Matt's blog

The story of me, an American in Edinburgh, Scotland finding my place as a musician, a husband, a father and a Christian.


Guitar, guitar, guitar

The Monday after finals week found Jeni and I driving to Desmet, Idaho to meet with Michael Elwell, the luthier who is building my new guitar. I had told a friend of mine who is from Idaho (and proud of that fact) that I was going down to Desmet. He, even being the extreme Idaho buff that he is, had never heard of the town. Hmm, that's interesting, I thought.

(Short tangent. One day in choir our director asked us to share in one word some good thing that happened over the weekend. The aforementioned friend said, "Idaho!" prompting someone from the back of the choir to exclaim, "That's three words!" Grumble grumble, chuckle chuckle, ok, I'm moving on.)

The drive to Desmet was breathtakingly beautiful. When it rains up here everything gets green and amazing. As our odometer told us we were within several miles of Desmet we passed a sign for Tensed, population 90. A mile or two later we saw a sign for Desmet. No population, just an arrow pointing down a road that quickly turned to mud. We knew we were supposed to be on Desmet St., but street signs were as lacking as the pavement. After driving about two and a half miles down the road we spotted a mailbox with the address he'd given me. This was the place.

We drove up the steep mud drive way to be greeted by a very happy dog and a very old horse. Mike Elwell is a cool guy who I had met and played guitar for a few times before, but this was the first time I'd come to his place. Mike is a colorful guy, to say the least. He told a few stories about how he used to be one of those "sky is falling" hippie types who lived out in a tepee back in the 60's and packed around on the same horse which he now had stabled by his house. We went into his workshop, which is just a small detached garage, and looked at the guitar he was working on as well as taking a look at the materials for mine. Geez, he builds some nice guitars. This is a custom job all the way. I chose the wood I wanted for the back, sides, and top, gave my input into how I wanted the neck to feel, and chose out the design for the rosette around the soundhole. Now that's all pretty cool, but the really cool part is that he has listened to me play on several occasions before we got together to talk about the guitar, so he is building the guitar and designing its sound from the inside out specifically with me and my style of playing in mind. I think that's amazing. Working with him has already been a great experience and I'm really looking forward to my guitar being completed in September when I come back up to school.

So there's the trip to Desmet and the info on my new guitar. Talk to me in September and I'll play you a little something.

2 Responses to “”

  1. # Anonymous Anonymous

    Hey thats my Dad you are talking about! I think its neat to see an article about my Dad on your web site. Out of curiosity I just typed his name and this is one of the sites that came up. Interesting. I think its wonderful to see other people just as amazed at my Dad's work as his family is. Oh, its funny you would call him a colorful guy... especially because he's color blind!!Hmmm, but it sure doesn't stop him from being a colorful guy, huh Matt?? I just called my mom and read her the article and now I'm going to print it and take it to my Dad, I'm sure he will enjoy it too.  

  2. # Anonymous arthur

    hey, thats my dad as well. yeah I was curious as well and typed in his name and found this blog. super cool guy huh. he really knows what he is talking about when it comes to building guitars. hawaii is nice and all but nothing like the house I grew up in out in the woods. I really miss it! I'm glad you got to meet up with my father and have him construct you a guitar, you should be pleased when you get it if you already haven't. cool blog and pst another one talking about your experiences with the guitar if you ever get the chance. thanks again  

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