This August is the 20th anniversary of Tom Rodriguez Guitars and his making of classical guitars. To commemorate this huge milestone, Tom has started on a very special 20th anniversary guitar. All materials on this anniversary guitar are old and extremely rare which Tom has been collecting through his years of building and saving for a very special occasion, such as this. Following is the list of materials included in this build:
Top – 40 year old Sitka spruce purchased from the estate of an old guitar maker. Tom hand picked it from 30 sets that were bought for its tap tone, stiffness and fine grain
Back & sides, peg head and bridge – 1800’s Brazilian rosewood from an old table top
Fingerboard – 40 year old ebony, hand picked for it’s beauty from a large selection of ebony fingerboards from the same collection of wood that the top came from
Neck – 1800’s Honduras mahogany, salvaged from an old 4 post bed – very dark in color and a singing tap tone
Brace wood – Hand-split Sitka spruce from the back supports of a 90 year old Cable piano
Linings – Quarter-sawn willow, the preferred choice of violin makers, 90 years old, from the same piano as the brace wood
Nut & Saddle – Fossil walrus ivory, 100 to 500 years old
Rosette & bindings – Brazilian rosewood, holly, cherry and ebony, all from various salvages and re-purposing projects
“One need only look at the quality of this wood, all of it having a history of it’s own, to imagine the character of sound that will emanate from this guitar. Celebrating 20 years of building is no small feat. Few makers ever reach that milestone and to do so you have to have an extreme love of the craft and desire to put music in the world. That’s what Tom Rodriquez and this guitar represent. We are simply delighted to be a part of this, this is why we do what we do here at Dream Guitars.” – Paul Heumiller, Owner
1800’s Brazilian rosewood salvaged from an antique table top
Detail of 40+ year old Sitka spruce top wood
Quartersawn bridge blank cut from the same 1800’s table – underneath it is the trimmed off piece with the tax stamps still on it
Detail of the hand split Sitka spruce brace wood from a 1925 Cable piano
Split Sitka spruce brace wood from a 1925 Cable piano
1800’s Honduras mahogany neck heel from an old bed – you can still see the edges of the turned legs before being trimmed away
Headstock with 1800’s mahogany and Brazilian rosewood
Dream Guitars at the 2015 Memphis Acoustic Guitar Festival
The 2015 Memphis Acoustic Guitar Festival was great fun. I always look forward to the custom guitar shows as it affords me a chance to catch up with the many luthiers I am honored to call friends and see what wonderful creations they are developing as time goes on. This year I traveled to the show with Scott Bresnick, who works with me here at Dream Guitars. What follows is an understanding of what goes on at the shows, the story of a few guitars that truly impressed us, and some insight into the people who build these great guitars.
A custom guitar show is special in that you have the opportunity to play two, three or perhaps four guitars from each of the builders in attendance. Many of these guitars are custom-made for sale at this event. Others are already sold but they afford you a chance to hear multiple models and wood combinations at one time. That is what makes this type of show so special. Aside from visiting a shop like ours, it’s very hard to find all of these makers in one place. The 2015 Memphis Acoustic Guitar Festival consisted of one large hall that housed all of the luthiers and their instruments. Just outside this hall were other rooms for demoing guitars and additional smaller rooms with concert stages for demo concerts, workshops and listening concerts. There were also a handful of vendors, tone wood suppliers and manufacturers of guitar related accessories.
We arrived just in time on the first day to catch our own Al Petteway in concert. He played a rousing set of new material featuring many of the songs on the “Dream Guitars Vol. II: Hand-Picked” CD. This is a wonderful new album that features Al playing his and my favorite guitars that we pulled right off the walls at Dream Guitars. We also have a tab book for the entire CD and are producing video lessons for every song as well.
We have been working with many of the luthiers that attended the show for years. They’re always coming up with new designs, bracing changes and appointments, so it is always exciting to see their latest work. You can see a full list of the builders that attended the festival here. One such Builder is Thomas Rein, who recently revamped his bracing to incorporate a U-shaped brace on the lower bout. This guitar was my very favorite at the show. The tone was so round and lush while articulate and soul shaking. You can see this Thomas Rein guitar on our website complete with a video by Al here. We also interviewed Tom about his process and discovery of his new tone.
