Collaboration with Colin Keefe

For a dozen years now I have concentrated on building flat-top guitars, but I’m regularly being asked to build citterns and bouzoukis; several people telling me mine were the best available.  Now Colin Keefe and partner Janet will be working with me to build my citterns and bouzoukis.

Colin became interested in building them after fitting a new back to one of my very early citterns, the one owned by Andy Irvine, taken to the US by Paul Brady, but returning with a split back.  Colin did a wonderful job, building and fitting purfling in an exact match of my original: a perfect looking and perfectly constructed major repair.  The owner was so pleased with it, he and Colin brought it to show me. Both Colin and the repair impressed me, and the idea of collaboration was born.

Colin has experience and training that few builders can match, and his work reflects this. His guitars are excellently put together and his renovations, for which he is becoming famous, are immaculate.  His CV can be accessed here.

Colin proudly showing he can finger E major
Colin marking out a fingerboard

For the past several years Colin and Janet have been working from their workshop in Long Eaton, near Nottingham, but are now in process of moving to the North East, looking at premises a few miles from me, making regular contact easier.

Janet profiling frets

Colin has already begun building instruments to my design. This isn’t easy at a distance, as my plans are comprehensible to me but not necessarily to anyone else.  Even so, he has built a mandolin virtually indistinguishable from mine in both sound and appearance.  Now he and Janet are moving so much closer, collaboration will be easier.

I’ll be giving more information as to cittern and bouzouki availability soon.