Eastman Music for 2021 Includes Acoustic Upgrades and a New Electric Guitar

The Men of the East at Eastman Continue to Improve

In my previous post, I mentioned how Eastman is partnering with Dana Bourgeois to create a more-affordable line that will be partially made by each company, before being sold under the Bourgeois brand, with an emphasis on world-wide distribution. Delayed for obvious reasons, I am looking very forward to the results!

As for the Eastman brand, they are another acoustic guitar company that got into the electric guitar business, and their only new model for Winter NAMM is one them.

Romeo LA

This thinline semi-hallow body electric guitar features a laminate spruce top, with mahogany laminate back and sides, maple neck with a “swept curve neck joint,” ebony fretboard and a 24.75-inch string scale. The neck joint features a swept curve for player comfort.

Eastman-Romeo-LA 2021 onemanz

AE Series Upgrades

But they have updated their upper-tier acoustics for 2021 to include sound ports on all their AE models, and upgraded appointments that include figured maple trim and maple leaf fretboard markers, as well as new a top shading option.

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Eastman_grand-auditorium side port onemanz Eastman_grand-auditorium_port onemanz

Visit Eastman Guitars

Bourgeois Guitars Winter NAMM Collection

Dana Bourgeois and His Stunning Guitars

A Sampling of What 2021 Has to Offer

Keeping busy the best way he knows how, Dana Bourgeois and his small company of dedicated craftspeople are putting out some stunning one of a kind instruments. Here is a small sampling.

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Bourgeois Nova

Made with “Panama Red” rosewood and aged Adirondack spruce

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Bourgeois D Nova side onemanzBourgeois D Nova Panama Rosewood b and s onemanz

Bourgeois OMS Style 42

Slothead 12-fretter in master grade koa

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Bourgeois OMS koa side omemanzBourgeois OMS koa head onemanz

Visit Bourgeois Guitars to See Many More

*** Update on Bourgeois – Eastman Joint Venture***

It has been over a year ago that Eastman announced a joint venture partnership with luthier Dana Bourgeois, (link to jan 2020 post) to create a line of guitars more affordable than the high-end boutique guitars made by Bourgeois in Lewiston, Maine. The global pandemic has disrupted the timing of that new business arrangement, just like everything else. But I do look forward to seeing one of those instruments eventually.

The arrangement will create guitars similar to Martin’s old Shenandoah Series, which had the guitar parts made in Asia, before being assembled and finished in Nazareth, PA. In this case, much of the woodworking is done in Maine, before the guitars are assembled and finished in China, and then given their final setup in the USA.

This isn’t the first time Bourgeois partnered with outsiders to make a play for wider market presence. But it resulted in him being unable to market guitars under his own name for some years.

This time, he retains greater control over the quality of the final product, while gaining a serious overseas presence, and offering a line of guitars considerably more affordable than the $4K – $10K guitars currently available from Bourgeois Guitars.

Dana Bourgeois Voicing Top onemanz

Dana Bourgeois “voicing” a new guitar

Guitars of Winter NAMM 2021

New Acoustics in Short Supply at NAMM 2021

The 2021 Winter NAMM Show was a virtual event, understandably enough, with virtually no acoustic guitars

Still, there were hundreds of events, including performances by musicians, famous and not so famous, as well as interviews and discussions. But while there were also actual products being released, few acoustic guitars were among them, compared to normal years. Even lil’ ol’ Huss & Dalton of Lynchberg, VA has recently gotten into making electric guitars!

Huss & Dalton Statesboro SC Classic Winter NAMM onemanz

C.F. Martin & Co. made a valiant effort for 2021, by offering four new acoustic guitar models across their pricing tiers, and four ukuleles. While it was reduced from what was originally planned for this NAMM show, it was considerably more of an offering than anyone else could muster, among the major players in the acoustic guitar industry.

Martin 00L Earth full One Man's Guitar onemanz

There is still some news of interest, from companies like…

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Santa Cruz,




Bourgeois Guitars Joint Venture with Eastman Guitars

Bourgeois / Eastman Collaboration Update

A Letter from Luthier Dana Bourgeois

“Dear friends,

2019 was an exciting year at Bourgeois Guitars.

