He took time out of his schedule to demo several National Resophonic guitars and perform the classic song, “Guitar Rag,” widely regarded as the first slide guitar song ever recorded (1923).
He also sat down in front of the camera to talk about his life in music; click here to check it out on our YouTube channel. Steve recalls his first records (a collection of Lead Belly 78 RPMs he got the age of 4), his first guitar (a 1963 Gibson J-50) and his early days in New York City studying under such greats as Freddie Lewis and Stan McGee. He also points out the importance of the lessons he learned listening to the unique techniques of Blind Willie Johnson and the alternate tunings of Muddy Waters and Bukka White, some of the unsung heroes of the bottleneck slide blues.
He wraps things up talking about American blues music, calling it “our great export… this is what we offer to the world. People love our music and love to listen to it.”
This video is brought to you by Dream Guitars, proud to be a National Resophonic dealer… and a good friend of Steve James! Contact us today to get your very own National steel! Visit www.stevejames.com for more about Steve!
Our own Paul Heumiller recently sat down in front of the cameras to talk about one of Dream Guitars’ favorite builders, Jordan McConnell of McConnell Guitars (and the Grammy-award winning band, The Duhks) for a video interview. You see, Paul is not only has a savvy eye when it comes to great luthiers and their instruments, but also sees things from the mindset of a player. In fact, he’s a proud owner of a McConnell and shares his feelings about that fine, custom made instrument with the viewer. Paul makes clear the guitar’s ability to bring out the music and sound he feels inside, a rare trait for any custom instrument.
McConnell builds rich-sounding and versatile instruments in both steel string and classical models at his shop in Winnipeg, Canada, on the fringes of the Canadian Prairies. McConnell became enamored with the construction of guitars at a young age and has studied with famed Spanish luthier, Jose Romanillos, gaining a valuable education in the work, the craftsmanship.
Among his customers: Tim Sparks, an award-winning fingerpicking player, jazz greats Larry Roy and Harley Card, Seth Avett of the Avett Brothers and Irish player John Doyle.
So, Paul sat down in our Weaverville, NC, studio, to talk about this fine luthier, who works with his father on the construction of the guitars. As a builder, Jordan McConnell has become a hot name and his work is in demand. While we do not have currently any in stock, Dream Guitars is accepting orders for his custom builds. Paul will personally work with you to ensure you get what your music deserves. Contact us to discuss the possibilities.
Considering a McConnell now? You may also want to check out this video of Jordan McConnell at the Dream Guitars headquarters a few years ago, offering an exclusive performance. We also have several other video samples of various McConnell guitars on our YouTube channel as well as the Listening Studio on our home page.
Special thanks to Dan Crapsi and Ginny Temple, who visited our shop and filmed this interview for their blog, thegoodguitar.com.
We host a number of events here at Dream Guitars. Just one of our many ways to give back to the community and share music with others who are passionate about it. We welcome you all to come join us at a House Concert, Guitar Clinic, Setup Saturdays and other events throughout the year. Come visit Dream Guitars and the wonderful Asheville area!
Loren and Mark in Concert!
Sunday, July 7 @ 7 pm
Pre-Show Pot Luck @ 6 pm
Tickets $20, Reservations required
About Loren and Mark
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 http://www.lorenandmark.com.
Reservations required for all events, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at (828) 658-9795.
How it works….
- Come join us at 3 pm and bring a dish to share and a bottle of your preferred beverage. It’s always a wonderful array of treats!
- Show starts at 4pm and performers play two sets with an intermission to mingle and meet the artist!
- Guitar demos available in the shop before and after the show.
Paul Asbell, Mr. Versatility on Guitar, August 3
Clive Caroll, From England! February 28 (7 pm)
Here at Dream Guitars, we discovered early on that one element of selling world-class guitars online was missing for our online customers: the sound. We then became perhaps the first online dealer of guitars to offer sound samples by recording every guitar we have in stock, played by any number of our favorite friends. In fact, we made every effort to use snippets of the same song for each guitar to give customers a great point of tonal reference.
If you are a fan and frequent visitor, you are no doubt familiar with, “The Crossing,” written and performed by Al Petteway and included on the “Dream Guitars, Volume 1” compact disc. In effect, it has become our unofficial theme song. In fact, we’ve noticed that many clients come into the showroom outside of Asheville, NC, and play snippets of the very same song they had heard on this site. Kind of cool on the one hand, but very telling on the other.
As a result, we have put together two videos: one with Al performing the piece, the other with a full-blown lesson from Mr. Petteway, complete with detailed instructions on how to play “The Crossing” from the composer himself. The videos are available on our Dream Guitars YouTube channel.
You should also check out the world of Al Petteway at his home website at www.alandamy.com.
With an average wait time of two years, players and collectors don’t often get the chance to get into William “Grit” Laskin’s building schedule… until now.
Dream Guitars has opened the door to Grit’s shop and will now make a single slot in Laskin’s busy production schedule available to one discerning and lucky collector . This is a chance to own a custom-made Laskin, replete with his world-renowned, superb and unique inlay design.
Oh, and by the way, the turnaround for this deal is just six months. That means you’ll be playing your custom Grit Laskin guitar this December. Nice.
Grit is widely recognized as one of the top inlay artists in the world. Add to it the opportunity to have the back and sides your guitar made with approved Brazilian Rosewood not only enhances the look and quality of the guitar but it vastly improves the resale value, assuming you would ever want to part with one of these babies.
The Base Model price includes Sitka spruce wood for his soundboards and East India Rosewood for the back and sides. The guitar also comes standard with a Hoffee Carbon Fibre custom case, Abalone-ringed rosette and the famous Laskin armrest bevel.
