14 November 2019

For guitarists - and luthiers

The latest instalment of Dave Berry's 'California report' series on Bluegrass Today is a major interview with Richard Hoover, founder of the Santa Cruz Guitar Company, which has now been going for over forty years. It's a thought-provoking account not only of how to make outstanding guitars, but of how to run a guitar-making enterprise - and one that never requires a live tree to be cut down. Hoover's core principles have been open-source lutherie (sharing knowledge freely among instrument makers) and sustainability: Santa Cruz uses reclaimed wood throughout (some of it thousands of years old), which is an essential ingredient of a superior sound.

The videos accompanying the interview include a twelve-minute talk by Hoover about his use of wood and the resulting instruments; an eleven-minute tribute and 'happy birthday' from many of Hoover's friends, associates, and customers; some astounding picking from Scott Law; and three-plus minutes of Santa Cruz's most celebrated customer, Tony Rice, talking about his Santa Cruz guitar.

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