I’ll Take My Guitar With a Whiskey Chaser – [PHOTOS]
It’s well-known the effect a good shot of whiskey can have on the creative process… in particular music. It’s been responsible for some of the greatest blues songs and the over-indulgence of said spirit can be attributed to a multitude of break-up songs… but what happens when the guitar and whiskey are fused together? Probably magic. But you’ll never know, because these guitars were presented to Irish singer-songwriter Foy Vance and other artists as a thank-you for their participation in Bushmills Live, a whiskey and music festival headlined by mostly indie singer-songwriter Irish artists.
Even though none of the guitars went to anyone really famous, the idea of a guitar made from a whiskey barrel piqued my interest.
Bushmills Irish Whiskey, which has been made on the North Coast of Ireland for centuries, has partnered with world famous luthier, George Lowden Guitars, to create three special-edition guitars, handmade from barrel-oak used in the whiskey making process.
George Lowden and his team, also from Northern Ireland, have hand-made guitars for some famous names; Eric Clapton, Van Morrison and The Edge to name a few.
The guitar-making process took more than three months. Each barrel stave had to be carefully sanded by hand then painstakingly glued together to create panels which were then hand-cut by Lowden to guitar templates he has been using for almost 40 years.
Finally, the team at Lowden assembled the guitars, incorporating the whiskey barrel oak into traditional Lowden body designs.
In a press release about the experiment George Lowden said:
“Making any guitar by hand is highly challenging but it was an enormous privilege to work with such special wood and it took us a considerable amount of time to create them. However, what we have managed to do is create something quite special. We were delighted that the musicians were so pleased with them.”
Bushmills Master Distiller, Colum Egan, called the whole process “remarkable”.
Even cooler than having a custom made Lowden Guitar made from an actual whiskey barrel is the ‘soberingly long painstaking’ process, which has been captured in the gallery below.