Nearly two decades after he first emerged as one of the faces of Texas blues, Paris, Texas, native Tyler Bryant continues to shape his own take on the genre.
At a young age, Bryant was enthralled by the roughneck blues produced by his Lone Star brethren of the past – names like Stevie Ray Vaughan, Lightin’ Hopkins and T-Bone Walker — and fully committed himself to the guitar, even starting to play shows and write songs as a teenager.
As his sound developed to include elements of soul and rock, Bryant eventually moved from Texas to Nashville and formed his band, The Shakedown, gaining a reputation for blazing leads, snarling riffs and absolutely destroying stages.
Chances are that if you saw Bryant play live at any point from those early days to now, he was doing most of his damage on a pink Stratocaster.
Bryant actually has two pink Strats in his collection. The first — “Pinky 1” — was built by the Fender Custom Shop when he was 16. Inspired by his first Stratocaster, a vintage 1960 Strat in 3-Color Sunburst, this Shell Pink beauty fell prey to the dangers of touring, as it was stolen out of the band’s van on the road.
Even though he was reunited with Pinky 1 five years later, Bryant secured a replacement in the form of “Pinky 2,” albeit with a few changes.
The newest version still sports a Shell Pink finish on a balanced alder body, with a '60s Oval “C”-shaped maple neck, rosewood fingerboard and two hand-wound ’60s Stratocaster single-coil pickups. But it also boasts more power thanks to a Shawbucker humbucking pickup in the bridge position, a feature Byrant counts as a secret weapon.
“Once I put the bridge pickup in that second guitar, I just couldn’t imagine it without it,” said Bryant. “It allows me to cut through the mix or step up if I’m playing with somebody who’s a little louder than me.”
In addition, Pinky 2 is adorned with an engraved 1-ply anodized gold aluminum pickguard that adds to its unique look.
To celebrate Bryant’s journey and undeniable presence, the Fender Custom Shop is releasing the Limited Edition Tyler Bryant “Pinky” Stratocaster, a faithful tribute to the originals blending the Strat’s iconic design with his personal flourishes.
“They really knocked it out at the Custom Shop,” he said. “In my opinion, it couldn’t be any better.”
While many fans have tried to create their own copies of Pinky throughout the years to varying degrees of success, Bryant admits that there’s nothing quite like his new signature models.
“There’s been some really good ones,” he said with a laugh. “But I want people to tell their own story with the instrument.”
To get your own limited-edition Pinky Strat, click here.
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