Base price is $15,400 retail. Brazilian Rosewood upgrade, starts at $3,000. Inlay art priced upon request.
This refined beauty is built with a stunning set of Brazilian Rosewood, hand selected by Dream Guitar’s own Paul Heumiller. The top is an exceptionally fine piece of Italian Spruce. Other specs include a 1 3/4″ nut 2 1/4″ string spacing. Please call for more details.
“It’s hard to say just how good this guitar is. Forget, for the moment, it’s beauty. The tone is simply magical. Trebles so full and rich you wonder how Bruce Petros does it. The bass from this amazing set of Brazilian Rosewood is warm and round, at once huge and controlled. Together it makes for a complete guitar, one that is balanced and exquisite on every note. Now for the beauty…. The pictures tell the story… look closely for all the details on this Tunnel 13. The rosette, bridge, etched buttons all hold wonder for the eyes. What a guitar…” – Paul Heumiller
The Petros Tunnel 13 is a thing of beauty and tone. This one is extra special as we custom ordered it with some of the finest Brazilian Rosewood you’ll ever see. Paired with the exceptional sounding Tunnel 13 Redwood top you get one of the fullest, juiciest sounding guitars you’ll ever lay ears on.
The Petros Tunnel 13 also boast unique Pearwood bindings on the headstock, neck and body, etched pearwood buttons, abalone top border and custom Tunnel 13 rosette and bridge inlays as well. The neck is carved from Butternut. Elegantly beautiful from head to toe and very special even in a world full of wonderful guitars. The Tunnel 13 is a rare gem sonically and aesthetically.
Here is the full story from the Petros Website: Southern Pacific Railroad’s Siskiyou Summit Tunnel #13 was built in the 1880′s using virgin Redwood timbers harvested in Southwestern Oregon. These timbers witnessed the October 11, 1923 hold up of the SP Train 13 Gold Special, pulling 13 cars, by the DeAutremont brothers. Four men were killed in the robbery attempt. When these magnificent Redwood timbers were salvaged from this historic tunnel after a fire in 2004, Petros Guitars managed to acquire some of the nicer sections. When these diamonds in the rough were opened up, it was discovered to be exceptional, master-grade tone wood, air dried in this tunnel for more than 120 years. Paired with light weight, figured Claro Walnut from Oregon and a light weight Butternut neck from Wisconsin, this guitar is light as a feather (3 pounds, 14 ounces) with the resonance of a 120 year old guitar. After a century of silence, Petros Tunnel 13 Redwood guitars are giving voice to the remarkable Redwood of Tunnel 13.
2012 Artinger Hollow Standard
Check out these specs:
- Carved mahogany top, carved mahogany back, bent mahogany ribs
- Cat’s eye soundholes
- One piece mahogany neck with two-way truss rod and dual carbon fiber reinforcement
- 25” scale length
- Ebony fingerboard with 12” radius, medium frets
- Ebony headplate with white pearl artinger block logo
- Black binding
- Gold hardware
- Gotoh 510 tuners with ebony buttons
- Gotoh Nashville bridge
- Ebony tail with brass hinge and brass retainer claw
- 2 Electric City RD59 4 conductor humbuckers
- Master volume, master tone, and toggle with push/pull tone for master coil cut
- Ebony knobs
- Finished in cherryburst
All photos by Michael G. Stewart
In 1982, world-renowned luthier Jimmy D’Aquisto built a rare and exceptional nylon string guitar. Thought to be only 1 of 3 in existence, and the only fully functional example, this extraordinary instrument was exquisite in tone, playability, and design. All who played it at Dream Guitars were in agreement that it was one of the finest crossover guitars in existence. Sadly, as with most treasures, the D’Aquisto nylon string was well beyond the means of the average player.
So when our friend and luthier James Condino blueprinted the D’Aquisto nylon for the Guild of American Luthiers , we struck upon the idea of commissioning a guitar built on the plans by another celebrated luthier - Dake Traphagen. The idea was to build a no-compromise representation of the D’Aquisto original, but at an affordable price. What resulted is even beyond our highest expectations! For a detailed description please call Paul or Steven at (828) 658-9795.
- Top – German Spruce
- Back & Sides – European flamed maple
- Neck – Honduran Mahogany ( the old real stuff)
- Fret Board – Ebony
- Bridge – Brazilian Rosewood
- Tuners – Schaller
- Finish – Spirit varnish
Just in 03/13/12: We just received this stunning new Traphagen dreadnought!
Over the years, luthier Dake Traphagen has built some of the finest classical, nylon and steel string guitars ever to grace the Dream Guitars Showroom and website. So it was with great anticipation that we awaited his newest creation, a dreadnought designed specifically with the flat-picker in mind. Simply put, this is an amazing new guitar. The tone is full and articulate, with incredible volume and projection. It is a joy to play.
Mr. Traphagen describes it this way – “The attack is strong and powerful yet smooth and even. With a little playing time this guitar will become even more powerful and colorful in tone. The entire building process went without a hitch, as if the guitar wanted to be made. Some guitars are more demanding while they’re being formed, trying to play little tricks on the luthier – but not this one.”
- Master Grade vertical grain Brazilian Rosewood back and sides
- Master grade Adirondack spruce top.
- 25.5″ scale
- 1 11/16″ neck width at the nut
- Mahogany neck
- Ebony fret board
- Gotoh 510 mini tuners black
- Hand applied varnish finish
- Honduran Rosewood bridge
Please call for more details and learn how you can try this fine guitar for yourself.