James Kenyon

Subscribe to Mixdown Magazine

James Kenyon

James Kenyon.jpg

What piece of equipment do you have to show us today?

My Godin 5th Avenue Archtop.


How did you come across this particular item?

I can’t remember how I found it. I saw 
the price for a Gibson 125 and vomited everywhere, got drunk and pulled myself together the next morning and did some research. I was looking to move to an electric guitar after first performing with a nylon and then on to a Blueridge parlour steel string. I wanted an electric guitar that could be articulate enough to finger pick on, but also rev hard when required. Because the 5th Ave does not sustain for too long, it was ideal for finger picking – the notes don’t fall over and blend into each other too much.


What is it that you like so much about it?

It sounds great and it’s bullet proof. I’ve spent the last three or four years touring and gigging with it. It stays in tune; I haven’t had one problem with it. I tour a lot and the gear is in and out of the car a fair bit, so my gear has to be reliable.


How do you use it, and how has it shaped the way you write music?

I have a very simple set up: the 5th Ave guitar into a Boss T-U2 tuner then straight into the amp. That’s it. It’s changed the way I play. I now play more sparsely but with greater dynamic range. The P-90 going through the valve amps gives you
 a greater palette to work with as opposed to the acoustic, which allows me to colour and articulate the song in ways I couldn’t before.


Any other interesting points/stories about it?

No, but I’ll make one up. One day, at high noon, a drunken fool came at me with a rusty shiv. My 5th Avenue literally threw itself in front of me and took the full force of the blow. It then strolled down the street, gave me a no-look wave and muttered, “You owe me a whiskey”.


For the latest tour and news on James Kenyon, head to jameskenyonmusic.com