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Dream Guitars was recently honored when classical guitarist extraordinaire, Charles Mokotoff, visited  our showroom and auditioned our wonderful collection of new and vintage classical guitars. We were immediately seized by Charle’s command of the instrument, as he treated us to  an impromptu overview of his current repertoire.

Because we are a premier acoustic guitar shop, we are fortunate to have an eclectic, deeply talented family of clients and friends. We are very proud to count Charles among them. I highly encourage you to check out his music soon.

From Charle’s website:

CHARLES MOKOTOFF holds both Bachelors and Masters degrees in guitar performance from Syracuse University and Ithaca College, respectively. He has served on the faculties of numerous colleges and universities in the New York and New England area as a lecturer in classical guitar and lute.

Prior to settling in the Washington, DC area in 1991, Mr. Mokotoff made his home in New England where he was widely recognized as an active guitarist and Renaissance lute player during the 1980s. During that period his career culminated with two Far East tours and a well-received New York City debut at Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall in 1987, featuring the Premier of Autumn Elegy by William Coble, written and dedicated to him.

Mr. Mokotoff has been hearing impaired for a good deal of his life and was featured inHearing Loss Magazine in January 2010.


 

You may purchase his CD “Autumn Elegy” from iTunes by clicking HERE, or from CD Baby by clicking HERE. Or enjoy his music live at one of the the upcoming recitals.

 

 

James Olson, Larry Robinson, Kevin Ryan, and Michael Keller

Clearly, luthiery requires a diverse set of finely honed skills, but it also requires a deep aesthetic understanding. Do you consider yourself more of an artist or a craftsman?

I definitely consider myself a craftsman with a very strong artistic sense. I had always been fond of arts of all kinds — decorative, interpretive, pre-modern, impressionist, surrealistic. I am fond of many types of art. But I’m also very fond of many types of crafts, pottery, jewelry and knife making, and furniture. This is the world of my imagination.

MICHAEL KELLER

MICHAEL KELLER

When you’re starting to build a guitar and you’re trying to picture it in your visual mind, many artistic considerations come into play that go beyond crafting a fine sounding guitar. Different colors of wood, different colored shells, colored purflings, bindings and shapes, all become a pallet that is available to you to compose a beautiful looking instrument.

One must also realize ultimately you’re making a tool for a musician. No matter how beautiful or arty a guitar looks, if it doesn’t play well and sound great I don’t care how arty it is. I would much rather have a guitarist tell me, “I love the sound of the guitar”, rather than “the sound is OK but the inlays are great”. It’s really totally about the sound and playability.

Recently, flying back from a guitar festival I noticed one of the editors of a guitar magazine on the plane who had been at the show. We started talking, and he mentioned that he had played a lot of very expensive heavily inlaid guitars that didn’t play or sound very good. He said exactly what I was thinking from my own experiments at the festival. A lot of the guitars at the show were designed to be eye catching, but a lot of effort had not been put into making them play well. So the artistic side of guitar making is a field that one should embrace carefully, making sure the instrument sounds and plays well first. After that, as far as I’m concerned, anything goes.

Read more

Large Accessory Box

All of us at Dream Guitars are huge fans of the Paul Reed Smith line of Private Stock acoustic guitars — and we’re not alone. These are great sounding instruments with exceptional playability. And now, we’re thrilled to bring you the newest addition to the line, two exceptional new signature models for guitar legends Tony McManus and Martin Simpson.

“It’s an ironic thing to say about such a beautiful instrument but it becomes invisible- leaving the player to concentrate solely on the music- which is what it should be all about. The Tony McManus signature model is based on the Angelus model but with the PRS wide fingerboard. The bridge and fingerboard are in ebony, and the Private Stock wood choices are pretty spectacular. The guitar is capable of going anywhere I’m capable of going musically. It works beautifully as a solo fingerstyle guitar but if I need to flatpick, it’ll go there too. It’ll accompany songs, tunes…whatever I need…tuned high and tuned low, gently caressed or driven hard,” said Tony McManus.

