Hey, did you ever see that Italian movie from the ’60s? I think it was Fellini, or maybe Antonioni. There’s this cute girl (or was it a cute boy?) zipping around Rome on a tomato-red Vespa, with a matching guitar slung across his/her back. (Without a case, naturally.) Anyway, I’m pretty sure that’s where I saw the Rivolta Combinata for the first time.
What? It’s a new guitar? Oops. And why was I thinking Italy? Well, the name, obviously. Rivolta Combinata is Italian for “revolting comb-over.” Just kidding! Rivolta means “revolt,” and combinata means “combined,” as in hybrid.
Which makes sense. The model is the latest creation from American luthier Dennis Fano, who made his name with über-hip axes that mashed up various vintage guitar designs with gleeful abandon—there’s combinata for you! And Rivolta exists thanks to a revolt of sorts against traditional guitar retailing: After selling the still-extant Fano Guitars brand, the luthier partnered with the Eastwood Custom Shop, which financed the Combinata’s development via crowd funding and pre-orders. Also, Asia-made Rivoltas are substantially less expensive than U.S.-made Novo earlier creations.
Many of Dennis’ instruments, with their heavily distressed finishes, looked like they’d been kicking around the rec room for a decade or two. In the coolest possible sense, of course. But the glossy Rivolta finish is miles from that cargo-shorts-casual style.
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