Fender Stratocaster 1961 Custom Shop Relic
2001 sunburst rosewood neck. Bare Knuckle Irish Tour pick-ups, Dennis Cornel active 25db mid – boost. Number one – my instrument. I play 90% of the night with it, it sings, whispers, sighs and shouts exactly when I ask it to. I've never saved it from a fire, or rescued it from a flooded cellar, it was even bashed up when I bought it new, but when it's around my neck it feels like home. I simply love my Strat! I don't like the Rory tribute guitars, they play well and sound lovely – a lot more 'Roryish' than mine, but I don't like the 'relicing' - They look OK from a distance but when you get close it looks like the bits that haven't worn away are painted on.
Fender Telecaster (Mexico)
Nocaster pick-ups. white rosewood neck. Until recently this has always been tuned to open 'A' for tracks like 'Souped-up Ford', and 'Bullfrog Blues', however it's been hanging on the wall for a while and I'm not too sure about it's future.
Fender American Standard Stratocaster
1995 sunburst maple neck Tortoiseshell scratchplate Dead standard, sometimes I use it for slide in open E or as a back up to the relic, but I never break strings on stage (Well very rarely) I bought it off my mate Bill, who telephoned me from outside Johnny Roadhouse in Manchester saying that they've offered him two hundred and fifty quid for it, Bill would prefer I got the guitar for such a price rather than them (What a guy) so I borrowed the two fifty and got a real bargain! Lovely guitar.
Fender Silver Series Telecaster (Japan)
Seymour Duncan Hot Rails, Badass Sitar bridge. black, maple neck Lovely story with this one: I was once bemoaning to my cousin Les the fact that poverty had forced me to sell my Telecaster. Les casually asked me which shop I'd sold it too and when I walked into the venue of our next gig it was there, on a stand waiting for me! Thanks Les, what a star! This Tele now sports a sitar bridge and is used exclusively for 'Philby' Rory used a Coral sitar but they're as rare as rocking horse shit and cost a bomb. There's a copy by Jerry Jones but that too is very expensive for one tune.
Dreadnought 1985-ish (Natural) My late wife Dee picked this out for me herself for a surprise 40th Birthday present, It's a lovely sounding guitar with an EMG pick up in it. It's got a big split in it either due to being too near a radiator or too under one of my kid's bottoms, but it still sounds OK so I'm not going to fix it!
One of the first, 1994 serial number 053. Black with a horrible looking grey bit running through it (I'll have that sprayed over one day) Highlander pick up. The popular opinion of the Delphi is that National got the first attempt wrong by using too thick a gauge of steel making the guitar unresonant and too heavy. In the process they came up with a guitar that is completely Barry proof! (Although unfortunately not Athens airport baggage handler proof, so it's had a new cone) It is too heavy and unbalanced but it spits growls and howls like a bear with a sore arse, in short it is absolutely fantastic. It has not got a subtle or mellow note in it but delta blues licks come flying out of it with a shimmering distortion even before you plug it in. They called it the Delphi after Apollo's music room, they should have called it the Guantanamo.
Ozark 3616 Deluxe brass resonator
Highlander pick up. I bought this by chance in Forsyth's in Manchester when I was just browsing, it has a neck that is completely playable in standard tuning so I use it for 'Barley and Grape' and Pistol Slapper' It handled open tunings too when the Delphi was out of action. It sounds great and looks incredibly pretty!
National NRP Tricone
Black, Highlander and Humbucker pick-ups. Total disaster. I sold all my old photo gear to buy it, it was supposed to be the culmination of all my desires in a resonator. I ordered it from National with a Highlander in it. I opened the case – gorgeous, I played it - wow, I plugged it in......unusable due to feedback. I took it back to the importer Dave King who adjusted it..... unusable due to feedback. I took it to Paul in Dublin – Guitar guru...... unusable due to feedback, I took it to Tone Tanner - Reso guru...... unusable due to feedback. So I've given up – whacked a stick-on humbucker on it so at least it won't feed back, so we'll have to see how it sounds, but it won't sound like a reso – two thousand pounds down the drain.
Yamaha APX 500
Red/Burst Easy to play, small to travel with, cheap as chips and sounds brilliant, Yamaha know exactly where this guitar is aimed and it's spot on.
Ovation 'Applause' Mandolin.
I had one of these swiped from a gig in Scotland, so I bought another, It's had a pint poured in it in Newcastle, it's been sat on by a big fat arse in Norway, it's been held together with Gafa tape, then glued back together with Araldite...and it's fine!
'Bitsa' Telecaster by Teebird Guitars
'Bitsa' Telecaster by Teebird Guitars – 2015, no Idea what hardware. Great Telecaster, the scratch plate is cut out of a knackered vinyl copy of Against the Grain' How cool is that? I think the silver series Tele is getting a similar treatment soon.
Vintage Paul Brett signature model 12 Parlour
Oh my word what a find this is, a beautiful sounding guitar, I'm using it in DADGAD for 'Out on the Western Plain' I'm starting the song with 'She Moved Through the Fair' and it sounds haunting, fantastic piece of kit for under four hundred quid.