Mike Lewis - The God Father of Fine Resophonics
Mike Lewis is part of the DNA here at The North American Guitar and one of the original three luthiers and the main reasons why my father was so passionate about starting the company back in 2010. The story goes, having just missed a pre-owned Fine Resophnics from a UK store, Robert (aka Dad) contacted Mike himself and ordered a new guitar over the phone, placed the deposit and sat back and waiting a long (as he puts it) 3 months until it was finally delivered. So taken back by the sheer beauty and tone of this guitar Robert asked who was representing Mike's work in Europe and would he like to join the roster of this new little guitar company he was setting up call The North American Guitar. Fast becoming great friends at this point Mike joined the team pretty much there and then and has been with us ever since!
"Michel is a phenomenal luthier, expert in his craft and his knowledge of the resonator guitar is second to non. We’ve known each other from a time before TNAG when I asked him to build a resonator for me! It was perfect! It means a lot to me personally that he has supported TNAG from our early days and entrusted us to represent him..." Robert J Montague CBE (TNAG Founder)
Dad and his beloved Fine Reso...
For those of you who do not know of Mike or Fine Resophonic Instruments here is a bit of a back story into the incredible world of Mike Lewis. Mike started out originally as a cabinet maker from Liverpool, who had a passion for music, guitars and of course the blues. The story goes he was with his friend and fellow music lover Mark reading the rickenbacker book they saw a bad photo of an original wooden tricone that no one would have ever seen and no one would have ever hreard. So after talking about what they thought the guitar would have sounded like, loving the challenge Mike said I am gonna make one...that was 1989 and since then Mike has not looked back; and is now one of the most (if not the most) highly respected resophonic luthier on the planet.
Nearly 30 years on Mike's celebrity endorsements are as long as his fret boards, building guitars for some of the greatest guitar players of our time including Eric Clapton, Robbie Mcintosh, Johnny Hallyday, Bill Wharton and Michael Messer, to name just a few...
"Mike Lewis is quite simply the world’s finest builder of resophonic guitars. His instruments are like original 1920s & 30s resophonic guitars, but with an extra something that is added when an instrument is built by a master luthier, rather than on a factory production line. Mike’s understanding of the original instruments, his attention to detail and his incredible luthiery skills, create something really very special indeed. Since 1998, my two Fine Resophonic guitars have travelled the world with me and have been played at every concert and on every recording. Until I got my Fine Resophonics I only played vintage 1920s & 30s guitars”... Michael Messer - Blues / Slide aficionado.
And here is the legendary Michael Messer on a lovely little Maple Tricone...
"What Mike Lewis doesn't know about resonator guitars isn't worth knowing and the resonator guitars he builds are some of the finest in the world...I Love mine"... Robbie McIntosh (PaulMcCartney / Pretenders / Mark Knopfler)
Here is a wonderful interview Mike did back in 2013 telling his story ... enjoy!
Back in 2011, we hired out studio 2 at the world famous Abbey Road Studios to celebrate our 1st Birthday Party. Here is a great photo of Mike enjoying one of his masterpieces in the room that changed music forever.
This year we are incredibly excited to announce we have three outstanding Fine Resophonis instruments on their way to our London showroom. Mike and I have been working closely on this project together and are extremely excited about featuring the instruments on our walls here at TNAG. We recently received the first glimpse of the guitar on the bench at Mike's shop in Paris and it only wet our appetite for wanting to hold them in our hands! These guitars will not hang around that is for sure!
It is fair to say owning a Fine Resophnic guitar is like joining a members club that is drenched in musical history and at the core of it the traditional delta blues sound ... with the likes of old slow hands for members!
Here are our incoming Fine Resoponic Guitars available to order now via The North American Guitar website: