Trey Anastasio Debuts New Languedoc Guitar At Summer Tour Opener

By Scott Bernstein Jun 23, 2016 2:55 pm PDT

At last night’s Phish tour opener at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota the band dusted off a bevy of bust outs as well as a new lighting rig and dress for drummer Jon Fishman. There was yet another big change in store as Trey Anastasio unveiled a new guitar made by luthier Paul Languedoc.

Trey started the show by using his new axe and played the guitar through the first six songs of the evening until he broke a string during a cover of “Dear Prudence.” Anastasio tells JamBase the new guitar is a spruce top with a mahogany back featuring hardwood binding, “The wood has a huge effect on the sound. The new one is beautiful, and I’ll use it more this tour.” After he broke the string Trey picked up a Languedoc Koa guitar that was his main instrument from late 1996 through the summer of 2003. “I was loving (using my old guitar) so I kept playing (it),” Anastasio explained. Trey bantered about the ’96 guitar at the start of last night’s encore:

Anastasio has high praise for the new instrument, “The hardwood binding is astounding. It’s very hard for Paul to curve hardwood like that to fit into the carved top and the F holes.” He went on to say, “One other new detail is that Paul has started making these handcarved hardwood bindings around the pick ups themselves, which if you look at any normal guitar, is almost always plastic.”

The guitarist shares more, “Another detail that’s interesting is that during the Fare Thee Well shows, I started using a single coil pick up in the center position and I got used to that sound – so last summer with Phish I replaced the pick ups on all my old guitars with double space single coil pickups that fit into the existing space where my old humbuckers used to be. And I was able to use that single coil sound throughout last summer,” Anastasio shared. “So for this tour, Paul added a switch to all of my guitars where I can access the same middle position single coil sound out of the old humbucker pick ups, which have now been returned back into the guitars, including the new one.”

The guitarist went on to explain more of the changes for this summer, “The single coil sound with the new switch is very similar to the single coil center position sound that I had last summer and at the Fare Thee Well shows. So, in other words…the way the guitars are switched today, I can access either sound with one guitar: the glassier single coil sound from last summer, and the full on original ‘Divided Sky’/’Squirming Coil’ fat, mid-range sound from all the previous years of Phish.” He revealed that this summer will be the first time he will have access to both of those sounds on one guitar.

Here’s a short pro-shot video showing the new guitar in action:

Check out a handful of photos displaying the new Languedoc:

Phish tour continues on Friday night at Wrigley Field in Chicago.

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