02 03 Nerd Lunch: Instrument Shopping: Eastwood Airline H44 DLX 04 05 15 16 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 31 32 33

Instrument Shopping: Eastwood Airline H44 DLX

It's always a sign that Plee needs a vacation when I start daydreaming about a new musical instrument. Being a lefty has kept me from buying too many guitars, but increasingly there are some cool options in my price range.

I'm really not much of a guitarist, really, but I dig these weird models by the smaller manufacturers. This guy on the left, for instance, is a reissue of a 1950's Stratotone H44, available as a lefty, any color you want (as long as it's metallic copper). Small body, but a very solid hunk of ash (seven pounds of it), with a neck like a baseball bat.

These are exceptionally good guitars for slide playing, so my notion here would be to keep this tuned to open G, a tuning favored by many slide guitarists and a trademark of Keith Richards on songs like "Honky Tonk Woman." The downside is that I only really enjoy electric slide when it is played well (whereas I'll listen to even a mediocre Hammond organist or baritone sax), so I would probably find my own playing annoying. Even Bonnie Raitt says that slide guitar is like hot sauce --- you might love it as a seasoning, but no one wants to sit down and eat a whole bowl of it.

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