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: Minnie Marks.
Marks virtually has 2019 gripped by the throat, the Crescent Head blueswoman’s latest album – the bold and brash Trouble With The Troubadour – ripping and roaring like a bushfire gone AWOL, near-perfect reviews from jaw-dropped critics reflecting as such. As explained aptly on her website, Marks is “not just some blazingly electrified acoustic guitar playing freak of nature, but also a rare and triple threat: singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. Be warned, her show will take you on a dizzying, riff rock rollercoaster ride with songs written over the past years of her musical journey around the world.”
What are you most looking forward to about the 2019 Melbourne Guitar Show?
Having two whole days dedicated to guitar with guitar nerds like myself. Heaven!
Why do you think events like the Melbourne Guitar Show are so important for guitar lovers?
Because our partners don’t want to hear about our obsession, and we all need someone to talk about buying the pedal that’s gonna change our lives with.
What can punters expect from your performance at the Melbourne Guitar Show? Do you have any exciting surprises or curveballs up your sleeve?
A high-energy show filled with lots of stories about my musical life over the years.
What are you most excited about in the guitar world right now?
Fretting behind the slide. It’s some tasty stuff!
What innovations would you like to see companies take with the guitar in the near (and distant) future?
A guitar case that electrocutes baggage handlers when mishandled.
What guitar(s) are you playing on at the moment? Do you have any particular go-tos or favourites?
My Maton EBG808C with modified pickups, which I’ve had for 14 years now, and my Gretsch Country Gentlemen Junior 6122. I just got a new Maton EA808 Australian, which is also making itself at home in my hands very quickly.
Let’s go way back: what was the first guitar you bought, and what was it about that guitar that reeled you in?
The first guitar I ever bought was a black steel-string, which I got from the local music shop for $210. My folks saw that I had fallen for this beast, and offered to go halves with me. I had to rake up $110 as quick as I could, so I dusted my Nan’s house about five times a day (even when it didn’t need dusting – thanks Nan). Sooner than later, I had this six-string in my hand, and that’s what started it all. I definitely fell for the blackness.
What’s does the rest of your rig look like?
My clean channel is a Maton 808 cutaway piezo pickup through an Octaver to the desk. The Dirty side is two MI-SI gold soundhole pickups, running through a Jackson BLOOM, a Mythos Golden Fleece Fuzz, a micro POG, a Tubescreamer TS808, a Strymon Flint Tremelo and a JAM Delay Llama, running through to my Mesa Boogie Mark Five 25 or my Tweed Blues Junior.
If you could design the ultimate guitar, where nothing is impossible with it, what would you put on it?
An automatic string changer, and a tiny trampoline inside the soundhole so when you drop your pick inside, it bounces straight back out.
Who are your favourite up-and-coming guitarists? Anyone we should be keeping an eye on?
I wouldn’t say he’s up-and-coming at all, but I’m a massive fan of Joey Landreth. I think a lot more Aussies should be on the Joey train as well!
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