I’m pleased to introduce my first guitar “model”, the Derecho. On the evening of June 29th, a derecho blew through DC with winds above hurricane force. The Hot Club of DC was playing an outdoor pavilion swing dance gig at Glen Echo Park, part of the DC Djangofolies festival. When it came through, rain blew sideway, trees fell, electricity went off, but the band played on, and the dancers kept on swinging, it was a night to remember. Sadly, in the confusion induced by the destruction, a uniquely exquisite Jacques Castelluccia guitar from the 1950s which had served as a major inspiration to me was damaged beyond repair.
Much of the inspiration for the guitars I built over the last year has come from J. Castelluccia’s guitars from the 50s and 60s which my friend and band mate Stephan has been kind enough to let me study. Castelluccia has been my muse but I have not made exact copies and in many ways they are different and it is inappropriate to call my guitars by his name. So, while I readily acknowledge the influence, I think it is time to put my own name on what I do. The Model Derecho is characterized by it’s clarity, cutting tone, volume and a wide dynamic range. This guitar can be played as hard as you like without breaking down. The bass is solid and mids and highs have a penetrating quality that really stands out.
The first of my guitars to bear the model name Derecho, the guitar pictured, has a Western Red Cedar top and Claro Walnut laminated back and sides. The neck is butternut, a member of the walnut family that is light, strong and very stable. The tuners are Waverly three-on-a-plate engraved tuners with ebony buttons which really set off the walnut b/s and ebony head plate. The fingerboard and bridge are Indian Rosewood. The neck was custom shaped as part of the owner’s specs, similar to the thick Selmer and Busato necks of old. The finish is polished short oil varnish.
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