Instrument Gallery


The Celt:  This guitar has the same hardened Sitka spruce top as The Shaman, but the back and sides are figured curly maple making the projection loud and bright.  It sounds great strumming, but the maple makes this an amazing lead guitar that cuts through any situation.  This is my primary acoustic gigging guitar so it has some minor nicks from the road.  I can use Martin Marquis Mediums (.13-.56) and still bend 1 1/2 steps easily.  I would not be the player that I am today without these two amazing guitars.

The Shaman:  This guitar, along with The Celt, were ordered in 1997 and delivered to me on November 6, 1999.  The top is Alaskan Bearclaw Sitka Spruce, cut from a tree felled in 1860 and submerged in a salmon trap for about 40 years.  The back and sides are East Indian rosewood and the fretboard and veneers are marbled ebony.  The inlays were selected by me and stylized by Sheldon Schwartz, the amazing luthier who crafted it.  The weight of this guitar is remarkably heavy and it is best heard in a strumming situation.  The tone is rich and even and the bass response is unbelievable.


The Boogie Board is a custom made, double neck Steel guitar table made by Vince Pace of Empire, Michigan. The top is master grade quilted maple from Oregon and the body is mahogany. In retrospect, getting a case with wheels might have been a wise maneuver. I don’t usually get super excited about celebrity autographs, but this instrument has been signed by Steve Kimock and Robert Randolph, who are my two primary influences for playing steel.
The 1949 Supro Steel guitar was the first steel guitar I ever owned. It was sold to me as a great "learner" guitar, but with a little bit of lovin it plays like butter. After I saw Steve Kimock play "Sleepwalk" for the first time, I was hooked. Owned one within a week. Sometimes the bug just hits you....
1980 Mesa Boogie Mark II is made from one piece of imbuia wood with dove tail joints; the front grill is wicker. This beautiful amp was a gift to me from my dear friend Robert Goik, upon his passing. He and I had remarkably similar timelines, and I was honored to play Lorien and Little Martha at his funeral. This amp has a universal power selector and can be set to 100 watts or 60. I have never had this amp off of the 60 watt channel and it is still the loudest amp I have ever owned. It is strange how such a small amp could piss off my neighbors sooooooo much?
The Regal Squareneck Dobro was my answer to the Question, "How can I play slide guitar at a campfire and still be heard?" When I bought it at the "Acoustic Mecca" Elderly Instruments in Lansing,MI, The salesguy convinced me to buy a cheaper model body and soup up the hardware, which I did and now......look out!
The Mandolin is an F-style kit from a small maker in Virginia. I did not spend much time with it when I first got it, because it would not stay in tune real well, but after a little service it is a great piece. I have big paws and this is a mando with a real wide fretboard so my chubby fingers find lots of room to move on this baby.

Paul Reed Smith Custom 24 : This is my primary electric guitar, affectionately known as "Fire." This guitar has the traditional bird inlays and a black cherry quilted "10 top." I have had it refretted twice and someday plan to get a matching Custom 24, not necessarily the same color, just the same specs otherwise.
Gould Les Paul copy: This was my very first electric guitar. I bought it at a garage sale for $35 including the case. It was a great guitar until I was saucy at a gig and didn’t know I had the cable wrapped around my foot. I walked away and pulled it off the stand by the cable, it fell face down and snapped the headstock. I tried to repair it, but once I got my real LP, I put it away because it kinda plays like a tractor. I guess this will be a gift to my son when he is ready, because I almost never play it now that I have the PRS and LP.
The 1973 Martin D-35 is a guitar that I inherited from my uncle Bruce Longest when he passed away. Unfortunately, the guitar was not played much in his later years and suffered a bit of damage from lack of humidity. It is still a great piece, but will probably be the first guitar that my son gets when he is ready.