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Gibson guitars are based right at the heart of the Nashville city and music scene. So it was a devastating sight for them to see the music community almost wiped out by the 2010 floods. Water damaged guitars, both old and new, fell victim to the rising waters, but the dedicated Tennessee collective battled on.

Now, a year later, guitar supremos Gibson have announced they are to release a limited run of commemorative Les Paul Studio guitars, both with a fantastic paint job each, paying homage to the flood victims.

The basis for the guitar, as mentioned, is a very minimalist Les Paul studio, with a high gloss, nitro-cellulose marbleised swirl finish in either green or blue. A mahogany body with carved maple top, coupled with a glued, quarter-sawn mahogany neck make this a warm toned beauty.

Following the simplicity of the Les Pauls adds a Tune-o-Matic bridge and stopbar tailpiece, and six Grover tuners, allowing this guitar to retain its tuning competently through the more rugged of playing.

A 490R humbucker sits in the neck position, and a 498T located at the bridge. The neck 'bucker is vintage wound round an Alnico II magnet, while the hotter bridge pickup is wound round an Alnico V magnet, giving it a punchier tone. As standard, both are wired to their own individual volume and tone controls, via a 3-way selector switch flicking between each pickup, or a blend of both in the middle position.

Both options are to be manufactured to satisfy demand, over the 300 mark at minimum, and will go on sale at an msrp of US$2,389, or approximately just shy of £1,500.

Back in January, the NAMM Show rolled into California, exhibiting the industry’s newest products. But between April 6 -9 in Frankfurt, Germany, Europe get’s its very own grand tradeshow in Musikmesse. Held annually in the German city, the expo is the largest trade show in Europe, and picks up where NAMM left off, featuring product launches from the biggest names in the music industry.

From musical instruments, production gear and electronic music goods to sheet music and marketing, Musikmesse has been leading the way for over a quarter of a century. The organisers hope to build on 2010’s successful expo, where over 77,000 visitors walked through the doors to feast their eyes on the newest bit of gear, from the 1,510 exhibitors from all manner of genres.

In addition to new instrument releases, there’ll be a whole host of artists and bands performing at the show, plus countless musicians providing their scribbles at various signing sessions over the weekend. Finally, there will be an awards show to reward artists and companies alike for their work.

Here at Instrumania, we’ll be following all the news pouring out of the show, bringing the big product launches and eye catching products, plus the more weird and wonderful instruments released over the four days.