It has been almost 5 months since I have written a post (sorry for the delay) and about the same amount of time since the 2012 Woodstock Luthiers Invitational that was held at the Bearsville Theater in Woodstock, NY . This event would not be possible with it’s creator Baker Rorick.
I had the great pleasure of not only attending and photographing the event, seeing all the beautiful hand-made instruments and meeting their builders, also meeting the tone-wood vendors and buying select woods for some of the instruments I am building, but also hearing all the amazing musicians whom performed on many of those beautiful instruments.
Some of the builders there showing their work.
Aside from being around all those guitars (feeing so in my element) and meeting their builders, an amazing thing happened. I had a chance encounter with John Sebastian (The Lovin Spoonful) himself. While going out to my vehicle I met him and just as a hoot asked him if he would take a look at a Maple Parlor Guitar that I built.
With a smile and without hesitation John followed me to my car and picked up my parlor guitar. For a moment or two he just humored me and picked a few notes. Then his ear moved toward the sound hole followed by his hand reaching into his pocket and pulling out some finger picks began to play. For the next 5 minutes Mr. Sebastian picked out a bluegrass tune and other melodies while we both tapped out feet and smiled. (I was in heaven) Fortunately for me I had a camera around and my friend John Grunberg grabbed a few photos of us together. At the end of his playing he smiled and said to me “beautiful”. My heart soared. What a blast. What a gentleman.
At the event I met some amazing instrument builders, master luthiers and prominent people in the music industry. Ervin Somogyi, Ken Parker, Michael Gurian, Tom Ribbeke, Linda Manzer, Dick Boak of Martin guitar, my friend, teacher and luthier Frank Finocchio, Randy Muth, Machihiro Matsuda and a host of others. My aplolgies to all the other fine builders not mentioned here as that would take up a page in itself.
This was such a great event that anyone who appreciates fine instruments, woodworking, guitars and music should attend. The variety of talent walking around the room is phenominal. You never know who you will run into there.
To sum this all up; What better way is there to hear music than to have great players playing great guitars, mandolins, banjos and violins that were created by some of the finest instrument builders on the planet? There is none. What better was is there to spend a day anywhere? I just dont know. I do know that next year you should put the Woodstock Luthiers Invitational on your calendar for a must-go-to event.
Thank you Baker for all you do!
Jay Rosenblatt, Luthier