Though he shook up the industry in 1993 with the Fly—the most unique solidbody design the electric world had seen in years—for more than 30 years now his primary passion has been advancing the art and science of archtop luthiery.
From overextended shoulders to back pain to carpal-tunnel, our passion has a way of beating us up. We caught up with an experienced chiropractor for the science behind what's making us hurt, and exercises we can do to make it better.
Through his innovative steel-string designs, widely used guitar-building tools, and highly influential American School of Lutherie, this restless builder from Portland, Oregon, has had a remarkable impact on guitar making.
The Montreal-based boutique builder talks about his move from repairing museum-quality Martins and Gibson to building museum-quality flattops and an incredible harp guitar for fingerstyle phenom Andy McKee.
Archtop fanatic Tom Ribbecke’s unflappable dedication and patience over the last 30 years led to what is arguably this generation’s biggest advance in archtop design—the Halfling. But he’s also changed the lives of the troubled teens he hires and mentors in his workshop. Just ask Oprah—she says his story belongs on prime-time TV.
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