It’s no surprise that most of our other favorites at the show were the builders we already work with such as Bill Tippin, Bruce Petros, Brian Applegate and many others. I’ve been discovering and selecting builders at shows like this for many years. We are always on the lookout for a builder that is new to us and one that we believe our clients will find inspirational. This year I met Brad Daniels of Oxwood Guitars, Isaac Jang, Joel Michaud and several other rising builders that truly impressed us. We have invited each of these builders to make guitars for DG, so keep an eye (and ear) out for more on these folks.
There are also other builders that we meet at these types of shows and decide are not for Dream Guitars. We try to stay very true to what our clients expect, which is the best of the best. So for some luthiers at these shows, we provide constructive and honest feedback in hopes they can improve in time. An unseen part of what we do at Dream Guitars is to advise newer luthiers and tell them what areas of construction and tone they need to keep working on. We stay in touch and if they reach the level of expertise we require, we then begin to represent them. We truly enjoy supporting builders of every level and helping the overall craft.
Many of the attendees at the show are longtime clients and friends of the shop. We would stop in the hall and compare notes about what builders we’re enjoying at the show and the overall experience. One of my longtime clients commented that he loves coming to our shop because it is truly quiet, as we give each client a private appointment time. While the shows have quiet rooms, they are not that quiet. Often you are playing with two or three others in one open room and hotel conference rooms do not sound very good.
Scott and I brought along a video camera and throughout the weekend interviewed a number of the builders at the show. Our intention was to ask them questions to provide you with some insight into who these men and women are, and of course there is some guitar design discussion as well. We are after all guitar nuts, just like all of you. All of these videos can be found below and are also be available on our YouTube channel and featured on our website. We hope you find these entertaining and informative:
Tags : 2015 memphis acoustic guitar festival, acoustic guitar shows, Al Petteway, Bill Tippin, brad daniels, Brian Applegate, Bruce Petros, Dream Guitars, isaac jang, jason kostal, joel michaud, John Osthoff, kevin pederson, Larry Robinson, leo buendia, memphis guitar show, oxwood guitars, paul heumiler, thomas rein
We at Dream Guitars welcome you all to come join us at our Concerts, Guitar Clinics, Setup Saturdays and other events throughout the year. Come visit Dream Guitars and the wonderful Asheville area!
Next Show: Alex DeGrassi, Oct. 17th, 7pm
Concert and Workshop!
Alex de Grassi In Concert
(Guitar Workshop Prior to Show)
Saturday October 17, 2015
$20, Doors Open at 6:30pm Show at 7pm
St. Matthias’ Church
1 Dundee St, Asheville, NC 28801
For Tickets Call Dream Guitars 828 658-9795
Guitar Workshop with Alex de Grassi – Click Here for More Details
At Dream Guitars, Weaverville, NC
Saturday October 17, 2015 1pm-3pm
$40, All Levels welcome, Auditing Permitted
For Tickets Call Dream Guitars 828 658-9795
Alex de Grassi was born in Japan, and grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. He switched from trumpet to guitar at the age of 13 and immersed himself in American and British folk and blues traditions, eventually studying jazz and classical guitar. Since then he has become widely acclaimed as a leading innovator and virtuoso of acoustic guitar, fusing a variety of guitar traditions into a highly orchestrated sound. The Wall Street Journal has called his playing “flawless” and Billboard hails his “intricate finger-picking technique with an uncanny gift for melodic invention.” His early Windham Hill recordings of original music as well as his arrangements of folk, jazz, and world music have influenced a whole generation of young players. His 1978 recording, Turning: Turning Back (cited by Acoustic Guitar magazine among their top ten essential fingerstyle recordings), the subsequent recordings Slow Circle (1979) and Southern Exposure (1984), and his GRAMMY® nominated recording The Water Garden (1998) are considered classics of the genre. His most recent solo recording, Now and Then: Folksongs for the 21st Century, features his contemporary take on traditional folksongs.
