Sheryl Crow’s indelible mark on popular music certainly makes her worthy of one of the most customized square shoulder dreadnought acoustics in the production history of the Gibson Custom Shop. The Sheryl Crow Western Supreme is based on the artist’s own Gibson Country Western, a guitar produced by Gibson between 1956 and 1978, with earliest models featuring a round shoulder design (i.e. J-45). From 1962 onward, the Country Western had a square shoulder dreadnought, which forms the basis for this guitar.
The Sheryl Crow Country Western is comprised of a thermally-aged Sitka Spruce top, designed to produce the sonic qualities of a vintage instrument in a new package. The top of an acoustic guitar is its soundboard, and as it weathers over time, its true low end and complex frequencies come out. Thermal aging technology allows a new guitar to respond as would a vintage instrument exposed to the elements for decades.
This vintage-inspired acoustic also features hide glue construction, finished mahogany back and sides, and Gotoh white button tuners. Its vintage round neck profile fills the hand incredibly comfortably, and measures at a 24.75” scale with a 1.725″ nut width. For the predominate electric player, this neck may remind them of a ’58/59 Les Paul. The rosewood fingerboard is dressed with period-correct split parallelogram inlays. The inside of the guitar features a Gibson Custom label signed by Sheryl.
One of the Gibson Acoustic division’s most custom features is the Trance Audio Amulet M pickup. Trance Audio pickups are some of the most expressive acoustic pickups in the game. The Amulet M is a dual-mono system that internally splits the bass and treble side transducers into a single mono output for standard 1/4” leads. This active system conveys the guitar’s natural low-end and sonic blossom into an electric signal without negative feedback and phase issues.
I was able to test the Sheryl Crow Country Western acoustically, of course, and through a Fishman Loudbox Performer amplifier. Although many professional acoustic guitars – especially one of this quality – can carry its weight in a variety of musical templates, this Country Western is a flat picker’s delight. It packs plenty of volume with a warm midrange response. Plugged in, the Amulet M pickup captures this guitar’s organic voice without the affect of active electronics. A simple volume and tone thumbwheel pair control the Amulet from the top of the soundhole.
Quite honestly, there isn’t much to be said for this Gibson acoustic that it doesn’t say for itself. It is nothing less than a fantastic instrument, and one of the absolute best signature models Gibson has produced. Its clientele certainly appeals to the acoustic connoisseur, professional musician, or songwriter. Gibson and Crow have produced an incredible vintage inspired instrument and any Sheryl Crow super fan will definitely want to check out this highly limited guitar.