lady antebellum

Main vocalists Hillary Scott and Charles Kelley get most of the headlines, but the secret weapon of Platinum-selling award-devouring country trio Lady Antebellum is multi-instrumentalist Dave Haywood. Speaking to Acoustic magazine, Haywood says his go-to guitar is usually an age-old 1930 Gibson L-00, “my favorite”, which has featured on many of their crossover hits.

Haywood explains that it’s producer’s who often bring in the best guitars for him to try – producers know what record best in the studio after all – and Haywood adds, “Paul Worley, who worked with us on the first record, was the one who really turned me onto the old vintage stuff. The 50s Gibson standards and jumbos and the super old L-0s from the ‘30s.

“I’m all Gibson on the road. I mostly play a J-200, a J-45 and then a bouzouki, mandolin and stuff like that. I love the sound of the Gibson and the look: the pick-guard, the inlays and all the beautiful artwork on a J-200.”

For their current run of shows supporting #1 album Heart Break, Haywood says he’s expanding his sonic palette. “I really like playing some open tunings. Most of our stuff is standard. But “American Honey” and “We Own The Night” are open and it’s essentially a version of DADGAD but you get a Celtic sound. When I was able to do a solo on tour I would do some picking in DADGAD and it was one of my favorite things.”

Heart Break is nominated for a Grammy (Best Country Album) and Lady A is also up for Best Country Duo/Group Performance (for “You Look Good”) at the awards on January 28.