Alex’s thirty years of international touring include performances at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, the Montreux Jazz Festival and numerous guitar festivals. Alex has been commissioned by Acoustic Guitar Magazine to compose a concerto for steel-string guitar and string orchestra, and twice by the New York Guitar Festival to score for their Silent Films/Live Guitars series. Festival director David Spelman says “Alex de Grassi is a treasure… his technical wizardry as well as his vibrant and poetic music-making make him one of the most distinctive steel-string guitarists performing today.” He has been a frequent guest teacher at the National Summer Guitar Workshop, the University of Milwaukee, and the Interlochen Institute, and he has given master classes at Berklee School of Music, Crown of the Continent, the Omega Institute, and many other music programs. He has served as the Artist Advisor for the Marin Community Music School, and been a guest speaker at San Francisco’s Commonwealth Club. The Alex de Grassi Fingerstyle Guitar Method, published in 2012 (String Letter Publishing), is rapidly emerging as the authoritative method for fingerstyle guitar instruction.
For more information, please visit his website.
Guitar Workshop with Alex de Grassi
“The Orchestrated, 3D Sound”
Playing solo guitar requires that the player provide a complete, polyphonic musical experience for the listener. The performance must provide all the parts that you might expect to hear in a band or orchestra: melody, harmony, rhythm, bass lines, etc. And, just as individual instruments in a band or orchestra would be directed to play their parts with particular dynamics (forte, or pianissimo) and articulations (glissando, vibrato), a solo guitar performance must also provide articulations and dynamics to each of the parts of the music. In this way, the guitar performance acquires an orchestrated or “three dimensional sound”.Alex will demonstrate the use of dynamics, accents, and articulations in his compositions and arrangements and provide some exercises to show workshop participants how to achieve an orchestrated, three-dimensional sound on guitar. These topics are thoroughly covered in The Alex de Grassi Fingerstyle Guitar Method, which is available online and will also be available at the workshop. Participants should bring their guitars!
Reservations required for all events, please call us at (828) 658-9795.
Martin began making the 45 Style way back in 1904. The main feature of this trim style is abalone inlay along the top, back, sides, around edge of fingerboard, around the soundhole, neck heel, and tail wedge. Over the years the 45 models have been coveted by Martin fans the world over.
Today, many modern makers still emulate the famed 45 trim package. We happened to have a few in the shop recently and thought it would be fun to show you the wonderful variety of guitars that can be found with this popular adornment. A picture is worth a thousand words so here are a few shots of our three in-stock beauties: a 1991 Martin D-45, a 2008 Wayne Henderson D-45 and a 2014 Huss & Dalton Custom TD-R.
As you can see in the pictures below, while they all have abalone borders in the same places, the color and quality of the Abalone varies quite a bit. Like all building materials there are ‘grades’ of abalone shell. Nowadays builders also vary the width of the trim to add their individuality to a time tested inlay pattern.
Most players agree that the 45 style trim is quite beautiful and we sure are glad that it continues to thrive at Martin and in the hands of the many fine custom Luthiers in our world today.
Click on any of the images below for larger view.
Left to Right: 2014 Huss & Dalton Custom TD-R, 2008 Wayne Henderson D-45, 1991 Martin D-45
The first two from the left below – The Henderson (Center Below) and the Huss & Dalton (Left) are Brazilian Rosewood. The last one on the right is the Indian Rosewood Martin. You can see how much variance there is in Brazilian, many colors, figure patterns, etc.
The Henderson(Center Below) below features quality Abalone with a variety of hues in it, blue, gold and white.
Nice quality Paua Abalone here on the Huss & Dalton below. Lots of Blue in this shell.
A key element of the 45 Style trim is that the Abalone is featured on the top, back & Sides. Pretty fancy!
All of the following products are offered at a significant discount.
To order, please call the shop 828-658-9795.
Offers valid while inventory lasts.
Currently on Sale:
Instruments under $2k:
1895 S.S. Stewart Universal Favorite Banjo
Strat Reliced by Monroe
Furch Little Jane
Kanilea Ukelele K-1 – New
1963 Danelectro U2
Leho Ukuleles LHT6-ASAK – New
Leho Ukuleles LHT-SMF – New
The Loar LH-280-CBK
The Loar LH-319-VS
Mics / Preamps:
K&K Sound Quantum Blender Dual Channel Guitar Preamp/EQ
D-TAR Mic Stand Adapter #2-90-915
ErgoPlay Tappert Classical Guitar Support
Planet Waves Chromatic Strobe Pedal Tuner PW-CT-04
Planet Waves Auto-Trim Tuning Machines PWAT-333L, 3+3 Setup, GOLD
Planet Waves Insert Cable PW-INS-10, 1/4″ Male Stereo to Dual 1/4″ Male Mono
B-Band chromatic Tuner Tun-E
Curt Mangan 12-String Light Phos-Br
Curt Mangan Med. Lt. Phos Br
Curt Mangan Med. Lt. 80/20
Curt Mangan Bluegrass Phos Br
Curt Mangan Heavy Phos Br
1895 S.S. Stewart Universal Favorite Banjo
19th century body/tone ring with Rare ‘wraparound’ pot, custom neck by Larry Brown featuring gorgeous inlay work, newer Guardian Case
$1,995 + Shipping
Monroe Relic Strat, made with Fender parts, features Texas Special Pickups, Rosewood Fingerboard, Tremolo, Tweek Case
$895 + Shipping
1930s Cromwell Archtop (G-2?), Made by Gibson for Cromwell, this one has play wear and some reglued braces, funky and old, but great sounding. Perfect for front porch blues sessions!