PRS TONY McMANUS ACOUSTIC GUITAR

PRS TONY McMANUS ACOUSTIC GUITAR

Tony McManus Private Stock Acoustic Specs

Tony McManus Private Stock

Tony McManus Private Stock


Shape 15 1/2″ Cutaway
Bracing PRS X-brace/classical hybrid
Back and Side Woods Cocobolo
Top Wood European Spruce
Neck
Neck Wood Mahogany
Fretboard and Bridge Wood Ebony
Strength Rod High-Modulus Carbon Fiber
Inlays Mammoth Ivory J Birds
Hardware
Nut Bone
Nut Width 1 3/4″
Saddle Bone
Tuners Proprietary Robson Hand-Machined Tuners
Tuner Buttons Ebony
Electronics
Electronics PRS Pickup system

MARTIN SIMPSON PRS ACOUSTIC

MARTIN SIMPSON PRS ACOUSTIC

“The new Martin Simpson signature model guitar is simply the result of the PRS team being truly attentive to the feedback of a player. I have felt privileged to be able to tell them what I think will make a better guitar for great acoustic playing, and they have listened to my input from materials to neck width and string spacing, pick up sound and inlays….and when the last model arrived, I was blown away by the results. The new signature model is entirely the best materials, and the specs which I asked for, presented in a deluxe version. It is a great instrument made by people who care and strive always for the highest standards in tone, playability, workmanship and aesthetics.” – Martin Simpson.

Martin Simpson Private Stock Acoustic Specs

MARTIN SIMPSON PRIVATE STOCK

MARTIN SIMPSON PRIVATE STOCK


Shape 15 1/2″ Cutaway
Bracing PRS X-brace/classical hybrid
Back and Side Woods Cocobolo
Top Wood Adirondack Spruce
Neck
Neck Wood Mahogany
Fretboard and Bridge Wood Ebony
Strength Rod High-Modulus Carbon Fiber
Inlays Green Abalone J Birds
Hardware
Nut Bone
Nut Width 1.81″
Saddle Bone
Tuners Proprietary Robson Hand-Machined Tuners
Tuner Buttons Ebony
Electronics
Electronics PRS Pickup system

Click here to hear examples of Tony’s amazing playing on the Maker’s Mark CD!

RAY CHESNA

Dream guitars  is proud to welcome the latest member of our team, Ray Chesna. A veteran repair man, performer, and teacher, Ray brings years of experience and an abundance of talent to the table.

Ray Chesna has repaired instruments owned by Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Johnny Cash, Keith Richards, and Bill Wyman.

Ray Chesna has repaired instruments owned by Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Johnny Cash, Keith Richards, and Bill Wyman.

A graduate of the Charles Fox’s venerable Guitar Research and Design School, Ray honed his prodigious skills at Stuyvesant Music on 48th Street in Manhattan, and at New York’s legendary Matt Umanov’s in Greenwich Village.

Here is just a small sampling of clients that have entrusted their precious instruments with Ray: Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Johnny Cash, Keith Richards, Bill Wyman… You get the idea, and the list goes on and on!

If your guitar requires a neck reset, cracks repaired, or simply its annual tune up, Ray Chesna is your man. His work is exceptional – whether your instrument is a flattop, an archtop, or an electric.

Dream guitars has always aimed to be more than just another guitar shop. Our goal is to bring you the very best products and service available. For that reason we are thrilled to have Ray Chesna  heading up our repair department.

He has the ability to make guitars sing, and the expertise to refine your new favorite, or to restore your old workhorse to its former glory. So give us a call and find out how the Dream Guitars repair department can help you.

Monday Oct 19th

I performed at the New York song Witers Circle which takes place at The Bitterend every other Monday. It’s an instution put together and run by the extremely talented songwriter and singer, Tina Shafer. I couldn’t wait for all these acoustic guitar players to hear the Bravado. Tina hears a lot of acoustic guitars and she had this to say, “”spectacular clarity of sound, ringing and pure”.

Feb 1 2010
I did a session for Composer rob Morsberger. He’s writing music for the PBS-TV program “NOVA.” He’s what Rob said about recording the Tippin.
“your Tippin doesn’t need much eq I was always boosting the other guitar in the low mids to add body to the tone the Tippin doesn’t need it, baby!”

