I have been aware of the guitars of James Trussart for a few years now. I have read articles where some of my favorite musicians rave about them. I have seen and heard them in the hands of Lucinda Williams, Sonny Landreth and Robert Cray.
Finally, a good friend of mine, Krister Rollins purchased as used Trussart and had to show it to me. You know how it is when you build something up in your mind. The reality never can quite live up to your imagination. There are some things that are so far outside of your experiences that you just can’t imagine them. That was the case of Krister’s Trussart. I checked out the Trussart website and understood that Friendly River is too modest a dealer to ever be able to afford to join that exclusive club.
Then, I was in the front row of a Lucinda Williams concert and the only electric she played was her Trussart. It looked and sounded perfect. The next day I phoned the Trussart folks for the first time. After a few frank conversations over the next week we agreed that we should be working together to bring you some of the most remarkable electric guitars on the planet at prices that are quite down to Earth.
Like so many great builders it is not surprising that James is an accomplished musician and artist. He is a French native who builds guitars in Los Angeles. The tone is unique and James’ says he is inspired by “fossilized discarded machinery and by shiny chrome resonator instruments”.
James noted, “I've always liked the look and feel of old guitars, believing them to have a life beyond that of their creator, and I wanted to somehow emulate that effect of age and history on my own guitars. I wanted to make a guitar that came with a history and a slight element of neglect, of decay, so it had a personality of its own.”
“Trussart's creations are designed to have the look and feel of a vintage instrument with the added appeal of metal construction. His "Rust-O-Matic" technique (a term coined by Billy Gibbons regarding Trussart's unique finishes) involves leaving the guitar body exposed to the elements for several weeks, allowing it to corrode before treating it to stop the corrosion. He then sands it to replicate years of distress, and then finishes it with a clear satin coat.
Many of the Trussart models feature patterns either engraved or literally imprinted into the metal bodies or on the pickguard or headstock. Engraved skulls, roses, and tribal art are some of the more common themes, while others feature textures of alligator skin or plant materials. He literally 'sandwiches' the metal with the alligator skin and lets it sit in water for several days. “
The pickups, for the most part are hand made by Rob Timmons of Arcane. Each has an individual serial number and has a lifetime warranty on tone and performance.
Our old friend Grover Jackson makes the necks.
“And the sound? Former Guitar Player magazine editor and guitarist Joe Gore (Tom Waits, PJ Harvey, Tracy Chapman) summed the distinguishing tone of Trussart's Steelcaster with the following rave:
“I literally believe this guitar makes me play better. I love the combination of ultra-articulate attack and full-bodied sustain. It's almost as if one is playing through a high-quality compressor, only without sacrificing a shred of transient impact. The subtle metallic resonance - that extra midrange peachiness - telegraphs articulation details. I play predominantly with my bare fingers, and I've never before encountered an electric guitar that communicates the texture of skin, nail, and combinations thereof with such breathtaking immediacy. I also find myself better able to 'shape' notes. I think that's due to a combination of the guitar's innate sustain, the perfect fretwork, the way subtle neck bends compliment finger vibrato, and the gratifying 'feedback loop' created when the metal body hums against your chest.”
Please come by and experience the James Trussart guitars we have in stock or we can get together to create you own personal masterpiece.