By Andrew Catania
Tony Vines comes from a small place called East Tennessee in the United States of America. With more than twenty-five years of experience, he is presently one of the best guitar makers in the world. Guitar making is a precision process and if there are deviations from the benchmark, the experience may be subdued. Tony Vines knows this well and thus takes extreme care in making each and every component by hand and keeping up with the precision level.
Tony was born and brought up in East Tennessee and had an older brother who loved to play guitars. He too, developed an immense love for music at a very tender age. He was always surrounded by the Appalachian culture and music. His mother was an avid player of Autoharp and Piano. With a musical family background, he drew closer to the strings and musical instruments. He grew fascinated by the stringed musical instruments at the early age of fourteen. He fidgeted with many guitars until he was twenty but could not find the perfect one for himself. It is then when he decided to go ahead and make one for himself.
Tony had no woodwork experience prior to this event, but it was his determination and search for perfection that he toiled hard to master the skill and craftsmanship. He is now one of the best guitar makers in the world. The perfection and the artistic approach in his art make him stand out from the crowd. He got solace only when he had made a guitar for himself by himself.
Tony decided to make a career out of guitar-making in 1989 as a professional Luthier. In his early career, Tony made around 5 guitars a year and did around 400 repairs in his musical instruments repair shop in Kingsport, Tennessee. The hard time was a blessing in disguise for Tony as he learned all the basics and gained extensive knowledge about the design and intricate details of a guitar. He also had a lot of time to experiment with the designs and components.
Coupled with his passion for guitars, the knowledge proved to be too good for him. All the nodes started falling in place and an unknown boy from a musical instruments repair shop in Kingsport, Tennessee became the famous guitar maker Tony Vines. Many great artists from all over the world have traveled hundreds of miles to visit Tony and gain the ownership of some of the best handmade guitars on earth. Tony’s many exemplary works can be seen at the National Music Museum in Vermillion, South Dakota.
Tony’s guitars are so renowned because they are hand-made, chiseled one at a time using the materials which produce the best sound and tone. Each guitar is designed especially for the individual customer keeping in mind his physical stature and playing techniques. The most remarkable of all the guitar series that Tony Vines manufactures is the new “S” Series featuring the “SL” and “SX”. Johnny Cash, Harry Smith (guitarist for Martina McBride, Angaleena Presley, Restless Heart and Clay Walker), Jason Truby and instructional guru Kurt Mitchell are some of the well-known musicians who play the guitars manufactured by Tony Vines. Up until now, Tony has built approximately 175 guitars till now and all of them are some of the best-tuned guitars of all times.
Have a look at our current issue of “American Guitars”
Featured Interviews with Joe Bonamassa, and Greg Howe as well as Luthiers Gabriel Currie from EchoPark Guitars, John Monteleone, and a look at Benedetto Guitars after 48 years by CEO Howard Paul. The Photographers Vault by Derek Brad of his shoot of Joe Bonamassa at the State Theatre.
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