Thursday, March 15, 2012

Come back soon!!

There is more to come in the future including an old Oahu 66k with a reprofiled round neck, a 40's Regal, a couple of little tiny brother and sister supertones from the late 20's/early 30's, harmony roundhole archtop and more.  I have to find the time to get these guitars into blog ready condition before displaying them.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Eastwood Guitars

Here are a few more guitars that snuck into the backdoor of "your grandpa's guitar".  They are Eastwood guitars that were modeled after the old Supro/Valco/Airline models.  They've made it to these pages because though they are contemporary models their design has been based on models that were born in the 50's and 60's.  As I stated earlier in a post about Vintage 47 amps I was much more comfortable purchasing these instruments than I would have been taking a chance on the relics that float for sale across the internet.  Yes those old guitars are cool and have all the vibe in the world but the fact is it can often take an awful lot to get them up and running and most of them are at least double the price that you would pay for these newer Eastwood models that are ready to go right out of the box.

Mike Robinson runs Eastwood Guitars out of Canada.  I discovered him after being highly dismayed by the products Fender and Gibson were pushing out the door.  I mean a signature Merle Haggard telecaster for $5000-$6000 was a little too much to stomach.  I'm not sure who the target audience is for that instrument, especially in today's economy.  Now I happen to be a huge Merle Haggard fan and I can only hope he is receiving a little something for the use of his name, but I'm not sure I would spend that kind of money on the guitar that Merle wrote "Mama Tried" on, let alone a reissue of a guitar that Merle sometimes uses - even if I was rolling in the dough.  I don't mean to disparage the Telecaster name.  It happens to be one of my favorite instruments and one of the greatest guitar creations of all time, but the $300 cheapie that I have with a few modifications has served me just fine.

The point is I was looking for something different for a real fair price.  These guitars deliver.  The construction and electronics are great.  Amazingly heavyweight bodies (unlike their predecessors) that feel like they were really built to last.  These guitars remind me of the way this country used to build cars.  Heavy duty with lots of chrome.  Of course I was compelled to pair these babies up with my '83 Chevy Impala in the photos.  I wouldn't mind transferring some of the colors that Eastwood comes up with to that old Chevy.  I know, I know.  A fair amount of the construction is done overseas and one of my hopes for this blog has been to display uniquely American instruments.  So I failed!!  Oh well, there will be plenty of true American, depression era instruments to come.  These guitars surpassed my expectations by a longshot, so I felt they deserved a nod.

This model is probably one of the prettiest guitars I own.  I went wild for the color which is Indigo.  It is a guitar first, but the finish is so glassy that it moonlights as a mirror.  This is the Airline Indigo 3 pickup Deluxe limited edition model.  Yes that's a mouthful, but they only made 24 of these(this model is #11 of 24).  Each year Eastwood tries to pick a super funky color and do a very limited run of that color on one of their current models.  As you can see this guitar is overloaded with knobs and in turn overloaded with tones.  The action is super low for all the fast flyers out there and it plays great up and down the neck.

Lets get back to simplicity.  That is the way I like to keep it and why I love the aforementioned Telecaster and also why i love this guitar.  This is the H44 DLX.  It was modeled after the 1950's era Stratotone.  Great big baseball bat neck and very thick tone.  I play this guitar every chance I get.  The minihumbuckers are a nice change for me as I generally gravitate toward that single coil sound and bite.  Probably one of the best electric slide sounds you'll be able to conjure up.

Say Cheeeeeese!!  I see you taking that picture.

I'll keep this short and sweet.  I'm starting to feel like an add for Eastwood which is not my intention.  This is the RSII, modeled after the late 1950's Roy Smeck model.  Great rockabilly guitar.  Indescribable tone from the diamond pickups.  Check out Eastwood guitars at and at

Friday, March 2, 2012

Taylor 510

I hesitated to add a post of this guitar as it doesn't even come close to falling in the category of depression era instruments that I am trying to stick to.  I guess I'm doing this one for me.  This Early 90's Taylor 510 has been my number one guitar for a long time.  It has played tons of shows and helped me write tons of songs.  I tend to think of the guitar not only as an instrument of art, but as a tool as well.  If a carpenter has a favorite hammer or chisel then i would have to say this is a favorite tool of mine.  I think of songwriting as a trade or a craft not unlike the work a plumber, electrician, or a carpenter has to do.  The proper tools are needed to do a good job.

I bought this guitar at Maple Leaf Music in Brattleboro, VT.  It was an incredible investment for me at the time.  I was working in a grocery store at the time and saved all my pennies for this guitar.  I saw it in the shop in the morning and literally stayed in Brattleboro all day trying to make the purchase decision.  I'm glad I pulled the trigger.  I can't think of another investment in my life that has paid off so well.

A long way from getting that Willie Nelson/Trigger road rash, but I'm getting there

Quite frankly, i'm not sure if I've seen another Taylor since this one that I would be interested in purchasing.  Something happened along the way that has disallowed me from gravitating towards them in the music shop.  Could be mass production.  The 510 I own was from a day when Taylor was a much smaller brand and Bob Taylor signed the guitars himself right on the neck block.  I can't tell you much about their instruments of the present day, but this guitar has never ever failed me.  Great construction, great tone.  The only work I've had to do on it was a recent bridge reset and fret cleanup by Steve Kovacik.  The bridge was lifting a little and Steve tightened it all up.  She sounds better than ever now.  Check out Steve's work at