Oh man, I have been looking forward to this day for over three years. Today is the day that my dear friend Aaron Younce joins me at Strange Guitarworks.
(This is the most rockin’ picture of him I have. First impressions are important.)
I first met Aaron in San Francisco, and we worked side by side at one of the country’s best guitar repair shops, SF Guitarworks, where we honed our craft and learned crucial business skills. After three years and roughly 2,340 guitars crossing our benches (each!), we left to pursue different paths. I left to start my own repair shop in my hometown of New Orleans, and Aaron left to join the team at Fodera Guitars in Brooklyn, NY. Aaron and I have remained in almost constant contact since then, sharing repair and building techniques, advice, tool recommendations, guitar wisdom, and jokes. Truth be told, oftentimes the back and forth text messages from Aaron were a lifeline for me in my shop – working alone for over three years gets lonely, and I came to depend on my conversations with Aaron too keep me sane. While I appreciate his expertise on all things guitar, what I appreciate most is his steadfast friendship, and I’m really looking forward to working with him here in New Orleans.
Aaron is a fantastic tech, luthier, and musician. He’s been building custom guitars for years – he co-owns Maret Guitars with our mutual friend James Creston, and had a hand building over 1,200 custom instruments at Fodera (some of which costing upwards of $40,000!). He also offered his services as a repair tech in his off time, to keep his hand in the repair game. He also is a prolific songwriter, with his solo project as Atomic Tortoise and with his band Mobile Steam Unit. Make no mistake: Aaron has got some serious skills, and I’m really excited about learning his craft.
Aaron is bringing Maret Guitars to New Orleans, and will be building custom instruments right here in the shop. This is something I’m super excited about – I’ve never actually built a guitar from scratch before. It’s been on my list of things to do, but I’ve been so busy with other creative projects that I just haven’t gotten around to it. I will be assisting Aaron and James in building a handful of custom guitars a year, and I’m really psyched to learn all I can from him. If you’ve ever wanted a totally custom, no compromises, unique instrument, come talk to us.
Here’s an example of their work: a custom Maret guitar, with hand painted image of a 1950 Buick (art by Gregory Silverman). I mean, seriously – look at this thing! How cool is that?!
Aaron will be bringing a lot of changes to the shop. We will now be offering more intricate and extensive woodworking, inlay work, and customization. Our work will be both faster and more consistent, as we encourage each other to be better and more efficient. We will be expanding our tooling, so we can offer more services than ever before. It is our goal to be the best guitar shop you have ever set foot in.
Aaron will be joining Strange Guitarworks as a full partner. He will be working on your guitars, answering your questions, teaching workshops, and building custom guitars. He holds the same level of responsibility that I do. He and I will strive for the same level of perfection and professionalism. We will push each other to constantly improve. We want your trust, and the buck stops with us. From now on, Strange Guitarworks is a “we”, not an “I”.
Come by the shop, and say hello to Aaron. He’s new here.