Iriondo has been a member of the Italian alt-rock outfit Afterhours since 1992. Here he’s playing a custom Epiphone SG Custom at an Afterhours show in 2015.

Photo by Emanuela Bonetti

The Italian maestro talks about the spiritual inspiration he draws from his Basque roots, as well as channeling his endless guitar-tinkering passions into his latest musical project, Buñuel.

Italian guitarist and sonic adventurer Xabier Iriondo has an affinity for the Basque term, metak—which literally means, “pile”—and he often incorporates it into the names of his various projects. His custom-built experimental guitar is the Mahai Metak (or “table pile”). Some of his unconventional musical collaborations also include the term, as in PhonoMetak and PhonoMetak Labs. And Sound Metak was the name of the eclectic shop he ran for about a decade in the early 2000s, which sold everything from boutique guitar pedals to shoes. (Check out his Instagram profile, which, in addition to pictures of his amazing collection of guitars, pedals, and vintage amps, is also a showcase for his impeccable taste in footwear).

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Caroline Jones’ current go-to electric is a cherry beauty named “Ruby”—a Collings I-35 Deluxe.

Photo by Tyler Lord

On Antipodes, Jones’ sophomore release, she pulls out all the stops, including a rack full of incredible guitars, a New Zealand-made Weissenborn-style lap steel, a lineup of special guests including Joe Bonamassa, and an impressive combination of fingerpicking and slide techniques.

Country singer-songwriter Caroline Jones names her guitars. Her current go-to, a Collings I-35 Deluxe, is “Ruby.” Her Taylor Custom GS 12-string is named “Big Mama.” There’s a 1963 Strat on loan from her coproducer, Ric Wake, that she calls “Heaven.” And you’ll also see her with a 1961 Fender Esquire—called, “Tenny”—that also belongs to Wake.

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To stay grounded—metaphysically speaking, that is—while playing, White always removes his shoes. While it helps with pedal control, there are indeed some negative effects: “If you play a smaller place with grounding issues, you get electrocuted that much more if you’re not wearing shoes.”

Photo by Connor Fields

The psychedelic brothers duo get hi-fi on Petunia—creating a swirling universe of expressionistic sound—but 6-stringer Andy White still won’t put on a pair of shoes.

“I get nervous if I have my shoes on when I am playing,” says Andy White, the guitar half of the psychedelic, krautrock-style, jam-centric duo Tonstartssbandht [pronounced: tone-starts-band]. “For some reason, playing with shoes on just feels weird.”

How weird? That’s hard to say, but playing barefoot has helped the guitarist figure out a few tricks and use it to his advantage. “I want to be able to know I have the option to do what I need to do on the fly or, at the very least, feel myself grounded,” he adds. “It all comes down to pedals at the end of the day. Even if it’s not tweaking them, but just activating them, or turning them off.”

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My Morning Jacket is keyboardist Bo Koster, bassist Tom Blankenship, guitarist Jim James, drummer Patrick Hallahan, and guitarist Carl Broemel.

After a hiatus, the rootsy rock heroes reconvene with new guitars—including James' signature Gibson ES-335—to deliver a self-titled album of big beats and powerhouse jams.

My Morning Jacket guitarists Jim James and Carl Broemel both play amazing, beautiful, high-end guitars. But during sessions for their latest album, My Morning Jacket, they spent some time gripping a pair of unusual, less-than-fancy instruments that probably wouldn't need to be kept behind the glass case in your local guitar store.

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