Feb 8 2010

To day I did a session for the legendary producer Frank Filipetti (James Taylor, Carly Simon).

He’s producing and engineering a CD for “4 Troops.” A group of veterans who have put together a group and are signed to Sony. This will be a big release.

I used the Tippin “Bravado” on all the songs that I’ve played on so far. Of course the guitar sounds great.

Hello,
Well after a nice stint out on the west coast where I got to spend a few weeks in the Somogyi shop I finally had to bite the bullet and head home. It’s undeniably winter here in Winnipeg and I have my shop all bundled up with the heaters cranked and the humidifiers going full blast. When it’s -50 c there isn’t a lot to do outside so I’ve been surfing the internet and found a cool video of Seth Avett (of The Avett Brothers) playing a guitar I built for him on the Craig Ferguson show.

The guitar is one of two I built for him last year. Both Koa back and sides with spruce tops and ebony appointments. It turned out to be a really fun project as he wanted some very interesting inlays…

The skull is made from spalted maple with koa rings in the background and gold mother of pearl music notes for teeth. The moth is mostly brazilian and madagascar rosewood, with some spalted maple and ebony in the wings. The eyes on the wing are mother of pearl and abalone. The maple leaf is spalted maple with a cocobolo stem.

Cheers,
Jordan

duhks.com
mcconnellguitars.com
McConnell Guitars
Winnipeg, Canada
(204)334.4528

Sean Avett

Sean Avett

McConnell Guitar

McConnell Guitar

McConnell Guitar #2

McConnell Guitar #2

Invocacion y Danza by Joaquin Rodrigo, played by Chaconne Klaverenga at the Frankfort Concert Library Series Solo Concert on January 15, 2010.
Guitar by Thomas Humphrey

In Acoustic Guitar Magazine’s 20th Anniversary issue there’s a list of 20 Years of Essential Acoustic Albums and our good friend Al Petteway got two mentions and our Dream Guitars’ 2008 collaboration with Tony McManus received one.

Quotes from the article:
1997 – Al Petteway, Caledon Wood
“Anchored in Celtic music with African and South American influences,
these original pieces and traditional arrangements show why
Petteway is one of today’s most respected fingerstyle players.” (Maggie’s Music)

2004 – Various artists, Henry Mancini: Pink Guitar
Laurence Juber, Ed Gerhard, Doug Smith, Al Petteway,
and other fingerstyle luminaries arranged the songs of Henry Mancini
and became Grammy winners in the process. (Solid Air)

2008 – Tony McManus, The Maker’s Mark: The Dream Guitar Sessions
When you put 15 different custom guitars, from Jeff Traugott, Kathy Wingert, Michael Greenfield,
and others, in the hands of one immensly talented guitarist, you end up with
a classic record that’s a testament to custom lutherie. (Compass)

Click this link for the full article

Greetings all!

Chaconne has new videos on youtube from recent concerts. The first video is an outreach for Purdue University before her March solo concert with Purdue.
The latter two videos are for the Boccherini Fandango with the Toledo Chamber Music Society
Happy holidays!

Tony McManus recently won ‘Instrumental Solo Artist of the Year’ for Maker’s Mark: The Dream Guitars Sessions by Tony McManus. The album featured Tony’s stellar playing in conjunction with 15 handpicked instruments provided by Paul Heumiller of Dream Guitars.
Congratulations to you Tony!

Carly Simon, John Forte, Peter Calo and David Saw performing together at Joe’s Pub NYC as part of John Forte’s showcase

Randall Bays dropped in for a visit here at Dream Guitars and while he was here he took this 2009 Striebel Guitars RS Bevel – Grand Concert Acoustic Guitar out to play.

Randal Bays

Randal Bays plays a Striebel Guitar

Last Sunday we sponsored the Emerging Artist Showcase at the Emerald Lounge in Asheville, NC and loaned a Kent Chasson guitar to Aaron LaFalce who performed. He is also a DJ with 98.1 the River and they put on the event.
Check out these pics of Aaron and the Chasson guitar.

