For over six decades, the Gibson Hummingbird has been an acoustic guitar staple. Now country icon Miranda Lambert has reimagined it as the Bluebird – she explains what inspired the radical makeover

Miranda Lambert with her Gibson Bluebird acoustic guitar
(Image credit: Gibson)

Appreciation for the timeless nature of Gibson's Hummingbird comes easily as it's long been a staple of acoustic players worldwide. And after years as a Gibson devotee, Miranda Lambert is throwing her hat in the ring with her first Gibson signature – and her spin on the Hummingbird – the Bluebird.  

"Gibson Guitars is a company that was an early believer in me and my career; hence I've been playing Gibson Guitars for a very long time now," she tells Guitar World. "We've had the opportunity to work together in different ways over the years, but to actually collaborate on my own signature guitar is a dream come true."

Fans of Lambert – specifically her 2019 album Wildcard – will recall Bluebird, a plaintive and deeply introspective track that's clearly close to her heart. In fact, Bluebird is so meaningful that it directly inspired her collaboration with Gibson.

"Gibson is such an iconic brand," Lambert says. "And Bluebird is such a meaningful song to me. So, to be able to combine the two is really special."

"I wrote Bluebird with Luke Dick and Natalie Hemby in 2019 when Luke brought the line, 'There's a bluebird in my heart' from a poem by Chuck Bukowski to us. I love that Bluebird has a hopefulness to it; even when we face tough times, getting through them makes us stronger and makes us appreciate the good moments."

Indeed, Bluebird is the sort of song that leads to introspection. And to Lambert's point, her signature Gibson is the perfect accompaniment. But that's not all that came to mind when Lambert was working with Gibson.

"For the studio, I'm looking for as natural and warm of a sound as possible, with a nice round tone," Lambert says. "Like when you hear the record, it feels like you're in the room with the acoustic guitar."

She continues, "And in the live environment, having as many of the studio qualities while also being able to be a roadworthy workhorse that stays in tune and can handle the abuse of travel. It has to be something that's not too fragile."

Lambert has taken her lunchpail mentality as a player and transferred that energy into a guitar with some fine, time-honored appointments: a Sitka spruce top, mahogany body and LR Baggs VTC electronics. But while her signature Gibson – with its nitrocellulose Bluebonnet finish and custom Bluebird pickguard – is most definitely a looker, Lambert's aim is to inspire, which means the Bluebird must be also be usable.

Gibson Miranda Lambert Bluebird

(Image credit: Gibson)

"The more opportunities that I have in my career to collaborate with other artists, the more inspired I am to keep pushing myself to expand my boundaries musically," Lambert continues. "Whether that's sitting in a writing room while we pour our feelings into a song, or being on tour, hoping the fans can feel every note right along with us, the more I've gotten to experience musically, the more it makes me want to keep pushing and creating."

Ornate as the Bluebird is, as with any guitar, Lambert's hope is that it inspires young fans to pick up the instrument. As one of country music's biggest stars, Lambert has come a long way, but it wasn't all that long ago that she was an unknown with nothing but her trusty Gibson in hand to guide her.

For Miranda Lambert, when it comes to guitars – specifically her first signature Gibson – it's personal, with the Bluebird vocalist saying, "Guitars have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember because my dad was always playing at home. He was a huge musical influence on me."

She continues, "I was 17 when I started playing and writing songs myself, and I remember feeling right away that it was what I was meant to do because it was the first thing that had ever come naturally to me. The song Bluebird really makes me look inward when I think about the lyrics. It makes me feel something every time I sing it. It's the kind of song that everyone can take what they need from, and I hope that this guitar offers people that, too."

  • For more information on the Bluebird, head to Gibson.

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Andrew Daly

Andrew Daly is an iced-coffee-addicted, oddball Telecaster-playing, alfredo pasta-loving journalist from Long Island, NY, who, in addition to being a contributing writer for Guitar World, scribes for Rock Candy, Bass Player, Total Guitar, and Classic Rock History. Andrew has interviewed favorites like Ace Frehley, Johnny Marr, Vito Bratta, Bruce Kulick, Joe Perry, Brad Whitford, Rich Robinson, and Paul Stanley, while his all-time favorite (rhythm player), Keith Richards, continues to elude him.