When Epiphone first approached singer, songwriter and producer Emily Wolfe to create her own signature guitar in 2019, she initially thought it was a joke.
“I remember laughing hysterically for about 10 minutes,” says Wolfe. “I was so happy and excited and had no idea what to do with that emotion. Since I was little, I wanted to have a signature guitar, but I honestly thought it would happen when I was like 55. The fact that it’s happening now, I couldn’t be more grateful. I don’t know if there’s a word for how I feel about it.”
The Emily Wolfe Sheraton Stealth electric guitar, designed by Wolfe, along with Epiphone’s luthiers in Nashville, marks the Texas rocker’s first signature guitar.
“It’s such a thrill to work with Emily, a Texas power-house songwriter and skilled female guitarist, who is genuinely passioned about gear and tools that evoke creativity,” says Krista Gilley, brand director for Epiphone and Kramer. “At Epiphone, it is our obligation to create these types of guitars, and an even greater privilege to do so alongside such a strong female artist.”
Coated in black aged gloss, the Emily Wolfe Sheraton Stealth features an Indian laurel fingerboard with 22 medium jumbo frets and mother-of-pearl block inlays with abalone lightning bolts. Topped with ‘60s-era Kalamazoo-shape headstock, Wolfe’s logo—a mother of pearl tree of life—is inlayed on the front of the piece.
“I’ve always loved the color black,” raves Wolfe. “It’s my favorite color, so the fact that the body is black aged gloss is so cool. It’s a thinner satin finish, so it resonates really well, and it’s got a ton of sustain, and I love that there are Diamond F-Holes.”
She adds, “There isn’t an Epiphone yet that has Diamond F-Holes. The only guitars out there are the Gibson Trini Lopez and the Dave Grohl models have Diamond F-Holes.”
Additional “Stealth” features include an Epiphone LockTone Tune-O-Matic bridge, Grover Rotomatic tuning machines, a GraphTech nut, and Stop Bar tailpiece for sustain, along with full-sized Epiphone Alnico Classic PRO humbucker pickups and CTS potentiometers for smoother pickup volume and overall tone. Typically with a 335 model, there are four knobs, but Wolfe took the fourth off for a three-way toggle switch.
“It’s exciting to give this to Epiphone players too, because it’s really badass looking,” says Wolfe. “It’s like an elegant, aggressive guitar, which is what I want to achieve in my music anyway.”
The Epiphone Stealth is far removed from the first guitar Wolfe played at 10. “My first guitar was a really small Harmony acoustic,” she says. “The neck eventually broke off, so I had to glue it back on, but it’s still there my house. I’ll probably always have it.”
Still working on releasing new music later in the year, Wolfe recently teased her upcoming project with a performance of “No Man,” recently shot at the Gibson showroom in Austin.
Joining the ranks of previous artist models, designed by iconic female rockers like Joan Jett, Sheryl Crow, and Nancy Wilson, for Wolfe, who has already shared the stage with artists Peter Frampton, Gary Clark Jr., The Pretenders, and Billy Gibbons, customizing her own guitar was a dream come true.
“My Sheraton is more than a guitar, it’s an extension of me and somehow has the same magic that a rare vintage instrument has, in that songs flow out of it every day,” says Wolfe. “There’s no barrier between my creativity as an artist and the audience because my Sheraton so easily becomes a part of me.”