Saturday, July 13, 2013

Summertime!

  It feels like genuine summer around here.  The sun's been out everyday and it even feels hot (by NW Washington standards anyway).  I got to spend the last couple weeks in nearby Port Townsend where I participated in two back to back music camps..  Voiceworks, and The Festival of American Fiddletunes where I also got to tutor in beginning old time fiddle.  Fun and challenging!  There was lots of reconnecting with old friends, making new friends, late night goofiness, and of course tons of music.  There were a few of my guitars around and it was wonderful to hear them cranking away in jams with some excellent musicians.  Right before heading over to PT, I had just finished a pair of guitars..

  First up is a concert size guitar for Matt Novak..






  It's beautiful Oregon Black Walnut for the back and sides, Sitka Spruce top, and Maple bindings.
The fingerboard, bridge and strap pins are Indian Rosewood, and the rosette and purflings are made of curly Koa, and Ebony.  It's ladder braced and has a good bark when laid into with the pick a little.  Played gently, it has an easy resonance that suggests a larger box than it is.  So far, it is a delight to play, and I can't wait to go out and see and hear it being put to work.



  Matt is a great picker who's been playing in and around Bellingham for years with Quickdraw Stringband, and Pretty Little Feet, as well as being an accomplished songwriter on his own.




  Next up we have a Grand Concert built for Johnny Fitzpatrick of Seattle.




  This one has an X braced Sitka Spruce top, and Indian Rosewood back and sides.  Maple bindings, and Ebony for the fretboard and bridge.  The neck is Mahogany with a Rosewood Headstock veneer.  Johnny had lots of ideas for decorative details, and one we kept coming back to was a skillet.  While trying to keep the inlay fairly simple and symmetrical I was able to get a skillet down there on the twelfth fret.  And just to make sure the skillet idea was not lost, it's drawn on the label too.  We also managed to work the rooster from the old Robin Hood cartoon (music by Roger Miller!) onto the headstock. 




  Johnny, who plays banjo in Porterbelly Stringband had this to say...


"I'm amazed at the guitar's versatility.  It speaks loud, clean, and clear during heavy strumming in a full band setting, and sings sweetly solo with soft bare-finger picking on the porch or in the living room.  It plays easily up and down the entire neck and already has a warm, rich tone even though it's a brand new guitar.  Visually, the guitar has a beauty akin to that of an old, well played, instrument, with great and unique attention to detail.  This guitar is a dream come true for me as a player and I look forward to my new life-long instrument. 

Devin was a such pleasure to work with through the long decision making process involving a custom guitar.  His extensive knowledge and experience helped me make the right choices for a guitar that would suit me as a player.
Thanks Devin!"