where we get to thank some of our friends, plug some of our favorite
companies, and gush shamelessly, hoping for some price breaks or pretty
scraps of wood.
None of my new poverty enhanced existence would be possible without
my mentor Al
Carruth. The guy is a luthier's luthier but really lousy at promoting
himself so I'll do it here. If it has strings (and sometimes
if it doesn't), Al can build it. Al's instruments always sound wonderful
because he has done the work to find out why. Add to that a great
aesthetic sense, a sure hand, and a really perverse sense of humor
and you have my friend Al.
My friend Aaron
Green makes exquisite classical and flamenco guitars. I lust
after his wood collection. His French polish finishes are the best
I have seen. Even if you are a dedicated steel string player, you
need to check out the gorgeous instruments displayed on his site.
Borges is not only one of the most perfection-driven madmen I know,
he also makes a damn good guitar or two or three. He is also the
driving force behind the Newport Guitar Festival in which I was honored
to be included. Unfortunately, Julius had to sell the show to a Florida operator. He needed to get back to exclusively making guitars.
Woodman is a fellow reso maker and repairman who has the
tough luck to live and work on the Isle of Man situated between England
and Ireland. Among other things, the Isle of Man is famous for tailless
cats and killer TT motorcycle races. Pete was the first to test my
carbon fiber biscuit bridges on a couple of upgrades. His
success encouraged me to offer them as a separate item. Thanks Pete!
Guitar Player World - a free resource and database of guitar
lessons to help you improve your skills.
My long-suffering guitar teacher needs mention here. Larry
Unger is my favorite test engineer. His whole life is music.
Larry doesn't care what an instrument looks like. When he says
my guitars sound great, I know I have succeeded.
Unger is a great player, composer, and teacher. Larry and Eden MacAdam-Somer form the kernel of the band Notorious. Those of you who are
contra dancers probably know them already. Larry is a prolific writer and Eden plays just about any style of violin/viola music in a manner that is conducive to the word "WOW."
Keith Knight is one of the most versatile guitarists I have met. He made three of my guitars, all different, shine at the 2006 Newport Guitar Festival — without even playing them much before my mini-concert. You can hear more at his Bear Claw Music site. This guy deserves to be famous.
“Hotdog” Payen is a Frenchman who has mastered an
American art form— on
a 12-string guitar, no less. This guy plays rags like he was born
to them. A real must listen.
Rishell is the real deal. One of the best slide and blues fingerstyle
guitarists I know of. He's also a very kind fellow. When I was perfecting
my first 12-string reso, I brought it along to a charity gig Paul
was doing in Havard Square. Paul didn't know me from Adam, yet took
time between sets to give me some pointers on where I could improve
my guitar. I've made every improvement except for one — Paul
doesn't particularly care for 12-strings.
met Kinloch Nelson at the 2004 Newport
Guitar Festival. I had never heard of him before that and it's a
shame that he doesn't have the fame that goes with his absolute mastery
of the instrument. He is one of the most versatile and accomplished
guitarists I have heard. Between mini-concerts Kinloch made the rounds
of the booths. When he played my guitars I finally got to hear what
they should sound like.
If you are
in the market for a really high quality custom glass or glass/metal
composite guitar slide, check out Ian McWee's Diamond
are not your usual blister pack wonders. They are hand made beauties
from a small company in the British West Midlands, the center of
England's glass making industry. Ian takes the personal part of customer
service very seriously.
could never master using finger picks until I tried Guptill Music ProPik Finger-Tone® picks.
They leave the whole pad of your finger exposed so you can actually
feel the strings. It's a great transition from flesh to metal. For
the thumb, I prefer their Good Grips metal and plastic
The Catgut Acoustical Society is the foremost organization in
the world for the study of stringed instrument acoustics. The site
has many articles from their semi-annual Journal and links
to other relevant sites.
The Guild of American Luthiers (GAL) was formed over twenty years
ago to promote the sharing of knowledge among instrument makers.
They publish a quarterly magazine, American Lutherie, and
hold triennial conventions. The web site has much useful information,
links to schools and suppliers, and a page of luthier jokes.
The Association of Stringed Instrument Artisans (ASIA) began ten
years ago to promote professionalism among stringed instrument builders.
They publish Guitarmaker, a quarterly magazine, and hold
Symposia where members can attend workshops and show instruments
to the public.
The Musical Instrument Makers Forum presents ongoing discussions
about everything under the sun that pertains to instrument making.
It's a great place to go for quick answers to those knotty questions
and civil discussions about almost anything instrument related.
recording I hope you hear when you navigate to my home page (you
need a Flash-enabled browser) was made at Bristol
Studios in Boston, MA. Yes, that's me playing and croaking Brownsville
Blues by Sleepy John Estes. It's more or less a version I “borrowed” from Charlie
Musselwhite. The opus was recorded with two AKG 414 stereo mics
(one for the guitar and one for voice), funneled through the preamps
in a Yamaha 01V sound board, and engineered with MOTU's Digital Performer
3.0 on a Mac (of course). Digital Performer was used for EQ/compression
and slight reverb). The kindly and patient recording engineer was
Roger Sherman. If you don't have Flash installed, here's an MP3 link
that will take longer to download.
My design tendencies occasionally spill
over into other media: Web sites, furniture, carvings, and home remodeling. Please check out Forbidden Fruit Designs to view some of my woodworking projects and send me an email if you are interested
in advertising your particular talent on the Web.
Some sites currently in production:
Vintage Classical Guitars — This is my latest design. Aaron Green presents you with some luscious vintage classical guitars that he has reconditioned or acquired for resale. If you are a classical guitar fancier you must visit this site.
Green, Luthier — superb classical and Flamenco guitar
Carruth, Luthier — maker of anything with strings
and a wonderful teacher of lutherie.
Like A Pro — presentation skills training facilitated
by Simpson Associates.
OK, I know
this site has nothing to do with guitars, but I admire John
Rooney's aesthetic. It combines the best of two worlds: cars and
site was created on a dual 2 X 2.66GHz dual core Intel Xeon Power Macintosh® powered
by OS X 10.5 (Leopard). The software used in this opus was: Adobe Dreamweaver® CS3, Adobe Fireworks® CS5, Adobe Flash® CS5, and Adobe Photoshop® CS5. Some animals were
harmed, but they will eventually get over it.