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Kinnaird, Stephen
Brothers John and Stephen Kinnaird live and work in separate states. John's shop is located in the hills of North Carolina while Stephen's shop is in the pineywoods of East Texas. Both brothers build independently under the trade name Kinnaird Guitars. Occasionally, they join forces to build a special collaboration instrument.Stephen Kinnaird builds his instruments in a two-man shop with the help of Ryan Middlebrook.Stephen started building in 1980, while Ryan joined the shop in 2007.Together this duo builds 12-15 guitars per year, mostly steel string.They have five different models, from a little parlor up to a small jumbo.Both men remain captivated with the instrument, and the wonderful woods they have the opportunity to work with.
It was a turning point for my brother John and me when we visited the shop of J. Rhyne, a luthier in Atlanta, GA. Before then I assumed guitars could only be made in factories. It was a revelation to see a lone individual making world class instruments. We left that day with the ambition to do the same. So while I was finishing a degree in music, I was also studying as much as I could find about guitar construction. By the year 1980, I felt confident enough to accept a commission to build a guitar for a friend. In a few months’ time that first guitar was finished, and I was hooked. In the ensuing years I have developed a style that shows an appreciation of the great guitars of the past, while leaving room for personal expression. As a custom builder each instrument is approached as unique, and no two are exactly alike. I find great satisfaction in the challenge of designing an instrument that meets the needs of each customer.
Ken Rawls, David Shepard, Dale Shipley
Slope Jumbo, 000, Mini Jumbo, 00, Dreadnought, Westcoast
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