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He’s worked with the great and good of the country scene and is celebrating 25 years of backing up Bonnie Raitt with a world tour. Bob Hewitt talks to Nashville-based guitarist, producer and solo artist George Marinelli about sanding down a ‘62 Strat and how he developed his inimitable ‘scuffle’ style over a fascinating career


George’s main squeeze is a made-in-Mexico Fender Stratocaster, with a Hot Rails coil-split humbucker fitted in the bridge
© Getty Images

When Bonnie Raitt hits our shores this month to open shows for her longtime pal James Taylor, the first lady of the blues, Americana and slide guitar will be backed up by her loyal band, most of whom have been with her for over 35 years.

Guitarist and multi-instrumentalist George Marinelli is celebrating a relatively modest quarter-century of laying down rocksteady grooves and tasteful riffs – as well as occasionally sharing songwriting duties – with Bonnie. A founder member of Bruce Hornsby And The Range, George has just released a solo album, Burn It All Down, laid down in his WingDing Recording Studio in Nashville.

Outside of his busy work schedule with Bonnie Raitt, George has also become a trusted collaborator with Nashville’s country-music fraternity, and has undertaken production and session work for Vince Gill, Joe Ely, Lionel Cartwright, Wynonna Judd, Reba McEntire and Dixie Chicks.

We caught up with George at his Nashville studio for more insight into a musical career spanning over 40 years – including revelations about how his Mexican-made Fender Stratocaster plays just as well as his treasured oldie from 1962…

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About Guitar Magazine

The August 2018 issue of The Guitar Magazine is on sale now and this month it’s all about Player power as we run the rule over four new models from the Player series: Fender’s replacement for the Mexican Standard line. As well as more traditional configurations, the Player series contains several guitars and basses that are far from standard, such as the nifty HH Jazzmaster that readers of the print mag can find behind the barn doors of our special edition cover. Elsewhere in this month’s issue we fly to Iceland to find a man dipping guitars in volcanic hot springs, investigate the issue of gender politics in the guitar industry, meet band-of-the-moment Boy Azooga, get to grips with an incredible staple-pickup ‘56 Les Paul Custom and put hot new gear from Collings, ThorpyFX, Fractal, Keeley, EarthQuaker Devices and more to test. On top of all that we have not one but two fantastic competitions with pro Audio-Technica monitor headphones and a one-off custom-painted Strat up for grabs. It’s a hot one, alright – download your copy of the August 2018 issue of The Guitar Magazine now.