$595 + Shipping
Thin body classical, Indian Rosewood back/sides, Cedar Top
$995 + Shipping
$1,599 + Shipping
$770 + Shipping
$1,500 + Shipping
Qty – 4
$930 + Shipping
$1,100 + Shipping
$350 + Shipping
$255 + Shipping
The Loar LH-280-CBK is a great budget archtop capable of handling styles ranging from Jazz and Blues to Country and Rockabilly. With a 24.75” scale and Vintage “C” profile neck this will feel familiar to anyone accustomed to vintage archtops.
$400 + Shipping
The Loar is a company dedicated to reviving the artisan principles of the golden era of 1920s and 30s archtop guitars. Indeed, the LH-319-VS is a fine example of their success in this endeavor. Anyone familiar with vintage Gibson, Guild, Martin or Washburn f-hole archtops will be pleasantly surprised at the similarity of the LH-319 in tone, playability and appearance.
$460 + Shipping
K&K Sound Quantum Blender Dual Channel Guitar Preamp/EQ – SOLD
Preowned but looks 99% new. Functions properly. Includes 1/4″ stereo TRS cable. Needs power supply 12VDC 700mA Center-positive
$149.99 + Free Shipping
D-TAR Mic Stand Adapter #2-90-915
Attaches to underside of Solstice or Equinox allowing the unit to be mounted to a standard microphone stand.
$14.99 + Free Shipping
Planet Waves Insert Cable PW-INS-10, 1/4″ Male Stereo to Dual 1/4″ Male Mono
Ben Wilborn is one of the builders that we have recently added to the array of fine builders that we represent at Dream Guitars. We receive numerous requests from builders, new and established, to be part of Dream Guitars. It’s very humbling to be the ones that they wish to represent their work. In the case of Wilborn guitars, we invited him to send us an example of his work because tone is the first thing we always look for in a new luthier’s instruments. It only took about 20 seconds to figured out that Ben knows how to get tone out of his instruments. We were also smitten with the fit, finish and overall design of his guitars – very elegant, leaning towards traditional but definitely having his own style…and so began our association with Ben.
We at Dream Guitars are known for commissioning unique custom instruments for clientele as well and we were excited to see something even more artistic from Ben. As a result, Paul Heumiller, owner of Dream Guitars and Ben went to work to decide on specs for a custom Wilborn parlor guitar. “I love to work with builders on custom instruments. Having seen thousands of guitars helps me develop an intuition for both stylistic and practical features on the guitar. At the same time I love to leave room for a builder to express himself. So Ben and I collaborated on a number of design elements in this parlor guitar, but then I left him to do the rest. I can’t wait to see the final instrument as I know it will be both beautiful and expressive aesthetically and musically.” – Paul Heumiller.
This incoming Parlor will feature Brazilian Rosewood and Vintage Sitka Spruce cut in the 1960s, Leapordwood Bindings, Brazilian Rosewood Fretboard and Bridge and a short scale, 12 Fret Neck. Yummy!
Contact us to reserve this incoming Wilborn guitar or to inquire about the many custom builds we have in process at any given time. Capture your Dream Guitar.
Since the day I started Dream Guitars I’ve always wanted it to be more than just a guitar shop selling instruments. The sense of community and the shared love of music is one of the reasons that I got into this business and it’s what keeps it so enjoyable for me year after year. All of the wonderful instruments that we sell are for one purpose which is to make music which in turn makes the world a better place. I truly believe that. To that end we have always offered inspiration in the form of our Listening Studio, concerts, performance videos and lesson videos on dreamguitars.com.
