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Gear partnerships



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In 1927 National made a proto-type guitar that was a tri-cone fit into a single-cone body, it was some kind of test I think and they never made a production model out of it. My Mule is just that, a tri-cone set into a single-cone stainless steel body and the sound is somewhere right in between the two designs. I'd never part with my National, but this guitar doesn't really sound anything like it, and I've found that I'm using the Mule a lot these days. Matt did a fantastic job all around on this guitar, the neck feels like I've played it for years, and it's got a custom made P-90 that really sounds nice and not overly electric. I love the sound, and it's versatile, changing from sharp to growl to mellow depending on where yr right hand is.

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There are 2 Nationals that I've been playing nowadays, a steel NRP that Brother Dave gave me in California, it's light and responsive and just sings right along with itself. My older guitar is a '99 National Delphi that is pretty heavy in both weight and sound, it's been everywhere with me and has a painted rooster on the back that my son and I did when he was 3 and it was raining out one day. The neck has been broken twice by 2 different airlines, but National has fixed her up like new. When I got this guitar I got rid of my wooden one and never missed it.

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I asked Todd Cambio to build me something simple, with no inlays or decorations, and he created this amazing parlor-size 12-string. It's loud all across the strings, and can play the ballads as well as honk out the junk-rags. I've had a few 12-strings and have really loved the instrument all along, but with my hand-troubles I've found it harder and harder to control them. This one I can wrap myself around keep on top of it a little better.

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