The story of Dehradun Guitar Company started in the 1980ʼs.
In the Tennessee log cabin where I grew up, there were two pianos, an autoharp, a flute, a saxophone, two ukuleles, a 1950ʼs Ludwig trap set, and probably most important, my dadʼs 1965 Gibson J-45. I started playing that guitar around the time I turned 12, and Iʼve loved it ever since. About a year later at a show in Columbia, South Carolina, Phil Keaggy very graciously let me try out his guitar, a beautiful cutaway cedar/rosewood SJ by Jim Olson. At 13 years old, I was amazed that a human could make something so beautiful. And that was it.
I was absolutely smitten with the idea of building guitars, so I started by nearly destroying a couple of cheap electrics, then moderately improving an old Silvertone classical. The first guitar I helped build from scratch was a little concert model, with my brother Scott. Soon after finishing university, I took the first chance I had to head to northern California and attend classes with Harry Fleishman at Luthiers School International, and Harry has continued to mentor me through the years. I’ve also been influenced by the teaching of Ervin Somogyi, and by the instruments of Jeffrey Elliott, Kirk Sand, Rick Turner and Kevin Ryan. A few companies out there really impress me, especially Richard Hooverʼs Santa Cruz Guitar Co. I’m also a big fan of George Lowden’s team in Northern Ireland.
My wife, little boys and I moved to India in June of 2010, with a dream of connecting Indian artisans with healthy markets. Mel started a textile-based fashion company called JOYN, and I started Dehradun Guitar Co. The real heart of DGC is the group of men who build with me. Take a minute to get to know them on the Builders page.
If you’d like us to build you an instrument, you can go to the Contact page and let us know. Weʼll update the website from time to time, but if you want a more direct link, you can connect with us on Facebook.
I need to thank a few people, starting with Kevin Ryan, Richard Hoover and Jim Olson. Your friendship and help along the way have been a source of strength. We’re standing on the shoulders of giants here. Steve Smith of Suhr Guitars has also been a great support, and I also want to mention the wonderful team at ABF Freight, Will at Woodmaster Tools, Brad at Kreg Tools, and especially the tight group of friends and investors who helped us get started, who tirelessly continue finding ways to help out and to cheer us on.
And to those who play a Dehradun, I’m so grateful for you. Your encouragement and excitement about your instrument mean the world to me and my builders. Play on!