Thank you for your interest in Bear Creek Guitars. I have been building guitars for over 30 years, working as a guitarmaker for O.M.I. Dobro and the Santa Cruz Guitar Company before founding my own, Bear Creek Guitars. My love of Hawaiian guitars started at Dobro, where I met Don Young, now the owner of National Resophonic Guitars. Don’s enthusiasm for Hawaiian music and steel guitars inspired my interest in these exotic instruments. My years building for Santa Cruz Guitar Company helped me develop a critical eye for master quality construction techniques, and fine detail… and I learned a lot of bad jokes.
I bought my first Weissenborn guitar from an old guy who had strung it up like a ukulele. It seemed for many years that most people didn’t know what to do with these guitars. Today, however, the Hawaiian Steel Guitar has made a comeback.
The early Hawaiian guitars were beautiful in outward appearance, but rather crude in their construction and interior details. Still, they have a very magical sound. I am currently building fine, Hawaiian Steel Guitars in the ‘Weissenborn’ tradition. They are styled after the classic steel guitars of the 1920s, but with uncompromised workmanship, and much more attention to detail than the originals. I use the finest Hawaiian Koa available today, and each of my instruments is handcrafted by me. This attention to detail has resulted in an incredible instrument in both beauty and sound.
My guitars are played by Bob Brozman, one of the world’s greatest traditional steel players. After taking his first Bear Creek Hollowneck on tour, Bob’s endorsment says it all: “The Bear Creek is beautifully crafted and captures the mysterious sound of the original Weissenborns, but with greater volume, depth and clarity.” Bob and I are continually working on new innovative designs — watch the blog and gallery for new models and strange new works in progress!
Founder, Bear Creek Guitars