Gibson joins forces with Jim James for elegant new signature ES-335

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

My Morning Jacket frontman and electric guitar player Jim James has teamed up with Gibson to create a new signature ES-335.

Coming just a couple of weeks after the release of My Morning Jacket's self-titled ninth studio album, the Jim James ES-335 is a beauty of a signature guitar, boasting a three-ply maple/poplar/maple body, and a mahogany SlimTaper neck featuring an Indian rosewood fretboard boasting 22 medium jumbo frets with acrylic dot inlays.

Electronics come in the form of a pair of Calibrated T-Type pickups, controlled by a three-way toggle pickup switch, and two volume and two tone controls that are hand-wired with Orange Drop capacitors.

Elsewhere, there's a lightweight aluminum ABR-1 bridge and Stop Bar tailpiece, and Kluson Waffleback tuners. All hardware is finished smartly in nickel.

It wouldn't be a signature model, though, without a couple of unique visual touches. To that end, the Jim James ES-335 features James' logo on the truss rod cover and an owl emblem on the back of the headstock.

“I am beyond honored and excited to be able to collaborate with Dustin Wainscott and the team at Gibson to create the guitar of my dreams," James said of the guitar in a press release. 

"I wanted to create a guitar that felt like a part of nature, a guitar that gave you a sense of déjà vu, as if it had always been around like a favorite tree that you love and know very well and has been there your entire life. It has a slim neck, is easy to play and it’s capable of creating infinite sound. 

"From the lightest whisper, to the greatest roar and everything in between, all of the technical details have been carefully chosen and I included a few symbols, such as our beloved owl, who reminds us to look into the darkness, and another symbol that reminds us to look into the light – one that to me means to transcend, pass through, break free, cross over and beyond any boundaries that may seem to be holding you back and unite with the circle of limitless potential.”

Gibson's new Jim James signature ES-335

(Image credit: Gibson)

The Gibson Jim James ES-335 is available now – in a Walnut finish and with a custom Jim James owl emblem hardshell case included – for $3,499. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of each of the guitars will go to Gibson's philanthropic arm, Gibson Gives.

It's the second signature model Gibson has unveiled this week, following the release of the revamped, V2 version of the company's much-talked-about Adam Jones 1979 Les Paul Custom.

For more info on the Jim James ES-335, stop by Gibson.

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Jackson Maxwell

Jackson is an Associate Editor at He’s been writing and editing stories about new gear, technique and guitar-driven music both old and new since 2014, and has also written extensively on the same topics for Guitar Player. Elsewhere, his album reviews and essays have appeared in Louder and Unrecorded. Though open to music of all kinds, his greatest love has always been indie, and everything that falls under its massive umbrella. To that end, you can find him on Twitter crowing about whatever great new guitar band you need to drop everything to hear right now.