Meet The Guitar-Makers For Dave Matthews, Emily King, Jason Mraz And Amos Lee : World Cafe Co-founders Brian Calhoun and Randall Ray make guitars for artists like Dave Matthews, Richie Sambora and Jason Mraz. In this segment, Brian takes us on a tour of the shop and explains how every instrument is a unique piece of art.
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Rockbridge Guitars On World Cafe

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Inside Rockbridge Guitars, Where The Music Really Starts

Inside Rockbridge Guitars, Where The Music Really Starts

Rockbridge Guitars On World Cafe

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A look inside Rockbridge Guitars in Charlottesville, Va. John Myers/WXPN hide caption

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A look inside Rockbridge Guitars in Charlottesville, Va.

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Playlist

  • Dave Matthews Band, "If Only"
  • Ricky Skaggs, "Gallatin Rag"
  • James Leva, "Farewell to the Stomping Ground"
  • Dave Matthews Band, "#34"
  • Deep Purple, "Smoke on the Water"

All week we've been taking you to Virginia for our Sense Of Place series. If you've tuned in, you heard sessions with lots of artists from Richmond, but for our last stop, we're taking you to where the music really starts: Rockbridge Guitars. When co-founder Brian Calhoun and his partner Randall Ray started the company, they had no idea they were really on to something.

"I started saying, 'I think we can make a company' ... in his mind, it was going to be a hobby. He would tell you I was too young and stupid to know you couldn't do it for or a living," Brian says.

Brian got the business started by convincing one musician at a time to buy a hand-crafted guitar. He went to shows and bluegrass festivals, carrying three or four guitars, talking his way into getting backstage to find artists to try them out.

They still mainly get orders from word of mouth, only now they make guitars for artists like Dave Matthews, Richie Sambora and Jason Mraz. In this segment, you'll join me as Brian takes us on a tour of Rockbridge Guitars and discover how every instrument is a unique piece of art.

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