The Holiday Gear Guide 2016

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

Holiday Gear Guide
Photos by Mackenzie Moore


(Street: $1,699)

Batson’s gorgeous Troubadour GC21 Grand Concert acoustic-electric is a versatile instrument that’s good for both writing and performing. With a body size that’s in the neighborhood of a 000, its mid-range projection makes it perfect for cutting above resonator instruments or for fingerpicking, especially when looking for that blues or ragtime plucked sound. The cantilevered neck joins the body at the 14th fret with a cutaway that makes all 21 frets accessible, and the soundhole is in the upper bout instead of the guitar top.

The guitar is made of East Indian rosewood and Sitka spruce, with a flamed maple bevel armrest, flamed maple binding, and ebony fingerboard and tailpiece. The neck width at the nut is 1.75, a few one-hundredths of an inch wider than many guitars. And if nothing else, it’s a cool axe for bragging rights when it comes to playing something everybody else on the block doesn’t have. Designed in Nashville, it comes with a hardshell case. See all of the company’s guitars at

Holiday Gear Guide


Breedlove Guitars is known for doing things a little differently, and the company’s Oregon Concert Bourbon acoustic-electric is a case in point. Finished with a bourbon-tinted stain that gives it a gorgeous hue, this guitar is made of a wood that isn’t the industry norm, but the sound certainly doesn’t suffer because of it. The top, back and sides are made of myrtlewood, from a broadleaf evergreen tree found in Oregon and California. This wood makes for a sound that is different from more traditional tonewoods like spruce and mahogany, but is easily as good in its own way, with excellent tone and balance.

With a lower bout measurement of 15”, a little smaller than a Dreadnought, this special-edition guitar is good for someone who doesn’t want a Dread or Jumbo size but still wants the volume, something this guitar isn’t lacking. Equipped with the top-shelf LR Baggs EAS VTC pickup, it’s a wonderful axe, and one that your neighbors probably aren’t playing. Comes with a classy red-stitched hardshell case.

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