Novo is working on a new guitar called the Idris with Rhett Shull

(Image credit: Rhett Shull / YouTube)

Even on word of mouth alone, there's a lot of buzz about Novo's electric guitars. And Dennis Fano's Nashville company back it up; original shapes and incredible custom options with the kind of waiting list its quality deserves. And now it looks like the catalogue will be growing; touring pro and YouTuber extraordinaire Rhett Shull has broken cover with a brand new Novo model he's been working with them on for the last seven months.

After some previous Instagram peaks were shared on his account, the Nova Idris guitar (Not an Idris Elba signature) appears in Shull's new YouTube video about his experience supporting Willie Nelson as a member of Noah Guthrie's band. It's a great insight into a gigging musician's life on a bigger tour with some lessons thrown in (don't change the strings on your Gibson Firebird just before you go onstage in front of 8,000 people) but we also see Shull playing slide on a brand new guitar. And he tells us more about it later in the video.

"About seven months ago I ran an idea past Dennis Fano for this guitar that I wanted, so we started working on this behind the scenes," Shull explains. "And this is it; a new Novo shape called the Idris and this will be coming out later this year, I think sometime in the fall. 

"I wanted a Coodercaster version," he continues. "I reached out to Dennis about seven months ago to build me a Coodercaster and he said, 'That's a great idea,  I'd love to do it. I've got this new shape that I think would work really well for it', and this is it."


(Image credit: Rhett Shull / YouTube)
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The tastefully relic'd sunburst guitar manages to be both undeniably Novo while bridging towards an S-type shape with its horns. Like all Novo guitars, it looks like a great lost vintage guitar that's suddenly surfaced from the past. And while the Coodercaster-style spec may be an option, it looks like the Idris run will be available in other specs. 

"It sounds incredible, it feels incredible," gushes Shull, who has been roadtesting his Idris in open D on tour for a cover of Creedence Clearwater Revival's Midnight Special. Though he adds that the reason he isn't playing it on more songs in the set is because of an issue with the guitar that will need to be sorted. 

"The bridge pickup itself is unpotted and it's incredibly microphonic so when I'm onstage with my big amp, my Divided By 13, it's feeding back pretty uncontrollably. I have to stand is a specific spot and I can't turn the guitar towards the amp at all without it starting to squeal. It's not like a musical feedback – it's a pretty ugly feedback. So that's something we are addressing, I've already talked to Dennis about it, and have a good idea of how to fix it. 

"Once the bridge pickup gets sorted this this thing is going to be ready to go."

Shull then gives us a demo from the stage – and the feedback starts! But that will soon be sorted and this looks like another Novo stunner in the works. 

In the meantime we recommend subscribing to the Rhett Shull YouTube channel as it's full of excellent guitar content. 

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. I've currently set aside any pipe dreams of getting anywhere with my own songs and I am enjoying playing covers in function bands.