Now Isbell is back with another video, courtesy of GQ, that reveals just how deep his vintage collection goes.
In a new video tour shot at his Tennessee barn, he dives deep into his stable of rare instruments, which he estimates at “somewhere around 50 or 60.”
And while his collection started out rather humbly – he says his first-ever guitar, which he displays here, was an Electra MPC Les Paul copy given to him by his uncle – it has blossomed since.
From there, Isbell presents a slew of drool-worthy instruments, including a ’53 Les Paul gold top, a ’59 'burst dubbed “Red Eye” that had belonged to Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Ed King, a ’65 Tele, a ’60 Strat, a ’61 ES-335, a Gretsch White Falcon given to him by John Prine, a mid-50s Martin D-18 and more.
It’s an impressive collection, to be sure. But as for what makes the guitars exceptional?
“What I consider a special guitar,” Isbell says, “is one that fulfills its purpose in design.”