McPherson’s Kevin Michael Carbon Fiber Guitar
When a former aerospace engineer has designed your guitar, you can be pretty sure you’re dealing with an extraordinary instrument. For three decades, McPherson has been doing just that: making unique, unusual and utterly brilliant guitars. They first turned the guitar world upside down with their offset soundhole design (notice, in the photo above, how the soundhole is not in its customary place beneath the strings). Now, McPherson has taken yet another bold step by crafting the very body of its Kevin Michael model not out of wood, but out of carbon fiber. The almost unbelievably lightweight (and thus, travel-friendly) result is striking both visually—the light often catches the guitar’s surface as it would the scales of a reptile—and tonally—the sound is wonderfully sharp and punchy.
Grain Audio Solid Wood Over Ear Headphones
The idea was simple. If the best instruments in the world have always been made of wood (although McPherson may, rightly, take issue; see above), then wouldn’t wood’s acoustic properties make headphones sound better too? The answer is a resounding yes. Although, as the experts at Grain Audio themselves confess, “simple is complicated to achieve.” But, using a proprietary system involving a CCAW voice coil and neodymium magnets…look, point is, they sound incredible (and come with a carrying case, a quarter-inch adapter and an inline mic). And the fact that they look great doesn’t hurt either.
108 Rock Star Guitars (book)
Hal Leonard has outdone themselves—and placed a strong contender in an already crowded field—with this elegant, pristine coffee table book all about guitars. It not only looks good but it features lush photos and text for 108 magnificent guitars belonging to superstars ranging from Bruce Springsteen to Eric Clapton to Jimmy Page and more. Each photo was lovingly shot by Lisa S. Johnson, whose camera displays every tiny detail of these iconic instruments. In short, if Les Paul were still around, this would be on his coffee table. How can we be so sure? Well, because he wrote the forward (a portion of the book’s proceeds go to the Les Paul Foundation). A great gift for guitar lovers of all ages—just don’t spill any coffee on it.
Created with Love Boutique
Created with Love Boutique is not just a catchy name, it demonstrates what founder Toni Cesiro is all about. No surprise that she works with another fountain of love, the powerful, Brooklyn-based singer Alexis P. Suter—Cesiro’s guitar string jewelry can be found at the merchandise table at Suter’s shows. What started as a way to “pay it forward” by repurposing guitar strings of her musician friends to help support causes like the March of Dimes and Rockers for Babies has turned into a labor of love. Everything you find at Cesiro’s online shop is both handmade and very reasonably priced. The beaded earrings give you the look of a big hoop without any of the weight (they are truly light as a feather). In addition to the several styles of earrings, bracelets are available. No two are exactly alike, which makes for a wonderfully unique, musically-inspired gift! While there are others that produce this kind of jewelry, Cesiro is at the top of this game.
Clever Clogs Art
A veteran vendor of events like the annual Clarksdale, MS Juke Joint Festival, Tonia Sellers, owner of Clever Clogs Art, makes music-based folk art that takes a famous song lyric and turns it into a beautiful work of art that you can enjoy every day. Repurposing doors, windows, wood, guitars and more, she creates pieces that speak to music lovers—blues lovers in particular. Her offerings run the gamut of price points: smaller pieces can be had for under $50, and her very popular Groovy Guitar Plaques are just $40 (see pictures below). While the larger pieces, like hand-painted windowpanes, come with a bigger price tag, they are worth every penny—you can even have you very own personalized piece commissioned.
Hilory Wagner has turned a hobby into a passion, and that passion into miniature works of art. Wagner’s EssenTiles sells a wide range of gifts, all made from Scrabble tiles. Among other themes, Wagner does a line of miniature album covers that can be easily attached to (and detached from) your wine glass or beer mug. The set of eight comes in a custom box with the classic Scrabble wooden tile holder for display. Beautifully finished with a high gloss, they are a fun conversation piece that will keep your guests from mixing up their drinks. Show up to any gathering with a set of these and a bottle of bubbly, and you’ll be an instant hit! – Alison Kaufman
Time is on your side…with Eleven James. This new, innovative watch sharing program brings you top-of-the-line luxury watches for a fraction of the price. In short, wearing brands like Rolex, Panerai, Breitling and Cartier just became affordable. Eleven James offers three levels of membership, granting you a rotation of three to six watches per year. In addition to always having exquisite timepieces on your wrist, Eleven James members also receive personal concierge service, exclusive invites to luxury events in your area and assistance with your existing timepiece collection. – Whitney Forbes