The Harpitar

Here is a wonderful new discovery – a previously unknown invention from 1918 by one R. E. Bates, of New York, and later Connecticut. I first heard of this last year, during my initial foray into the online Music Trade Review archives.  It had only this tantalizing mention and description: I resigned myself to the […]

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In Search of Genoese Harp Guitars, Part 14: Last Day in Genoa

Well, it had to end sometime…and yet we managed to pack so much in, it felt like another whole week! As you recall, we left off at the end of an incredible harp guitar exhibit and presentation – the first Genoa had ever seen.  There, I met Carlos Pierini, the owner of that incredible Drasseg […]

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Stutzman’s Harp Guitars

Some of you may remember an obscure “harp guitar poster” from Vintage Guitar magazine some years ago.  Amazingly, I missed it and still haven’t found one, though I have a decent image (courtesy of Bob Hartman, some years ago).  It included an impressive 8 American harp guitars of every style, from a garden variety Gibson […]

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The Leo Kottke of the Harp Guitar

Obviously I’m stuck in a title rut…last one, I promise (maybe). This would be Dave Powell – he spent the day in my studio recording his submission for the new compilation.  It’s his best solo HG piece so far.   He played a version of it at the last Gathering with brother Tone, after which Frank […]

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The Joe Biden of the Harp Guitar

It seems I’m on a roll with this theme… This time it’s Frank Doucette.  Not only is he an actual “vice president” (of The Harp Guitar Foundation), but more importantly, he’s also the little-recognized man behind much of the “harp guitar scenes.” For example – aside from Beyond Six Strings, not one Harp Guitar Music […]

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The Manufacturing Engineer of the Harp Guitar

That would be me. OK, a lame little play on the last blog title. We’ve got 3 key people out at work (did you know that Northrup Grumman now pays up to 6 weeks Paternity Leave?!…yes, that’s to allow the dad to bond with his new baby during the “critical period”…so when am I gonna […]

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The Antoine Dufour of the Arpa Viola Caipira

That would be Brad Hoyt.  The Arpa Viola Caipira (or “AVC” for short) is, as you probably know, the harp guitar “cousin” that he invented (with the help of luthier Steve Sedgwick).  Of course, as Brad remains the only known owner and player of the AVC, we could pretty much call him the “(Fill-in-the-blank with […]

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Gibson Harp Steel

Alas, only Knutsen made “Harp Hawaiian Guitars,” or as we now call them, harp steels. Nevertheless, this woman decided to re-purpose her standard Gibson Style U harp guitar into a “super harp steel guitar” – with 10 chromatic subs to support her slide work.  I can only wonder if she used the basses – I […]

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In Search of Genoese Harp Guitars, Part 13: Genoa’s First Harp Guitar Exhibit

We left off at lunch time after a relaxing yet exhilarating free morning on Day 8 – but now things were going to get a whole lot more exciting! As I said earlier, Franco wasn’t just helping Jaci and I enjoy a first-time vacation trip to Genoa, he had specifically planned a full harp guitar […]

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More on Amend, the One-Armed Harp Guitarist

After several years with and collecting/archiving hundreds of rare images of harp guitar players, this still has to be just about the most amazing photograph ever.  You’ll remember it from the special Knutsen Archives feature, Bert Amend & the One-Armed Musicians, which debuted in February, 2004 (  We owe the discovery of the remarkable […]

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