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The Cadillac Three

Drinking Club Exclusive Interview

with Paul Smoke from McLane Custom Guitars

Think Country is a proud member of  TC3DrinkingClub


Without great instruments it would be hard to make great music. The Cadillac Three Drinking Club had the chance to chat to Paul from McLane Custom Guitars

How did you first get into making your own guitars?

I started off modifying my own guitars and soon started getting requests to do work for friends and other players. I realized a desire for Relic’d guitars and started doing those for players that didn’t want to tour with their old gear but wanted that nice feel and look. That took off and so McLane Custom Guitars was born.

How do you choose which wood to use in your build, or does it depend on who you are making the guitar for and what sound they are looking for?

It’s both my preference and theirs. I’m a guitar player and an artist so I love taking chances. I love using crazy woods that not many people use for tone woods. I like to step out and take chances. I also am a builder that considers the playing style and desired tones of each player I build for. So I first familiarize myself with the music and tone that the player wants and then I have a clear vision of the needed tones, look     and feel.

How long on average from start to finish does it take to complete one of your guitars?

On average I put in 70 – 80 hours on a build.

MM 2 MM 9 MM 6

How did Jaren Johnston’s Money Maker guitar come about? Did he approach you or did you approach him?

Jaren had been following McLane Guitars on Instagram and Facebook for a while. After seeing a “Stealth” I built for Josh McSwain, Jaren asked me to talk to him about doing a Money Maker for him. He gave me a desired look and I ran with it.

MM 19

You are making a lapsteel for Kelby Ray at the moment. Have you made many lapsteel guitars or is this your first one?

Lap steels I have just added to my lineup. I have built a couple for friends in the past but nothing serious. I was honored to be asked to build two lap steels for Kelby Ray.           The Cadillac Three will soon be playing McLane exclusively.


Is there a particular brand of Pickups or strings that you always use or do your customers decide?

We use McNelly Pickups exclusively, unless there is a special request from an artist or player. McNelly offers almost every tone and option I’ve ever needed! Amazing           and handmade.

Which other musicians that we may know of have you made guitars for?

Ummmm…. Derek Williams(Jake Owen), Nathan Thomas(Scotty McCreery), Josh McSwain(Parmalee), Brandon Clifton(The Kernal) and many more.

Can anyone buy one of your guitars?

Everyone can buy our guitars or steels. We offer 6 different models and a plethora of options and of course don’t forget we are a “Custom” company so the sky is the limit or your imagination. Haha…..

Thank you to Paul Smoke from McLane Custom Guitars for talking with us and welcome to the TC3 Drinking Club.

Thanks to TC3DC for sharing this interesting interview


Annette Gibbons
Hi, I’m Annette, I have been a huge country music fan since the early 90s those were the days we were lucky enough to have CMT in the UK. I enjoy nothing more than listening to country music whilst having a cold beer (or a moonshine) with friends. I try to as many gigs as I can here in the UK and in the USA; I think of Nashville as my second home and I am lucky to have made some amazing friends in Tennessee. Think Country is something I am very proud of, I just want to share my love and passion of all things country music related with you all.
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