April 2017 Edition
The White Lady
The Dixie Chicks commemorated their MMXVI Tour with a spectral custom axe
BY GREG CAHILL
In January of 2016, Dixie Chicks music director Keith Sewell reached out to Bourgeois Guitars of Lewiston, Maine, about building three guitars for the band members to use on their MMXVI Tour. One would be for Sewell (a longtime Bourgeois player), one for Natalie Maines (also a longtime Bourgeois player), and one for the band’s multi-instrumentalist Emily Robison. Sewell requested that the guitars be finished in white to match the white stage set on their tour. The result was the White Lady, a spectral-finished LDBO (a version of a classic L-00). “While others may have just painted a bunch of guitars stark white and called it a day, Dana [Bourgeois] took this as inspiration to re-think the approach to the ‘white guitar,’” says Ryan Fitzsimmons of Bourgeois Guitars. “Using the transparent white electrics of the 1950s as inspiration, he chose figured maple for the body and neck [Maines’ version has a Sitka spruce top]. He then created his own transparent white finish, which would show the grain of the instrument. Given that it was always intended as a “stage” guitar, his gorgeous white Mother of Pearl-block with ebony inlayed presentation fretboard was the obvious choice. This is all set off by a white headstock overlay, and a grained ivoroid ‘rose-petal’ pickguard.”
This past January, at Winter NAMM 2017, Bourgeois introduced the production model of that custom axe: the Whyte Rabbit (just in time for the upcoming 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love), with Adirondack top and curly maple back and sides.