• Say Ahhh: An Oral Surgeon's Quest to Reimagine the Garage-Band Guitar It’s not unusual for men of a certain age to have a soft spot in their hearts for the look of vintage guitars and the sound of rock ’n’ roll. Some get as far as a high-school garage band, others might learn enough covers to tear it up at the neighborhood bar, but most guys with even a grain of common sense between their ears don’t go much further than that. At the risk of suggesting Matt Eichen l…
  • The Blues Rocker's New Secret Weapon? An Electric Cigar Box Guitar Johnny Lowe of Memphis, Tennessee, makes guitars out of cigar boxes, furniture, and other recycled objects. These humble-looking instruments, known as Lowebows, have taken the stage with Kid Rock, Luther Dickinson of the North Mississippi All Stars, and Timbuk 3's Pat MacDonald, who named his latest band, Purgatory Hill, after a Lowe cigar box guitar called the Purgatory Hill Harp. "Slide guitar …
  • Martins vs. Gibsons: The Evolution of American Acoustic Guitars I started playing guitar when I was pretty young and bought my first guitar when I was 10 or 11. Like a lot of people of my generation, I was inspired to do so because of the folk revival, initially the more commercial parts of it like the Kingston Trio and Peter, Paul & Mary. I later got interested in their influences, like Woody Guthrie and Doc Watson, and from there I got into early country…
  • Archtops, Hollowbodies, and Jimi's Legacy I grew up in upstate New York in Rochester, and started playing guitar when I was about 10 years old. We had this place in Rochester; called the House of Guitars. It was this huge independent music store, I think it was the largest in the world at that time. Originally, they just sold used guitars, and the place kept getting bigger and bigger and bigger. It was literally an old house that they kep…
  • Les Pauls, Strats, and Other Cult Guitars I started out primarily as a collector and the business aspect of it evolved over time, almost by accident. I didn’t start out with the intention of being a vintage guitar dealer. As a college student, Mom and Dad were willing to buy me one good guitar, and a good guitar back then didn’t cost near as much as a good guitar today. Even if you wanted a vintage one, it was hard to spend over $300. The…
  • Legendary Luthier Rick Turner on Howe-Orme Guitars I first started coming across Howe-Orme instruments when I was an apprentice guitar repairman in Boston in 1963. Their guitars have a tilting neck and a uniquely arched top that is bent in a cylindrical direction. The middle third of the top is raised and is bent in an arch. They sound incredible. They’re one of those weird branches of the guitar tree that just died off in the teens. Elias Howe…