Aaron LaFalce plays Emerging Artist Showcase

Aaron LaFalce plays Emerging Artist Showcase

Aaron jams on a Kent Chasson guitar

Aaron jams on a Kent Chasson guitar

Aaron 5

Aaron 5

Aaron202

Aaron

Aaron205

Aaron

Emerging Artist

Aaron

Emerging Artist 2

Aaron

This past Tuesday John Forte played a showcase at Joe’s Pub in New York City and our good friend Peter Calo along with Carly Simon and David Saw performed with John.

We wanted to share a couple of photos from the show.

John Forte showcase with backing from Peter Calo

John Forte showcase with backing from Peter Calo


John Forte, Peter Calo, David Saw and Carly Simon

John Forte, Peter Calo, David Saw and Carly Simon

Hi there. It’s great to be a part of this blog, I’m a longtime fan and “drooler over” of Dream Guitars. I’m also honoured to be building a guitar for Paul.

I have been spending the last ten years quietly building guitars in Winnipeg, Manitoba; a smallish prairie town in central Canada. I’ve also spent the last eight years or so (not so quietly) travelling the world with my band The Duhks.

Right now I’m sitting in Tulsa, Oklahoma, listening to Los Lobos’s (www.loslobos.org) guitar tech Vincent play some pretty convincing Hendrix on David Hidalgo’s tele. I also just got to check out Louie Perez’s gorgeous jarana; a really cool little eight-stringed instrument from the Mexican state of Veracruz. If you haven’t seen him play this thing you really should!

This is one of the many moments I really feel lucky to be a guitar player as well as a maker. I’ve had the chance to see and play some really cool guitars in my travels, not to mention getting to know some of the most amazing players of our time. Last week I was hanging out and jamming with Jim Lauderdale and Jeb Puryear and Peter Rowan in a Florida swamp, and today my band is about to do a soundcheck for the second of four shows with Los Lobos. Los Lobos! These guys are incredible musicians, and check out their arsenal…

Los Lobos tour guitars

Los Lobos tour guitars

(I have my two road-weary partners in crime in there as well. The only acoustics on stage tonight! Uh-oh.)

Milwaukee and Chicago with Los Lobos before we break out on our own and head to California for a week and a half. Our last show is in L.A. and I’m hoping to visit Steve McSwain’s shop in L.A. before I blast up the coast to drop in at the Somogyi headquarters in Oakland. I’ll keep you posted.

Gotta run, time to plug in and get rocking.

Cheers,

Jordan McConnell

Makers Mark CD by Tony McManus

Tony McManus CD available online

We just found out today that Maker’s Mark: The Dream Guitars Sessions by Tony McManus has been nominated for for the Canadian Folk Awards, the Scots Traditional Music Awards and made the first cut for the Grammys!

Check out this video of our friend Peter Calo playing the Tippin Bravado with Highlander pickups backing Carly Simon on The Today Show.Carly Simon – You Belong With Me – Live Today Show 10/28/2009

Earlier this morning one of our cherished guitars from http://www.DreamGuitars.com, a 2008 Tippin Guitars Bravado, Dream Series Blackwood #2 Small Jumbo Acoustic Guitar, was being played on Good Morning America by Peter Calo who is touring with Carly… Simon. Check out Peter and the guitar as Diane Sawyer speaks with Carly.

Click the link below to see the video,

Peter Calo playing a 2008 Tippin Guitar Bravado on Good Morning America

Tippin Dream Series Bravado

Tippin Dream Series

Peter Calo plays with the likes of Carly Simon, James Taylor, Hall and Oates and many more top recording artists. Peter is now touring with a Tippin Dream Series Bravado and will be blogging about it here on our new Dream Guitars Blog. Visit here often for updates on the tour including comments from top musicians, many hearing a Tippin for the very first time. Performance will include the Good Morning America Show on Monday October 26th and the Today Show on Wednesday October 28th. This will be fun! Here’s what Peter has to say about this incredible Tippin guitar:

This guitar is awesome. And beyond noticeable. Everyone is blown away. I’m writing up my notes and photos to send you. I played at the song writers circle. All acoustic guitarist and there was absolutely no comparison. Carly Simon heard the guitar and immediately said I need to get one.

Look for more blog posts from Peter as his tour progresses…this will be fun! – Paul Heumiller