Guitars Birthed in Worship
What does “Guitars Birthed in Worship” mean?
My relationship with the Lord is the center of my life and I thank Him for every bit of this adventure of building high end custom acoustic guitars. The phrase “Guitars Birthed in Worship” communicates the heartbeat of the entire operation on so many levels.
After many years of working with my hands in fine woodworking, that, and my love for music finally merged together. I didn’t lay out a million dollar business plan. I just waited on the Lord and watched for His lead, and took the opportunities that came up.
My greatest desire is to build instruments that far surpass production line quality instruments and get them into the hands of fanatical players everywhere from young to old, novice to professional at an affordable level. I’ve been blessed to connect with many worship leaders nationwide, and to put high-end custom guitars into their hands, which might otherwise have been out of reach. I feel greatly blessed to be serving musicians in this capacity.
As my dear friend Eric Bryant from Core Zero began building my website, he came up with the phrase “Guitars Birthed in Worship”. Eric and I played together for many years on the worship team at my church, and we have a great connection centered around worship, our love of music, and our relationships with the Lord. He had been at the shop watching me set up guitars, stringing and tuning them for the first time ever, and he noted that the first thing that came out of every guitar was literally worship: some simple chords or notes from a favorite worship song, a few words of singing to go along with it. As each guitar is built and comes together, that’s the music I break them in with.
Every guitar is an act of worship as I build it. And I’m not just building guitars. I’m building and developing relationships with other musicians as we interact, whether it’s a repair or setup, working with someone one-on-one in the Builder’s Workshop, or designing and building a custom acoustic guitar.
I’d like to say thank you to each one who believed in me and took a chance. I’ve recently built my 150th guitar and also instructed about 40 students in building their own custom guitars. None of this would have been possible without support and help from many very close friends.
I’d like to acknowledge my dear wife Margie who has stood by me from the beginning and plays a big part in the business fielding emails and calls and keeping me up-to-date with clients. Also Eric Bryant at Core Zero for a website beyond belief. Incredible photography from Jose Leiva. Overwhelming encouragement from Maine’s own highly talented and accomplished singer/songwriter Denny Breau.
I would especially like to honor my dear friend Grant Durrell who sadly is no longer with us. Grant was an amazing musician who taught me to play 15 years ago. His great love of music and high-end instruments lit a fire in me for the same. Grant played an integral part in the development of WR Custom Guitars, being there from the beginning. He assessed many of the early guitars and helped me to tune and perfect the sound and playability. He also established a great sales base in the Harrisburg, PA region. His sales instinct was amazing. He was great at marketing, knew many musicians, and many of Grant’s friends are now my friends. Numerous weekends were spent at Grant’s home selling guitars right from his house. His wonderful wife, Emily, and his two sons, Josiah and Ethan, made those times special for me. Grant, I miss you greatly, but I’ll see you again.