I've been fortunate to work with Needtobreathe for a few years now by creating guitars not only for them to play on tour, but also to auction off to support their charitable efforts as well. Every spring they hold a big golf tournament and auction with proceeds going to support One World Health, an organization dedicated to providing quality, sustainable healthcare to people in Uganda and Nicaragua.
This year's guitar was inspired by their song Brother from the album Rivers in the Wasteland. Brother was just certified gold, and we wanted to memorialize that achievement. We incorporated aspects from the song's cover art by gluing up the body so that the grain would mimic Bo and Bear's positions on the cover and by separating the angles with an inlaid mother-of-pearl line. The body was also finished with a custom lacquer that pulled in the album colors.
The flowers that are so prominent on the cover were represented in the form of a fretboard inlay done by my good friend and renowned inlay artist, Virgil Mandanici of Virgil Guitars in Tampa, FL. He's an incredible talent, and I was grateful for his work on this project.
The last detail was a custom made gold record medallion fashioned from gold mother-of-pearl and inlaid into the back of the headstock.
Here are the guitar specs:
- 25.5" Scale
- Swamp ash body
- Katalox neck
- Pau Ferro fretboard
- Hand-wound Firebird style pickups
- Custom katalox pickup surrounds
- Gotoh tuners
- Wilkinson bridge
- CRL 3-way switch
- CTS pots
- Q-Parts knobs