Eric Clapton, Brad Paisley and Doc Watson Have All Played Wayne Henderson Instruments – Listen to the Master Luthier’s Fascinating Interview Here on Our Latest ‘No Guitar Is Safe’ Podcast

American luthier Wayne Henderson playing a guitar in his workshop, Rugby, Virginia, 20th June 1998. Henderson is a guitarist and specialist maker of custom acoustic guitars.
(Image credit: Sylvia Pitcher/Redferns)

If you like in-depth interviews with great guitar players – and you like to hear them play – then you need to listen to our No Guitar Is Safe podcast.

Presented by Guitar Player and hosted by Jude Gold, No Guitar Is Safe is free to listen to at your leisure on iTunes, Spotify, Soundcloud, or wherever you get your podcasts.

With over 160 episodes available there’s plenty to get your teeth into.

Just some of the featured artists include Joe Satriani, Nita Strauss, John 5, Robben Ford, Steve Morse, Steve Vai, Paul Gilbert, Lita Ford, Tommy Emmanuel, Zakk Wylde, Ace Frehley, Billy Duffy, Phil X, Celisse, Nile Rodgers and many, many more besides.

This time around we're featuring Wayne C. Henderson – a stunning steel-string player known for the equally stunning instruments he builds. Highly sought-after and with a world-class reputation, Wayne’s handmade guitars and mandolins have been ordered by everyone from Vince Gill and Eric Clapton to Brad Paisley, Peter Rowan and Doc Watson.

To make a Henderson, Wayne says he just gets out his pocketknife and carves away “anything that doesn’t look like a guitar.”

Wayne is also known for the spectacular one-day music gathering he and his friends hold on a mountain in Virginia each year – the Wayne C. Henderson Music Festival and Guitar Competition, which raises scholarship money to help children learn to play instruments and love music.

Jude Gold attended the festival this year and had a great time. Two days later, he brought some mics and stands over to Wayne’s shop and convinced him to play some solo pieces, jam and do an interview.

During the conversation, Wayne reveals he learned his craft from doing repairs on his favorite vintage Martin acoustic guitars from the ‘30s and ‘40s. “Every time I did any kind of repair work, or work on them, I tried to study just by looking at the chisel marks, sandpaper marks, the kind of wood and everything,” he explains. “That’s how I learned how to build guitars.”

Listen to the full episode here…

Rod Brakes

Rod Brakes is a music journalist with an expertise in guitars. Having spent many years at the coalface as a guitar dealer and tech, Rod's more recent work as a writer covering artists, industry pros and gear includes contributions for leading publications and websites such as GuitaristTotal Guitar, Guitar WorldGuitar Player and MusicRadar in addition to specialist music books, blogs and social media. He is also a lifelong musician.

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