The Coodercaster is handcrafted by Waterslide Guitars, a small custom shop in L.A. Built on similar specs as Ry Cooder’s famous customized Stratocaster, this guitar is a tone machine and perfect for open-tuned slide work, and shines as an all around killer guitar in standard tuning. The clarity of its diverse tonal and dynamic range is astonishing. Using new electronics and hardware developed by companies that build new pieces to the exact specs of coveted bygone era gear like the famous Teisco Gold-Foil pickups, Waterslide has tapped a niche market building world-class instruments that are both highly functional and insanely cool for vintage enthusiasts and players who want to capture classic sounds. Cooder famously took David Lindley’s advice and had the stock bridge pickup on his Stratocaster replaced with a string-through lap steel pickup in the bridge position, giving birth to the original Coodercaster. Cooder started out as a session man and is one of the most recorded artists in history with his voice and guitar work appearing on hundreds of recordings, including solo albums, movie soundtracks, and collaborations with artists from around the globe. His pioneering take on the age-old art of bottleneck guitar is legendary, so the appeal of these instruments is pretty heavy if you are a big fan.
This build is a mahogany, semi-hollow bodied thinline T-Style Body with a maple neck. Like Ry’s famous guitar, this one uses the same pickup array of Lapsteel string-through for the bridge position, and the Gold Foil in the neck position. Built by the folks at Mojo Pickups in England, a company that has made quite a splash around the world offering an array of vintage-style pickups from their custom shop, these pickups capture the unique sounds of the original vintage designs. This particular model also has an added sweet bonus with a Mastery Bridge and Temelo System that expands the coolness vibe (pun intended) tremendously. Plug this beast into a good tube amp, and the dynamic tones come roaring to life. This clip is captured plugged into a little Vox AC10.
My long-time musical compadre, awesome musician, and good friend, Troy Bland got one, and after playing his and being completely blown away, I started watching online for new builds and a month or so later, landed this gorgeous tone monster. Here’s Troy playing his through a Fender Blues Jr., killing it!