If Dobro superhero Rob Ickes says you can play, you can really play. Bluegrass guitarist Jake Eddy not only got that verbal blessing from Ickes, he got a musical one too, as Ickes and other bluegrass luminaries guested on Eddy’s eponymous record in 2021. More recently, Eddy collaborated with his brother Carter and Victor Furtado for the aptly titled Jake Eddy Meets Victor Furtado (the album was cut less than 24 hours after Jake and Victor first played together). Characterized by Eddy’s otherworldly chops and positively metronomic sense of time, the ten tracks also showcase his ability to infuse some jazz into his ’grass and amply demonstrate why he’s an in-demand session guitarist these days.
Eddy connected with Yamaha Guitar Group a couple of years ago, and was involved in the discussions that led to the development of the Yamaha FG9 acoustic. “I spent lots of time with them while they developed the FG9 and I definitely think they took some of my input from those sessions into consideration when building my custom,” he says. “We also had some meetings with the purpose of spec-ing out the guitar.”
The details of Eddy’s custom acoustic didn’t center on exotic tonewoods or fancy inlays. It was all about an instrument suited to his powerful and virtuosic style of playing. “I always go for function,” he explains. “I wanted a guitar that would keep up with me. No frills, just a solid guitar that didn’t ‘lay down.’ They seriously delivered and didn’t try to steer me away from what I wanted.
“I can be seen with my Yamaha on many live shows with my own band, in my duo with Victor Furtado, and in my trio with Andy Statman,” says Eddy. “I’ve also played it on lots of albums for other folks as a session musician. My most notable use of my custom model was on the Grand Ole Opry last winter. It has really exceeded my expectations, and it just keeps getting better. I told the guys exactly what a guitar means to me, and they delivered.”
Learn more about Jake Eddy in our My Guitar Breakthrough interview here: