Jason Isbell's Custom Telecaster is a sweet Chocolate Sunburst treat from Fender

Fender Jason Isbell Custom Telecaster
(Image credit: Fender)

GEAR 2021: In what is already a big year for signature electric guitars, with Epiphone poised to release a Slash series and Jackson unveiling new models for Marty Friedman, Misha Mansoor and more, it seems Fender is similarly going all-in with its Artist Signature lineup.

Joining the Mike McCready Strat, the Chrissie Hynde Tele and Ben Gibbard's Mustang is a new Custom Telecaster for Jason Isbell. 

Like Hynde's Tele, the Jason Isbell Custom Telecaster comes out its deluxe gigbag with a few city miles on its moderately relic'd Chocolate Sunburst finish. Fender's RoadWorn process lends Isbell's workhorse a vintage vibe that goes nicely with the double-bound alder body.

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The guitar is based on Isbell's well-travelled and well-played Custom Telecaster, pictured below when MusicRadar caught up with him to talk songwriting back in 2016.

As such, particular attention has been paid to the pickups, which have been custom wound for that late 50s Tele twang, with a three-way selector and volume and tone controls. It has a 60s C profile maple neck and a 21-fret, 7.25" radius rosewood fingerboard, and its neck is bolted to the body in time-honoured style.

Elsewhere, you've got an ashtray-style bridge with brass saddles. The bridge has been modified, its side walls machined off it to enhance comfort – a small detail but things like this all add up. Sure, it's early days yet, but we could envisage Isbell's Telecaster as being one of our favourites by the end of the year.

The Jason Isbell Custom Telecaster is priced £1249 / $1499 / €1439 and is available from May.

See Fender for more details.

Jason Isbell

(Image credit: Joby Sessions / Future)
Jonathan Horsley

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars and guitar culture since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitar World. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.