Bourgeois Guitars ◊ Lewiston, Maine

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Jeff Looker had turned his retirement plan into a destination instrument shop.  Hundreds of high-end acoustic guitars.  Santa Cruz!  Collings!  Half a dozen Martin Custom Shop 000’s.  A chance visit with this rare grouping kept me repeatedly occupied.

Humbly I ask Dana Bourgeois to forgive my inattention to his guitars.  Not until the seventh or eighth visit did I try a Bourgeois.  A simple mahogany OM short scale with Sitka spruce top.  The package of options Bourgeois calls their Country Boy*.  I was holding a Bourgeois Country Boy OM Short Scale.

Wow! Where have you been my whole life, darlin’?

Giddy with anticipation, the OM begins playing as soon as my hand rests upon the fingerboard.  My reaction, with no hyperbole nor financial compensation:  This is the finest mahogany guitar I have ever played!

“That isn’t me. What kind of trick is this?”  Looking down, I’m astonished to see the guitar nearly playing itself, my fingers immediately at home on this newly met field of frets.  I lean back, enjoy the music, and listen to a perfect guitar.

Country Boy sports a complete sound.  Absolute balance across the spectrum.  Not cocky, but confident.  The tone mature, captivating.  Clearly not a production-line product but a  construction lovingly born of faith and imagination.

More description?  OK, try this:  Punchy midsection.  Perfect intonation.  Powerful resonance.  No mud, conspicuously lacking in the usual trouble area,  midrange chords up the neck.  The guitar is full & open.  Again, it makes me play far better than usual.  My fingers move across fretboard as thought listening to someone else.

Even light groups of notes up the neck on the lower strings resonate perfectly with nary a misplaced overtone.  Country Boy has soul, a perfect transcendental musical experience.

After two visits with Country Boy, I am a believer. Jeff also stocks the Adirondack top Country Boy OM, but the Sitka is the one which talks to me with gracious warmth, forever my friend.

* When Ricky Skaggs suggested the name “Country Boy” for our mahogany dreadnought, we all fell on the floor. We still wonder where he got such a great idea for a name! Admittedly, depending on which Body Style is used with this traditional combination of spruce and mahogany, you can get pretty far removed from anything remotely “country” in look and sound. Over the years we have considered changing the name but we can’t, it was a gift! –

5 thoughts on “Bourgeois Guitars ◊ Lewiston, Maine

    justinbeene said:
    April 9, 2015 at 7:13 pm

    those open gear tuners are sweet …

      American Toolbox responded:
      April 9, 2015 at 8:42 pm

      Kathryn originally sent me larger images . . . a 5.4MB image of the gear tuners . . . at “original size”, each Waverly completely covered my 11″ MacAir screen . . . They are the best.

      At least, that’s what Wayne Henderson told me. He has used them on every one of his guitars. Except the one for Doc Watson. Doc wanted larger knobs. If I ever get a guitar built by Wayne, I want the same ones Doc got. That way, if it ever comes up, I’ll be mentioned in the same sentence as Doc.

    […] Bourgeois Guitars ◊ Lewiston, Maine […]

    Thomas said:
    August 9, 2015 at 9:16 pm

    Lewiston Maine caught my eye, which led to the write up of the Bourgeois Guitars. Impressive to say the least. The craftsmanship seems outstanding.. I would love to ‘hear’ it being played the way one should…
    Thanks for the ‘trip’.

      American Toolbox responded:
      August 10, 2015 at 7:33 am

      It’s pretty amazing, how Bourgeois can take mahogany and spruce, and make such an amazing sound. The Sitka top was magic, IMHO.

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