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: Dennis Jones.
Hailing from sunny Los Angeles, the blues shredder weilds a ferocious dichotomy of sharp, searing guitar solos and sweet, heart-punching licks. As detailed on his website, Jones' "feet are firmly rooted in the past, yet his heart and soul are connected to the present. He writes songs that seamlessly blend the best of both worlds, presenting a unique and contemporary style of American rock and blues. And he isn’t afraid to tackle the controversial issues of today."
What are you most looking forward to about the 2019 Melbourne Guitar Show?
To perform my original music in front of a new audience, and to make new friends and connections.
Why do you think events like the Melbourne Guitar Show are so important for guitar lovers?
Because we have the opportunity to see and hear the latest products and connect with other artists, one-on-one.
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 performing original songs that I’ve recorded. No surprises – I just do what I do best!
What are you most excited about in the guitar world right now?
That young people – and people on a budget – can buy an affordable, good playing instrument. And that YouTube has so many great instructional videos to advance your playing skills.
What innovations would you like to see companies take with the guitar in the near (and distant) future?
I like old-school. I don’t need a self-tuning guitar or modelling amp. Just listen to what your customers want, and build it well.
What guitar(s) are you playing on at the moment? Do you have any particular go-tos or favourites?
Fender Stratocasters are my favorite. My Gibson Les Paul is always onstage with me as well.
Let’s go way back: what was the first guitar you bought, and what was it about that guitar that reeled you in?
My parents bought me a few cheap guitars that were very hard to play. When I was 15, I bought an Ovation Bread Winner. It was a strange looking guitar, but it sounded and played amazing. I could finally play what I was hearing in my head.
What’s does the rest of your rig look like?
In the way of pedals, I use overdrive, univibe, wah, chorus, tremolo and delay units. My amps are two custom built TKM amps built in Calgary, Canada.
If you could design the ultimate guitar, where nothing is impossible with it, what would you put on it?
I’m lucky enough that I already did that. I build my own Stratocasters with top notch electronics and hardware – DiMarzio noiseless pickups, early '60s profile necks, steel Gotoh bridges and CTS pots.
Who are your favourite up-and-coming guitarists? Anyone we should be keeping an eye on?
There are a lot of great young guitarists on the scene right now. Anthony Cullins is a friend and amazing talent.
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