Many clients are surprised when they realize how many lessons we have actually produced over the years. We have over 40 free lessons on our website and YouTube Channel today by such artists as Al Petteway, Steve James, Vicki Genfan, Clive Carroll, Konarak Reddy, Danny Ellis, Doug Young and Paul Asbell. In addition we have performance videos by these players and other friends who come by the shop, including Cliff Eberhardt, Loren & Mark, Jordan McConnell (The Duhks), Steve Baughman and Robin Bullock.
Have you visited our Listening Studio? Over the years, we at Dream Guitars have been recording each of our in-stock instruments, many by the one and only Al Petteway. As a result, we were able to compile all of these recordings into a database that now allows you to listen to thousands of individual guitar recordings while comparing and analyzing tone woods, builders, models, wood types, and more.
In addition, we are very excited to have just finished up Dream Guitars Vol. II: Hand Picked by Al Petteway as well. Volume II not only includes Music and Tab but will also include a Video lesson of absolutely every track available on our site in the coming months.
Hot News: Robin Bullock has also recently moved back to the Asheville Area and will begin to produce a regular lesson series for us as well!! Stay tuned for more on this.
So take advantage of the Listening Studio as well as all the Lessons, Blog Articles, Interviews and all we create for you. You can find them on our YouTube Channel, Facebook Page and of course dreamguitars.com. Most importantly keep making music!!! The world needs it!
One of the services that Dream Guitars offers is representation for entire or partial collections. We are very fortunate to have many of
the world’s top instrument collectors as our clients and at different times, and for various reasons, they may choose to sell some or all of their treasures. When they do, they call on us.
“The largest collection we’ve represented thus far was 65 classical guitars. Among them were many of the famous Spanish makers, a number of vintage pieces, and some very unique and rare instruments as well.” – Paul Heumiller, owner of Dream Guitars.
Often a collection has a general theme, like this collection of classical guitars, or perhaps vintage Gibson instruments, prewar Martin guitars, or a variety of independent modern luthiers. “Recently, we have been getting in a large collection of vintage Martin and Gibson instruments from a client that we have worked with for more than 10 years. It gives us a very rare opportunity to offer our client base some pieces that you never see in one shop at one time. It is very exciting for me and my team to get to see, play and offer these historic musical gems.” – Paul Heumiller.
We also have a number of clients who have included Dream Guitars in their estate planning. They give explicit instructions to their family members to contact us upon their passing so that we can assist with properly selling and handling the instruments they worked so hard to collect. “It is very humbling to have a client call you and ask you to assist his family. It has been extremely rewarding over the years to assist surviving family members to get through one of the hardest times of their lives. We get to ensure that they are treated fairly and properly compensated in a way that our client would have wanted. We take great pride in assisting folks in this way.” – Paul Heumiller.
For our clients, this large influx of of incredible instruments is educational, exciting and downright fun. We get so many calls and questions when we get in a collection of related instruments. Simply by reading about 20 similar guitars in one grouping, our clients can learn something completely new about the world they love. For instance a client who has never owned a vintage guitar can have a chance to read about many in one visit to our website. Conversely, a steel string player might get a chance to learn who the best nylon makers in the world might be.
“Offering large collections is pure joy. You can’t imagine how ‘kid-like’ we all get in the shop when 20 boxes arrive. It’s like Christmas for weeks.” – Paul Heumiller.
If you have a small or large guitar collection and are in need of help finding a home for some of your pieces, we would be honored to serve you and we will always do so with the upmost respect and gratitude.
Contact us today to discuss your collection 828-658-9795.
We have a long list of clients looking for certain guitars on our Dream Catcher Watchlist. If you have one of the guitars below we may be able to facilitate a quick sale for you. Call us today or contact us online.
Have another high-end guitar for sale that is not listed below? Let us know! Call us today or contact us online.
