THE 2009 MONTREAL GUITAR show drew twice as many people this year as last, partially due to the addition of electric guitar makers, and partially due to its association with the Montreal Jazz Festival, which pulled out all the stops for its 30th Anniversary. Exhibiting at the Guitar Show was by invitation only, and that was reflected in the outstanding quality of the instruments presented by the 100 acoustic and 28 electric guitar luthiers. There were also dozens of free workshops and mini-concerts, as well as a series of Guitarissimo performances featuring virtuoso players such as Frank Vignola, Peppino D’Agostino, and Monte Montgomery (who brought the house down). Additionally, Jeff Beck was presented with the first annual Montreal Guitar Show Tribute Award at a special press conference the day of his back-to-back performances. Here are photos of some of the more unusual instruments at the show, but there is more online at guitarplayer.com, including video of Linda Manzer showing the Metheny-Manzer Signature 6 Limited Edition guitar, Ervin Somogyi discussing his two new books, and the entire Jeff Beck award presentation and press conference.
Australian luthier Allan Tomkins showed several guitars, basses, and lap-steels, including these three Telestyle instruments. The Diamondtina 2 Blue Body (center) sports a maplecapped Australian Kauri pine body, and a maple neck with an ebony fretboard. The Diamondtina 2 Blackfire (right) has an Australian exotic Red Cedar body and a hard rock maple neck. Tomkinsguitars.com.
John Monteleone’s Teardrop guitar. “The inspiration for this guitar came from two other Teardrop guitars, the first one built in 1957 by John D’Angelico and the second by his protégé, James D’Aquisto in 1993,” explains Monteleone, who developed his craft alongside both men. The instrument is 18" wide, and approximately 2.87" deep. The top was carved from Carpathian cello spruce, and the back, sides, and neck are curly red maple. The dark wood is Madagascar ebony. Monteleone.net.
Hungarian luthiers Attila and Arpad Benedek displayed a number of unusual guitars, including this 10th Anniversary Regime model. The Regime has an alder body and a bolt-on maple neck with a 24-fret rosewood fretboard. It’s ingenious electronics combine a 5-way pickup selector with a 3-position rotary switch to get nearly every conceivable pickup and coil combination. Fibenareguitars. com.
French luthier Jérôme Casanova does museum-quality restoration work on vintage guitars (some centuries old) in addition to building his own instruments and exacting replicas of ancient guitars. Not surprisingly, however, this lap-steel Astroguitare—constructed from a neck, several metallic plates, and a phonograph horn— garnered the most attention. Casanova-luthier.com.
Lenny Piroth Robert and Luca Tripaldi of Montreal’s Daddy Mojo Stringed Instruments build smokin’ cigar box guitars for highrollin’ Big Daddies. All models—4-string, 5-string, 6-string, F-Hole, Resonator, fretted, fretless, etc.—come fitted with one or more pickups. Daddy-mojo.com.