Epiphone has unveiled its latest version of B.B. King's Lucille signature guitar, after news of the new electric circulated after Epiphone artist, Emily Wolfe performed on Instagram with one earlier this year. Last month, Gibson confirmed the guitar's existence for an October arrival.
The new version is based on an ES-335 body shape and semi-hollow body construction, but as-per B.B.'s preference, is free of F-holes to help minimise feedback. It's a 5-ply maple body, complete with a maple centre block, maple neck and rosewood fingerboard with large pearloid block inlays. Of course, it's finished in a gloss Black, and that body, neck and headstock are all multi-ply bound.
Electronically, it's equipped with Alnico PRO humbuckers, CTS pots (2x volume, 2x tone), and a three-way selector. But the Lucille doesn't stop at your standard Gibson wiring, because it's also fitted with a six-position Varitone control, plus - as is customary for Lucille - it features regular mono as well as stereo output options.
Throw-in an Epiphone LockTone Tune-O-Matic, TP-6 stop bar with fine tuners, plus a Graph Tech nut and Grover Rotomatic tuners at the headstock end, and it's clear that the Epiphone Lucille is cut out for life on stage, as well as packing the looks to go with it.
This isn't the first time Epiphone has released a replica of BB King's Lucille, and last month, Gibson and the B.B. King Music Company announced their intention to partner for much more - including a biopic, 24-hour blues channel, and more signature models.
Chairman of the B.B. King Music Company, Vassal Benford said of the renewed partnership, “It has been a pleasure working with the Gibson team in developing a new line of B.B. King Signature Lucille guitars.
“I am especially proud of the forthcoming new Epiphone guitar and delivering a true work of art that will be broadly accessible, awakening B.B. King’s life and legacy to new artists.” he continued. “Gibson is a tremendous partner and they have demonstrated a sincere alignment with our mission to not only preserve the legacy of B.B. King, but to expose new artists to his music.
“This is just the beginning, a theatrical release biopic movie is near production, as well as the creation of ‘The B.B. King Experience’ as a touring show, and a residency experience in Las Vegas.
“We will also be creating a new catalog of music collaborations with contemporary artists, and several lines of new B.B. King products are in development.”
Given that the man himself named every guitar he played after 1949 with the same name, there are plenty of iterations for Gibson/Epiphone to base these future models on.
The Epiphone B.B. King Lucille is available now, priced at $949