Dana Bourgeois will continue to build guitars in Lewiston, Maine, at a new location
Forced to move, a fortuitous reunion led to a unique solution, and a new President of Bourgeois Guitars
As described at the official Bourgeois website, Dana ran into an old friend at a college reunion, who has considerable experience with upper-level management. That friend, Bob Smallwood, has been retired for some time, from business, but was keeping busy as a volunteer fireman, instructor, and musician. But now he has joined forces with Dana Bourgeois and along with his wife, has relocated to Maine to take over as President, Chief Operating Officer, and Chief Financial Officer. He has already been responsible for locating the site of the new guitar factory and oversaw its creation.
“The Smallwood home is located in the glorious rocky mountains outside of Estes Park, Colorado. Bob was the Assistant Fire Chief and Medical Training Director of the Glen Haven Volunteer Fire Department. Sonjia, a 100lb firefighter and emergency medical responder, was decorated with Bob for heroism during the floods of 2013. Bob and Sonjia volunteered at the same food bank in Estes Park when they met and fell in love 6 years ago. Together they were part of the music entertainment scene in Colorado’s northern mountain communities. Now, they have stepped from one adventure to another by relocating to Maine to join Dana at Bourgeois Guitars. They are excited to help write the next chapter for this venerable brand.”
We very much wish the Smallwoods and Dana very good luck as this new chapter unfolds!
Dana Bourgeois is celebrating 30 years of the Schoenberg Soloist cutaway OM with a very special model for 2017
Limited to just 12 instruments
The Soloist 30th Commemorative LE is made with premium cocobolo back and sides and a bearclaw German spruce top. According to Bourgeois, “Both are the finest examples of their species and rare in this grade! The elegant “Soloist” triangle inlay not only adorns the heel as it has traditionally, but it has also been added to both sides of the pyramid bridge as a finishing touch.”
photo: Bourgeois Guitars
And it has a label signed by Dana Bourgeois and Eric Schoenberg.
Bourgeois did the majority of the work on the very first Soloists, which were made for joint venture between C. F. Martin & Co. and Schoenberg’s shop. At that time Martin was focused on contemporary acoustic guitars, and was neither trained or tooled up to do vintage features like hand-carved pyramid bridges, hand-planed and “voiced” back and soundboard, and the special neck shaping Schoenberg required. So Bourgeois handled the detailed work and then the guitars were sent to Martin for assembly and finishing.
Both Schoenberg and Bourgeois have offered world-class cutaway OM fingerstyle instruments ever since.
The Schoenberg Soloists were the first Martin flattop acoustic guitars to have a cutaway. I used to own the first Soloist made with pearl top trim, which is now in Chris Martin’s private collection. It has outrageous bearclaw waterfalls in the Sitka top, reminiscent of the stuff being used on this wonderful and historic new Soloist.
Schoenberg guitars have had the Soloist model built by a succession of small-shop luthiers. And now it comes full circle, as Dana Bourgeois brings his own personal interpretation after decades of evolving exclusive methods and philosophy of guitarmaking.
Courtney Hartman made an appearance at the Bourgeois NAMM booth to play some guitars. And here she is in a promotional video for this amazing limited edition.