BY DAVID LUSTERMAN
Who built that resonator guitar Albanie Falletta plays in a recent Acoustic Guitar Session?
Bonham Design, the husband-and-wife team of guitarist and luthier Ben Bonham and artist and designer Heather Staten, who make their home in Hood River, Oregon, immersed in the hand-making of many things, resonator ukuleles and guitars among them.
“I met about Albanie five years ago at the Old-Time Fiddlers’ Festival in Weiser, Idaho,” Ben Bonham recalls, “and started playing a bit together. I had built the tooling and production for Mya-Moe Ukuleles [then located in White Salmon, Washington] and started to dabble in guitar building. The next year at Weiser, I brought some wooden prototypes based on Nationals. Albanie took one look in my car trunk and said, ‘Where’s my guitar?’”
Continuing to focus on one-offs and custom work, Bonham’s clientele grew, initially among the musicians with whom he has performed or shared stages. His instruments can also be seen at 3 Tracks Music in Portland, Oregon, a specialty repair and retail shop founded by Keith Kurczewski, who spent 8 years building and repairing at National Guitars under the leadership of Don Young and McGregor Gaines.
Here’s a more recent version of the guitar Falletta plays, this one with a stained black spruce top.
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Learn more at BonhamDesign.com.