Paul Geremia has been an inspiration to me from the start. He is a true national treasure in the acoustic music world and has been on the road playing his tunes nonstop since the 1960's. I first met him personally through Dakota Dave, and he visits the shop on a regular basis, making the hour's drive from Rhode Island to get nut and saddle adjustments and propose various hare-brained ideas to hot-rod his guitars. A few years ago, Paul decided that his 1930's J-35 had had enough of the road, and we set about duplicating it, and then duplicating it again. He has been gigging exclusively with his Fairbanks guitars ever since, eventually selling the original. We are extremely proud and honored to have Paul as an endorser. His praise does not come easily!
Sadly, Paul suffered a stroke last year. He has no lasting physical effects but lost much of his repertoire and is currently resting and rehabbing in Providence, RI, working hard and playing a lot. There's a YouCaring site where you can go to contribute to help him pay off his ongoing medical bills.
http://www.youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/something-s-gotta-be-arranged-/241689 Any amount helps!
I first saw Catfish Keith in 1989 at a blues festival in Essex, CT. It was one of the hottest and wettest of days that summer but the energy pouring from the stage was unforgettable. A virtuosic guitar picker and singer, Catfish specializes in an irresistible blend of Delta and Piedmont blues styles that are filtered through his soul and come out as something entirely original. Among his impressive collection of vintage and new small-shop guitars is his new staple: a Fairbanks F-10 Nick Lucas. In his own words, he is over-the-moon-tickled with the tone, feel and all-around mojo of his Fairbanks. We are delighted to have Catfish Keith as an endorser, and now as a distributor! You can see which guitars are going to Catfish on our 'just shipped' page, and be sure to check out his own website for touring schedules and tons of other interesting stuff: www.catfishkeith.com.
Dakota Dave Hull
For the past few years, Dakota Dave Hull has been searching for someone to build a copy of his 1935 Gibson Jumbo to take on tour, specifically outside the United States where traveling with a guitar with Brazilian rosewood is becoming increasingly difficult. In January 2009 Dave and his Gibson took a trip from his hometown of Minneapolis to visit my shop in South Windsor, CT. After a couple of days spent poring over the old guitar and playing and chatting, Dave decided to place an order, taking the opportunity of a blank slate to customize the new guitar to his specifications.
Introduced in 1934, the Gibson Jumbo was the first iteration of the round- shouldered, wide-waisted body style that would become increasingly desirable among players and collectors into the 21st century. At 16" across the lower bout, it replaced the L-series guitar as the largest in the catalog. Coincidentally or not, the Jumbo came out the same year the guitar maker across the tracks introduced their own acoustic cannon, the Martin Dreadnought.
Features specific to the Jumbo, but not continued with the following model, the J-35 (a somewhat simpler version available for $35 in 1936), were its nearly consistent depth from the neck to the tail blocks and its distinctive sunburst pattern on its Mahogany back and sides.
In building Dakota Dave Hull's guitar, I took great care to replicate the elements that contribute to the old guitar's astounding tone and volume, from the dimensions of the bracing and top thickness to the thinness of the original lacquer finish and dovetail neck joint. The result exceeded my expectations and sounds better than anything I had built in that vein before.
Dakota Dave Hull has been lauded by legends such as Dave van Ronk and Norman Blake as one of the best blues and Americana fingerpickers in the world (and a delightful dinner companion!) and I am honored to have him as an endorser of Fairbanks Guitars. Check out his website at www.dakotadavehull.com.