while also being alarmingly different in distinctive, yet charming, ways. 2008 was the first wacky year for “The New” Les Paul Standard that included “weight relief” holes carved out of the body, an asymmetrical neck and locking tuners. My new Les Paul is part of the Gibson Custom Shop Historic Collection, and it arrived yesterday, fresh from Wildwood.

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Beating the Bones Out of It: The Martin D-42 Acoustic Guitar Review

After enjoying the delight of my Eric Clapton acoustic Martin guitar from the great guys at Wildwood, I quickly rediscovered the magnificence and beauty of Martin Guitars.

Once that Martin fire gets reignited in your belly, you fast begin to wonder anew about other guitars in the Martin line and my love and want for a Martin D-42 — the middle child classic with just enough bling and power nestled nicely between the entry-level D-41 and the full gore of a D-45 — that I made the hard decision to thin my current guitars collection herd in order to pay the way for the heartdream of a Martin D-42.

Of course, the first stop for my D-42 wanderlust was Wildwood — “D-40s” Martins can be hard to find in stock at a good price — and while my friend Troy Benns at Wildwood didn’t currently have any D-42 guitars, he could order one for me direct from Martin with a third down and a six-week waiting period.  The price, of course, was excellent, as always, and impossible to resist.  Troy Benns knows how to seal a deal for a great guitar!

I bit.

Troy ordered.

I bided my time.

In two weeks, not six, I had Wildwood photos of my new Martin D-42 fresh from the factory in my Inbox, and a delightful message from Troy telling me the guitar was currently being professionally set up by Wildwood and everything would be ready to ship by the end of the day!  I was amazed and astonished by Troy Benns’ muscle and quickness with Martin on my behalf, and true to Wildwood form, I had this Martin D-42 in hand overnight!

I really love how the silking above and below the bridge is already happening on what is really an infant guitar that still has that “musty vanilla” scent of virgin guitar lacquer.  The whole house smelled of “New Guitar Day” for a week!

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The Eric Clapton Martin Guitar 000-28EC Review

It’s been a long, long, time — over 20 years — since I’ve had a “true acoustic” guitar.  By “True Acoustic” I mean a guitar that was created not be amplified out-of-the-box and one that is made to sound right straight from the vibrating wood into your ear.

To my aesthetic, there is really only one acoustic guitar maker of merit and delight — and that is C.F. Martin & Company.  Since 1833, they’ve been building grand and beautiful works of Art that sound luscious in, and on, the ear.  My first guitar was a Martin HD-28 that I had to sell to make the rent, and I have been heartbroken ever since:

However, as time and tide crushed the standard of living the young artist’s life in NYC, years later I ended up having to sell my beloved Martin HD-28 to make the rent.  It was such a heart-rasping experience giving up that HD-28 that I refused allow the joy of a guitar back into my life for 20 years.

The lesson in selling a beloved to make rent is that there is no faster compression of time into space than the moments of the first of the month arriving twelve times a year.  You will run out of beloveds faster than you can delay the inevitable.  Confess defeat.  Preserve your joy.  Move on in your humiliation.  Your saved beloved will later heal your broken pride.  Unless, of course, you sold it — then you’re just left broken and empty and joyless.

Now, as a man of more modest means, I decided the time was finally right again to dip my toe into the acoustic Martin sea, and I knew I wanted my new guitar to be the Martin Eric Clapton acoustic — the “000-28EC” — to be absolutely specific.

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The Gibson Historic All Gold 1956 Les Paul Gloss Review

I have a dangerous hobby.  I frequently visit the Wildwood Guitars homepage and salivate over all the great guitars they have in stock.  I’ve always wanted what I consider to be my Holy Grail Guitar — a Les Paul Gold Top with soapbar P-90 Pickups — and one day, a few weeks ago, I happened upon a Gibson Historic Custom Shop version of their hallmark 1956 guitar on the Wildwood site, and I was hooked.

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