The British blues player’s simple-but-brawny tool kit for tough tones.

This Fender Albert Collins Signature Telecaster was a gift from Joe Bonamassa. The double-bound swamp-ash-bodied 6-string is based on the 1966 that was owned by the “Master of the Telecaster,” and has a Seymour Duncan humbucker in the neck and a Fender single-coil in the bridge. “This is my dream guitar, for obvious reasons, and I’ve always wanted one,” Taylor says. One day, while exploring New York City guitar shops, she found an example with Collins’ autograph on it. “But they wanted $5K, and I didn’t have that kind of money.” Figuring her friend Bonamassa could get a substantial discount from the shop—especially if he agreed to pose for photos with the guitar—she called him up, and he came down and got the price cut to about $3,000. But … he bought the guitar and kept it. The happy ending? Bonamassa later sent her this equally terrific Collins model. By the way, it’s named “Albert.”

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