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Dana Bourgeois is known around the world for his superb craftsmanship and also as one of the foremost authorities on the voicing, selection and utilization of fine acoustic tonewoods.He selects and matches the woods for each guitar at the beginning of the production process and, once each guitar is complete, checks it from top to bottom insuring it is aesthetically perfect and sounds and plays up to the demanding Bourgeois standard. Throughout the production process you can find Dana applying bridges, spraying a sunburst top, buffing the final finish coat, selecting and applying pick guards as well as overseeing the eight other individuals working on the various facets of the guitars being built. Dana's career began when he built his first guitar in his dorm room at his alma mater, Bowdoin College in Maine. From there, using the knowledge he gained primarily from the repair of guitars, he launched into lutherie on a full-time basis in 1978. His experience with a more extensive production came after he received a request from Eric Schoenberg to build an OM cutaway in the traditional design. This initiated a decade long partnership with Schoenberg and the engagement of Martin Guitars in the final assembly of instruments designed by Dana and with tops he individually voiced. Over 300 guitars were built in this fashion bearing the Schoenberg label and carrying the signature of Dana's design and sound. Dana was then retained by Paul Reed Smith Guitars in 1990 to spearhead acoustic development for the PRS organization, and later by Gibson Guitars to assist in construction and setup of their new production facility in Montana. With this experience and knowledge Dana went on to establish his own small-shop production company, Bourgeois Guitars in 1995. In 2000, he co-founded Pantheon Guitars and currently oversees and participates in the design and annual construction of about 400 guitars bearing his name.
Dana Bourgeois’ involvement with guitars predates by many years the company that carries his name. His work has, in fact, enriched the steel-string guitar world for almost 40 years. Although Bourgeois began playing guitar shortly after seeing the Beatles’ historic performances on The Ed Sullivan Show, his journey with the craft of lutherie began in earnest while attending Maine’s Bowdoin College in the early ’70s. After devouri ng Irving Sloan’s landmark book Classic Guitar Construction, Dana figured he’d give it a shot in his dorm room. “My grandfather was a machinist, and my father was an amateur wood worker, and between the two of them, I received enough help to actually build a guitar,” he remembers. Clearly, Dana had found his passion. By 1977, he had established a one-man shop in Brunswick, Maine, which soon led to his first commission for a hand-built guitar. “From the mid-’70s to mid-’80s,” he says, “my bread and butter was repair and restoration, but I never stopped building guitars.”
Lewiston, Maine
Ricky Skaggs, Bryan Sutton, Martin Simpson, Sean Watkins (Nickel Creek), Steve Earle, Ron Block, Dan Tyminski, Marshall Crenshaw
Country Boy, Standard D, Vintage D, DB Signature, D-150, Slope D, Advanced Slope D, BK Slope D, Banjo Killer, JOM, JOMC, OMC, Vintage OM, Soloist, OMS, OMS-150, DS-260, Petite Jumbo, DB Jumbo, Celtic JOM