Doyle Dykes’ word means a lot. The veteran American country guitarist has won the praise of players as legendary as Chet Atkins, Tommy Emmanuel and Eddie Van Halen, and inspired countless guitarists with his effortlessly precise style. Over the years he’s been honoured with signature model guitars by Taylor and Guild. With his reputation he can play anything he wants. And that’s why he’s made the switch to Godin.
“I was with Taylor Guitars for about 17 years, and then a friend of mine named Larry Thomas came out of retirement to be the CEO of Fender. He asked if I would help him with the Guild brand. They’d had some ups and downs with that brand through the years," said Dykes. "Things were going very well and I had three signature models that came out, but then the big business thing with the conglomerate came in and shut the factory down that made Guild. There was no actual factory to make the Guild guitars, so I thought ‘maybe I should retire from all this.’”
At this point Dykes had a few James A. Olsen guitars made and was playing those. But about a year ago, Godin’s Artist Relations manager - who used to be at Taylor - called him out of the blue and suggested he check out Godin. A few guitars were sent out for Dykes to try, and he soon started to notice that there were Godin and Seagull guitars everywhere he looked. “One of my friends in Texas is close with Eric Johnson and he has several of Eric Johnson and Eric Clapton’s guitars, and he said the guitar he plays the most is his Godin,” said Dykes.
Dykes decided it was time to go up to Canada and pay the company a visit. “I get to the door and there’s Robert Godin standing there with his hands up in the air saying ‘where have you been? We’ve been waiting on you for years to come through these doors.’”
“My style is orchestral and rhythmic, and I take it to a place where it’s more like a piano or a harp too, and not every guitar will take that,” Dykes said. “The Godin just does, and not only the Seagull guitars and acoustic things, which are great, but the Multiac is the one that really got my attention on that first day. I felt like I was home. My former guitars were very expensive and I had a very expensive 12-string, but when I played the A12 which was nothing compared to the price of my old guitars, it was amazing how fast it was to respond, how huge it sounded and how easy it was to carry around.”
“They have so much to offer, what they’ve done to take some of these guitar designs to a whole new level, I’ve never seen a guitar that was so easy to travel with and so versatile," said Dykes. "When you can take a guitar like the Spectrum that I’m playing tonight the way it marries the single coil Seymour Duncan with the onboard pickups, anybody that can take two different types of pickups like that and make the right guitar to do it with, and who would want to do that, y’know? Most companies would want to sell one or the other but with the Godin this is it.”
“I was raised in the church, and I really became a Christian I was eleven years old,” he says. “When I knew that something had changed in my life, and that’s when I had the desire to play the guitar, and I’ve never separated those. Music is a very spiritual thing, and it is for most people, even if they’re not a Christian, they feel that. My opinion is that it’s a gift that God has given to me and it’s like any of the other arts, whether it’s on canvas or whatever it might be. And to me the guitar is one of the most beautiful sounds in the world. I asked an audience a couple of nights ago, ‘how many people are learning to play guitar?’ And then I raised my hand too. I said ‘I’m not claiming, I’m aiming for this.’ It never ends. It goes on.”
Godin Guitars are distributed throughout Australia by Dynamic Music. For more information head to dynamicmusic.com.au.