Beard introduces Josh Swift model reso-guitar

Beard Guitars in Maryland has introduced its latest signature model, for Josh Swift, reso-guitarist with Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver. And yes… it’s a purple guitar.

Josh designed the Josh Swift Signature model with Paul Beard and, over the course of three years of discussion and tweaking, and it is now available for sale. The guitar is made from solid curly maple and has an arched back, with a curly maple neck as well. It is offered in the Beard Purple Reign or Blackout finishes, and has a body depth of 4”, and a lower bout width of 14.25”.

The scale length is 25”, with an ebony fingerboard inlaid with custom signature patterns. The fret markers are inlaid as well, and the nut is bone. Paul uses his Shockwave bridge inserts and his Triple spun-Legend Cone with the Original #14 Spider. Black Gotoh machines are installed on the headstock and Schaller strap-lock is standard. A Fishman Nashville pickup can be included as an option.

A Beard satin black tailpiece is used, along with black sound rings and his Shockwave design coverplate. It’s a very distinctive and attractive guitar.

Josh says he is overwhelmed by this guitar.

“I can’t begin to tell you how nervous I was about doing this guitar. I’m a creature of habit. I’m not really a huge fan of change. I’m a firm believer in if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. That shows, in the fact that I’ve played (and toured HEAVILY) with the same two guitars for over ten years. When I spoke with Doyle about possibly doing a signature guitar with Paul, he advised that I really needed to move forward with it. He said ‘I’m not telling you what to do, but If it were me, I wouldn’t want anyone but Paul doing it.’ Doyle and Mike Auldridge were great friends, and he was a HUGE fan of Mike’s tone.

When It comes to a decision needing to be made musically, I always talk to Doyle about it. He has always been extremely honest with me, and has never steered me wrong. So, during IBMA 2016, I talked to Paul about what I wanted in a guitar. I wanted it to sound different/modern, and I wanted it to look different (Big Advice from Doyle). We took some shots in the dark, and tried some different things both sonically and visually.

My agreement with Paul was if the guitar wasn’t everything I wanted sonically, I would respectfully step back. That would have been very tough for both Paul and I, simply because we are friends. You don’t want to have that conversation as friends, even if its the right thing to do. But, it would have done ZERO good to move forward for the sake of moving forward, then make a change in a year. That would have looked bad on both of us.

It was truly a huge relief when I played the prototype (the one I’m touring with now) for the first time. It was everything and MORE that I was hoping for. I simply could not be more proud of how it turned out.

Doyle told me that Paul could get me exactly what I was after. He was dead on the money again. It’s really cool to be playing a guitar again, that inspires me to play better. Paul is THE MAN…”

Swift put together this video to show off his new signature model, and tell some more of the story of how it came to be.

The Josh Swift Signature guitar from Beard sells for $4500 and comes with a hard shell case and a limited lifetime warranty. They are available directly from Beard online.

Here are a few additional photos.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.