Showcasing hundreds of drool-worthy, handcrafted instruments, a new U.S. guitar show makes its successful debut.
Thierry André brought several examples of his unconventional work from his Canadian workshop. Built on an open rim, the 4-string Maya hybrid acoustic bass (right) has a carved cutaway, and its controls are mounted on the upper bout where they won’t interfere with the vibrating soundboard. The stunning silver Multi No. 2 is a 6-string archtop guitar hot-rodded with 12 sympathetic drone strings and two bass strings.
The inaugural Santa Barbara Acoustic Instrument Celebration was held September 29 to October 2 in sunny coastal California. The event brought hundreds of top luthiers and players who displayed their craftsmanship, gave seminars, and held intimate concerts. The Earl Warren Showgrounds served as a fitting venue, as in decades past it hosted concerts from such acts as Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, the Beach Boys, the Doors, Cream, the Grateful Dead, and Janis Joplin.
The show pulled widely from Canada and Europe, with heavy representation from the U.S. West Coast. Also on sale were top-grade woods, inlay materials, and custom bindings. Luthiers were open with their time, and many fans enjoyed hearing builders talk shop. Among the visitors was Santa Barbara resident and guitar pickup guru, Seymour Duncan, who could be seen checking out all the beautiful instruments on display.