Sunday, June 5, 2016

Sleeper Find TRADITION Jerry Reid Franken-Tele

The Tradition Jerry Reid Franken-Tele

Recently, when I was East Bound And Down, loaded up, and guitar hunting. I came across a guitar company I've not heard of.  Tradition Guitars of South Carolina.  The guitar was the very impressive Jerry Reid Franken-Tele.  

I know at first I thought Jerry Reed from Smokey and the Peavey Bandit as well.

Wrong! This model from Tradition is a Jerry Reid model not Jerry Reed (AKA the Snowman) model.

Jerry Reid (below) was a Nashville session player.

Apparently, Jerry didn't want to carry around several guitars to sessions.  So he had various pick up configurations whipped up to accommodate any situation.  It seemed to work.  You can hear it on many sessions with Mel Tillis and George Jones (to name a few).

His signature Tradition guitar model is super badass!  Incredible quilting and Master Craftsmanship all around.  From what I gather most are crafted overseas but designed in the USA.  They are sort of a Samick but a better more clever blend (for lack of a better tag).  It is very much it's own bird.  Prices range from $500-$1000 new.

Most likely this is made by the same folks who made a bunch of other brand name guitars we all know and respect very well.  That would be Samick, OEM, Cortez, Cort, etc. By seeing the hype of the Japanese Matsumoku plant and early Korean offshoot stuff craze these days.  I have a feeling this line just might be a sleeper to keep an eye on.

As for the other Jerry Reed.  He was famous for not only being a mad dog, up all night, no sleep Trucker in the 1970's movie Smokey and the Bandit.

As well as for having a cameo on Scooby Doo.

He was also one heck of a guitar player in his own right.  Famous for actually outplaying Chet Atkins in a guitar duel.  I couldn't find the video for that.  So here is "Jerry's Breakdown" with Chet.

More info about Tradition:

 Tradition site

Circa mid 1990's - family owned music stores were under stress due to the onslaught of big box stores. Then, in a near fatal blow, big guitar companies started cancelling decades-old agreements with mom and pop shops, in favor of high volume corporate store sales. 

It was against this backdrop in 1998 that music industry friends across three states pulled together to establish Tradition® Guitars, Inc. In the beginning, they'd hoped to manufacture popular guitar body styles for sale exclusively to independent music store owners.  Fortunately, what they wound up with is a full-line of boutique quality guitars, basses and accessories built for professionals, priced low enough for students. 

The Jerry Reid model is just one of the many model they have.  Take a look around and check out Tradition if you have not already.  It's good to see a small family owned business still kicking butt! 

 Need vinyl?

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