Premier Guitar’s Chris Kies swooped into Nashville’s Cannery Ballroom right after soundcheck to see how Casey Crescenzo, Rob Parr, and Maxwell Tousseau reproduce their epic concept albums that will tell a narrative over six albums (five have been released this far).
Casey Crescenzo, the former member of The Receiving End of Sirens and current leader/guitarist of The Dear Hunter, is a part-time luthier when he’s not rocking onstage or locked in the studio. His fascination with building guitars can be drawn back to two things: his reluctance to cave on his ideas while collaborating with guitar companies (plus not wanting to pay over $4k) and his love for 3D CAD design work. He bought a few Fender Starcaster reissues (his preferred body shape) to reverse engineer the instrument and to further understand the finishing process. And his brand Cave and Canary was born.
Above is a Cave and Canary Solaris semi-hollow—his only touring guitar for this run and it’s the first body style that he drew. While he is a builder, two weeks before this tour he realized he didn’t currently have a guitar to play onstage, so this particular Solaris is a “parts” guitar from all the items laying around his shop. Some appointments include a Fender-style scale length, Mastery bridge and tailpiece, OX4 Humbuckers (PAF-style), and ’70s-style Schaller tuners.
Guitarist Rob Parr is an active user on the Offset Guitars forum and worked with another member and co-designed this contoured Jag-Stang offshoot that has come to be a Cave and Canary Auriga model. (Parr has said on the record—and in the video—that The Dear Hunter leader, Casey Crescenzo, did not make it mandatory for him to play a Cave and Canary instrument.) It has a short scale (24”), Mastery bridge and tailpiece, and is outfitted with custom-voiced McNelly Pickups that’s base point was the company’s gold-foil set. And from all his time spent playing on Jazzmasters, he incorporated those familiar switches—the knobs are master tone and volume. One of the knobs is a 3-way pickup selector and the other rocks between standard, mute, and a low-pass filter used for more rounded sounds. He strings up this bad boy with Ernie Ball Power Slinkys gauged .011–.054 and plays with Dunlop Tortex .73 mm picks.