Further Franco Finds

Someone who will never need reminding about Taraffo’s lasting influence (see “Taraffo’s Infinite Influence” of last month) is my indefatigable octogenarian friend Franco Ghisalberti.  (Harp Guitar Gathering goers will recognize Franco [at left] as the living legend who signed my “Sir Gregory” knighthood document). Ever since Franco and I first connected in 2007, he has [...]

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The Vahdah Olcott-Bickford Collection

For those who may wonder where all this historical harp guitar information comes from, the answer is that, well, it naturally comes from a multitude of sources.  Each new discovery – an old article, a collector’s new find, a family member coming forward, new tidbits appearing on the Internet – becomes another piece of this [...]

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French Harp Guitarists Travel in Style

…new harp guitar style, that is. Here is the just-completed new batch of re-designed Outdoor Harp Guitars from Luke Brunner.  I try to avoid too much sales pitch on this blog (especially without any payola!), but it’s no secret that I raved about the first Brunner travel HGs back in March, 2009.  As you recall, [...]

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Harp Guitar Magic

This is just too cool. So, most of you know how I collect and archive every possible image of historical harp guitars.  My goal is simply a decent digital scan; I certainly don’t need, want, nor can afford all the originals.  Still, it’s quite delightful to hold in your hand the actual article displaying some [...]

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Joe Campton Builds His Fantasy Gibson

Like many of you, I’m a huge fan of early Gibson aesthetics, the more scrolls and points the better! Evidently, so was young Boise, Idaho vaudevillian Joseph E. Campton, who perhaps couldn’t afford a Gibson, so built his own arch-top harp guitar from scratch. I imagine him ogling one of the Gibson catalogs of c.1920 [...]

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Taraffo’s Infinite Influence

Even before my investigation of Pasquale Taraffo’s career began, one of the very first things I discovered – though I didn’t quite realize it at the time – was an instrument clearly inspired by his famous Settimio Gazzo harp guitar.  Even before I learned who Gazzo was, I had seen the first “influenced-by” copy – [...]

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The Harp Guitar That Never Was

Otherwise known as “Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda” number 2. Though I generally share everything harp guitar related in my orbit with you all, I do have the occasional “secret project” I’m working on (secret only until I’m ready for the reveal).  This one might have been spectacular, I think…but alas, destiny decided otherwise.  I’d actually put [...]

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Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda

It’s been great fun over the years watching some of our favorite 6-string fingerstyle guitar virtuosos get bitten by the harp guitar bug, to join Bennett, and later McKee, Anderson and others of the once-rarified few. Carter Lancaster, Antoine Dufour and Don Alder are just some who have successfully jumped on the bandwagon.  And this [...]

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New Harp Guitar String Line Debut

And the winner is… Us! After ten years of beating the bushes (and my head against a brick wall), a major string manufacturer has finally taken harp guitars seriously.   While our instrument has been summarily blown off by D’Addario, GHS, JP and others, DR Strings bent over backwards to commit to this project, an exclusive [...]

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Knutsen Nature Boy, Part 2

Following up on Knutsen Nature Boy, Part 1  and our in-depth expose (Was William Pester, the “Hermit of Palm Springs,” the real “Nature Boy”?  The answer may surprise you!), we’re now going to investigate the equally mysterious Hawaiian acoustic steel guitars that Pester was photographed with. Please be forewarned that this will be a somewhat [...]

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