“All those riffs came out with the Mulecaster. An amazing instrument that weighs a ton but sounds utterly timeless and three dimensional”: Folk great John Smith on his life-changing Mulecaster experience and why the Quad Cortex isn’t just for metalheads

John Smith
(Image credit: Future / Olly Curtis)

It’s a case of all change for John Smith, the UK acoustic specialist once hailed as the future of folk music by Pentangle’s John Renbourn.

Not only has he just released a brand-new album, he’s also reorganised his touring gear to include a specially designed thinline Fylde electro-acoustic as a one-size-fits-all solution for his acoustic repertoire. But there’s also a custom electric guitar joining the party, as well as an effects array more associated with a metal act. What the heck is going on? 

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David Mead

With over 30 years’ experience writing for guitar magazines, including at one time occupying the role of editor for Guitarist and Guitar Techniques, David is also the best-selling author of a number of guitar books for Sanctuary Publishing, Music Sales, Mel Bay and Hal Leonard. As a player he has performed with blues sax legend Dick Heckstall-Smith, played rock ’n’ roll in Marty Wilde’s band, duetted with Martin Taylor and taken part in charity gigs backing Gary Moore, Bernie Marsden and Robbie McIntosh, among others. An avid composer of acoustic guitar instrumentals, he has released two acclaimed albums, Nocturnal and Arboretum.