Continuing the series on the 11th Harp Guitar Gathering…

As Saturday’s Luthier Panel was winding down (we finished the slideshows with Alistair Hay), we realized that photographer Chuck Thompson was so busy taking pictures, we completely forgot that he should have been in the panel himself.

He didn’t have a presentation ready, but we let him quickly tell the story of why/when/how he created a new production Nashville Electric Harp Guitar out of sustainable bamboo (it’s a long story, and one inextricably linked with a whole “Chuck makeover”…devilishly handsome, ain’t he?).

Andy Wahlberg, SB and I (and many others) had earlier checked out this interesting creation.

I rather liked the sound of the individual “acoustic” pickups for each string (I forget the particulars); the electric settings on the other hand were (for me) so hot, I thought the thing was going to explode in my lap.  Intense.  No, despite the harmonic curve design, the subs aren’t strung and tuned backwards.  Chuck and partner Jack Jenkins have somehow gauged them so they manage to descend from D down to E in normal harp guitar fashion (to repeat my trademark quote: “It actually works.”).

Once Chuck was done, Stephen Bennett again did a direct comparison demonstration on all the instruments that their builders had just talked about:

Clockwise from upper left (modeled by the Gathering’s version of Vanna White…I know there’s a pun in here somewhere, I just can’t find it…): Emerald Guitars (Alistair Hay), Tony Karol, Tonedevil (Powell Brothers), BMS (Benoit Meulle-Stef)

The Dyer>Holloway>Holloway test was quite revealing…

Clockwise from upper left: After demoing Michel Pellerin’s and Chuck’s EHG, we had a bit of time to add in Mike Doolin’s last instrument (the bum’s retired, if you haven’t heard), and also a brand new Woodley White nylon-string commissioned by Mark Farley (below).

Sadly, Dan LaVoie didn’t hand SB his new Jeffrey Yong all-monkeypod harp guitar; that one had an intriguing sound (no one even got a photo of Dan with it?).

And then the session regretfully ended, as it was time for the final Saturday presentation…the return of Andy Mckee.  Next!

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