The third annual Woodstock International Luthiers’ Showcase returns to the Bearsville Theater and its environs this Friday, October 21 to Sunday, October 23. There will be three days of events, concerts, clinics and tone-wood exhibits, all built around the main exhibits of the musical wares of the world’s finest independent guitar-builders.
The main instrument exhibits will be open to the public from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, October 22 and 23. All told, there will be 50 exhibitors, 35 of them acoustic guitar and string instrument builders. Slated to return this year are some of the top of the line in the field: Linda Manzer, John Monteleone and various disciples of his, David MacCubbin, Ken Parker, Ervin Somogyi, East Virginia Guitars, Ivon Schmukler and plenty more. Local builders will be well-represented with Martin Keith, Harvey Citron, Bruce Ackerman, Peter Head, Joe Veillette, Woody Phifer, Paul Hartmann and Cue Gerhards.
There’s also a full roster of music and instruction. The kickoff concert on Friday, October 21 at the Colony Café on Rock City Road will feature, along with the Frank Vignola & the Vinny Raniolo Guitar Duo, music by Kinobe and the African Sensation. The show starts at 8 p.m., and admission is $25 at the door only.
The other concert will take place at 8 p.m. on Sunday, also at the Colony: the “Post-Showcase After-Show Party Show and Showcase.” It will feature the extraordinary fingerpicker Kinloch Nelson; Sharon Klein, who, Rorick is quick to point out, coordinated the productions and the concerts: “I couldn’t do it without her”; George Worthmore, a fine Florida fingerpicker; and, as it’s billed, other “Woodstock Invitational Performers, the Left-Over Luthiers, Local Notables and Special Guests.”
In between, while the exhibits are being viewed in the Theater, in the lobby there will be a steady stream of performances of fine artists playing the guitars that are on display. Larry Campbell and Teresa Williams will be back, as will the absolutely sublime Eddie Diehl; classical guitarist David Temple will play, as will Peter Head on his homemade instruments. Elly Wininger, Kinloch Nelson and Worthmore will try out the wares.
There will also be, over at the Bear Café, a series of workshops for those who want to learn from the masters. Among others, Paul Asbell will do a “Fingerstyle Country Blues Workshop”; Doug Wamble will approach the subject of “Applying Piano Techniques for Guitar: Boogie-Woogie, Gospel, New Orleans and Stride”; and Happy Traum will do a “12-string Guitar Workshop.” The workshops cost $35 each, cash only, and have limited space, so advance reservations are recommended by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org; put Clinic Reservation in the subject line.
General admission is $15 per day; a two-day pass is $25. Advance tickets are available through the Bearsville Theater box office at (845) 679-4406 or bearsvilletheater.com. The Bearsville Theater is located at 291 Tinker Street. Please visit the website ulsterpub.staging.wpengineinvitational.com for more clinic details, a list of exhibiting luthiers, performers, the full schedule, directions, lodging options et cetera.