Immediate Need for a Client:
Medium or Large celluloid thumpicks like the D’Andrea multi colors that Martin Simpson uses. Any brand/color ok, but celluloid with small tip
Applegate Grand Concert (cutaway preferred) in Madigascar Rosewood and Red Cedar (or similar wood)
Benedetto Frank Vignola Deluxe, Maple
Collings C10 Long Scale Cutaway
Cujo Grand Auditorium
1960s Danelectro U2 or similar
Froggy bottom F-12 or similar with cutaway
Newer Elvis Costello Gibson
1972 Guild F6-12, 18 Made, Indian or Braz
Henderson D45 – Brazilian
Kim Walker 000 or OM Not Brazilian
Martin Belleza Nera – Excellent or Mint Condition only
2012 Martin HD-28VS Custom Shop, Madagascar Rosewood/Alpine Spruce
Martin OMM John Renbourn Signature model
Newer Martin D-45 Indian Rosewood
Martin M-21, one of the original 16 made
1991 Martin D-45
2006 or up Martin D18 Authentic 1937 specs
Mark Whitebook guitar
Olson SJ Brazilian, Cedar
Olson 12-string, Brazilian
Olson Parlor, Brazilian
Player condition vintage Fender Strat Fat Neck
R. Taylor The Tree
1967-68 Ramirez Cedar Top
1970s Ramirez Flamenco, made by Sr.
Schenk FE (Fingerstyle), Woods flexible, with cutaway, 1.75″ min nut
Somogyi OM Brazilian
Somogyi Brazilian Rosewood OM Cutaway with tonewood headplate (not burl)
T.J. Thompson Guitar
Steel String Guitars:
Baritone Guitars: McCollum, Doolin
Circa Guitars by John Slobod, all models
Collings OM, Dread, other models
Doolin, all models
Dyer Harp Guitars including style 7 or 8
Franklin OM, Brazilian
Gibson J-45s – Vintage
Gibson, 1930s-1950s, L-00, J-30, J-35, J-45, J-50, AJ – Vintage
Grit Laskin Guitars
Kathy Wingert Guitars
Kevin Ryan Guitars
Kim Walker Acoustics
Long Scale 00
Martin Dreads – 1950s
Martin D-40 Tom Petty
Martin Small Bodies – 1930s
Martins, particularly prewar 0, 00, 000, OMs and Dreads but also 1950’s all models – Vintage
Petros Dream Series
Schwartz Oracle, 3 hole in Rosewood
TJ Thompson Guitars
Wayne Henderson Guitars
Classical, Flamenco & Crossover Guitars:
Humphrey Millenium, 650mm Scale
McGill Super Ace
Quality Nylon String Crossovers, cutaway, narrow nut
Robert Ruck Guitars
Beauregard Thinline MB or MB-S
Detemple Strats, Teles
Fender Strats & Teles – Vintage
Gibson Les Paul Bob Marley Custom Shop
Kay Semi Hollow and Solid body – Vintage
Low Wattage Tube Amps, Princeton Reverb, Champ, Magnatone, Citation, Gibson GA – Vintage
PRS McCarty rosewood neck (original run)
PRS modern eagle, braz neck, faded blue jean (1st run)
PRS Ted McCarty DC245 in glacier blue
Tom Anderson Strats and Teles
D’Aquisto – Original
Gibson L-4 and L-5 – Vintage
Gretsch White Falcon
Airline Bass Guitar
Nylon String Banjos
Tags : Dream Guitars, Franklin Guitars, Gibson Bob Marley Les Paul, Guitars wanted, instruments wanted, Laskin Guitars, sell your guitar, Somogyi, Vintage Martin Guitars, we buy guitars. guitars for sale
Written by Paul Heumiller, Dream Guitars
Click on any of the images throughout the article for a larger view
For those who have never been to the Woodstock Invitational Guitar Festival, it is something quite special. Seventy or so of the top Luthiers in the world are invited by Baker Rorick to come to the small town in the Hudson Valley for a weekend of pure joy for guitarists. This is a small show and it’s overcrowded, but that’s a good thing. It ensures that the show will stay of the highest quality. Baker has no plans to grow the show or move it to a larger location and I think that will keep it very special. It’s already host to more guitars than you can possibly see properly in two days.
For me this year’s show was extra special. It had a real feeling of brotherhood. Perhaps the last few years, very hard years in the guitar business by anyone’s account, have bonded us all. Many builders (and shop owners) have barely survived, others have been forced to go back to a ‘real job’, but most continue to hold onto the passion that drives them to build the finest instruments that we’ve ever seen. Immediately upon arrival I received hugs and handshakes from my friends, the builders who whittle wood to make music. Making the show even more memorable is the fact that Scott Bresnick, the man behind the machine that is Dream Guitars, met me at the show as well. Scott quietly does vast amounts of promotion for us and has been my sounding board since I started DG in New Jersey. So this year is, as I said, was just extra special.
