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Love Your Local Luthier

Love Your Local Luthier

The 13-fret sunburst guitar below barks like a hound dog, and rings like a bell. The dreadnought is a powerhouse, loud and easily able to chew it’s way through any bluegrass jam session. Once again, I have to admit, I love the OM and GC models most of all. This little Red spruce OM baby has a wonderfully clear and shimmering tone.

LEFT: L35 13-fret Red spruce/ Honduran mahogany, 24.75 scale–vintage Gibson L00 inspired; MIDDLE: J35 Red spruce/Honduran mahogany, 24.75 scale, two tone bar–vintage Gibson J35 inspired; RIGHT: OM30 Red spruce/Honduran mahogany, 25.4 scale–vintage Martin OM18 inspired

Flammang has also turned his attention to nylon-string guitars, and these two have a lovely, chocolatey richness, but Flammang is not yet satisfied with the tone he’s getting, and will continue to work in his patient, painstaking way, to follow his inner ears until he gets it just right. The dreadnought below is another stunning vintage-inspired powerhouse. Bluegrass guitarist and singer Dede Wyland has an old Martin D18 that sounds so much like this one it almost brought tears to my eyes.

LEFT: D30 Red spruce/Honduran mahogany, 25.4 scale–vintage Martin D18 inspired; MIDDLE: CL60 Carpathian spruce/Brazilian rosewood, 650mm scale–classical; RIGHT: CL48 German spruce/lacewood, 660mm scale–classical

The Point of it All
The point is, the more we educate our ears and our hands to the tones available to us, the better choices we will make as we accumulate guitars to help us translate the sounds we hear inside to the sounds we offer to the world. Developing relationships with local luthiers gives us a chance to learn more about how these magical instruments are made, and when you become utterly smitten with something wonderful, you end up supporting the local economy, too. Don’t worry, guitars are no less magical to me for having seen the tools and machines that makes them possible. The art and magic of lutherie is alive and well, and living in Greene, Iowa.

Check out more of Flammang’s work at
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