Fredrik Kinbom: Why I love my… 1939 Vega lap steel guitar

Fredrik Kinbom chooses his instruments wisely. The Swedish multi-instrumentalist and half of Berlin-based duo Kinbom/Brandenburg is a composer who approaches his roles with a big picture vision alongside Hans-Jörn Brandenburg, and the results are stunning - as is Fredrik's choice of lap steel.

His 1939 Vega lap steel didn't just influence the title of their new album Madame Vega, it's a landmark guitar in its own right;  the stock humbucker predates Gibson's by 15 years. 

Fredrik Kinbom

(Image credit: Fredrik Kinbom)

It's fascinating to hear how Fredrik works his lap steel workinto the mix on Madame Vega. A singer-songwriter with his own solo career, he first picked up the lap steel in 2005 and his playing has found him requested to contribute to the music acts including Gemma Ray, Gurrumul, Alberta Cross, Moulettes and Ned Collette. In 2019 his explorations with the instrument lead him to work with pianist Hans-Jörn Brandenburg (Robert Wilson, Tom Waits, Kronos Quartet), to compose and record instrumental music for film, TV and the stage. 

The cinematic atmospheres of their previous soundtrack work now feed into Madame Vega, a truly engrossing listen. 

Madame Vega is out now – for more info and to buy it visit bandcamp . Check out Fredrik Kinbom's solo music and info about live shows at

Rob Laing
Guitars Editor, MusicRadar

I'm the Guitars Editor for MusicRadar, handling news, reviews, features, tuition, advice for the strings side of the site and everything in between. Before MusicRadar I worked on guitar magazines for 15 years, including Editor of Total Guitar in the UK. When I'm not rejigging pedalboards I'm usually thinking about rejigging pedalboards.