The Current's Guitar Collection: Mike 'McDuck' Olson, D'Angelico EX-DC

Mike McDuck Olson and his D'Angelico guitar
Mike McDuck Olson of Lake Street Dive plays his D'Angelico EX-DC guitar in The Current's studio. (MPR photo/Nate Ryan)
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During a recent in-studio session by Lake Street Dive, guitarist Mike "McDuck" Olson came into The Current's studio with a shiny D'Angelico electric guitar. It turns out it was shiny for a reason: Olson has only had the instrument for a week, but it's already become his main onstage instrument.

Here's more of what Olson had to say about it.

This is a beautiful instrument. What is it?

It's made by D'Angelico, and I think it's called their EX-DC. It's like a Gibson 335, a semi-hollow-body sort of thing. It plays great and looks great, too. It's an awfully loud color! (laughs)

It looks really new; how long have you had it?

It's actually brand-spanking new. We got a relationship with D'Angelico in the band here somewhat recently, so they will just occasionally send something our way and see if we're into it and help us with our stable of instruments on the road. And they just sent this to us last week. They're great folks, and they've got a cool website, too; you can spend all afternoon just looking at guitars. They're based out of New York City, they're super nice guys, and everything they send along, it's like, "Cool! … Can I keep this?" (laughs)

And I think they're letting us keep this one.

What struck you about it when you first got it and tried it out?

It's tough to describe. It's got a roundness and a mellowness in the kind of low mid-ranges that sits really nice in the mix for our sound guy. But it's also not buried by the kind of larger, big, low-endy sounding things we have onstage like the kick drum and the upright bass. It's not swallowed up at all; it somehow cuts through the mix without being too bright and trebly. It's kind of perfect for whether I've got the distortion pedal on or whether the amp is clean. It's kind of unbelievable, actually! I love it.

After watching you play it here in our studio, it looks like it plays easily.

Yeah, it's maybe one of the easiest guitars I've ever played. The factory setup came a little bit lower than I'm accustomed to, and at first I was struggling to make an adjustment, and then I realized that I just didn't have to play as hard. I save my hands; I get offstage and I'm not at all sore or worn out or anything like that — gosh, I sound like I'm on an infomercial! — but I really can't speak highly enough about it. I love it.

Is this your main go-to instrument now?

It is now, yeah. For about a week now it's been my main instrument onstage.

It's so new, there's probably not much more to say or any stories about it.

Not yet ... ! (laughs)

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2 Photos

  • Mike McDuck Olson and his D'Angelico guitar
    Lake Street Dive's Mike McDuck Olson with his D'Angelico EX-DC guitar in The Current studio. (MPR photo/Nate Ryan)
  • Lake Street Dive 9
    Lake Street Dive's Mike McDuck Olson plays his D'Angelico EX-DC guitar in The Current studio. (MPR photo/Nate Ryan)