Woodstock guitarist, designer and sculptor Rennie Cantine has been working on a project chronicling the history and future of Woodstock Guitars and the musicians that play them. He has teamed up with writer John Barry, a career music journalist who recently released the book Levon Helm: Rock, Roll & Ramble, to tell the story of the history of guitars, guitar players and accompanying musicians. With the help of Barbara O’Brien, Lizzie Vann, and local writers Martha Frankel, Susan Brown, Brian Hollander, Janine Mower among others, Barry and Cantine are charting the history of specific local guitars and those who played them. Along with photographs from Elliot Landy, The Woodstock Historical Society, the art work of Mike DuBois, Sabrina Miller, the Woodstock Sculpture Exhibition, they are creating a visual history of Woodstock Guitars.
To kick off this documentary series, there will be a special show at 9:30 p.m. Friday, December 30 at Pearl Moon, 52 Mill Hill Road, Woodstock, featuring Sabrina & the Gems with Rennie Cantine on guitar, Johnny Bass on bass, Sabrina Miller on guitar and vocals. Opening the show will be the Gabriel Butterfield Band with blues legends Jim Curtin and Jimmy Eppard.
Starting in 1985 Cantine has been bringing guitarists together at the Woodstock Guitar Spotlight Series, the Woodstock Guitar Festival (going on 30 years of providing music for the Woodstock Fireworks at Volunteers Day), and the Music on the Green series. All that time he has been taking notes, interviewing guitar players and jamming with hundreds of the best players Woodstock has to offer.
Together with Applehead Studios, and with Chris Bittner and Mike Birnbaum, they have set up a series of Podcasts to help tell the story of Woodstock Guitars through interviews and concerts to document this amazing story. Over 100 musicians have signed up.