Vintage Guitar - March 2017 - Open - 154
guitars or a copy of a Fender.
Other people are doing a great
job of that.
Guitarists tend to be fairly
conservative, and I'm a traditionalist, conservative builder.
I create guitars that make sense
to musicians; when they hold it,
it feels familiar. I'm not trying to
make guitar styles out of left field.
My primary training was
with two violin makers in New
York - Guy Rabut and Charles
Rufino. From them, I learned
how all joints that get glued
up are hand-planed first
with a new, sharp plane then
brought together with hot hide
glue. A lot of people think this
only makes a difference with
an acoustic guitar, but I believe
it makes a huge difference in the
construction of both acoustics and
electrics. All of my electric guitars
are made that way - hand-planed
glue joints and hot hide glue.
When did you first hire help for
In the late '90s, I had a couple
of guys work with me part-time in New
York, and they were good guitar makers.
Currently, I have five employees, and each
has different specialties. For example,
we cut our own wood - I have a guy who
mills wood all day! Others specialize in
What are your hopes for the future
of the industry?
Simple! I'd love to see the guitar continue to be the most popular instrument
in the world.
What are your goals for your own
I'll continue to refine my instruments
and get great players out there playing
them. We have a bunch of exciting young
players using our semi-hollows - Mike
Moreno, John Storie, Erich Avinger,
Leo Amuedo, and Mike Severson are
I'm interested in working with musicians who are as passionate about their
music as I am about building guitars. I
constantly try to improve and grow as an
artist, and I love my customers and our
industry. How lucky we are to be able to
share in this most sublime of musical