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: Loren and Mark
Monday, Nov. 9th, 7pm
Tickets $20, Show at 7pm
Pre-Show Pot Luck at 6pm
At Dream Guitars
59 Azalea Dr, Weaverville, NC 28787
For Tickets Call Dream Guitars 828 658-9795
About Loren and Mark
“The last time these gents played for us it was perhaps the most exciting show we ever hosted. Everyone was floored and folks are still talking about it. Simply one of the most amazing guitar duos you’ll ever see. It’s easy to see why Tommy Emmanuel has them tour with him and why they headline big shows like the Chet Atkins Appreciation Society, C.A.A.S.. They are awe inspiring!” – Paul Heumiller
Loren Barrigar and Mark Mazengarb, both virtuoso players in their own right, ran into each other several times over the years, first meeting in 2005 at Jorma Kaukonen’s Fur Peace Ranch guitar camp when working with Tommy Emmanuel. Loren was a seasoned player making his first deep foray into the world of acoustic guitars, while Mark was in the process of finishing his degree in classical guitar at the University of North Carolina. They met again in 2009 at the Chet Atkins Appreciation Society (CAAS) convention in Nashville, Tenn., and then they were late additions to the CAAS 2010 Saturday night finale performance lineup based on what the gathering of international guitarists had heard from them during the week. You can see part of that performance here.
Together, Loren and Mark run the gamut of acoustic guitar performances of both original and arranged music. With a background of bluegrass, jazz and Western styles, their thumb-picking technique harkens back to guitar greats such as Atkins, Merle Travis and Jerry Reed. When performing original compositions, Loren brings amazing vocals along with Mark’s stunning harmonies. .
They have already recorded two albums together – the first of which won the 2011 SAMMY (Syracuse Area Music Awards) Best Album at the Northeast Music Industry Conference – and have been touring as a duo since 2011. For more on Loren Barrigar and Mark Mazengarb, visit their website.
Reservations required for all events, please call us at (828) 658-9795.
As mentioned in a previous post, Leonardo Buendia, one of Ervin Somogyi’s current apprentices and an amazing up and coming builder, is wrapping up his 3 year apprenticeship with Ervin and is moving to his own shop in Oakland, California.
We caught up with Leo and asked him a few questions regarding his new shop.
1) Where will the shop be located? Why did you pick there?
Leo: My new workshop is located in East Oakland. I was offered the space by Lewis Santer, whom I’ve known for 3 years and who for a long time shared this same space with Michi Matsuda. Lewis has been in this shop for 10 years and it’s well-equipped and already set up in a very smart way. It’s a pleasure to be able to work with Lewis, who was also Ervin Somogyi’s shop manager for many years. The transition is going smoothly – I’m getting back into my rhythm quickly.
2) How are you configuring your shop? Why will it be configured this way?
Leo: Since everything was already set up for the construction and repair of guitars, I’ve only had to put together two benches–one in the dry room and one in the common space. In the dry room I’m going to keep all of the wood I will be using for the guitars commissioned for these next few years. The dry room is also where I will be doing all of the gluing. I will be using the bench in the common space for shaping, scraping, sanding, etc.
3) Any sources of inspiration that you can point to in your new shop?
Leo: Ervin Somogyi’s shop, of course, is a big inspiration for how I would like my shop to look. I love the use of different workstations and I’m emulating that. It allows my work to be very efficient. I also took away from my experience at Ervin’s that it’s extremely helpful to have plenty of backstock of blocks, braces, fingerboards, pre-bent sides, pre-bent binding, etc.
4) Any neat facts about your building process in your new shop that you’d like to share?
Leo: In the near future I will be working on designing a different kind of headstock. So far I’ve been molding the heads in the style of a classical/Spanish guitar. In Argentina we play Spanish guitars, so I’ve always liked the headstocks I learned to make with Ervin, which are reminiscent of these. Now that I will have more time for experimentation and designing, I am going to make headstocks with a more modern style, while still avoiding the symmetrical and conventional. This new design is more like that of my fanned fret guitar. Another change that’s coming is that in about 6 months I will begin with a new model, the OO. The big sound that it makes is very surprising given its small body. In fact, it’s the guitar I plan to make for myself.
We are pleased to add EddieLee Brown to our line-up of builders here at Dream Guitars. Let’s get to know more about this great up and coming builder.
EddieLee Brown’s first love is music. He played guitar and bass in a traveling rock band in the 70’s. More recently he has fallen in love with fingerstyle guitar playing. “Whether playing electric or acoustic, for me, tone is everything. I have always worked hard to develop a great tone as a basis for playing any instrument,” states EddieLee.