The big news, of course, is our recent partnership with Eastman Music. Many are already aware of the particulars. For those who aren’t, following are a few highlights.

I am still an owner of Bourgeois Guitars. I will continue as CEO into the foreseeable future. For the foreseeable future, Bourgeois Guitars will continue making guitars in Lewiston, Maine, and continue distributing our guitars throughout the US. Eastman has already begun distributing Bourgeois guitars internationally, and will eventually handle most overseas sales.

We are pleased that most folks in the acoustic guitar community are already familiar with the details and ramifications of our recent news. We are also aware that misconceptions still exist. The most common misconception is a rumor that association with Eastman will cause American jobs to be exported to China. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

On the contrary, over the next two years we plan to steadily increase our local workforce. Though Eastman’s distribution efforts have just gotten started, overseas sales have quickly risen to the highest level we’ve seen in years. As a result, we are already hiring—not to keep abreast of workforce turnover, but to keep abreast of current and anticipated demand.

In addition, our two-year development plan calls for acquisition of new light and heavy equipment, all to be purchased exclusively from American suppliers. Plans are also underway to expand our Lewiston facility. I can assure you that such developments unambiguously benefit both the local and US economies. I can also assure you that this level of growth would not be possible without Eastman’s collaboration.

The second most common misconception we’ve heard is that the Bourgeois brand will somehow be cheapened or diluted by association with a maker of less expensive instruments. While it is true that brand degradation would likely occur if we tried to fool customers into thinking that guitars manufactured by Eastman were somehow made by Bourgeois, I can aggressively assure you that we won’t. Allow me to explain how we plan to proceed.

The average Bourgeois guitar retails for about $6,000. The cheapest retails for a little under $4,000. While we have always aspired to build quality guitars at lower price points, the economics of micro-scale US manufacturing dictate that we would lose our shirts if we tried.

As previously announced, Bourgeois and Eastman will address this conundrum by collaborating on a new series of guitars that will be partly produced by each company. Bourgeois will be responsible for design, materials selection, production of voiced tops, final setup and quality control; Eastman will assemble and finish guitars to our specifications. Not only will this collaboration further increase job creation in Lewiston, it will also allow us to crack the $4,000 price barrier, and by a significant margin. US introduction, by the way, is scheduled for the latter part of 2020.

While co-produced guitars will carry a Bourgeois headstock logo, they will also be distinguished by an unambiguous Series designation. Most significantly, the label inside each co-produced guitar will clearly credit Eastman’s role in it’s manufacture.

The slogan, “Made in Lewiston, Maine”, heretofore proudly displayed on all Bourgeois labels, will in the future be reserved only for guitars made entirely in Lewiston, Maine. Guitars made entirely in Lewiston will continue to be built by the same process, to the same designs, and by the same highly skilled craftsman who made them prior to our association with Eastman. The only difference is that we now have access to better equipment, facility and materials, and are already able to provide employees with better benefits. We sincerely believe that under such conditions, the quality of a guitar made in Lewiston should only continue to rise.

Finally, we’ve heard variations on an unfounded rumor that Bourgeois guitars will soon be carried by every US Eastman dealer. Again, not so. While Eastman’s dealership network will undoubtedly help introduce Bourgeois guitars to previously untapped foreign markets, only a few qualified Eastman dealers will be allowed to represent Bourgeois Guitars in the US. Moreover, new dealers will only be opened in markets that do not already support existing Bourgeois dealerships. In short, the Market should expect, as we do, that expansion of our dealership network will continue to be gradual and organic.

Each day I wake up feeling that my best guitars haven’t yet been built. Partnership with Eastman only reinforces that belief. I judge the quality of a guitar primarily by the music it makes in the hands of its player, and by the joy it brings to player and listener like. While alliance with Eastman may put Bourgeois guitars in the hands of more players, the rest is still up to me and my Lewiston, Maine, team. We continue to take that responsibility as seriously as ever.

Please help spread these messages to anyone who has not heard them. Thank you in advance for your continued support.”


Dana Bourgeois

CEO, Bourgeois Guitars

Dana Bourgeois Voicing Top Eastman onemanz