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Watch Robben Ford take his signature PRS guitar for a debut spin at intimate Helsinki club gig

Robben Ford (left) and drummer Jussi Lehtonen perform at the Koko Jazz Club in Helsinki, Finland
(Image credit: Robben Ford/YouTube)

Last June, electric guitar virtuoso Robben Ford took to social media to show off a six-string that very much appeared to be his first-ever PRS signature guitar.

Finished suavely in black, the guitar sports an oversized headstock – an homage, Ford explained (opens in new tab) in last year's Instagram post, to CBS-era Stratocaster headstocks – with Ford's name on the truss rod cover, a pair of humbuckers branded with Ford’s personal seal, and a pickup-splitting mini-toggle.

Earlier this month (August 3), Ford finally took the six-string for a public spin during an intimate show at the Koko Jazz Club in Helsinki, Finland, pro-shot footage of which Ford uploaded to his YouTube channel last week. 

Ford uses the PRS for the entirety of his smokin' set, in which he was backed by an all-Finnish band featuring Timo Hirvonen on bass guitar, Holger Marjamaa on organ and Jussi Lehtonen on drums. You can check it out for yourself below.

“How’s the guitar? Too loud? Not loud enough?" Ford asks the crowd at one point. "This is a brand new guitar for me. First time I’ve ever played it on a gig, so I’m fooling around with it a little bit.”

He then demonstrates its capabilities with a smooth run-through of Go, a funky highlight from his 2021 all-instrumental LP, Pure.

The set also featured performances of Bird's Nest Bound and Everything I Do Gonna Be Funky (both from 2013's Bringing It Back Home), and What I Haven’t Done, which is featured on 2018’s Purple House

PRS, for its part, has yet to independently confirm any details of the Robben Ford model, but we'll be sure to keep an eye out for them, and see if Ford uses it once again at the higher-profile California dates he's set to play in September.

In other Ford news, the guitarist is set to release Common Ground, a collaborative LP with saxophone A-lister Bill Evans, next month.

That album can be preordered via Ford's website (opens in new tab).

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Jackson is an Associate Editor at GuitarWorld.com. 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 (opens in new tab). Elsewhere, his album reviews and essays have appeared in Louder (opens in new tab) and Unrecorded (opens in new tab). 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.