Jim James: “I wanted to create a guitar where people could be like, ‘Who the f**k is Jim James? I don’t really care, I just love this guitar!’”

Jim James with his new Gibson signature ES-335
(Image credit: Austin Nelson/Gibson)

Jim James is the founding member of My Morning Jacket, now 23 years into a psychedelic road trip through the varied sonic terrain of America’s alt-rock scene. Everything from late-era Beach Boys to Bob Dylan and Marc Bolan is referenced in the band’s eclectic sound, which has journeyed a long way over two decades. 

A common thread that runs throughout is James’s plaintive vocal and warm, anthemic guitar lines that shimmer behind a mirage of spring reverb. Now, James has been honoured with a signature model ES-335 that caught our interest with its pragmatic, everyman spec and an early ’70s vibe that should appeal to a far wider number of players than James’s fanbase alone.

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Jamie Dickson

Jamie Dickson is Editor-in-Chief of Guitarist magazine, Britain's best-selling and longest-running monthly for guitar players. He started his career at the Daily Telegraph in London, where his first assignment was interviewing blue-eyed soul legend Robert Palmer, going on to become a full-time author on music, writing for benchmark references such as 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die and Dorling Kindersley's How To Play Guitar Step By Step. He joined Guitarist in 2011 and since then it has been his privilege to interview everyone from B.B. King to St. Vincent for Guitarist's readers, while sharing insights into scores of historic guitars, from Rory Gallagher's '61 Strat to the first Martin D-28 ever made.