Making its way back to the Caulfield Racecourse for its fifth consecutive year, the Melbourne Guitar Show is eyeing August 2019 off like a dog eyes off its dinner. Poised to be its biggest and best jaunt yet, this year's show – kicking off across the weekend of August 3rd and 4th – promises a (quite literally) jam-packed lineup of performers and exhibitors, with an emphasis on getting punters hands-on with the enormous array of axes on show.
In the lead-up to this year's Melbourne Guitar Show, Australian Guitar is going full steam ahead on the hype train. Every Tuesday and Friday, we'll be going head-to-head with one of the top-notch fretboard warriors making their way to the show, in the pursuit of getting to know a little more about who'll be melting out minds when they take to the stage. In this edition: Anna Scionti.
Hot off the heels of her scorching new solo album, Orphan Diary, the Melbourne blues legend is enjoying an enormous 2019. Bounding between cigar box guitars, resonators, lap steels and stomps, Scionti (pronounced Shon-tee, FYI) is a defiantly unique and destructively captivating player. Her energy is patently poignant, every blunt, soul-thumping strum as powerful as can be. To that end, Scionti is a phenomenal vocalist with lyrics that hit hard and heavy – one worth making a special mark on your schedule for.
What are you most looking forward to about the 2019 Melbourne Guitar Show?
I’m excited about seeing the latest in everything guitars in one building – otherwise known as heaven! Hopefully, there’ll be some lap steel guitars to check out as well.
Why do you think events like the Melbourne Guitar Show are so important for guitar lovers?
It’s a great way to see new guitars, innovations and products that you may not know about, have heard of or seen before. Plus, I’m excited to be a part of an awesome lineup of artists showcasing their music and different styles of playing.
What can punters expect from your performance at the Melbourne Guitar Show? Do you have any exciting surprises or curveballs up your sleeve?
I’ll be playing songs from my mew album, Orphan Diary. I’ll also be bring my ‘Diddly Bow’ to play a few songs on. It’s a one-string cigar box guitar that I made at a class run by Nashville-based bluesman Travis Bowlin.
What are you most excited about in the guitar world right now?
Currently, I’m a little obsessed with handmade cigar box guitars. Each one is unique and has a sound of its own. They're so great for inspiring new songs.
What innovations would you like to see companies take with the guitar in the near (and distant) future?
You know I’m not a high-tech girl. I like my guitars comfortable in the hand, and well balanced in both style and sound.
What guitar(s) are you playing on at the moment? Do you have any particular go-tos or favourites??
My Gibson Melody Maker travels with me to most shows. It’s also on the cover of Orphan Diary. I also play an array of cigar box guitars, including one-, three- and four-string models. These are handmade guitars from Australian makers - Chough Guitars and Avocet in Victoria, and Buzz Box in New South Wales.
Let’s go way back: what was the first guitar you bought, and what was it about that guitar that reeled you in?
My first electric guitar was an Ibanez Blazer from the '80s. From memory, I traded my boombox for this sweet, old thing. I still have it! My collection has grown from there, as has my fascination for stringed instruments in general.
What’s does the rest of your rig look like?
I keep it quite simple – overdrive and boost pedals, a delay pedal, and sometimes a tremelo pedal. I used to take my vintage valve amps to gigs, until one day one of them just started smoking. Now I have a 20-watt Sherlock Amp that comes on the road with me – all valve, plus reverb.
If you could design the ultimate guitar, where nothing is impossible with it, what would you put on it?
A self-designed hollowbody shape guitar with humbuckers and a tremolo system, with an easy-change string system. Maybe custom painted by one of my favourite artists. An inbuilt tuner would be handy, too!
Who are your favourite up-and-coming guitarists? Anyone we should be keeping an eye on?
Larkin Poe – Rebecca on Guitar and her sister Megan on lap steel. They are formidable. Check ‘em out if you don’t know these two amazing female guitarists!
Melbourne Guitar Show 2019
Stars (ft. Mal Eastick, Nick Charles and Roger McLachlan)
James Norbert Ivanyi
Cartridge Family (ft. Sarah Carroll and Suzanna Espie)
Simon Hosford’s Fair Warning
Saturday August 3rd + Sunday 4th
Caulfield Racecourse, Melbourne VIC
Tickets on sale via australianmusician.com.au