The North American Guitar | Unit 9, Waterside | 44-48 Wharf Road | London | N1 7UX
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Woodstock Invitational Luthiers Showcase 2018 Review

 

Well, I have just returned from an incredible visit to the beautiful Woodstock in upstate New York, USA for another year of the Woodstock Invitation Luthiers Showcase, and once again it has completely stolen my heart. After a rather grueling red-eye flight from Pheonix, Arizona having visited superstar luthier Jason Kostal in the days before, I landed at JFK airport around 7am, collected the hire car and started driving to my next destination, Woodstock (of course with Jimi playing nice and loud)! After the success of the Winter NAMM show earlier this year and the footage we shot for community of guitar enthusiasts, I wanted to make the most of this legendary show and document the journey as it really is such a special experience!  So, jumping at the chance, I teamed up with Antoine from VintageTone to help capture this magical event...

 

 

There is something about Woodstock, almost like there is something in the air or water...when you arrive you feel a sense of freedom from the real world, you want to just grab a guitar, go into a cabin in the middle of the woods, not speak to anyone for 4 months and make an album (or well at least daydream that you could). Dripping in creativity, this small town is, of course, best known (to the rest of the world) as home to the legendary festival that took place in 1969 but to our little sector of the guitar world it is home to one of the finest gatherings of guitar makers on the planet. Yep, it is fair to say that in the small Bearsville Theatre in Woodstock at the end of October every year, hosts a collection of some of the finest guitar builders on the planet.

The buzz around town about the show is magical, posters in every cafe and restaurant and familiar faces walking up and down the street before the show starts. The show creator Robert 'Baker' Rorick is celebrating his 10th year and as usual is running around like crazy but somehow always managing to take time to hug, shake hands and chat with punters, luthiers and dealers from all over the world.

 

Shows like Woodstock, The Holy Grail, NAMM are such a wonderful opportunity for us (the dealer) to get some proper one on one time with all the luthiers we represent. We get to talk about the industry, how the year has been for them, discuss the orders we have incoming for our clients all over the world, orders we have in coming to the showroom, and of course order more guitars for the next year. Plus it is a great opportunity to meet new up and coming luthiers we think are incredibly talented. We managed to catch up with Joel Michaud, Chris Jenkins, Ryan Gerber, Michael Greenfield, Leo Buendia, Isaac Jang, John Slobod, Lars Rasmussen and Michael Bashkin about what they have been up to...

Chris Jenkins of Lames Horse Guitars:

 

Isaac Jang of Isaac Jang Guitars:

Joel Michaud - Michaud Made Guitars:

John Slobod of Circa Guitars:

 Michael Greenfield of Greenfield Guitars:

Leo Buendia of Buendia Guitars:

Lars Rasmussen of Rasmussen Guitars:

Ryan Gerber of Gerber Guitars:

Michael Bashkin or Bashkin Guitars:

As with every show we had our eye out for exciting, talented new luthiers that we would like to represent, and one in particular caught our eye, who we are very excited to announce will be joining The North American Guitar roster in 2019.

Introducing Sam Guidry of Guidry Guitars:

Sam exhibited three absolutely sensational instruments that really impressed us. His table at the show was packed from start to finish and we look forward to working together next year. Currently, he is the senior luthier at the Galloup School of Guitar Building and Repair where he functions as an instructor.

The most wonderful thing about the Woodstock show is the sense of community between all of the luthiers and their brands. So much so that you rarely see a luthier alone at his or her table without a fellow peer laughing, chatting or comparing builds. It really is so refreshing to see an industry that has support for each other and an admiration for what they each provide to the market. 

One can only feel truly humbled by the fact these incredible individuals choose our company to represent them and attending shows like the Woodstock Invitational Luthiers Showcase just make us want to be better at what we do and to ensure these phenomenal craftsmen get the representation they deserve.

A huge thank you to all the luthiers who exhibited their phenomenal talents at the show and for being so helpful with our filming. It is safe to say that our little sector of the guitar market is thriving and producing the finest instruments of this Golden Era of the guitar making...until next time.

For more information on any of our luthiers exhibiting at The Woodstock Invitational Guitar Showcase please do not hesitate to get in touch on hello@thenorthamericanguitar.com or call us on 0207 835 5597.

Have a wonderful weekend,

Ben

 

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