Now for the good stuff, the guitars. Woodstock is like the buffet at the Grove Park Inn in Asheville. More food than you can possibly eat, but you’re sure as hell going to try.
As someone who has played thousands of guitars and all of them the finest in the world, I’m struck with the amazing quality of the voices of the instruments here at the show. A large number of the guitars are nothing short of mesmerizing and inspiring. I don’t say that lightly as I am admittedly quite spoiled hanging out at Dream Guitars all day. At a show like this it’s hard to go 10 feet without running into someone else you know and stopping and saying “hi” and catching up. It makes the going slow but well worth while.
I started at the stage where my good friends John Buscarino, Chris & Jeremy Jenkins, Michael Bashkin and Bill Tippin all had their instruments displayed. John had his Autumn Leaves 35th anniversary guitar, complete with an amazing carved tree on the back of the instrument.
Stage left was Keystone guitars from Japan, one of the newest builders to join the Dream Guitars family. Keisuke Nishi built a wonderful modified dreadnought for the show which I promptly snatched up for our clients.
Down on the main floor were a number of builders including:
• Cris Mirabella
• Joe Veillette
• John Osthoff
• Bruce Petros
• Kent Everett
• Julian Gaffney
• David Berkowitz
• Bernie Lehman
• Randy Muth – another builder we invited to join DG at this event
• Ken Parker
• Jason Kostal – indeed Jason Kostal’s guitars are the highest form of artistry
• Tim Reede and Raymond Kraut, both joining the DG Family as well
• Ryan Thorell
• Paul Beard
• Linda Manzer
• Michael Baranik
• And many more.
A veritable cornucopia of fine guitars. Some that have remained etched in my memory are:
Cris Mirabella’s arch top in black with maple accents:
Randy Muth’s guitars all have an amazing and unique voice:
Julian Gaffney, currently apprenticing with Ervin Somogyi, built a stunning guitar that I played for some time and truly enjoyed:
There’s always a big amount of laughter as well, like when Tom Ribbecke decided to probe Kent Everett’s new Petite Model guitar:
But this is just one room at the show. I stepped out the door and into the stage/bar area where there is constantly amazing music being played. All day long there are demo concerts and feature concerts and talks by prominent builders such as Bill Collings, Tom Ribbecke, Michael Gurian, Ken Parker, John Monteleone and Roger Sadowski.
Ear candy everywhere. A short walk across the drive and you enter the secondary room which houses a lot of tonewoods, Luthery tools and a fine display of guitars including multiple Grit Laskin guitars featuring Grit’s fabulous inlay work and two rare Steve Klein Electrics from the Jeff Doctorow collection (see photo below). Jeff is a good friend and fellow Jersey Boy.
John Slobod and his Circa guitars were also here in this room and he and I got a chance to sneak to a back office for some serious tasting. He had two small body guitars with him and each a cannon in its own right. He does things with Maple that are amazing, a lush full voice that’s even prettier than the insanely figured set of wood he actually traveled to Germany for. A few friends joined us as well so I got to hear the guitars from out front and in the driver’s seat and they are masterful.
Another great thing about shows like Woodstock is that it gives me the chance to touch base with Luthiers about what they’re seeing in the business in general. Most everyone has felt an uptick in 2014 with sales increasing. That coincides with what we have seen in the shop as well. Particularly high-end guitar sales have greatly increased in 2014. From where we sit, 2015 looks to be a great year for guitar makers and of course that means for guitar players. With instruments like this being crafted by great people with passion, we should all have plenty of inspiration to make our music for the world.
Below are a list of makers whose guitars we brought back from the show. Contact us here at Dream Guitars for more information:
• Randy S. Muth
• Keystone Guitars
• David MacCubbin
• Raymond Kraut
• John Osthoff
• Bernie Lehmann
• Kevin Pederson
• Tim Reede
Following are a few of the cool & unusual sights from the show as well:
Pellerin Harp Guitar:
Jeff Doctorow’s Steve Klein Guitars:
Lehmann Tiger Maple Bridge:
Manzer Unfinished Guitar:
For more information on the Woodstock Invitational Guitar Festival, please visit their official website.