American Gothic

August 2011

T-Bone Burnett playing his beautiful original 1955 Kay K-161 Thin-Twin, usually to be called “Jimmy Reed” model


After garnering considerable buzz in late 2008, Kay’s K161 Kay Thin Twin Reissues are now casually swinging through Europe and around the world. There are some pics and sounds below…




The Thin Twin was the first guitar to be able to create that unique blues sound from the special interior Kay bracing which made this instrument a favorite among blues players and both emerging and famous rockers of the ’50s and ’60s. The name “Thin Twin” referred to the two blade pickups, providing a clean, sharp biting sustaining sound unlike any instrument made. The Thin Twin’s unique body is hollow acoustic type, with special feedback-resistant chamber parallel bracing, parabolic arched maple back, maple sides and 3-ply curly or flamed maple top. Although the purchase may appear a bit hit and miss (due to the varying quality of each particular guitar being produced in China), this instrument is a plain beauty and undoubtedly sounds like nothing else out there.

Kay K-161 Thin Twin Reissue

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