Punk legend Joe Strummer might not be the first name that comes to mind when the subject turns to “acoustic guitars.” But in fact, all-night hootenannies hosted by the former Clash frontman at the Glastonbury Festival became the stuff of myth. Thus, the inspiration for this small-body acoustic/electric.
The Campfire’s outward appearances certainly befit punk’s loud-fast ethos. The matte finish would be every bit at home on a stripped-down hot rod. That’s not to say it’s flourish-free; tasteful nickel hardware, aged-white binding. and a double-ring rosette complement the flat black, while star inlays on the walnut fretboard suggest The Clash’s Combat Rock-era iconography (as does the camo Fender logo on the padded gig bag).
The satiny finish carries to the mahogany neck, a slim-C shape that, in further combo with 1.69″ nut, makes for easy fingerpicking and strumming. Expect that punch associated with a small body, but note separation and sustain, too. How much the sustain is due, as Fender suggests, to the tilt-back headstock is anyone’s guess, but a resonant spruce top will surely help notes cut through that matte finish until it opens up.
Perhaps curious given the Campfire’s song-pull inspiration is the inclusion of a Fishman pickup. Given the instrument’s quality at this price point, consider it gravy – and just the tool if you need to cut through the din of garageland.
This article originally appeared in VG’s August 2021 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.