Pete Anderson came to prominence in the ’80s as country star Dwight Yoakam’s lead guitarist and producer. Along with the Blasters and Los Lobos, Yoakam and Anderson brought roots music into the Los Angeles punk and alternative clubs, establishing a fresh audience for a new genre that would soon become “Americana.” Thanks to Anderson’s twang-infused Tele work and back-to-basics production, Yoakam was embraced by Nashville as a “new traditionalist,” creating country-radio hits alongside George Strait and Randy Travis. Not satisfied with sticking to chicken pickin’ and crying steel guitars, the team crafted songs like “Fast as You” that revealed elements of Anderson’s Detroit blues beginnings. His post-Yoakam solo music delves deeper into the blues, while his work with singer Moot Davis explores swing and rockabilly.

Download Example 1
Clean - Neck pickup, then Bridge pickup
Download Example 2
Dirty - Neck pickup, then Bridge pickup

Searching for an instrument that could handle the variety of styles at his fingertips, Anderson joined forces with Joe Naylor at Reverend Guitars. Anderson had been playing a modified Epiphone Joe Pass archtop on the road for a few years, and the tweaks he made to that instrument inspired him to design his own dream machine with Naylor. The result is the Pete Anderson Signature guitar—Reverend’s first hollowbody.

Hot-Rodded Hollow
The PA’s body consists of a laminated spruce top and laminated maple back and sides. Reverend offers the guitar in two finishes—satin vintage clear (the color of the model we tested) and satin black. The lack of a gloss finish gives the guitar a funky, road dog look, while the set-neck construction and cream binding on the body, f-holes, and three-piece korina neck speak of a classier instrument. It’s a combination that works well to express Anderson’s fondness for pawnshop specials.

The guitar’s 2 3/8" body is fully hollow but sports a novel top brace that Reverend calls the Uni-Brace. This single wood strip starts at the neck block and ends at a second block under the bridge. This bridge block allows Reverend to mount a fixed Tune-o-matic-style bridge, rather than the moveable wooden bridge often found on hollowbody and archtop guitars. If you’re like Anderson—used to performing wide blues bends and pedal-steel licks—a fixed bridge is essential. The Uni-Brace runs the body’s full depth, but because it’s only a ½" wide it allows the instrument to retain the classic tonal characteristics of a hollow f-hole guitar.

Running along the bass-string side of the body, the Uni-Brace divides the interior and limits internal air movement. This contributes significantly toward reducing uncontrollable feedback at higher stage volumes. Connecting the bridge block to the neck block, the Uni-Brace also increases sustain and adds structural integrity. This reinforcement prevents the neck from pulling up and forward over time. Stiffening the bass side of the body also increases low-string punch and clarity.

Other modern specs include a 1 11/16" graphite nut, low-friction roller saddles, and Reverend Pin-Lock machine heads. These all help keep the guitar in tune when using the Bigsby B70 vibrato. The nut and rollers offer silky string slippage, while the tuners eliminate the need for any string windings that might loosen and fail to tighten up fully as you work the Bigsby arm.