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2002 .Gibson Custom Shop Les Paul R9

Les Paul R9
Cherry Sunburst
There are guitarists and then, there are guitar players. Big difference. One of our very favorite persons on this earth is a gentleman from Asheville, North Carolina and his name is Brian "The Mug" Milstead. He's a player's player, if you know what I mean and this guitar once belonged to him. That's a metric ton of provenance in our book...

Two things separate The Mug from almost every other guitar player you'll ever see in a smokey club or bar; First, he plays so cleanly, his notes are as pure as the water in an undisturbed pond at dawn. Second, when "the spirit" hits him, he lays that head back and closes them eyes, letting everyone in the room know that he and his guitar have become one. That's a rare thing to see these days, especially from a younger man such as The Mug. The head going back is usually a trait of one of the old Blues masters, but it looks like our guy has had the Blues in him since he was a wee lad. Again, a rare thing to witness and a damn joy to behold.

To this Les Paul, The Mug wasn't one to put it in a glass case in his office. Rather, he laid his hands on it in a way only he can do and it resonates with his spirit, talent and heart. If you are so inclined, you can witness him lay it down with this R9 for over 9 minutes at this link:

Light signs of use? Yep, there's a little of that but if you watched the above video, you'll understand that it's what we would call "character" rather than imperfections. Another cool little side note: The numbers for Les Pauls with a Brazilian fretboard in 2002 were 9 2038- 9 2045. This one is just seven digits outside of that range, so you know- who's to say? Anything could have happened, right? As it was put to me, "My tech says it is the most Brazilian looking non-brazilian fingerboard he has ever seen." Ah, if only I could be confirmed...

Mega-topped Les Pauls always hold their own in an ever-shifting guitar market and if ever that term could be applied to a couple of pieces of Maple, it would be to those right here. The Mug has dubbed this guitar "The "Inferno Burst" and we're gonna go with him on that. Killer tone, killer top and comes from a killer player. That's "three's the charm" to us so please feel free to email, call or stop by with any questions or requests on this exceptional instrument. We're excited to just talk about it, let alone plug it up. Now, back to watchin' The Mug lay it down one more time...

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