Orville Peck and the inimitable Gretsch White Falcon

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Orville Peck and the inimitable Gretsch White Falcon

Orville Peck Falcon
Words by Lewis Noke Edwards

The G6136TG-OP is available now from all good Gretsch dealers.

Orville Peck needs no introduction, but let’s give him one anyway. Born in South Africa but growing up in Canada, he released his debut album Pony in 2019, followed by another full length Bronco in 2022. Even more recently, Orville has had the honour of being offered a signature artist model; a Gretsch White Falcon and no less.

Having played them on stage, he’s familiar with the majesty and sound that a Falcon brings to both the aesthetics and sonics of his stage show. We were lucky enough to chat about his new guitar.


“Is this Orville Peck?” I ask as an unknown user joins our Zoom call.

“This is he.” Orville laughs, responding playfully.

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Orville Peck

Orville Peck’s signature Gretsch Falcon, the G6136TG-OP, builds on the legacy of Gretsch’s flagship model: the White Falcon. Orville’s take on the design is a classic one, with a Bigsby tremolo and dual FT-67 Filter’Tron pickups. The finish is a unique ‘Oro Sparkle’, the body primarily covered in Gretsch’s iconic big sparkle flakes, with a white burst creeping in from the edges. The traditionally dark ebony fretboard has been done away with for a streaky ebony, adding to the texture and lively, extravagant look of the guitar. White Falcons have always had a showiness about them, but the G6136TG-OP is something else entirely.

“It’s been in the works for a few years now, so it’s really exciting that it’s finally out.” begins Orville, explaining how his signature White Falcon came to be.

“I’ve been playing Gretsch guitars pretty much my whole career, and then was very lucky to have a partnership with them now too. I’ve worked with Gretsch and Fender a tonne, which is lovely.”

G6136TG-OP Limited Edition Orville Peck Falcon

Peck goes on to explain how through playing Gretsch he got to know the reps, when finally they approached him about the Gretsch signature series, and just a few years ago they asked if he’d like a signature Falcon.

“And of course, the answer is really obvious.” he chuckles.

“Really hard to say no!” I acknowledge.

Orville laughs. “Yeah!”

We move onto Gretsch as a company, it having a huge association with both Country and Western music, and I ask where his interest in Gretsch really began. Who inspired Orville Peck to pick up a Gretsch?

“I really loved… I remember seeing Neil Young play, he always had the White Falcon. I’m such a Neil fan, especially when I was younger, and I just thought it looked so different than any other guitar.” he begins.

“Growing up—I grew up in punk bands, and I was a drummer, so far away from what I do now. But I never loved hollow bodies actually, growing up, I leaned more towards Telecasters and Strats, and things like that, but something about the White Falcon I thought was so cool.”

“And then of course when I got to play one, the sound is inimitable.”

We discuss Neil Young’s Falcon for a moment, famously covered in additional knobs, switches and toggles for a myriad of uses.

Spec for spec, Peck’s Falcon is largely a classic Gretsch White Falcon, besides the aforementioned Oro Sparkle finish.

“All the specs are pretty much identical to the original Falcon, except the in aesthetic. It was intentional, because as I said I love the way that the Falcon sounds so much,  I wouldn’t know where to begin to improve on it,” Orville laughs. “So yeah it’s all the same specs as the classic Falcon.”

Orville’s songwriting process will sometimes begin with a chord on his Falcon, or a vocal melody, even acknowledging he’ll sometimes start with a song’s title inspiring him and working backwards.

“I’m self-taught, I have really little background in theory and technicality, I definitely approach songwriting but even playing the guitar from an organic place, I guess you could say.”

We agree for a moment , stating that this is all in line with Orville’s punk roots.

“Yeah! I couldn’t afford any lessons, so I just picked it up and did it.”

Peck’s new album Stampede Vol. 2 is out in August, an album of duets with artists like Kylie Minogue, Diplo, Molly Tuttle and more.

“I’ve wanted to do a duets album for years now, we used to talk about it as the ‘Orville and friends project’,” he laughs.

“I imagined it would happen later in my career, for some reason. But it was very much because I loved the tradition, especially in country music, duets albums and collab albums. I think that’s gone away a bit. So when Willie Nelson asked me to do a duet of “Cowboys” that jogged the spark of ‘Maybe I’ll see who else is interested, maybe this could be the time.'”

Willie Nelson, much like the team at Gretsch offering him a signature Falcon, is a hard offer to say no to. “Yeah, I’m still not over that.” he laughs.

I pivot for a moment, chatting to Orville about how I’d very much categorise someone like him as in the same realm as Willie Nelson, in so much as country artists pushing against the norm and in turn, introducing legions of new listeners to the genre as a whole.

“I can concede to that,” Orville laughs. He’s humble but his influence, even to him, is undeniable. “The things that I admire in Willie are obvious, because they’re the things that everyone does. He’s just so incredible as an artist and as a person.”

“I imagine the things that Willie admires about me are that he sees that I am, yes, essentially trying to bring a new perspective and a new sound and a new story to country music.”

“I mean he battled Nashville for many years because he became successful and—yeah.”

His duet with Willie Nelson features on Stampede Vol. 1, with Stampede Vol. 2 available from August onwards, the Gretsch White Falcon featuring heavily on both recordings.

“The thing I love about the Falcon is it can bring such a mood and a tone, even just playing single notes with a tremolo pedal, it tells a whole story because there’s such a rich sound to it. It brings such a beautiful and cinematic feel to a song.”

“It’s got an incredible presence, sonically and visually, I think it’s a very special instrument.”

Shop the G6136TG-OP Limited Edition Orville Peck Falcon here, or keep up with Orville Peck and his new record here.