Monday, July 13th, 2009
Jim Sullivan, luthier, the builder of Sullivan custom handmade guitars, was running the sound on Stage II of the Chet Atkins Appreciation Society (CAAS) Convention. CAAS attracts some the the worlds top guitarists including such greats as Tommy Emanuel, Thom Bresh, Earl Klugh, Joscho Stephen, and Danielle Bazzini to name just a few. This year CAAS paid tribute to two great fingerstyle guitar players who passed away during this past year, Buster B. Jones and Jerry Reed. Both of these guitar players were influenced greatly by Chet Atkins and in turn influenced many other guitar players coming up in the ranks of the worlds top fingerstyle guitar players. The tributes were moving and many of this years contributing Guitarists played the music of Buster B. Jones and Jerry Reed in honor of their legacy.
Jim Sullivan had 3 special guitars on display at the convention as well as on the www.sullivanguitars.com website. A brief description of the guitars is listed below.
The first is SMSA-T – 026 which is a real eye catcher featuring wildly figured zebra wood back and sides with an Alaskan bearclaw sitka spruce top. Jim has inlaid a beautiful spalted maple rosette accented by an abalone center strip. Abalone accents are continued in the fretboard markers and headstock logo. Maintaining a zebra theme this guitar has a beautifully polished African ebony headstock laminate with ebony bindings, end wedge, heel cap and bridge. It also has black and white purfling lines front and back on the body. Tusq bridge pins with abalone dots finish off this beautiful guitar. The guitar was not only an eye catcher but there were many comments on the playability, quality of sound, responsiveness, projection and over all feel of the guitar. We plan to put an interview with Keith Beard from Alabama playing the guitar and commenting on his experience playing this one of a kind guitar. The guitar comes in a Golden Gate Deluxe case and is for sale at Sullivan Guitars for $4500.00.
Jim Sullivan also had two of his WM (working musician) models that were so popular with the players at the Chet Atkins Appreciation Societies event last summer. One gentleman who purchased one of these guitars mad a special point to come by and let us know how well the guitar was working out for him and how much he enjoyed his experience with it this past year. The WM series of the SMSA shape has been built with the working musician in mind. The two models are the SMSA-WM – 023 and the SMSA-WM – 018. A lot of the fancy trim has been kept simple with the emphasis being put on sound and playability. These guitars feature black walnut back and sides with a western red cedar top on (SMSA-WM 023) and a bearclaw sitka spruce top on (SMSA-WM – 018). Both guitars have traditional style bridges. Both have black and white purfling lines front and back. Both guitars have figured walnut rosettes. The necks are solid quarter sawn Honduran mahogany with a nicely figured walnut headstock laminate and heel cap. See more details on each guitar at Sullivan Guitars. These guitars sale for $3100.00 and are a great value for the discerning guitar player looking for a handmade guitar.
Currently under construction is an SMSA model with a beautiful back and side set of Palo Escrito. This guitar will have a signature S-style bridge, curly koa bindings accented with colored and mitered purfling lines and a spalted maple rosette with an abalone center and abalone purfling lines around the top. Gold open geared Gotoh vintage style tuners with scalloped buttons are planned for this guitar as well. Keep checking the Sullivan available guitars page to see more about this guitar as it gets closer to completion.
To reserve one of these fine guitars, contact Jim Sullivan at firstname.lastname@example.org to get special at pre-dealer pricing.