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Though he grew up in a non-musical family, Conley’s fascination with both music and musical instruments manifested itself early on. “I got my first guitar when I was, like, 8 and I had to take it apart,” he said. With few records around the house — his childhood collection consisted of a Johnny Cash record, a double live recording of Elvis in Hawaii, a KISS album and some Patsy Cline records his mother had — Conley would play along with commercials on TV. With financial help from his parents, Conley, 24 at the time, became one of a handful of students studying under esteemed guitar technician Bryan Galloup in Big Rapids, Mich. Galloup had taken over the shop from his own mentor, eminent guitar tech Dan Erlewine — a “world-renowned repair guy,” Conley said, who set up B.B. King’s Lucille and Albert Collins’ guitars, among others. After a year with Galloup, Conley came back again to the body shop, but this time he built a small guitar shop inside it to pursue his real passion.
I learned of Scott Conley through performer Ed Dodson. His dread that Scott built is wonderful. Loud, clear and perfect for bluegrass.