Seems everybody has been asking but no one actually knows his name. Who is this mystery Guitar Player that is so impressive? Springing into action, Anderson operatives surreptitiously infiltrated the Bruce Hornsby band for the answer. Although they were dressed in all black clothing—with cream colored Anderson logos over the pocket area and on their backs—they came up with nothing. So, they left a note inviting him over to the shop. The very next day, much to our surprise, he appeared at our door.
The name of Bruce Hornsby’s amazing and melodic guitar player is Doug Derryberry. He has played with Bruce since early in 1998. He was a very classy and intelligent guy to talk with. What follows is an exclusive Anderson interview with Doug and his 1998 Transparent Amber Burst, Hollow Drop Top Classic.
TAGW: Hi Doug, thanks for stopping by. What brings you over for a visit?
Doug Derryberry: I got this note scribbled in crayon and…
TAGW: Well, moving right along, what else brings you to the shop?
Doug Derryberry: Well, we were in town playing and I have always wanted to see where my favorite guitars are made, and I needed a new 5-Way Switch Tip.
TAGW: How did you first meet Bruce and come to play with him?
Doug Derryberry: I met Bruce through the guys in Vertical Horizon. I was a producer—and still am—before I met Bruce. I did Vertical Horizon’s second and third indy albums. They knew how I played and thought I should meet Bruce. The rest is history.
TAGW: Tell us about your guitars?
Doug Derryberry: Well, I have 20 guitars and surprisingly enough only one is an Anderson—right now. But that Hollow Drop Top Classic, by far, gets the most playing time of any guitar I have. For my next guitar I would like to get The Classic—something that would be the same as what I have but somewhat different at the same time.
TAGW: You guys are on tour right now. What is the best way to get the tour dates and see you live—the Bruce Hornsby website?
Doug Derryberry: Yea, that is the best way.
TAGW: Can you give us a little bit of background on how you got started?
Doug Derryberry: I grew up in Tennessee and went to Georgetown for college. I stayed in D.C. until all the bands that I was producing there were getting signed and moving to New York—bands like Agents of Good Roots and Vertical Horizon.
TAGW: So, did you do a lot of producing before you got this gig?
Doug Derryberry: In the late 80’s and early 90’s I was a full-time producer and business was booming.
TAGW: Who are some of the other artists you have produced?
Doug Derryberry: I did the first two indy Dave Matthews records, Edwin McCain, and John Mayer’s first record, Room for Squares. I didn’t produce John’s record. On that one I sang backup and engineered. I also did the first three Keller Williams albums and the first Moe record for Sony.
TAGW: What amps do you choose to plug into?
Doug Derryberry: I use a VHT or a Mesa?
TAGW: Don’t you find those two to be very different sounding amps from one another?
Doug Derryberry: Oh yea and I use them for different things. On the last tour I had a VHT Stereo 252 power amp and a Groove Tube Trio—3 channel pre-amp—modded by Pete Cage. I plugged ‘em into two 2x12 VHT closed-back cabinets. I also will use a VHT Pittbull. For the fly dates, I’ll take a Mesa/Boogie Mark IV head and plug it into a 4x12 that has been provided by the venue. On the fly dates I can only take one guitar and it is always the Anderson, of course—and a Breedlove, Oregon mandolin.
TAGW: Any guitar secrets you would like to share?
Doug Derryberry: On the Anderson? I love that guitar. I move the tone control as much as I move the volume control. That is because on an Anderson the tone control actually works. It is a tone devise—it’s a texture devise—it’s very effective.
TAGW: And last but not least, when is the next Bruce Hornsby album due out?
Doug Derryberry: It just came out on Columbia, July 26th.
Yea, Doug is a class act. After his visit, he followed up with a note:
Tom, Roy and Everyone at Anderson Guitarworks,
I'm really glad I got a chance to finally come out and see where my favorite electrics are made. Thank you for taking some time to show me around. And thanks also for the spare parts and stuff.
The tour is going quite smoothly still and I'm sure I will be bummed when it’s over but I will also be very glad to be home! At some point I want to seriously talk with you about getting a new Classic like we talked about—solid alder body, etc.
Thanks again and I will talk to you soon,
• MODEL: – Hollow Drop Top Classic
• FINISH: – Transparent Amber Burst with Binding
• BODY WOOD: – Flame Maple Top with Basswood Back
• BODY WOOD BACK COLOR: – same
• NECK WOOD: – Maple with Madagascar Rosewood Fingerboard
• HEADSTOCK COLOR: – Matching
• NECK BACK FINISH: – Satin
• NECK BACKSHAPE: – T/A Standard
• NUT WIDTH: – 1 11/16-inch
• SCALE LENGTH: – 25 1/2-inch
• FRETS: – Heavy
• BRIDGE: – Vintage Tremolo
• TUNING GEAR: – Locking
• HARDWARE COLOR: – Chrome
• PICKGUARD: – Tortoise
• NECK PICKUP: – SA1R
• MIDDLE PICKUP: – SA1
• BRIDGE PICKUP: –HO2
• SWITCHING: – B5 with Splitter Switch 1-4, Add-Bridge Push/Pull & Blower on Position 5—for 13 Sounds
• PICKUP COVERS: – N/A
• PICKUP RINGS: – N/A
• STRING GAUGE REQUESTED: – .010-.046
• DESTINATION/LOCATION: – Doug Derryberry