EddieLee has also been a photographer, a Bonsai artist and landscaper, and studied drawing. Each of these helped him develop a sense of design, proportion, and what is pleasing to the eye. He practiced as a Doctor of Oriental Medicine helping heal people with acupuncture, massage, and herbal medicine. This helped him develop a sensitivity of touch and understanding that one part of a system will affect other parts. EddieLee also has a master’s degree in electrical engineering with a strong background in physics and mechanical engineering. He loves physics and determining, from a scientific view point, how things work. This helps him be able to predict how a system will behave when one part of it is changed.
Brown had a nice stable of electric guitars and basses from his band days in the 70’s and 80’s but in the 2000’s, he found himself playing his acoustic guitar most of the time. When he decided to upgrade his old acoustic, he found the world of hand-built guitars. “The first time they handed me one, I could not believe the difference, and it changed my world. I bought a Goodall Rosewood/Red Wood, Grand Concert and fell in love with the guitar all over again. After playing and hearing the great tone and feeling how responsive it was, I would just stare at the beauty of the wood, design and construction. That is when I got the desire to start building,” quotes EddieLee.
EddieLee has now been building guitars for about 6 years, although he had studied guitar design and preparing a few years before that. He also spent time prior to starting his first guitar honing the woodworking skills he would need to produce great looking instruments. The first instruments he built were Native American Flutes which are wooden flutes. EddieLee has been playing these for many years, and loved the instrument. Their construction uses many of the same techniques and skills used in guitar building, so it seemed like a good “warm-up instrument” for him. “They are so much fun to make and I love the feedback I get from people when they get them in their hands. Guitar building followed soon after. It is a real joy to turn a pile of wood into a beautiful instrument and then hear other players make beautiful music with them,” says EddieLee.
In EddieLee’s building style, he works to combine elements from his past careers. “I think there is real value in mixing together the old methods using touch, feeling, and tapping and meld into that the newer science to produce a very vibrant instrument with great tone”, quotes EddieLee. Among others, he is currently using Chladni patterns, along with traditional methods, for sound board voicing. He also uses techniques to produce spectrographics of the sound produced by tapping the guitar and its components during the build process. This tool gives a visual and measurable representation of what he hears when tapping the guitar. “Although it can never give me all the information that my ears can, it does allow me to see the frequencies of the main vibration patterns, allowing me to adjust them precisely. I believe these and other science based ways of measuring and determining how the guitar is operating, lets me produce an instrument with better and more consistent tone. And for me, tone has to be there” quotes EddieLee.
Outside of building guitars, EddieLee Brown is still a musician. “I play mainly fingerstyle guitar but still love to get an electric now and then a fire up the old Mesa Boogie Mark IIC”, says EddieLee.
“EddieLee is one of the guys you meet and just know that he builds a great guitar. He came to lutherie later in life and brings all his vast experiences to a new form of expression, the acoustic guitar. I was so impressed with the tone of his instruments that I broke my own rule of waiting until a maker has built 20 or more guitars. EddieLee has some special design elements as well like internal mass elements to manipulate the character of tone. Very fresh and exciting” – Paul Heumiller
Leo Buendia, one of Ervin Somogyi’s current apprentices and an amazing up and coming builder, is wrapping up his 3 year apprenticeship with Ervin and will be moving to his own shop on October 1st in Oakland CA. At the same time, Leo is building for us an amazing OM featuring beautiful straight grain Brazilian Rosewood and a German Spruce Top.
Following are the full specs and some images to go along with the current progress.
This one is currently available for purchase here at Dream Guitars – Please call the shop for more information 828-658-9795:
- Soundboard, German Spruce
- Back and sides, Quarter sawn, straight grain Brazilian RW
- Cutaway, Florentine
- 14th-fret to the body
- Rosette, solid ring wood choice bordered in purfling
- Bridge, hand carved Brazilian RW
- Binding, Ebony with black/white purfling
- End graft, triangular style that matches binding
- Backstrip, matching with binding
- Top braces, Sitka spruce
- Back Braces, Mahogany
- Neck, one piece Honduran mahogany
- Headcap veneer, Brazilian RW
- Back of Headcap veneer, Ebony
- Tuning Machines, Gotoh 510 Series stealth in gold
- Fingerboard, ebony with ebony binding and maple purfling
- Fingerboard Radius, 20′′
- Position markers, white dots
- Case, Hoffee custom hardshell case
- Scale Length, 25” for OM
- Nut width, 1 3/4” Scalloped and compensated bone
- Saddle string spacing, 2 1/4” Compensated Bone
- Finish, nitrocellulose Lacquer
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
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!