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1957 Gibson Les Paul Junior

Les Paul Junior
Tobacco Sunburst
We have a super client up in Tennessee who owns the Smokey Mountain Harley Davidson dealership. His name is Scott and he is as cool as the other side of the pillow. He's gotten a few guitars from us over the years and our very first deal was in the back of a restaurant parking lot in Knoxville. I'm sure that to any innocent bystander, it probably looked like something out of an Al Pacino movie. Every one of our visits to his place has been both epic and awesome- it's really like driving up to a small slice 'o heaven just outside the mountains.

It's a few years ago when I get the odd call from Lee at an odd time. "Restring that Junior and get it ready. We're going up to see Scott Maddux." I was about to ask my 15 requisite questions because I always need more info than just "get in the van," but he was already gone. So I pulled out a killer '56 Junior that could have easily been this guitar's twin and loaded it with a set of fresh strings. 30 minutes later, the Tall One pulls up in the van and we're off to Maryville.

As we're heading up to see our boy, I've got a hundred questions. (I was still in my "what's so special about a slab of Mahogany and a P-90?" phase) I knew Scott had been playing a Les Paul reissue, so I was wanting to know why he would now want a guitar with only one single coil pickup. It didn't make any sense to me and Lee just kept telling me not to worry about it. "You'll see," was pretty much all he would give up. We arrived at the motorcycle dealership and headed over to see Scott. He has an outdoor concert facility called The Shed and behind that is what I call "the private club." You gotta know the owner to get in there and Scott has a full stage and band setup in this room where he jams with his band and occasionally with some of the stars that play concerts at his outdoor place. We walk into the club and the boys are talking at a table up front. "Hey, you guys made it. Wanna beer?" Scott said as he greeted us with a big smile and a handshake. Yessir, it was already beer time in Tennessee as I lay the 'gator case up on the table. His eyes shone and he opened the case and pulled out that '56 Singlecut. He quickly looked it over and headed for the stage.

As Scott was warming up his rig, he strapped on his trusty R9. He hit a few chords and did a little noodling around, as most guitar players do. His rig sounded great and the tone was more than acceptable to my bass player ears. Everything sounded as it should and that's when he put that guitar down and picked up the '56. He quickly checked the tuning and it was those next five minutes that gave me my current and new found respect for these vintage Gibsons. He only had to make a few small tweaks on his rig and then he was off. That Junior was full of nothing but sass, attitude and a tone that made me sit down and shut my mouth. That's rare, folks. The sound that came out of his guitar rig was one that cannot be reproduced with a new guitar and it wasn't long before Scott looked at us, smiling and said, "Oh, this is a done deal, boys."

This '57 Junior is every bit the guitar that sweet '56 was. The neck is nice and full and it has the tone that once again makes me sit down, be quiet and just listen. That's it- it's all good wood in the hood and this guitar will easily earn its place as your new "the one I pick up when I want to jam" axe. We've got 'Elk operators standing by and they're ready to answer any questions. Give us a call- I don't expect this sweet machine to hang around very long."

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