I was never the biggest guitar nerd, if you can believe that.
I was just too fascinated with the science and language of organized harmony (Music Theory…) to consider the literal nuts and bolts of the guitar.
Then I met Rob Olsen at Hofner Guitars as an 18 year old. He was looking for a guitarist to complete the Music Group’s All-Star Young Jazz Combo, and he wanted me to join the group.
He gave me a Hofner New President right then and there, but on my way out of the factory a most peculiar guitar caught my eye: The Jazzica
He said they had only produced 50, that Bobby Broom was using one, and that he’d reserve one for me if I wished.
The following week I woke up with what I can only describe as pure joy, of the 7-year-old-on-Christmas variety: Number 29 of 50 had just arrived at Hofner’s Factory with my name on it. I had never been this excited about a new guitar, and (40 guitars later…) I haven’t been since.
Within a month, I had a crazy idea.
Most Jazz Guitars (especially those with floating pickups…) use electronics which counterbalance the natural acoustic resonance by either cutting some mid-range and top end or just generally beefing up the low end. This way, you get a really smooth, slinky tone when amplified, but keep the power and volume, unplugged.
But, I wondered what would happen if instead of offsetting my Jazzica’s cutting, almost-gypsy-jazz mid range, I accentuated it.
I bought and installed a super rare Buscarino Pickup (wired by Kent Armstrong) that I had heard would help this Frankenstein-ed vision come to life and without knowing it, The Hofner “Zane Carney Signature Model” Jazzica was born.
I quickly discovered that this guitar was now genre-less.
I used it live on CARNEY’s Rock/Gypsy/Jazz madness-of-a-tune “Amelie,” featured it with tons of gain and slapback on Confluence’s “Talk To Me Baby,” recorded it on more than half of my similarly genre-less debut instrumental record, Amalgam and played it on John Mayer’s Paradise Valley on a tune called “Wildfire” where it was featured in the in the bridge and used on tour with him every single night.
During John’s tour, people couldn’t stop asking about this freak one-of-a-kind guitar, and it dawned on my guitar tech: What if we called Hofner to see if they’d be interested in resurrecting the Jazzica line, but this time with the very special Buscarino pickup I had stumbled upon, pre-installed.
Hofner responded with: “Yes, and what if we call it The Hofner ‘Zane Carney Signature Model’?”
I responded with: *jaw on floor, can’t type back because I never would have thought of this idea and am too excited* (then, days later: “YES. yes yes yes yes”)
And here we are, a year and half later, releasing my very first signature guitar: The Hofner "Zane Carney Signature Model" Jazzica!
Bottom line, I’m so excited and honored to have a guitar that bears my name, and I couldn’t be prouder of the work Hofner has done to make my vision come to life.
If you wanna hear this thing in-person, check out the Tour page to find a date near you or head over to this link to buy one for yourself!